3 MN Cos. on List of Fastest-Growing in Mid-America

MentorMate, The Nerdery, and MPay Gateway made the inaugural "Flyover 50" list—which recognizes the 50 fastest-growing companies that are based in the middle of the country.

Three Minnesota companies were included in a new list called “Flyover 50,” which recognized the 50 fastest-growing companies that are based in the middle of the country.

MentorMate, The Nerdery, and MPay Gateway ranked 14th, 36th, and 41st, respectively, on the inaugural list, which was released Monday by Prairie Village, Kansas-based venture capital firm Five Elms Capital.

Companies were ranked based on their percent of revenue growth between 2010 and 2011. To be considered for the list, companies could apply or be nominated; they had to be based in the 20-state area located in the middle of the country and have revenue greater than $1 million in 2011.

“We created the Flyover 50 to highlight great companies in the middle of the country for potential employees and customers,” Fred Coulson, managing partner of Five Elms Capital, said in a statement. “Flyover 50 honorees are proof that there are plenty of reasons to land in the central U.S.”

MentorMate is a Web, mobile, and custom software development company. In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, it has an office in Bulgaria.

The Nerdery is a Web development firm based in Bloomington that has an additional office in Chicago. The company’s 2011 revenue totaled $26.4 million, up nearly 86 percent from $14.2 million in 2010.

“Flyover 50 aside, our Nerd cred has spread well beyond our stomping grounds here in Middle-earth,” The Nerdery’s Chicago branch manager Dave Kam said in a statement. Middle-earth is a fictional setting in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Minneapolis-based MPay Gateway offers a Web-based credit card payment system to health care providers.

Five Elms said that it received applications for the list from companies in 18 states, but it did not disclose how many companies were considered. This year’s list was the firm’s first, but it plans to compile one annually.

The 20 states where companies need to be based to be considered for the list are Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.