By Judy Newman The Wisconsin State Journal
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 2 years ago Emily Purdom and Rachel Robinson were school-based speech therapists when they started "DotCom Therapy." The company which offers speech and occupational therapy and mental health services via videoconferencing was just recognized by Entrepreneur magazine.
The Wisconsin State Journal
Two young Madison companies are among 360 named by Entrepreneur magazine as the "best entrepreneurial companies in America."
Ideas that Evoke, a marketing agency, and DotCom Therapy, a transplant to Madison that offers speech and language therapy online, are on the 2017 Entrepreneur360 list.
Ideas that Evoke is No. 273 and DotCom Therapy is No. 332.
Entrepreneur says it chose companies whose leaders "expertly balance impact, innovation, growth and leadership to grow their business."
DotCom Therapy offers speech and occupational therapy and mental health services via videoconferencing.
Emily Purdom and Rachel Robinson were school-based speech therapists in Springfield, Missouri, and started the company two years ago after they were recruited to serve clients as far away as rural Alaska because of a lack of available speech therapists.
Purdom and Robinson moved company headquarters to Madison earlier this year and have been attracting attention ever since.
DotCom Therapy claimed twin wins at the entrepreneur-focused, eight-day Forward Fest in August, topping both the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce's Pressure Chamber pitch competition and StartingBlock Madison's Challenge Cup.
The company also took first place in the information technology category of the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest in June.
As for the company's latest recognition, Robinson said, "We were excited and thrilled to make this list.
Entrepreneur is a publication we follow closely, and to be recognized as one of the top 360 small businesses is an absolute honor."
Companies can submit an application to be considered for the list.
Robinson said DotCom Therapy has nearly 100 employees and has served clients in at least 18 states and three foreign countries.
The company still has an office in Springfield, where several of its administrative staff members work, and recently closed the office space it received in University Research Park as a prize from the business plan contest, choosing instead to work remotely.
"We still very much consider Madison our home, as that's where Rachel and I both reside along with several key members of our team," Purdom said.
Ideas that Evoke has been around for nearly nine years and has drawn other national attention.
This is the company's second time on the Entrepreneur360; it made the magazine's list in 2015, as well.
The agency also has been on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in 2016 and 2017, ranking No. 325 in 2016 -- and fourth among Wisconsin companies on the list -- and No. 633 in 2017, which was eighth highest of the Wisconsin companies listed.
The most recent Inc. 5000 listing pegged the company's 2016 revenue at $3.2 million, with a three-year growth rate of 714 percent.
"I hope ... as Wisconsin-based businesses are awarded recognition such as this, it continues to put Wisconsin on the map for continued innovation and leadership," Kelly Ehlers, founder and president of Ideas that Evoke, said. The company, at 301 S. Blount St., has 39 employees.
Ehlers is now a serial entrepreneur. She opened a second company in November, Hello Salon Pro, a subscription service that sends a box of various beauty products to salons, six times a year.
Entrepreneur magazine says it selects companies for its Entrepreneur360 list based on an analysis of factors that reflect "major pillars of entrepreneurship: innovation and technology, management efficiency and business sustainability, and revenue."
Two other Wisconsin companies made this year's list: Quest CE, No. 161, a Milwaukee company that provides training and services for the insurance industry, and Prestige Paints, No. 283, a Delavan paint business.