Deloitte

October 01, 2009 08:00 ET

Tech Dodges a Bullet: Even in a Recession, Technology Fast50 Companies Keep on Growing, Hiring and Innovating

Deloitte Canada Survey: Tech CEOs optimistic about their prospects, but staying flexible and focused on key products

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2009) - The winners of the 2009 Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ have met this past year's economic turbulence with resilience, adaptability and a back-to-basics approach to their business strategy, while still managing to keep growth alive. In addition, the results from a survey of CEOs from Canada's fastest growing technology companies point to; a commitment to innovation, a reaffirmation of their optimism and competitive fire, and a decreased tolerance for riskier investments that deliver a less certain ROI.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™, the country's pre-eminent leading technology awards, ranks companies based on their past five-year revenue growth rates. Other categories in the awards recognize: Leadership, Companies-to-Watch and the Green 15™.

Montreal-based ProSep, an oil and gas process equipment company, has emerged as this year's triple threat: not only do they sit atop the ranking of this year's Fast 50 list by posting an 18,070% five-year revenue growth, ProSep also secured its second, consecutive spot on the Technology Green 15™, and a Leadership Award.

"Instead of trying to shoot the lights out, tech companies are strategically positioning themselves for a recovery that will see them stronger and even more competitive in the future," explains John Ruffolo, National Leader, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group, Deloitte. "Our CEO survey results this year reveal a high level of optimism and confirm their commitment to innovation through R&D spending - in fact, only 16% are cutting their R&D spending. Make no mistake; these companies are not resting on their laurels waiting for good times to return: they continue to post the kind of growth numbers that you almost never see in other industries."

Average growth rate dips to 1,993%

The average growth rate for the 2009 Fast 50 winning companies is 1,993%. Despite a decline from last year's average rate of 2,456%, this number is surprisingly robust because it comes amid a recession. "While the tech industry is not immune to the overall economy, what's most remarkable is how individual companies are dealing with the recession by acknowledging the difficulty, adapting their business strategy and positioning themselves for success," explains Duncan Stewart, Director of Deloitte Canada Research. "In today's environment, the appetite for riskier investments with doubtful returns is simply not there...and that's a sensible strategy," he added.

Second and third spots go to Dominion Voting Systems (10,356%), a Toronto-based election solutions & services company, and Level Platforms (7,358%), an Ottawa-based remote IT management software company whose rank remains unchanged since last year. Rounding out the top five are London, Ontario-based Car Proof (5,716%), a vehicle history reports company, and Impact Mobile (5,507%), a Toronto-based mobile marketing solutions company and a repeat winner who moved up 5 spots with a growth rate of exactly 3,000% - higher than last year's 2,507%.

While there are fewer telecom companies, more software companies and more regional diversity since the Fast50 was launched twelve years ago - the trends of the last few years have held steady, even in today's recession. Security, smartphones, video and the environment are the current 'killer apps', as seen through the Leadership and Companies-to-Watch Award Winners.

Sources of financing a continuing challenge

With 73% of tech companies in the survey reporting a lengthening of their sales cycle and a continued drought of VC and other sources of financing in Canada, tech CEOs reached into company cash flows and their own pockets to make up for weakness in traditional sources of financing. 70% of CEOs report tapping into cash flow from operations as their primary source of growth capital this year and 80% see that trend increasing in 2010.

Respondents identified SR&ED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) tax credits and their founders' personal investment as having been equally large sources of financing, which suggests a successful partnership between tech leaders and the federal government in getting tech companies started. "I've always known that SR&ED is considered a big deal in Canada, but until I saw this data, I never realized that it was in fact equal to what many founders were contributing," says Ruffolo. "It's almost like matching dollars."

Federal stimulus bucks welcome...

Over 60% of technology CEOs agree with the concept of federal stimulus spending, and an overwhelming majority (83%) feel that the tech industry should also receive their fair share of these program dollars. The CEOs who advocated tech-targeted stimulus funds promised to make good use of the money: 80% would go toward developing new products, innovation and growing their businesses.

"I can't overemphasize the importance of investing in the future," says Ruffolo. "Tech companies need a helping hand, not a bailout. The stimulus money that they would receive would go to an already growing sector and create a Canadian innovation platform that would last for the next 100 years."

