For the second straight year, the same two Gies College of Business alumni led their companies to a position on the Inc. 5000 list for fastest growing companies in America.
No small feat, both Al Goldstein (Pictured Top Left), ’02 FIN, of Avant and Dan Klein (Pictured Bottom Left), ‘10 FIN, of Tiesta Tea are again part of a list that accounted for $206.2 billion in revenue for 2017. Inc. compiles the list each year to paint a picture of the country’s fastest-growing innovators.
Goldstein and Klein steered their companies to this level of success through traits that any Gies Business student can draw inspiration.
As co-founder and CEO, Goldstein dedicated his company to a mission that has now helped more than 600,000 customers access transparent and convenient personal loans. Based out of Chicago since 2012, Avant lowers the barriers and costs of borrowing. Its success earned the company a 2018 rank on Inc.’s list of 1,396.
Klein, co-founder and CEO of Tiesta Tea, has overseen his company’s growth from the time it was sold in farmers markets to its placement in more than 6,000 stores. Working alongside longtime friend, Patrick Tannous, the duo found inspiration from a college semester abroad. While in Prague, they both found out how good loose leaf tea could be. The difficulty to access the same quality of tea back home pushed them to deliver something different. Others are catching on, and Inc. took notice by placing the company at No. 3,080 on the list.
“What I hope our current students take from shining examples, such as these, is that belief in yourself and your ideas set you up for success,” said John Quarton, senior director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs. “It’s inspiring to watch our graduates prove how well-equipped they are to take a concept from scratch and turn it into something that works so well for so many.
“That’s the kind of innovative spirit we work hard to instill in each and every one of our students who are inclined to choose the path of an entrepreneur or corporate innovator.”