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Deloitte: Deloitte Technology Fast 50 winners achieve strong growth in a challenging labour market

Toronto, November 9, 2017 – Today, Deloitte celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Technology Fast 50 program and unveils the winners of its Technology Fast 50, Companies-to Watch and Leadership awards programs. The Technology Fast 50 program recognizes Canadian technology companies for their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, rapid revenue growth, and world-class achievements. This year, the Fast 50 winners achieved an average four-year growth rate of 4,625 per cent, which represents a 74 per cent increase from 2016.

Ranked number one this year is Diply.com, a London, Ontario–based social entertainment media publisher. With a unique blend of lifestyle content targeting North American millennials, Diply.com achieved a growth rate of 92,881 per cent.

Prodigy Game takes second place with a growth rate of 18,933 per cent. Based out of Burlington, Ontario, Prodigy Game is a game-based learning platform that allows students to create an avatar and set out on an adventure to increase their knowledge where success depends on honing curriculum-aligned math skills.

In third place is Prodigy Ventures (no connection to Prodigy Game), an innovation company that creates enterprise platforms and consumer apps with emerging technologies in mobile, video, augmented reality, 3D, artificial intelligence, payments and blockchain. The Toronto-based company achieved a growth rate of 16,791 per cent.

“Fast 50 winners achieve incredible growth. These companies foster the economic prosperity and success of our country,” said Anders McKenzie, Managing Partner for Technology, Media & Telecommunications at Deloitte Canada. “The technology, media and telecommunications sector has achieved significant advances in the last twenty years. This current innovative cohort of companies continues to lead the pack in transforming the way we live and work. They should be incredibly proud of the impact they are making across all industries and how they are shaping the world as we know it today and what it will look like tomorrow.”

In spite of their remarkable growth, Deloitte’s survey of CEOs from Fast 50 companies found that the labour market remains the most significant challenge faced by their businesses today. According to almost half (47 per cent) of the survey respondents, the most important talent challenge is finding talent that is needed.

The survey also reports a shift in the demographics of Fast 50 companies. The majority (53 per cent) of the workforces in Fast 50 companies is now made up of millennials born between 1981-2001. The trend this year also shows that women are better represented. Almost a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) reported that 21-30 per cent of new hires for all positions are women, which presents a significant increase from only 13 per cent in 2016.

AI provides efficiency and flexibility in the workplace
All Fast 50 survey respondents report that they are using more or the same Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies today than they did a couple of years ago. Machine learning (49 per cent) is the most common AI technology used by Fast 50 companies, followed by natural language processing (40 per cent) and computer vision (28 per cent).

AI technology enables machines to think and work as humans do and has the potential to make an impact across various domains. Sixty per cent of respondents leverage AI and cognitive technologies to augment the company by working faster and with more flexibility rather than replacing employees.

Improvements in access to capital 
Sixty-two per cent of Fast 50 companies surveyed feel that the ability to access capital has gotten better over the last five years. Forty-seven per cent of respondents feel the ability to access capital from Canadian sources has gotten better since 2012. Of importance, the sentiment is even stronger toward U.S. sources of capital, with 64 per cent of respondents indicating that the ability to access capital from U.S. sources has gotten better over the same period.

“The achievements of this year’s winners and the improvements in their ability to access capital demonstrates that the Canadian technology sector is strong and continues to show promise. But like other industries, it continues to face a talent shortage against the backdrop of economic growth,” said Erica Pretorius, Partner and National Leader for the Technology Fast 50™ program at Deloitte in Canada. “Canada is a prosperous country and showcasing our diverse and inclusive workplace will help attract highly qualified talent.”

The majority of this year’s Fast 50 winners are based in Ontario (29), followed by British Columbia (13) and Quebec (5), with the balance from the Prairie region (4). This year’s Leadership award winners include Geotab, Index Exchange, iQmetrix, Kinaxis, PointClickCare, Real Matters and Shopify. Winners in this category demonstrate innovation and leadership. They dominate in their sector and join the ranks of other Canadian global leaders.

A complete list of winners of the Technology Fast 50, Companies-to-Watch and Leadership Awards categories is available at www.fast50.ca

Read More at Deloitte

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