Talent strategies take on added significance

When companies look for ways to reduce expenses in tough economic times, layoffs are traditionally among the first options to be considered. This year's CEO survey results provide reassuring confirmation that this is not the preferred option among today's tech companies: less than 10% are cutting staff. In fact, one-third have even accelerated their hiring. Where these tech companies are hiring is also of key importance: while engineering and R&D help is always sought after, the marketing and sales talent gap was identified by over half (55%) of respondents as a key area of focus.

Leadership Awards

Leadership Awards single out companies that are the elite members of the Canadian technology industry, whose ability to create a distinct competitive advantage in a high-growth market allows them to dominate their sector and quickly join the ranks of other Canadian global leaders. This year's four Leadership Awards recipients are: Absolute Software, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based IT asset management and security company; Burlington, Ontario based Evertz Technologies Limited, an HDTV infrastructure company; ProSep, a Montreal, Quebec-based oil and gas process equipment company; and Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion, Canada's globally recognized wireless Smartphone manufacturer who has made the Fast 50 ranking every year since the creation of the awards in 1998.

Companies-to-Watch Awards

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™, the Companies-to-Watch (CTW) Awards honour early-stage Canadian technology companies who have been in business less than five years, and have the potential to be future Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ winners. The ten companies recognized as CTW this year are: 3esi (Calgary, AB), Aeryon Labs (Waterloo, ON), Bayalink Solutions Corp. (Waterloo, ON), CiRBA (Richmond Hill, ON), Clickfree Automatic Backup (Toronto, ON), Haivision Network Video (Montreal, QC), OneChip Photonics (Ottawa, ON), Searidge (Gatineau, QC), Telepin Software (Ottawa, ON), and Varicent (Toronto, ON).

Deloitte Technology Green 15™ Awards

These awards recognize Canada's leading GreenTech companies who promote a more efficient use and re-use of the earth's resources in industrial production and consumption. In doing so, they use new, innovative technologies to create products and services that compete with existing products and services on price and performance while reducing our impact on the environment. The 15 winners are: Bionest Technologies Inc. (Grand-Mere, QC), Distech Controls (Brossard, QC), Eco Waste Solutions (Burlington, ON), ecobee (Toronto, ON), Energate (Ottawa, ON), EnviroTower Inc. (Toronto, ON), Fifth Light Technology Ltd. (Oakville, ON), Ground Effects Environmental Services Inc. (Regina, SK), H2O Innovation (Quebec City, QC), HTC Purenergy (Regina, SK), ProSep (Montreal, QC), Real Tech Inc. (Whitby, ON), Sempa Power Systems Ltd. (North Vancouver, BC), Tantalus Systems Corp. (Burnaby, BC), and Vive Nano (Toronto, ON).

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ program is Canada's pre-eminent technology awards program. Celebrating business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, the program features four distinct categories including the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ Ranking, Companies-to-Watch Awards (early-stage Canadian tech companies in business less than five years, with the potential to be a future Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ candidate,) Leadership Awards (companies that demonstrate technological leadership in four industry subcategories: hardware/semiconductor, software, telecommunications and emerging technologies) and the Deloitte Technology Green 15™ Awards (Canada's leading GreenTech companies that promote a more efficient use and re-use of the earth's resources in industrial production and consumption.) Program sponsors include Deloitte, Gowlings, GrowthWorks, RBC, Wellington Financial, Stonewood Group, HKMB Hub, CATAAlliance, CleanTech Group, IGLOO Software, ITAC, MaRS and Microsoft. For further information, visit www.fast50.ca.

About Deloitte

Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides tax, audit, consulting, and financial advisory services through more than 7,700 people in 57 offices. Deloitte operates in Quebec as Samson Belair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. the firm is dedicated to helping clients and its people excel. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its Member Firms.



