Annual ranking published by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Fortune recognizes high-growth companies in urban areas


Lawrence – The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Fortune announced yesterday that Imajine That has made the 2017 Inner City 100 list. The list, which was revealed at the 19th Annual Awards and Conference in Boston on October 3rd, ranks the fastest-growing inner city businesses in America by revenue growth. Imajine That ranked 33 on the list of 100, and reported a five-year growth rate of 275.75% from 2012-2016. Imajine That was also honored yesterday with the Chevron Dorothy A. Terrell Community Impact Award for the work they do for Lawrence and Boston. Imajine That feature and the full list is available on Fortune’s website.

ICIC’s Inner City 100 list seeks to celebrate and enable urban entrepreneurship. Over the course of nearly 20 years ICIC has awarded 928 companies whose success illuminates the innovation and business growth happening in our inner cities. Inner City 100 companies are forces of economic opportunity, optimism and transformation in their communities. Providing a platform for recognition, networking and learning, the Inner City 100 program continues to open doors for other budding urban entrepreneurs and stimulate inner city business development and job creation.


Susan Leger Ferraro, Founder & CEO of Imajine That accepting the Dorothy A. Terrell Community Impact Award presented by Chevron.  This is awarded to the ICIC Inner City 100 company that had the greatest impact on it’s community through quality job creation and civic engagement.

“We are extraordinarily proud of these pioneering entrepreneurs who lead the way in innovation, job creation and the economic revitalization of America’s inner cities,” said Steve Grossman, CEO of ICIC. “In addition to excellence in business, they have also demonstrated a deep commitment to and passion for their communities, which plays a huge role in the wellbeing of their local economies,” he said.

In addition to being published in Fortune, CEOs from the winning companies were invited to the Inner City 100 Conference and Awards, a full-day event featuring robust networking opportunities and educational sessions led by executives and academics from top-tier universities, including Harvard Business School and New York University. Past winners have reported connecting with multi-million dollar investors as a result of appearing on the Inner City 100 list and attending the Conference.

Keynote speakers at this year’s event included former CEO of Constant Contact, Gail Goodman; award winner and CEO of the Menkiti Group, Bo Menkiti; and Harvard Business School Professor and ICIC Founder and Chairman Michael E. Porter. Other speakers included Tom Lewand, CEO of Shinola, David Segura, CEO of VisionIT, Lynda Applegate of Harvard Business School, and David Whitford, Editor-at-Large at Inc. Magazine. ICIC also celebrated 17 businesses as members of the Inner City 100 “Hall of Fame,” which recognizes companies that have achieved making the list at least five times.

Boasting an average five-year growth rate of 320% between 2012 and 2016, the 2017 Inner City 100 companies represent a wide range of geography, hailing from 27 states. Collectively, the winners employed 9,402 people in 2016, and on average 42% of their employees live in the same neighborhood as the company.


Imajine That’s Chief Leaning Officer, Krysta O’Neill and VP of Operations, Jessica Brenes proudly accepting the ICIC Inner City 100 Award #33.

Highlights of the 2017 Inner City 100 include:

  • Employed 9,402 individuals in 2016.
  • Created 5,724 new jobs in the last five years.
  • On average, 42% of employees live in same neighborhood as the company.
  • Average company age is 16 years.
  • Average 2016 revenue is $13.1 million.
  • 32% are women-owned.
  • 45% are minority-led.
  • 29 industries represented in the top 100.

Inner City 100 Methodology: The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and awards the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2017, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2012 and 2016. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

ICIC is a national nonprofit founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. Through its research on inner city economies, ICIC provides businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. The organization supports urban businesses through the Inner City 100, Inner City Capital Connections and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programs. Learn more at www.icic.org or @icicorg.

Media contacts:

Jessica Brenes
VP of Operations


Hannah Roccki
Senior Communications Associate, ICIC
(617) 238-3010