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Technology—Local firm tops Deloitte & Touche Tech Fast 50 list

Chalk another one up for the business community in San Diego County.

According to the Wilton, Conn.-based accounting and consulting firm of Deloitte & Touche, more than half of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Orange and San Diego counties reside within San Diego County’s borders , including the No. 1 company, ComGlobal Systems, Inc. of San Diego.

The “2000 Orange County/San Diego Technology Fast 50,” announced Sept. 25 in Dana Point, recognized technology companies based in the two counties.

Qualified companies needed to have operated longer than five years with 1995 operating revenues of at least $50,000 and 1999 operating revenues of $1 million or more.

Growth was measured from 1995 to 2000.

“The feeling was five years was a good representation of a company’s long-term growth,” said James Fazio, partner in Deloitte & Touche’s San Diego technology and communication group. “A lot of the current technological revolution didn’t start until five years ago.”

– Tech List Runs For Six Years

Fazio said the list is in its sixth year and covers all public companies in Orange and San Diego counties, plus private company submissions.

The list included local heavyweights like Qualcomm, Inc., No. 16; Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp., No. 31; and the Titan Corp., No. 48.

Plus the smaller firms, but in this case the best firms, including MassHysteria, Inc., No. 14; Innovative Medical Services, No. 21; and Marotz, Inc., No. 25.

Four additional companies were recognized for outstanding growth in three years of operation and two of them were from San Diego. They were Silicon Space Inc. and InfoGation Corp.

ComGlobal Systems led the software industry contingent with 19,094 percent revenues growth since 1995. Software firms made up the largest percentile of the Fastest 50 with 30 percent.

When ComGlobal incorporated five years ago as a Defense Department contractor, nobody had any idea where the software company would be, financially, in 2000.

– Surpassing Expectations

“We had hopes and we thought we had the possibility to do very well,” CEO James Dean said. “We had no idea we were going to do as well as we did.”

Since 1995, ComGlobal has successfully expanded into a firm with commercial clients and Dean believes that will be the firm’s biggest growth area in the future.

Since 1997, annual revenues have increased almost fourteen-fold from $900,000 to $12.3 million in 1999, according to the San Diego Business Journal’s List of Fast-Growing Private Companies.

The San Diego firm was also one of just 14 private companies to make Deloitte & Touche’s list.

The top public tech company locally was the San Diego-based telecom powerhouse Wireless Facilities, Inc., which ranked No. 3 with 8,249 percent growth.

Several attempts to get comment by Wireless Facilities for this story were unsuccessful.

– Defining A Tech Company

Deloitte & Touche defined a technology company as a firm “developing proprietary technology which contributes to a significant portion of the company’s operating revenues, manufacturing a technology-related product or devoting a high percentage of effort to research and development of technology.”

And the list was comprised of companies from dominant San Diego industries, including computer software, communications, biotech, computer technology, medical instrument development, the Internet, and miscellaneous others.

In addition to ComGlobal, local software companies on the list included SVI Holdings, Inc., No. 10; HNC Software Inc., No. 23; Peregrine Systems, Inc., No. 24; Marotz; Captiva Software Corp., No. 36; Cardiff Software, Inc., No. 38; and Vista Information Solutions, Inc., No. 42.

Wireless Facilities was followed by fellow communication companies such as Jabra Communications, No. 7; Qualcomm; Advanced Radio Communication Solutions, Inc., No. 29; AstroTerra Corp., No. 40; and ViaSat, Inc., No. 42.

The local medical devices industry was led by No. 8, CardioDynamics International Corp., with 2,538 percent growth; followed by Innovative Medical; ResMed Corp., No. 37; Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc., No. 41; and Vista Medical Technologies, No. 45.

Nanogen, Inc., outperformed the rest of the biotech industry by placing No. 9 with 2,453 percent growth. The firm topped Immune Response Corp., No. 12; Trega Biosciences, Inc., No. 18; the recently purchased Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 28; and Idec, No. 31.

Miscellaneous companies included Titan, the Internet firm MassHysteria that grew 1,119 percent over the five-year period, and the private aerospace firm Composite Optics, Inc., No. 34. Composite grew 322 percent in the same period.


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