The classes he took at Arizona State University laid the foundation for Carson Holmquist’s success as an entrepreneur, leading him to create a business that has grown nearly 2,000 percent in five years.
Holmquist (pictured above), who co-founded and is CEO of Stream Logistics, was named the top businessperson at the “Sun Devil 100” event Tuesday. His Scottsdale-based company, a transportation brokerage firm, showed the most growth among 34 companies that are led by ASU alumni.
Thirty-seven former Sun Devils were celebrated at the daylong event, sponsored by the Arizona State University Alumni Association. This was the third year of the event, which eventually will grow to the top 100 firms led by ASU graduates.
Holmquist graduated in 2008 with a degree in management from the W. P. Carey School of Business. He started working in the transportation logistics business as an intern.
“I was in the industry for five years, and I always knew I was entrepreneurial. I was just waiting for the right timing,” said Holmquist, who founded Stream Logistics with a partner in 2012.
“The hardest thing was making the jump — making that initial commitment to leave a stable job with a promising career path to be an entrepreneur,” he said.
“The on-the-job training helped me learn the nuances of the industry, but the basic fundamentals of business and management were from ASU.”
All of the nominated firms had to be in business at least three years, have annual revenues of at least $250,000 and be founded or led by an ASU alumnus.
In total, the 34 businesses had revenues of $9.5 billion and employ more than 21,000 people. The companies include a law firm, a laser skin center, a manufacturer of sweeteners, an electrical contractor, a winery and a moving company.
Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU, invited the honorees to become mentors.
“We now have a Venture Mentor network of more than 50 experienced entrepreneurs like you, who we pair with student and faculty teams to nurture ideas, build startups and scale their businesses,” she said.
“As these students become alumni, they’ll continue to grow and one day we’ll be honoring them here.”
Rounding out the top 10 in the Sun Devil 100 Class of 2017 were:
2. Jonathan Beekman, 2002, CEO of Man Crates, based in Redwood City, California, which sells gifts for men.
3. Matthew Michalowski, 2009, president and owner of PXL Bros, a Los Angeles digital marketing company that made images for the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
4. Daniel Henderson, who earned degrees in 2005 and 2010, founder and CEO of the energy-efficient lighting firm Relumination, based in Phoenix.
5. Manpreet Singh, 1997, co-founder and president of Payscout, a Los Angeles-based payment-processing provider.
6. Errol Berry, 2002, founder and CEO of Identico, a printer-cartridge supplier based in Chandler.
7. James Murphy, 1998 and 2009, president and CEO of the Phoenix-based Willmeng Construction Co.
8. Scott Gates, 2004 and 2015, CEO of Western Window Systems, along with the company’s CFO, Heather Zorge, 1998, and CIO, John Engelstad, 2015.
9. Aaron Pool, 2009, owner of Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup, a Phoenix restaurant.
10. Jamie Hancock, 1999 and 2000, vice president of finance for Trestle Management Group, a Tempe community-management company.