Three Minnesota tech companies ranked on Forbes’ 100 best list


Forbes 100 2013Size is a relative thing, but according to Forbes, publicly traded companies with up to $1 billion dollars in revenue are still considered small.

That’s the gist of a new list that ranks America’s 100 best small companies based on factors such as earnings growth, sales growth, stock pricing and return on equity.

Maple Plain-based Proto Labs, which raised $68m in a 2012 IPO and reached a billion dollar market cap in one year, is the highest ranking freshman at 3rd out of 100.

Forbes data says Proto has a five-year annual sales growth average of 30 percent with $143 million in sales over the past 12 months.  The  including a new CTO who replaced founder Larry Lukis over the summer.  As such, the company has expanded in Plymouth to accommodate demand for their advanced manufacturing technologies.

Clearfield comes in at 14 on the list with a 15% five year growth rate and 12 months of revenue totaling $45m supporting 159 employees.  Based in Plymouth, the fiber optic communications company hasn’t been making any big waves, although in retrospect, they appear to be on the upswing.

Ranked 27th is Datalink Corporation headquartered in Eden Prairie. According to Forbes, Datalink has seen a five year annualized growth rate of 24% in sales that reached $534m 12 months rolling. The company’s 549 employees design, deploy, manage, and support infrastructures such as servers, storage and networks.

Datalink has made a couple of acquisitions over the past few years, while CEO Paul Lidsky said this February year he wants to double revenues and become a $1b player within three years.