You may have never heard of them, but five Evanston-based companies are ranked by INC Magazine as among the 5,000 fastest growing privately-held companies in the United States.

Not only that, but the Chicago metropolitan area, of which the Evanston companies are a part, is the region ranked fourth in the nation, with some 218 companies on the list.

The five in Evanston are mostly high-tech business-to-business companies, so their names won’t be immediately recognizable to most Evanstonians.

The five are:

Iconic Development, 820 Davis St., 407th nationwide and 15th in Chicagoland. Six employees. Revenues of $14 million are up 924 percent. Business category: real estate.

ConsumerBase, 1603 Orrington Ave., 1,570th nationwide and 64th in Chicagoland. 42 employees. Revenues of $6 million are up 188 percent. Business category: advertising and marketing.

Converged Communication Systems, 2930 Central St., 2,088th nationwide and 80th in Chicagoland. 44 employees. Revenues are $5.2 million, up 125 percent. Business category: telecommunications.

Acquirent, 1603 Orrington Ave., 2,162d nationwide and 87th in Chicagoland. 65 employees.  Revenues are $4 million, up 119 percent. Business category: human resources.

The Evanston Group, 1007 Church St., 2,901st nationwide and 120th in Chicagoland. 11 employees. Revenues are $12.3 million, up 78 percent. Business category: human resources.

The rankings are based upon the percentage increase in revenues over the past three years, 2008 – 2011. To make the list, companies must have had minimum revenues of $100,000 in 2008 and $2 million in 2011.

Employee counts are as of the end of 2011. Full-time and part-time employees are included in the counts; independent contractors are not.

To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2008. Additionally, they had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of Dec. 31, 2011, according to the magazine.

The Chicago area, with 218 companies on the list, trails New York City, with 350; Washington, with 347; and Los Angeles, with 249. Chicago is ahead of Boston, which has 186.

In the state rankings, California is by far the state with the most companies on the INC5,000 list, with 680, followed by Texas, with 389; Florida, with 296; Virginia, with 284; and Illinois, with 240.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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