We’ve come to expect tech-aligned startups to disrupt certain aspects of our life every now and again. Whether it’s Amazon, Netflix, Spotify or Uber, all sorts of everyday activities have been completely re-imagined in the past decade-plus.

One of these innovative companies that’s been turning heads in the last year — not yet in northeast Wisconsin, but it may not be far off — is Bird Rides, an electronic scooter-sharing program that’s been spreading wildly since its launch in 2017.

And steering Bird on its quest to shake up how people get around in urban environments is 1997 Appleton North High School graduate Travis VanderZanden, the company’s founder and CEO.

The small business and startup publication Inc. named Bird their company of the year. In the lengthy feature story, a managing partner at one of Los Angeles’ largest venture capital companies is quoted saying Bird “might be the fastest-growing company ever,” citing a 14-month span in which Bird launched in 120 cities and reached a $1 billion valuation. Read the full story here.