Three CT Companies Make Inc. 500 List For Fast Growth

Three Connecticut companies made the most recent installment of the Inc. 500, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

Datto of Norwalk came in 314th; Votto Vines Importing of Hamden was ranked 464th and North American Power & Gas was 476th.

The Inc. 500 list, released Wednesday, measures a company's percentage growth in annual revenue during a three-year period. Revenue growth often coincides with adding more people to a company's workforce.

Datto was founded in 2007. The company's workforce has grown from fewer than 20 employees in 2010 to 315 as of Aug. 1, and 89 percent work in Connecticut. The company had $48.9 million in revenue last year compared with $3 million in 2010, according to Inc. magazine. Datto provides hardware-based backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity for towns and businesses.

Datto Vice President of Marketing Dana Prestigiacomo said the mood at the office is "always excited here."

"We're always so proud to win honors like this," Prestigiacomo said.

Growth was driven in part by greater demand among small businesses for a service that backs up data and makes it available almost instantaneously, she said.

"If they're out of business for a few hours, or a day, or a week, it's really devastating to them, and Hurricane Sandy was a good example in that we had an awful lot of our clients, and our managed service providers had clients, that were in the Hurricane Sandy area," Prestigiacomo said. "And we had everybody backed up and running almost immediately. So, even if their building was destroyed, they could go somewhere else and re-deploy their systems and have their whole business up and running again."

Votto Vines Importing was founded in 2009 and started with the delivery of 1,000 cases of wine in Connecticut out of the back of co-founder Nick Votto's Subaru station wagon. The company is now a multi-state importer and marketer of more than 90 labels. Votto Vines had $4.3 million in revenue last year compared with $384,000 in 2010. Headquartered in Hamden, Votto Vines is managed by a large Italian family of siblings and cousins who grew up in Cheshire.

Chairman and CEO Michael Votto said that to be included in the Inc. 500 is a tremendous honor.

"In a nutshell, we have our own, small distribution operation," Michael Votto said. About 10 percent of the business is Votto Vines driving boxes of wine to restaurants and package stores in Connecticut. The other 90 percent of sales is from distributing through wholesalers in other states.

Votto Vines Chief Financial Officer Stephen Votto said the company hopes to reach its goal of $10 million in sales by 2015. The wines are primarily from small vineyards in Western Europe that cannot produce the volume to attract larger wholesalers. Votto Vines also distributes some wines from Australia and South America.

North American Power & Gas is a supplier of retail electricity and natural gas founded in 2009. The company had $263.2 million in revenue last year, compared with $24.1 million in 2010, according to Inc. The company has 100 employees, 80 of which were added in the past three years.

"We try to differentiate ourselves by offering competitive rates and exceptional customer service," said Tiffany Eddy, spokeswoman for North American Power & Gas. Eddy cited the company's charitable program Mission to Millions, in which the company donates $1 per month on the customer's behalf to a charity of the customer's choice, Eddy said. The program has raised more than $1 million for charity, she said.

Eddy said North American Power & Gas is working to settle a case pending before state regulators, who are investigating alleged bait-and-switch tactics in the company's residential electricity generation plans. The case was filed in February 2013, and just last month Attorney General George Jepsen and the Office of the Consumer Counsel filed with the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority a request for more time to discuss a possible settlement.

"There is a settlement in the works," Eddy said. "We have not done anything wrong. We've been in talks with the AG's office. They've been investigating, or been talking to, a lot of different suppliers for over 18 months. They have not concluded that … we acted improperly in any way, but there is an opportunity for settlement."

Inc. magazine also lists the Inc. 5000, which is the same premise as the Inc. 500, expanded to 5,000 companies of which 47 are in Connecticut. Those businesses, followed by their rank in the Inc. 5000, are:

Datto, 314; Votto Vines Importing, 464; North American Power & Gas, 476; Cornerstone Advisors Group, 502; iSend, 550; Synowledge, 736; Etouches, 757; SCIO Health Analytics, 1055; Clarity Software Solutions, 1079; Square 9 Softworks, 1225; InSync Training, 1308; MetaRetail, 1527; WhenToManage, 1613; Health Plan One, 1847; PhysicianOne Urgent Care, 1949; EasySeat, 2078; HPC Development, 2129; All-Star Driver, 2412; Stone Farm, 2440; Vlink, 2456; Core Informatics, 2484; Response Marketing, 2494; IT Direct, 2757; Deep River Snacks, 2878; Mediassociates, 2915.

Also, Etter Engineering, 2987; PeriShip, 3069; Realgy, 3087; Inspira Marketing, 3128; IMCorp, 3146; CT In-Home Assistance, 3324; Connolly, 3433; SAI Systems, 3609; iTech Solutions, 3627; Riverside Fence, 4038; Third Door Media, 4073; Bankwell Financial Group, 4247; FM Facility Maintenance, 4326; LLBH Private Wealth Management, 4339; Integrity Systems & Solutions, 4357; Shoptech Industrial Software, 4443; Southridge Technology Group, 4637; Eemax, 4878;, 4881; Innovative Computer Systems, 4896;, 4966; Dymax, 4974.

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