For the second straight year, Aquatherm has been made the cut on the Forbes magazine annual ranking of America's Most Promising Companies -- a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. While Aquatherm debuted on the list at no. 76 in 2012, this year the polypropylene pipe company was no. 97.
One metric never says it all. For the Most Promising list, Forbes strove for a holistic gauge of young, privately held companies, trying to pin down their trajectories by looking at a slew of variables. Over the course of six months Forbes reviewed thousands of applications. The final assessment is based on growth (both in sales and hiring), quality of management team and investors, margins, market size and key partnerships.
Forbes turned to CB Insights, a Manhattan-based data research firm that specializes in assessing private companies, to refine the search. Their MOSAIC software scans 45,000 sources to measure a company's health. A new distribution deal, for example, marks a positive signal, while the loss of an executive is a negative.
MOSAIC gathers those myriad signals into a final score that Forbes uses as an initial guide in producing the list. After verifying sales numbers, speaking with each company and debating their merits and blemishes, Forbes produces a final ranking. Click here for Aquatherm's listing.
A Steady Trajectory
While the list is dominated by IT/software companies, Aquatherm is the only building industry representative. Aquatherm, the North American partner of Aquatherm GmbH, markets and supports the German-manufactured polypropylene-random (PP-R) pipe systems which are rapidly being integrated into a huge variety of plumbing, HVAC, and industrial pipe applications throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In 2012 Aquatherm opened a new headquarters and warehouse building in Lindon, Utah, and expanded distribution partnerships with companies like Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., Columbia Pipe & Supply Co., and Harrington Industrial Plastics LLC, among others. Already in 2013, the company has introduced two products that will help boost its presence in radiant heating and domestic water plumbing applications: A PEX to PP-R transition for radiant jobs and a copper stub-out for domestic water installations.
"Last year we were pleased to make the Forbes list, as it was a reflection of the hard work our growing team has put in over the last several years. With the opening of our new headquarters, outstanding new partnerships, and the introduction of truly game changing new products, we were relatively confident we'd make the list again this year," explained Aquatherm president and CEO Steve Clark.
"The fact that we were one of the dozen or so companies to repeat inspires us to continue educating North America about the benefits of Aquatherm's unique pipe systems. When you can offer a 10-year multimillion dollar warranty, environmental benefits and 40 years of experience with PP-R, that's a remarkable combination," Clark added.
"As the only company on the list from the construction industry, we're excited and expect to continue growing – along with an industry we believe is on the rebound."