Here’s Why The Inner City 100 Is A Favorite Of Azavea CEO Robert Cheetham

Two Philly-based tech companies, namely software maker Azavea and digital marketing firm Seer Interactive, landed spots on the Inner City 100, a list of fast-growing organizations from inner cities.

The ranking, compiled by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and published by Fortunetracks the growth of organizations in “core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas.”

Azavea, which is also a certified B-Corporation, came in at No. 61 on the ranking. The self-reported data says Azavea grew 167.92 percent over the past five years, and had 2017 revenues of $7.4 million. Just two spots below, NoLibs-based Seer said its five-year growth rate was 153.46 percent, and $17.3 million in last year’s revenues.

For Azavea CEO Robert Cheetham, a study like this one is telling of what impact a company can have beyond its headquarters.

“There are lots of lists around,” Cheetham said via email, “but I like this one because it’s based on the idea that businesses based in inner cities are a key part of the economy, and fast-growing ones have a disproportionate impact on the local economy.”

A study released this week by the ICIC posits that Inner City 100 companies — those included in the list from 1999 to 2016 — were more likely than U.S. companies as a whole to offer healthcare and retirement benefits. Some 55 percent of CEOs from the list cited their inner city location as beneficial.

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