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Posted on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Ann Arbor SPARK hands out Fast Track awards for economic development

By Ben Freed


Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Paul Krutko presents the 2012 Fast Track awards during's 2012 Deals of the Year award ceremony Friday evening.

Courtney Sacco |

The winners of Ann Arbor SPARK’s 2012 Fast Track award winners were announced at the Deals of the Year event Friday night.

Eleven area companies met the standards for the award, which includes sustained growth of at least 20 percent throughout the three years directly preceding the award, with consumer satisfaction firm ForeSee winning for the sixth year in a row.

To qualify for a FastTrack award in 2012, companies had to show $100,000 gross revenue in 2008 and then consistent improvement until this year. Three companies won the award for the first time on Friday, online marketing firm The Whole Brain Group, mobile development firm Arbormoon Software, and the advertising imaging company Estrakon.

Beal Inc. won the award for the second year, while Beal Properties was given its third FastTrack Award.

"The broad range of markets and businesses honored with FastTrack awards are proof that the Ann Arbor region can support businesses across a spectrum of industries," Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO Paul Krutko said in a statement.

"To grow year over year, consistently, in a tough economy is truly noteworthy and these companies deserve recognition for this considerable achievement."

Some of the most impressive awards were the ones that went to companies that have been growing at that same 20 percent rate for the past seven or eight years.

Computer-aided engineering company Caelynx was named as a FastTrack winner for the fourth year, as was medical education management firm MedHub, which bought an old grain mill in Dexter in 2011 for increased office space.

Fifth-year award winners were software designer SRT Solutions, data storage center Online Tech, and supply chain software design firm LLamasoft, who also took home the Deals of the Year award in the technology sector.

Companies can apply for Fast Track awards every year in the fall, applications can be found on the Ann Arbor SPARK website.'s executive vice president Laurel Champion serves on the board of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Dave Koziol

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Veracity, I can't speak for all of the companies, but Arbormoon Software is providing employment to a fair number more people than we were in 2008. I also know two other award winning companies are employing more people than they were back in 2008. It's exceedingly hard to grow at the rates needed for this award without increasing the size of your team.

Rick Stevens

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Ben - how about 'freeing' the SPARK audits for those of us who contribute unwillingly (Washtenaw tax money) to SPARK? How about a close look at the SPARK job creation numbers over the years (starting with the Snyder years)? Never gonna happen...


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 11:03 a.m.

"'s executive vice president Laurel Champion serves on the board of Ann Arbor SPARK" Oh. Now I know why all the requests for stories on what SPARK does (and what they do with all our tax money and how they can prove that they provide some benefit, etc.) are ignored.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 4:07 a.m.

While these companies are lauded for their consistent revenue growth over three years, the rate of annual job growth is not mentioned. Increased revenues benefit the owners of the companies and any stockholders but does nothing for the economy unless these companies grow jobs as well.