Taking a Closer Look at this Year’s Inner City 100 Winners

Last month we honored the 100 fastest-growing U.S. inner city businesses at our 17th annual Inner City 100 conference and awards. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from a number of dynamic speakers, including HBS Professor Lynda Applegate and The Grommet co-founder Joanne Domeniconi, who presented a “live case study” of The Grommet, a company whose success story continues to unfold.

This month, we’re taking a closer look at the winning companies: Eight winners are part of the food and beverage cluster. Although these companies are very different, they represent significant local hires and a strong dedication to professional development and community involvement. And 12 of the 100 winning companies are veteran-owned. ICIC’s Eliza LaJoie recently spoke with the CEOs of these companies to discuss the transition from military life to entrepreneurship, hiring veterans, and the advantages of a military background.

In Boston and Pittsburgh, Revitalized Waterfronts Provide Economic Benefits

How does a contaminated, formerly industrial waterfront become a vibrant community space and an important driver of economic growth? As Boston and Pittsburgh have discovered, ambitious strategic planning, environmental remediation and strong organizational leadership are keys to success. Read more in our What Works Case Study and related blog post.

ICIC Founder Michael Porter Hosts a Roundtable on U.S. Competitiveness for ICIC Partners

On October 22, ICIC founder and Chairman Michael Porter led a roundtable discussion about U.S. competitiveness with a select group of ICIC partners in Boston.

ICIC on the Move

  • CEO Steve Grossman was a keynote speaker at “Beyond the Pitch: Urban Opportunities,” an event hosted by Investors’ Circle on October 21 in Philadelphia. The event focused on social entrepreneurship as a solution to urban issues and featured pitches from entrepreneurs.
  • On October 22 at the Meeting of the Minds in Richmond, California, ICIC’s Senior Vice President and Research Director, Kim Zeuli, spoke to an international group of innovators and policymakers about ICIC’s research on the resilience of our cities’ food systems.
  • ICIC’s Genevieve O’Mara attended SSTI’s Annual Conference on October 26-28 in Oklahoma City. The event, “Cultivating Prosperity: Partners, Ideas, Solutions,” featured speakers, networking and workshops centered on innovation and capital policy and issues.
  • On November 4, Zeuli and Senior Research Analyst Austin Nijhuis were guest speakers at Northeastern University’s Consortium on Food Systems Sustainability, Health, & Equity. They spoke on “Resilient Food Systems, Resilient Cities – A Forum on the State of Boston’s Food System.”
  • On November 9-12, Adetola Olatunji attended Opportunity Finance Network’s 2015 Conference, “Opportunity: Made in America” to represent our partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. The conference, held in Detroit, highlighted new resources and strategies in the field of community development financial institutions (CDFIs).


  • On November 12 and 13, Inner City Capital Connections will host their 10th Anniversary National Conference in New York City. In accordance with this year’s theme, “Keep your competitors close, but your customers closer,” ICCC has built the ultimate customer’s and salesman’s arena, dedicated to giving attendees a forum to cultivate and diversify their customer base while re-energizing and expanding their sales force. Learn more about the event here.
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