The Texas Exes, The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni organization, announced the winners of the inaugural 2023 Longhorn 100 awards, a prestigious list that identifies, recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Longhorn-run businesses. The winners were honored at the Longhorn 100 Gala on Thursday, May 18, at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center. Popular Austin-based companies like Rambler Sparkling Water, Beatbox Beverages and El Arroyo topped the list, which included well-known Texas brands like GSD&M, Independence Brewing Co. and A Taste of Koko. Visit texasexes.org/longhorn100 to view the full list of this year’s Longhorn 100 winners.
“Some of the brightest minds and the most successful entrepreneurs are UT graduates. To be listed among them in the Longhorn 100 is a true honor,” said Dave Mead, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Rambler Sparkling Water. “The University of Texas provided us with an unmatched education and a roadmap to success. Austin is a mecca for creatives and entrepreneurs and we’re truly humbled to be building a successful, fast-growing business in and around the Forty Acres.”
Current UT students presented the Longhorn 100 awards throughout the event, and UT President Jay Hartzell and Texas Exes Executive Director and CEO Chuck Harris delivered remarks.
“The Longhorn 100 brings together some of UT’s best and brightest,” Harris said. “Recognizing the entrepreneurial achievements of Longhorns is a way the University can support its alumni long after they’ve left the Forty Acres and encourage future growth and innovation from Texas Exes.”
In addition to being Longhorn founded, owned or led, the top 100 companies have been in continual operation for the past five years, and have had an annual revenue of at least $250,000 since 2019. The rankings were determined by sorting the companies’ percentages of compound annual growth in sales or revenue (CAGR) from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021.
“For us, it’s a huge honor to be surrounded by such diverse and successful businesses. We’re alongside companies that inspire us, and I hope we do the same for them,” said Kristy Owen, founder of 365 Things Austin. “My time at UT instilled in me a deep love and admiration for this city. 365 is a company that grew from — and the primary value still is — a profound love of Austin.”
The 365 Things Austin Instagram account has amassed almost 400,000 followers since Jan 1, 2010.
“There is something so unique and challenging about being one of the first in any industry,” Owen said. “My advice to future Longhorn entrepreneurs is not to let yourself get derailed — stay the course, be consistent, and if you can’t be better than yesterday, just see what you can learn from yesterday.”
Applications for the 2024 Longhorn 100 will open in September. For more information about Texas Exes, visit texasexes.org.