"It's all about the idea, whether it's scribbled on a whiteboard or the finished product."

About Colasanti: He is a Detroit native who moved to Minneapolis 20 years ago for a job with the Carmichael Lynch agency, eventually rising to CEO. Colasanti, 55, formed Solve with three partners in 2011 with Medifast as their first client.

Personal file: Colasanti's interests range from music to kayaking at his family's Upper Peninsula cabin on Lake Superior. Colasanti is married, has two grown sons and lives in the Lake of the Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis.

What's big in 2015: Named "Small agency of the year" in 2013, the 30-person shop last year added several marquee clients, including Porsche, Delta faucets and Cascadian Farms. Solve's other clients include Bentley Motors, True Value hardware and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. Colasanti believes Solve's size works to its advantage by removing bureaucratic barriers and giving clients direct access to senior creative leaders.

Final word: "We want to protect and preserve the culture that got us where we are now. This is a business where one phone call can make you twice as big as you are now or half as big as you were before."