Higher Ed Growth, a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, announced today that it has been named #4,791 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies in the U.S. This is the first time the company has been named to the prestigious list in its seven year history. Higher Ed Growth’s three-year growth rate was 49 percent, with an increase in revenue of $2.7 million. Growth in the company has been marked not only by positive revenue growth month after month, but also by securing new partnerships, developing one-of-a-kind technology solutions and expanding its team.
Higher Ed Growth (HEG) was founded in June of 2007 by Frank Healy, Adam Carlson and Eric Flottmann. Merging their extensive experience in higher education, internet lead generation, sales, customer relations and technology, they created a company with an array of services to help colleges and universities enroll students. Within a few months, HEG launched its first education portal, Udegrees.com
“We started the company with a modest investment of cash and a strong investment of talent and sweat equity,” says Frank Healy, President and CEO of Higher Ed Growth.
Since HEG’s beginning, the higher education industry has transformed multiple times as the economy collapsed and slowly recovered. When the recession hit in 2008, HEG was fortunate to be in the right market; people in the workforce tend to return to school during an economic downturn to obtain a degree. As a result, HEG was able to weather the recession by matching colleges with the increased number of interested potential students.
Just shy of its year anniversary, HEG launched its proprietary Enrollment Advisor technology. Enrollment Advisor is a lead management platform that is at the root of all of HEG’s inquiry generation services and products.
“Enrollment Advisor has been our most powerful tool in allowing us to provide real-time information to our clients efficiently. Even as a small company, we have always been able to provide the same level of service as our competitors as a result of our technology,” says Adam Carlson, Chief Technology Officer.
In 2011, HEG faced multiple difficulties as higher education sector continued to shift. Negative press surrounding colleges (specifically for-profit) focused on the lack of graduate job placement in the midst of a recovering economy, causing many to question the value of a degree. An increase in government legislation targeting for-profit schools also meant stricter compliance guidelines. The lead generation industry was turned on its head as many non-complaint companies folded under their own fraud. Higher Ed Growth realized that it would have to increase its own compliance standards in order to survive, and quickly overhauled all media relations to start over with fully transparent partners.
“I knew when I joined HEG that their number one priority was outstanding customer service, which has resulted in a large database of satisfied clients. We focus on complete transparency. As a result, our clients trust us as a compliant partner for exceeding their enrollment goals,” says Joe Laskowski, Managing Partner and CMO.
As a part of HEG’s new marketing strategy, they launched their second education portal, TrueDegree.com. TrueDegree was created with prospective students in mind, matching them to the school of best fit. TheGIBill.com (later re-branded as EDU4Military.com) was created shortly thereafter for servicemen seeking military-friendly schools. Both of these portals utilize HEG’s unique matching algorithm that considers both student and school needs.
“Every student is different. Every school is different,” says Eric Flottmann, Chief Operating Officer. “Over the years we have compiled an extensive database of our clients’ conversion data, enabling us to optimize campaigns for the unique needs of each school we work with. This data also drives the powerful algorithms we have built into the core of our technology. Our system learns and improves with each interaction and matches students to schools where they will have a high likelihood of success.”
Higher Ed Growth was thrilled to celebrate its five year anniversary in June of 2012 after years of overcoming adversity in the economy and industry. A few months later, HEG acquired the mobile lead generation network MobileLeads.com to expand its service offering to clients.
The beginning of 2014 was busy as HEG continued to develop its lead generation solutions with the release of EduServer, a website advertising tool designed to give advertisers and web owners the ability to optimize online lead generation. HEG also launched TM Tracker, which monitors the web for trademark infringement. March brought exciting news for the HEG team as they were presented the LEADER Award for Best New Partner by LeadsCouncil.
“HEG’s recent awards bring long-awaited recognition to Higher Ed Growth as a leader in the higher education sector,” says Healy. “We are proud to be named to the Inc 5000 list and ranked among esteemed entrepreneurs who are influencing the U.S. We look forward to our continued growth as a forward-thinking, customer-focused business serving colleges, universities and students.”
About Higher Ed Growth
Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses propriety technology to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and nonprofit education clients. In addition to inquiry generation, HEG offers agency of record services, enrollment analytics and consulting, search engine marketing and white label portals – with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. Visit www.higheredgrowth.com.
Off Madison Ave
More about Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000
The 2014 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2010 to 2013. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2010. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent–not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies–as of December 31, 2013. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2010 is $100,000; the minimum for 2013 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/5000.
About Inc. and the Inc. 5000
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today. For more information, visit http://www.inc.com/ .
The Inc. 500|5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates their remarkable achievements. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.
For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://www.inc.com/.