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article image43 Canadian Companies Make 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 500

By Bob Ewing     Nov 12, 2008 in Business
A total of 43 Canadian technology companies are being honoured in the 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest-growing North American technology.
In all there are 43 Canadian technology companies that are being honoured in the 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 500.
The 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is a ranking of the fastest-growing North American technology, media, telecommunications and life-sciences companies, based on percentage revenue growth over five years.
Markham, Ontario-based Nightingale Informatix Corporation (Nightingale), a healthcare service and software company is number 10 on the list and takes the top spot among Canadian entries with a 23,078% five-year revenue growth rate. Nightingale also ranked first on the 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ ranking in Canada, announced in September 2008.
Overall, the Canadian representation is in decline due to Canada’s crisis in venture capital.
In 2008, 43 Canadian entries account for 8% of the North American Technology Fast 500, down by almost half from 68 companies (14%) in 2003. In addition, the average growth rate for the 2008 Technology Fast 500 is 3,043%, up from 1,823% in 2007.
This is the opposite of what occurred in Canada with the Technology Fast 50™: combined, this year’s winning companies posted an average growth rate of 2,457%, down dramatically from last year’s average growth rate of 3,732%.
“While we have our share of Canadian success stories — led by companies like Research In Motion and Nightingale — Canada’s decreasing overall representation in this year’s Technology Fast 500 ranking spotlights our country’s ongoing venture capital funding crisis,” warns John Ruffolo, National Leader, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group, Deloitte.
“In addition, we are worried that the minimum growth rate that companies need to be considered for the Canadian Technology Fast 50 has significantly dropped from 2007 to 2008, which is not the case for the North American list. This growth-rate decline suggests that in future years, Canadian representation could decline even further unless we begin to remedy Canada’s venture capital crisis.”
Canada does finish ahead of all states except California (168 companies) and Massachusetts (46 companies). This shows Canadian tech companies are fully capable of competing with world-renowned U.S. technology hubs, including Silicon Valley and Boston.
However, excluding the life-sciences industry, Canadian representation is second only to California’s Silicon Valley.
“It’s encouraging to see many more Canadian technology companies included in the North American Fast 500 ranking compared to some of the U.S.’s most prominent technology hubs,” observes Deloitte’s Ruffolo.
“This is a testament not only to Canadian technology leadership, but also to the world-class talent and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to fuel the industry despite its current venture capital crisis," he concludes.
There are 22 Ontario-based companies which account for 51% of the Canadian contingent, more than half of Canadian companies hail from technology clusters in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, and Southwestern Ontario. Emerging software hotspots such as Quebec, B.C. and Alberta propelled 10 (23%), six (14%) and four (9%) companies respectively onto the list. Newfoundland added one (2%).
The top five-ranked Canadian companies on this year’s Technology Fast 500 are:
• #10 — Nightingale Informatix Corporation reported revenues of $14,077,000 in 2007, a leap of 22,978% from its 2003 revenues of $61,000. This is its first appearance on the Technology Fast 500 ranking.
• #11 — PlateSpin, a Novell company, (22,353% growth), from Toronto, Ontario, is a developer of data-centre automation software.
• #44 — MyThum Interactive Inc., (6,820% growth), also from Toronto, Ontario, is a mobile interactive media technology provider.
• #54 — Vision Critical, (5,291% growth), based in Vancouver, B.C. placed fourth. It is a software company that develops interactive research.
• #70 — Corinex Communications Corp., (3,598% growth), based in Vancouver, B.C., provides connectivity solutions that distribute high-speed Internet signals on electrical wiring, coax and phone lines.
Software companies constitute 35% of the North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500 companies. In Canada, more than half (22 companies) are in software, followed by just under a third (13 companies) in communications and networking, three in scientific and technical instrumentation, two in Internet technologies and one in each of semiconductor, medical equipment, and computers and peripherals.
The continued strength of the software sub-sector can be attributed to the relatively lower cost of software development, especially in these troubled economic times.
Waterloo-based Research In Motion (RIM) (#141) has made the Technology Fast 500 ranking for nine consecutive years. Not including life-science companies, RIM has been part of the Technology Fast 500 more times than any other company in North America.
As well, there are only 20 companies on the list whose 2007 revenues exceed $1 billion U.S. Of these 20 companies, RIM is the sixth largest, with 2007 revenues of $6 billion U.S. — just behind Yahoo! at $7 billion U.S. and ahead of Symantec at $5.2 billion U.S.
First-time entrant Hughes Communications Inc. of Germantown, Maryland, is named the fastest-growing technology company in North America, topping the 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 500.
Hughes Communications is a publicly-traded provider of broadband networks and services and has a five-year revenue growth of 138,762%, growing from $699,000 U.S. in 2003 to $970,648,000 U.S. in 2007.
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