The University of Georgia Alumni Association recognized the fastest-growing companies owned or led by UGA alumni during the 13th annual Bulldog 100 Celebration on Feb. 5 in the West End Zone of Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.
The 2022 fastest-growing business, Offbeat Media Group, boasts four UGA graduates at the helm: Shepherd Ogden (BBA ’18), CEO and co-founder; Bailey Grady (BBA ’19), COO and co-founder; Christopher Travers (BBA ’17), COO and co-founder; and Kevin Planovsky (ABJ ’05), advisor.
Atlanta-based Offbeat Media Group is a leading digital influence and media company that owns, builds and brokers the largest native social media network of publishers and virtual influencers. Now with over 1 billion followers, the concept was trailblazed by one of its co-founders when he was just a sophomore in high school. With investments from venture capitalists like Mark Cuban, this company’s clients sit at the intersection of lifestyle, culture and entertainment. Those clients include TikTok, McDonald’s, Twitch, Cameo, Netflix, Warner Music Group and more.
“We are the product of what young entrepreneurs can do here at UGA,” said Ogden. “I expect we’ll see many more companies like ours started by students that are in school right now because of the resources being dedicated by the university. Our UGA mentors and programs like the New Media Institute and Innovation District have been incredibly helpful.”
Ogden continued, “If there’s something I can ask everyone to do, it’s to continue to help student entrepreneurs. That’s the reason we’re standing here today, because of the help we were given at UGA.”
Rounding out the Bulldog 100 top ten are:
- Rheos Nautical Eyewear, Charleston, South Carolina
- Roadie, Atlanta, Georgia
- Bitcoin Depot, Atlanta, Georgia
- BIOLYTE, Canton, Georgia
- YouthServ360 Inc. dba 7 Pillars Career Academy, Forest Park, Georgia
- Edwards & Hawkins LLC, Atlanta, Georgia
- Golden Isles Pharmacy, Brunswick, Georgia
- LeaseQuery, Atlanta, Georgia
- inBrain, Atlanta, Georgia
“The 2022 Bulldog 100 recognizes outstanding alumni achievements, broadens those business leaders’ networks and celebrates a spirit of innovation at UGA,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “These alumni are leading the way in business, building better communities, and are committed to their ideas, their innovations and their employees. We are proud to celebrate their successes.”
Bulldog 100 companies were ranked, regardless of size, by evaluating their three-year compounded annual growth rates. The Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors—a Bulldog 100 partner since the program began in 2009—verifies the information submitted by each company and determines the ranked list. On average, companies in the 2022 Bulldog 100 grew by 44 percent each year from 2019-2021.
Nominations were accepted from February to July 2021. UGA received 367 nominations for the 2022 Bulldog 100. Each organization must have been in business since 2018, experienced revenues over $100,000 for the calendar year 2019, and be owned or operated by a former UGA student who owns at least half of the company or is the CEO, president or managing partner.
During the Feb. 5 event, the UGA Alumni Association presented the fifth annual Michael J. Bryan Award to 1973 UGA graduate Rodger Breda, CEO and founder of Breda Pest Management.
Bryan, the co-founder and managing partner of Vino Venue and Atlanta Wine School in Dunwoody, Georgia, passed away in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. The award recognizes a returning Bulldog 100 honoree whose business has not only sustained growth, but also demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to UGA that was Bryan’s hallmark.
To view the complete list of 2022 Bulldog 100 businesses, visit alumni.uga.edu/b100.
Nominations for the 2023 Bulldog 100 are now open.