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50 Top Private Software Companies of 2020

Inc.’s annual ranking of the leading privately-held American software companies provides insights and surprises. Software engineers will find the innovative techniques of interest, from user interface design and methods to accessing fairly dispersed database or HTML indexes to new online business models and the use of the latest software tech.

Inc. – dedicated to the coverage of owners and managers of private companies – recently released the Inc. 5000 2020. This list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America is grouped by industry, including engineering, manufacturing, transportation, and others. The software category was particularly impressive with its median growth of 197%, total revenues of $13.4 billion, and contributions of over 46,000 jobs, according to Inc.

These award-winning companies represent the fastest-growing software application-based service vendors. Most are focused on popular online markets such as insurance, mortgages, wealth creation, job hunting, health care selection, product (often cannabis and art supplies) distribution, resellers, and other goods and services. Regardless of the market that they cover, software engineers will find the innovative techniques of interest, from user interface design and methods to accessing fairly dispersed database or HTML indexes to new online business models and the use of the latest software tech.

For example, some of these companies use creative user interface and client engagement approaches such as in the interactive entertainment experience of Number 6 – Hunt a Killer. Others use innovative agile processes, data science, analytics, and new product development techniques to help clients solve challenges and create value.

Several award winners use artificial intelligence (AI) to build intelligence and create products. One in particular – Number 27, Defined Crowd Corporation – offers a platform that combines both machine learning technology and human intelligence to deliver much-needed training data for A.I. systems. AI training is becoming a major issue for many reasons. One concern is energy usage as the continued growth of data centers are consuming an inordinate amount of energy. The ongoing shift towards AI and cloud computing will further accelerate those trends. “One MIT study last year found that training large AI models can result in (energy) emissions nearly five times the lifetime emissions of the average American car,” explained Al Gore at the recent SEMICON West virtual conference. He went on to say that advances in chip design and manufacturing have enabled smaller and more power-efficient devices.

Without further ado, here are the top 50 software companies that made the grade for this year’s list.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

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