HEADQUARTERS: Fredericksburg, Virginia FOUNDERS: Robert Davis, Abbas Haider (CEO) EMPLOYEES: 12
Body armor has historically been ugly, albeit undeniably utilitarian. Haider and Davis, who founded Aspetto while in college at the University of Mary Washington in Fredricksburg, bet that U.S. government agencies would be willing to pay for better-looking bullet-resistant apparel (often $3,500 per jacket). Since then, Aspetto has expanded beyond fashion to tactical products, winning contracts this year to make female-specific military outfits for the U.S. Air Force and stab vests for the Bureau of Prisons. It expects revenue to reach $12.5 million in 2020, a nearly sevenfold increase from a year ago.