2009 Deloitte Technology Fast 50™
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Rank Growth Company name City Prov Sector Product service
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 18,070% ProSep Montreal QC Emerging Oil and gas process
equipment
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 10,356% Dominion Voting Toronto ON Software Election solutions &
Systems services
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 7,358% Level Platforms Ottawa ON Software Remote IT
management
software
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 5,716% CarProof London ON Software Vehicle History
Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 5,507% Impact Mobile Toronto ON Telecom Mobile Marketing
Solutions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 4,626% Vision Critical Vancouver BC Software Online research
communities
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
7 4,338% Creaform Levis QC Hardware 3D imaging
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 4,157% Allegro Mobile Mississauga ON Telecom Enterprise Mobility
Solutions Solutions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
9 3,862% Corinex Vancouver BC Telecom Networking solutions
Communications
Corp
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 3,549% BelAir Networks Kanata ON Telecom Wireless LAN
Inc hardware
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
11 3,376% Nightingale Markham ON Software Electronic Medical
Informatix Records
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
12 2,365% Immersive Media Calgary AB Hardware Interactive sperical
Corp video platform
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
13 2,134% PNI Digital Vancouver BC Software Digital Media
Media Solutions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
14 2,052% SCI Markham ON Software Auto Retail
Software-as-a-
Service
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
15 1,750% ARISE Waterloo ON Emerging Solar Technology
Technologies
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
16 1,680% GuestLogix Inc Toronto ON Software On-board Retail
Technology
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
17 1,466% Sandvine Waterloo ON Telecom Intelligent network
management
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
18 1,405% DragonWave Inc Kanata ON Telecom Broadband wireless
access
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
19 910% Research In Waterloo ON Telecom Wireless
Motion smartphones
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
20 787% BTI Systems Ottawa ON Telecom Optical metro edge
networks
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
21 777% TelcoBridges Boucherville QC Telecom Telecom Hardware
Platforms
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
22 761% NetShelter Thornhill ON Software Online Media
Technology Services
Media
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
23 739% ViXS Systems Toronto ON Hardware Fabless semi-
Inc. conductors
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
24 700% March Networks Kanata ON Hardware IP-based Security
Corporation Surveillance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
25 606% Grey Island Toronto ON Telecom Wireless fleet,
Systems transit
International management
Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
26 594% Averna Montreal QC Software Test solutions and
services
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
27 567% BlueCat Toronto ON Hardware IP address
Networks Inc. management
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
28 536% WellPoint Calgary AB Software Broadcast workflow
Systems Inc. solutions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
29 521% Serenic Edmonton AB Software Financial
Corporation management
software
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
30 513% RuggedCom Inc. Woodbridge ON Hardware Rugged
communications
equipment
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
31 511% Cyberplex Inc. Toronto ON Software Web-advertising
solutions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
32 508% Payworks Winnipeg MB Software Workforce
Management
Solutions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
33 499% Camilion Markham ON Software Policy
Solutions Inc. administration
systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
34 461% Navtech, Inc. Waterloo ON Software Flight Operations
Software
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
35 457% Solium Capital Calgary AB Software Stock plan
administration
software
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
36 430% Nstein Montreal QC Software Software solutions
Technologies for publishers
Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
37 423% Genetec Saint- QC Software Video surveillance,
Technology Laurent security solutions
Corp
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
38 397% Absolute Vancouver BC Software IT asset
Software management and
security
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
38 397% MyThum Toronto ON Telecom Mobile interactive
Interactive media
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
40 383% Sangoma Markham ON Hardware Voice Connectivity
Technologies Equipment
Corp.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
41 362% Desire2Learn Kitchener- ON Software Enterprise learning
Incorporated Waterloo systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
42 359% Wmode Inc Calgary AB Telecom Mobile Data Services
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
43 344% TeraXion Quebec QC Telecom Photonics
components & sub-
systems
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
44 341% EION Wireless Ottawa ON Telecom Broadband Wireless
Products
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
45 329% Talent Richmond BC Software Recruitment and
Technology hiring software
Corporation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
46 325% PointClickCare Mississauga ON Software Integrated long-term
(Wescom care solutions
Solutions Inc.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
47 318% Evertz Burlington ON Hardware HDTV, IPTV
Technologies equipment
Limited
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
47 318% Klick Toronto ON Software Custom web
Communications application
Inc. development
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
49 317% Intelex Toronto ON Software EQH&S Management
Technologies Software
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
50 312% SDP Components Dorval QC Telecom RF isolators
Inc
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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