Representatives from thriving Aggie-owned companies gathered in The Zone at Texas A&M University Friday for the Aggie 100. The celebration sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School began with a reception Thursday and lasted through lunch on Friday at the Zone Club.

Each year, the Aggie 100 program recognizes the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.
Each year, the Aggie 100 program recognizes the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.

The companies recognized this year reported a combined revenue of $18.2 billion — the highest in the eight years the program has existed. The top recipient was Navidad Resources, an independent oil and gas company founded in Tyler in 1992. It reported 206.14 percent growth. CEO and president Harold E. McGowen III ’82 said he was honored to be on the list with the other 99 companies. “You are some of the smartest and most capable people in the country,” he said. “These companies are created by men and women who inspire others to exceptional achievement.”

This year’s group included 40 newcomers, and eight of the recipients have been on the Aggie 100 list at least five times.

The key to the companies’ success is the entrepreneurial spirit, several of the speakers commented. “You people had the vision — in fact, the courage — to take some chances that most people wouldn’t take,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “You’re here today because you were persistent and also successful. We applaud you. We think you embody the true spirit of Aggieland.”

Keynote speaker Dan Moran, an Aggie and former Marine whose Houston company funds veterans’ start-up companies, summed it up this way: “Aggie entrepreneurs never, ever, ever give up.” He called entrepreneurs ” the backbone of the economy… You’re going to get us back on track.”

The inaugural Summit Award, created to recognize the large-corporation Aggie 100 applicant with the highest average revenue, was given to Houston-based Oil States International. CEO Cindy B. Taylor ’84, who received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mays, said her company is approaching $4 billion in growth this year. Taylor, one of the 2011 Mays Outstanding Alumni, is the mother of three Texas A&M students.

About Aggie 100

The Aggie 100 identifies, recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world. The Aggie 100 not only celebrates their success, it also provides a forum to pass lessons to the next generation of Aggie entrepreneurs.

One-of-a-kind at the college level, the Aggie 100 was created by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship. The center provides encouragement, education, networking and assistance to entrepreneurially minded students, faculty and Texas businesses.

Each year, Aggie 100 honorees are invited to campus for celebrations that includes an evening networking reception with fellow honorees and special guests from Texas A&M University, speaking engagements with Texas A&M students, breakfast with the deans of their colleges and an awards luncheon where the rankings are announced.

To be considered for the Aggie 100 program, companies (corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships) must have been in business for at least five years and have had verifiable revenues of $250,000 or more for calendar year 2009.

The full list of 2012 recipients is available at aggie100.com/Aggie100Archives/2012/2012List.