The traits that set Aggies apart—excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service—may have something to do with why Aggies are at the head of businesses around the world that are growing strong, despite a still struggling economy. The sixth annual Aggie 100 event was held recently to recognize these leaders, whose efforts create jobs and provide essential products and services.

The Aggie 100 recognizes the fastest growing Aggie-owned or -operated businesses in the world, as gauged by the company’s compound annual growth rate over a two-year period. This year’s list was announced on Friday, October 22, at a lunch hosted by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays. The list included a variety of industries, from ophthalmology to engineering.

Members of the 2010 Aggie 100, outside Kyle Field
Members of the 2010 Aggie 100, outside Kyle Field (view more photos)

Claiming the top spot for 2010 was Tom Bieschke “95, chairman, president, CEO and founder of Caltex Energy Inc., a five-year-old oil and gas exploration and production company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The compound growth rate for Caltex for the two-year period was 224.07 percent.

Of the top 10 companies on the list, three are led by Mays graduates: David Baggett ’81, partner and founder of Houston consulting firm Opportune LLP, was fourth on the list; Mitt Salvaggio ’82, president, owner and founder of Salvaggio, Teal & Associates, an information systems company in Austin, was eighth; and Russ D. Peterson Jr., managing director, owner, and founder of iSpeak, Inc, a professional development training firm in Round Rock, was tenth.

Though he didn’t make the 2010 list, former two-time Aggie 100 honoree Greg Hall was recognized at the event for his part in the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners earlier in the month. His Houston-based company, Drillers Supply International, was responsible for developing and executing the “Plan B” attempt that was successful in the rescue of the 33 men who had been trapped half a mile underground for 69 days.

The theme for the 2010 Aggie 100 event was “the company we keep.” CNVE executive director Richard Lester, a clinical associate professor of management, told event attendees that with people like Hall in the line-up of past winners, being on the list puts them in good company.

Texas A&M University president R. Bowen Loftin '71 speaks at the 2010 Aggie 100 Luncheon
Texas A&M University president R. Bowen Loftin ’71 speaks at the 2010 Aggie 100 Luncheon (view more photos)

In addition to the luncheon event, dozens of Aggie 100 honorees guest lectured in classes across campus, sharing their success stories and life lessons with the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Aggie 100 honorees give back in another vital way: each year, they provide funds for entrepreneurship scholarships at Mays. Several scholarship recipients spoke at the luncheon, thanking their predecessors for making their education possible. One such student was Kelly Kravitz, who recently used an Aggie 100 scholarship to participate in the Empowering Entrepreneurship in South Africa program. She and three Mays students traveled to South Africa to work with black small business owners, who are still struggling to find success in the country after apartheid. “You are supporting entrepreneurship around the world,” Kravitz told the audience.

In addition to the Aggie 100 awards, one other award was presented. The CNVE Excellence Award was given to Lenae Huebner, the former assistant director of the center who now works with a local start-up. Huebner was one of the originators of the Aggie 100 event, and organized the celebration for five years.

The breakdown

Houston accounting firm PKF Texas provided the analysis for the Aggie 100 event again this year. In addition to determining the top 100 of those that applied for the award, they also gave this overview:

  • In the six years of the award’s history, 347 organizations have been recognized.
  • Forty new companies were added to the list in 2010.
  • The 2010 list represents three countries and six U.S. states.
  • The honorees in 2010 range from class of 1956 to class of 2004.
  • Three of the top ten honorees are also listed in the INC 500.
  • Total revenues created by all of the Aggie 100 companies in the two-year period they examined is $1.34 billion.
  • One company has made the list all six years: MacResource in College Station. Four other companies have been on the list for five of the six years: Catapult Systems, FOBI, Liquid Frameworks, and Internet Truckstop.
  • On the 2010 list, there were 12 honorees named Mike or Michael.
  • Eleven of the 2010 honoree companies are family-owned.
About the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship

The Texas A&M Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship provides encouragement, education, networking and assistance to entrepreneurially minded students, faculty and Texas businesses. Founded in 1999, the center is part of Mays Business School’s Department of Management.

The center enhances student education through campus speakers, competitions, work experiences and financial support. The Texas A&M faculty and Office of Technology Commercialization benefit from the center’s educational programs, extensive business community network and the entrepreneurial services. The center also reaches out to the state’s business community offering educational programs, business assistance and access to university resources.

The center is supported by corporate and individual members and sponsors who believe in the value of an entrepreneurial education program and the value of Texas businesses working with Texas A&M University.