As any founder will tell you, sustaining growth rates in scaling companies is one of the toughest things to do. Inc. Magazine knows this also: only 1 in 4 companies make a repeat appearance on the Inc. 5000 list. When they do repeat, it’s even rarer that they appear higher on the list the second time.
Today I’m proud to announceBMNT has done both — in 2019 we’ve once again been included on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies in America and at #644 on the list we’ve achieved a sustained 3-year growth rate that defies the odds.
There is much to celebrate at BMNT this morning: The tribe we’ve become, the lessons we’ve learned, our clients’ individual successes and most importantly the validation that our mission to help power organizations to solve problems at scale and start-up speed is having an impact.
Six years ago we set out to change the way Silicon Valley and the Department of Defense interact. Beginning with defining a better way to curate national security problems and convince entrepreneurs to work on them, each year has brought us a new measure of understanding of what it takes to become a successful defense entrepreneur.
Along the way:
- We defined an Innovation framework called the Innovation Pipeline and an operating system to support it — H4X® — that combines doctrine, training, software, and analytics to power organizations to make better decisions, faster, cheaper and more reliably at scale. With early prototypes built by the Office of Naval Research, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, H4X® is now the centerpiece for innovation execution in a host of defense and intelligence agencies both in the US and abroad
- We created a graduate level college course called Hacking for Defensethat provides students an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship while helping to solve some of the government’s hardest problems. Now with the support of Congress and a partnership led by the National Security Innovation Network H4D will soon reach more than 50 universities
- We sourced over 1100 problems, curating 400+ making them ready for our clients and a growing network of students, entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to work together to implement organizational change at 30+ locations, and create 17 solutions while launching 13 new companies
- We saved our clients over $500M and watched them re-invest $150M of that savings to fund solutions to new problems
- We’ve done all this while doubling the size of our company, yet we’ve retained the very special culture that attracts “rock-star” talent and dedicated clients to our tribe. With teams now located in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Washington DC, Boston and London we’ve expanded to reach mission-driven entrepreneurs where they live and work.
Despite our success we recognize there is still much work left to be done. With each year and with each new problem we find new gaps in the innovation framework that need to be filled. This year we are working on solutions to three new gaps.
- Even with a solid framework and well-trained entrepreneurs inside large organizations, managing innovation at scale is daunting. Recognizing that no current project management software can handle the task (we’ve tried them all), we are working closely with our clients to deploy a software platform that will allow them to see and manage the flow of innovation regardless of what stage of the innovation pipeline it is in.
- Recognizing the power of creating dual-use solutions that have both a military and commercial application we’ve launched H4XLabs; a pre-incubator / venture studio designed to help emerging teams establish their business models, refine the definition of their technology and establish a solid value proposition to insure they have secured the early adopters they will need to make their solution “investment ready” and “transition worthy.”
- Early capital investments are the rocket fuel for the start-up technology companies that increasingly will be critical to delivering innovative solutions to our national security challenges. To help insure great companies can scale to meet the needs of our country we are launching a venture fund to provide early-stage capital for mission-driven entrepreneurs.
We love our mission, we love our tribe and we love seeing the victories over hard, intractable problems that our clients have racked up!
Once again, to those who stood with us as we lit the flames that started an insurgency and helped fan those flames into a full scale revolution, allow me to offer my humble thanks. We would not be here without you!