Has it really been ten years since we had our first Fast Tech 50 event? I was thinking back to our first event, and our first winner, “E-Realty” which was led by Russ Capper. Wow, so much has happened since then with Russ and the other honorees of the Fast Tech 50. It’s would be difficult to capture all of the successes since that date. But in reality that’s what the Fast Tech 50 is about. Helping emerging market companies in the technology sector promote their businesses and the Houston Region’s technology prowess.
When we started this event, there was a seedling community that was gathering some momentum. I guess I view the Fast Tech 50 as the catalyst for the tech sector. Many things came together at that time. The Houston Technology Center, the Rice Alliance, Bio-Houston all came into their own during this time period and I think it speaks to vision of the Houston business community. We will honor several past winners of the event at today’s luncheon and I hope many of you will take a moment to stop by and visit with these entrepreneurs. Not unlike the Allen Brothers of the early 1800s, these leaders are laying the groundwork for the Region’s future.
The Greater Houston Partnership has recognized our Fast Tech 50 program in the past and they have put together a Technology Infrastructure Committee to continue to bring focus to this very important area of our local economy. Umesh Verma, Chairman of this Committee is leading an impressive group of resources expanding the impact of the Fast Tech 50 and Technology in general around the Houston Region.
The Class of 2010 will be one of the youngest we have ever had in our program. In comparing this year’s group of winners, it’s clear that they represent a much younger and still developing group of early stage companies. They will have an impact on our local and national economy for many years to come, and they will add to the legacy of what makes Houston the top city in the country to start a business. The average growth rate for this year’s group is a staggering 65%.
During this past year we had over 390 companies express an interest in becoming a member of this exclusive club. The Fast Tech 50 class of 2010 continues Houston’s tradition of technology excellence. And they also bring to the forefront new and different stories of entrepreneurial success. This year’s list of honorees includes; 16 first-time honorees, 13 two-time honorees, 10 three-time honorees, 4 four-time honorees, 2 five-time honorees, 1 six-time honoree and 4 seven time winners. Our seven time honorees include: BBS Technologies, DataCert, Inc., Merrick Systems, and Triad Resources, Inc. What staying power!
During the past year we saw the on-going continuation of many successful technology events throughout the city. The Houston Technology Center (including the Gulf Coast Innovation Conference & Showcase) and the Rice Alliance (including the highly success Rice Business Plan competition with over $1 million in prizes) held many forums for the start up community. The Houston based Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC) continues to do well. We continue to hear from the State’s oversight group that the plans submitted from the Houston area are some of the most well received.
Let’s review the nomination and listing process. To qualify for the Fast Tech 50, a company’s headquarters, or a foreign company’s US headquarters must be located in Houston SMSA region. A minimum of 51% of the company’s consolidated net revenues must be involved in the original manufacture, design or development of technology products or delivery of services. A nominee must have minimum net revenues of more than $200,000 in both years. Rankings were determined on the revenue growth percentage from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009.
The nominees were asked to submit the following information: nomination form; audited, reviewed or compiled financial statements or tax returns for 2008 and 2009; an overview letter; and background information on the company, its products and/or services. Representatives from PKF Texas validated the information on the nomination form from the information packet. The percentage of revenue growth was computed by comparing net revenues from 2008 to 2009. During the past year we received over 390 nominations for the Fast Tech 50. The organizations that made the top 50 places were then listed.
Overview of the 2010 Fast Tech 50
Our Fast Tech 50 represents a wide variety of industries. The industries represented by our award winners, and the number of entries by their area are as follows: Environmental Technology 1, Software 20, Hardware 3, Hosting Facilities 5, Life Science 3, Technical/Consulting Services 7, Energy Technology Products 9, and Communications 2.
Six of our honorees were started in the 1980s. Fifteen honorees were started in the 1990s. Finally, twenty nine honorees were started since 2000. This group of honorees is by far, is one of our youngest groups of companies ever. Hang on Houston; we’ve got some growing to do!
The local economic impact made by this year’s Fast Tech 50 is phenomenal! When reviewing the entire 50 companies, an impressive overview quickly emerges. These organizations are responsible for creating almost 4,400 jobs and over $720 million in revenues to our local economy. No one industry dominates the Houston business climate anymore. Our businesses are as diverse as our people and our cultures.
Nominations will be accepted for next year’s Fast Tech 50 listing by contacting the Houston Business Journal, PKF Texas, or any of the additional sponsors. Organizations that are nominated will receive additional information and application packets during the spring of 2011. Congratulations to all of our honorees! We look forward to seeing you in next year’s listing.