America's Most Promising Companies & their Leaders: The Top 20 - Forbes | Change Leadership Watch |
These privately held up-and-comers have compelling business models, strong management teams, marquee customers, strategic partners and precious investment capital.

As profiled on the Social Media Learning Lab, it's gratifying to see the social media example, Smashburger, as a top runner on this list for Forbes:

Smashburger, tops Forbe's new list of America’s 100 Most Promising Companies–privately held up-and-comers. Since 2007, the Denver-headquartered patty chain will have grown to 143 locations (half company-owned, half franchised) and $54 million in annual revenue by the end of 2011. Another 450 franchise agreements are already on the books.

The companies on our AMPC list hail from 22 industries, with software-and-services taking the biggest slice (35%).


  • 90 have raised outside capital;
  • 70 have a CEO who is also one of the founders;
  • 12 have one younger than 35 years old;
  • 7 have yet to generate revenue; and
  • one sells a burger topped with pastrami.