For Dan Hermann, CEO of Paint Nite in Somerville, Massachusetts, landing on the list at No. 2 is a full-circle life moment.
The company he and Sean McGrail founded together in 2012, which organizes parties at bars where attendees paint under the instruction of a local artist, has grown more than 36,000 percent over the past three years, with $55 million in revenue in 2015 from taking a portion of ticket sales from their online platform.
Hermann has long admired the Inc. list, having once worked in the mail room at the magazine.
"It's exciting and flattering to be a part of that. It's a real reward not just for us but our whole team," he said. "I was excited to apply because I knew our growth was in that category."
The friends met at a local trivia night at a bar and realized they could make real money modeling a business that got people out to local venues in a similar way. To date, they have had four million customers come through the system in thousands of places across the globe including the U.S., South Africa, and Argentina.
"Week three, we had posted a lot of events and sold 350 tickets in 11 hours and realized this wasn't going to be an occasional, once-a-month thing. It was something we could host every day in Boston," McGrail said. They have recently done a smaller-scale launch of their next event, a plant-based night, in about 40 cities, and plan to continue that strategic growth.