Fast 56 - Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can nominate a company?
You don’t have to be a USF Bull -- anyone can nominate a company. You may nominate yourself if you’d like. The nominator’s information is not made public.

I’d like to nominate someone, but I’m unsure if they meet all the criteria. What should I do?
If you know of a USF Bull-owned or Bull-led business that you think meets the criteria, don’t hesitate to submit a nomination for them! Nominees will receive an application packet and can choose whether or not they will apply. There is no harm in nominating them for the process.

How do I nominate someone?
You can find the form by clicking here (link will be live when nominations open). It should take less than a minute.

Can you verify my nomination went through?
After submitting the nomination form, you should receive a confirmation email from the USF Alumni Association. If you have any spam-blocking software in place that refuses emails from unknown sources, please make sure you add to your trusted senders to make sure the email reaches you. If you do not receive this email, please email

General Program Questions

What is the purpose of the program?
The USF Fast 56 identifies, recognizes and celebrates the 56 fastest-growing USF Bull-owned or Bull-led businesses worldwide. The USF Fast 56 not only celebrates their success but also provides a forum to pass lessons to the next generation of Bull entrepreneurs.

What is involved in the application process?
After an alumnus is nominated, he or she will receive an application form in the mail. The application form is fairly simple. A few checkboxes, answer some questions related to the criteria and attach documentation to verify revenues. Companies will send their application and required documents directly to Cherry Bekaert LLP, the accounting firm handling the review and tabulation for the USF Fast 56. No University or Alumni Association staff see or handle the company's submitted financial documents.

When will the USF Fast 56 list be released?
The USF Fast 56 list of companies will be released at the Awards Ceremony.


What are the criteria to be on the USF Fast 56 list?*
There are three criteria that each company must meet to be eligible. The criteria are provided here.

What does it mean to be USF Bull-owned or Bull-led?
Criteria for being a USF Bull-owned or Bull-led business are outlined in section 1 of the criteria, which are provided here.

*The USF Alumni Association reserves the right to verify that nominees meet the criteria and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject any nominee for any reason.

Award Recognition

How do you recognize USF Fast 56 Honorees?
The honorees will be invited to campus to participate in a recognition event. In addition to a unique recognition award, each honoree will receive recognition in USF Magazine, newsletters and press releases.

Do we have to be available to attend the ceremonies on campus to be included in USF Fast 56?
No. We’d love to have the opportunity to welcome you home and acknowledge your success, but it is not required.

Company Info Required and Calculation of Results

What information do you need?
The application form will ask for:

  • Contact information
  • The company’s conformance to the qualifications detailed on the Fast 56 webpage.
  • Revenue levels for your three most recent 12-month reporting periods.

How are the results calculated? How is the USF Fast 56 list determined?
For each applicant, Cherry Bekaert LLP will calculate the percentage of cumulative annual growth in revenues for each company’s three most recent 12-month reporting periods. After the calculations, the companies will be listed by growth rate from the highest to the lowest. The 56 fastest-growing companies will be named to the USF Fast 56.

What is “revenue”?
We base our growth calculations on net revenues for each company’s three most recent 12-month reporting periods. Net revenue is meant to be net sales, or sales less returns. For a professional services business it would be gross revenues less write-downs and discounts.

The application form says “verifiable” revenue. How do you verify revenue?
Cherry Bekaert LLP needs a way of verifying the company’s revenue levels. Some of the ways in which revenues can be verified include:

  • Copy of audited, reviewed or compiled financial statements.
  • Copy of page one of the company's tax return (you can block out other financial data on page one if you wish).
  • Letter from external accountant attesting to revenue level.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us, and we will work with you.

Use and Publication of Information / Confidentiality

What information will be released?
We will publish the list of the USF Fast 56 companies honored. The list will include company name, city location and names of USF Bull leaders. Actual revenue figures WILL NOT be published or otherwise released.

How can I be assured of confidentiality?
You will mail the financial information for the application process directly to the independent accounting firm, Cherry Bekaert LLP, to tabulate the results. After they complete the confidential calculations, they simply provide a ranked list of the companies with the percentage growth to the USF Alumni Association. Neither the University nor the USF Alumni Association will see or have access to the company's submitted financial documents.

Where will the information be published?
The USF Fast 56 list will be publicized in the USF Alumni magazines, newsletters, press releases, website, and/or similar channels. Specific information about revenues will NOT be published. The only statistical information that will be released will be the percentage growth rate.

Will my company's financial information be released to the USF Alumni Association or the USF Foundation?
No. Cherry Bekaert LLP will retain all such information. Neither the university nor the USF Alumni Association will see or have access to the company's submitted financial documents. Cherry Bekaert LLP will properly dispose of the information at the conclusion of each year’s event.

Contact Information

Who do I contact if I have questions?
You may contact Stephanie Shimada at or 813-974-9127.