What even *is* a growth-stage company?

In March 2021 — Growth Companies Month — look for coverage on tech companies that are hiring and scaling. But first, let’s define this category of businesses.

Office space. (Photo by Flickr user Johny)

This editorial article is a part of Growth Companies Month of's editorial calendar.

Even 2020 couldn’t slow the steady rush of venture capital flowing into mid-Atlantic companies. As tracked raises and hiring pushes through the year, we noted which companies were most likely to make the biggest splashes in their markets.

It offered a reminder: A tech company’s story doesn’t stop once they leave the coworking space. In fact, reaching a new level of maturity is when it’s often revealed if a business can bring its big vision to life.

This is the growth stage.

While we love a good startup story, growth-stage tech companies are more likely to anchor a local community for years to come. They’ve figured out their business models and are scaling. They’ve achieved product-market fit, and are poised to change industries. And perhaps most importantly for the regional economy, they’re hiring.

In March 2021, is focusing extra reporting on software-based or otherwise tech-enabled growth companies. It may still seem like nebulous term, though. After all, Wall Street investors have their own category of growth stocks, which isn’t what we’re talking about here. For our purposes of tracking companies from the earliest stages, we’re defining it this way:

  • Outpacing growth within a given industry or the economy at large
  • Roughly 50 to 500 employees
  • Series A or beyond in growth capital
  • Pre-exit and pre-IPO; no growth stocks; might have made its own acquisitions

In Baltimore, that includes the likes of Whitebox, Catalyte and Audacious Inquiry. In Philly, that’s Gettacar, Fishtown Analytics, and HealthVerity. D.C. has FiscalNote, Aquicore, and Axios. And Delaware is home to Carvertise and Marlette Funding.

In our reporting this month, expect company check-ins, profiles on technologists leading interesting projects within them and stories on venture capital trends. We’ll be asking: How is leadership plotting further growth? What are mature tech companies contributing to the local economy? What’s the right strategy for hiring for scale?

It’s important to acknowledge that there are plenty of companies that fall into the messy middle of startup and growth stage — the ones that have only been around for a few months, but have already raised a bunch of venture capital, or are growing and hiring fast but still developing a product. We’ll look to address that this month, too.

Some related stories we’ve published recently:

Are you an expert we should talk to, or do you know of one? Is there a report we need to read to better explain this topic? Want to write a first-person guest post about your relevant experience, or to share some relevant resources? Let us know:

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Series: Growth Companies Month 2021

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