Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN), Solace Systems and BTI Systems were all named to Deloitte's Tech Fast 50 list. Patent licensing firm WiLAN is the top Ottawa company on the list, appearing eleventh with revenue growth of 2,306 per cent over the past five years.
Solace, which designs and manufactures middleware appliances, placed 25th on the list and grew its revenues by 937 per cent. BTI, which develops packet optical networking products, placed 42nd with 367-per-cent growth.
This is the first time that WiLAN has made its way onto the list since 2004, when the company was based in Calgary.
Companies that make the yearly list are determined by the percentage revenue growth of the current calendar year compared to five years ago. Companies must be headquartered in Canada, own proprietary technology, and had revenues of at least $50,000 in 2006, according to Deloitte's website.
Solace also won a special leadership award as part of the Fast 50 list in the category of hardware, for "demonstrating their ability to create a distinct competitive advantage in a high-growth market, which allows them to dominate their sector," said Deloitte's Ottawa marketplace leader, Mark Noonan.
Mr. Noonan said Solace would have appeared in the top 10 of the list, but missed out because the company records its revenue according to an off-calendar year.
"If we look at their current year revenue model, they have achieved accelerated revenue in 2011. If we were to annualize that, (Solace's) growth rate would almost be 2600 per cent, which would have been top 10 on the list," he said.
This year's list marks the second year in a row that the number of Ottawa-area companies appearing on the list has decreased. In 2010, five companies made the list, while six made the list in 2009. In 2006, eight companies made the list.
The 2011 list has the fewest number of Ottawa firms on the list since 2002, when three companies made the list.
Part of the story is the relatively high level of merger-and-acquisition activity involving large Ottawa firms, said Mr. Noonan, using Bridgewater Systems as an example. Bridgewater, which appeared on the list in 2008, was sold to U.S.-based Amdocs in August for $211 million.
"We are going through a (merger and acquisition) cycle," Mr. Noonan said.
DragonWave Inc. (TSX:DWI), which made the list for the past five years, did not make the cut this year after experiencing a significant revenue drop. The company's profits plunged by 93 per cent as it failed to diversify its client base after it's biggest customer, Clearwire, slowed its network buildout.
Ontario dominated the list filling just over half the spots with 26 companies, 13 of those from the Greater Toronto Area. Accedian Networks, a telecom firm based in St. Laurent, Que., topped the list overall with revenue growth of 50,136 per cent. Beleaguered mobile phone giant Research in Motion appeared 29 on the list.
In another award category, Ottawa-based Panacis was named to the Green 15 list, which is awarded to the top 15 companies that produce green technology solutions that promote efficient use and reuse of natural resources. Panacis develops intelligent battery solutions for a variety of markets including the medical, industrial, and telecom industries.