5 entrepreneurs who chose to grow slow

The following startup founders decided to take the scenic route -- as opposed to the eight-lane highway -- toward business success. Here's what they were thinking.

Keeping the company clean and green
Keeping the company clean and green
Company: MMJ Labs
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Revenues: About $800,000

Pediatrician Amy Baxter knew she was onto something when she came up with Buzzy, a cute, vibrating bee-shaped device with an ice pack that provides natural relief from the pain of medical injections. Realizing there was nothing like it on the market, she could have ramped up quickly by responding to what she calls "overbearing suggestions" to meet with equity investors. But instead, she opted to go after a grant from the National Institutes of Health, which she won. That gave her the freedom to stick with her vision for a reusable product that used green packaging -- and was made in the U.S. -- moves that would not necessarily deliver the highest profits to investors.

Baxter has no regrets. She launched her startup in 2009. Hospitals that tried Buzzy helped give the product credibility, and now individuals have begun to purchase it, sparking sales growth at the startup. "We've been profitable the last two years -- and haven't started marketing yet," she says.

By Elaine Pofeldt @FortuneMagazine - Last updated June 20 2012: 9:31 AM ET
Join the Conversation
The best places to retire now

Retirement is different today. So are retirees. Here are 20 destinations to suit both.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.