Each year, the Texas A&M University Mays School of Business Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship releases the Aggie 100, a list of the fastest-growing businesses owned or led by A&M graduates.
The 2011 list was recently released and 33 Houston-area companies made the list of 100. Sixteen of those enterprises are headquartered within Houston city limits, with 17 more in the surrounding areas.
Topping the list at No. 1 was Tranzon Auction Resolutions, a national auction and sales company founded and managed by two A&M grads that's based in Cypress. Tranzon saw 276.83 percent growth between January 2008 and December 2010.
Also in the top 10, Houston's Opportune LLP, an energy consulting firm founded and managed by Aggies David Baggett, Jr. and John Vanderhider. It ranked fifth with a 101.91 percent growth.
Other local companies on the list range from attorneys to software developers to engineers to retail suppliers.
A company qualifies initially if under the ownership or leadership of a former Aggie, but from there the criteria gets a bit stricter. It must have seen longevity, success and growth over at least five years in business, and it must adhere to the Aggie Code of Honor in practice. Qualifying companies are then ranked by percentage growth.
Ashley Crane, assistant director of the CNVE, says that there are companies that repeatedly make the list. Some have been on the list for four or more years, and one has made it six times in the seven years that the Aggie 100 has been published.
About half of the companies on the Aggie 100 participate in passing resources and expertise on to future generations of entrepreneurial Aggies. Through speaking engagements with student organizations and within classrooms, thousands of students in the business school and throughout the university are reached in the days leading up to the annual awards luncheon.