IN 2019, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 marked a milestone: For the 25th year, Deloitte recognised 500 North American companies at the cutting edge of the technology industry, combining innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth.1
While traditional strongholds such as California, New York, Massachusetts and Ontario, Canada, continue to host the largest number of fast-growing tech companies, results from Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500 awards suggest that the remainder of the North American tech landscape is changing rapidly (see figure 1). The 2019 Fast 500 highlighted the rise of several emerging hubs—including Georgia, Florida and British Columbia—that tech, media and telecom (TMT) companies should consider in terms of investment, diversification and expansion.
Several factors have enabled these budding locations to host increasing numbers of Fast 500 tech companies.
No. 5 Georgia, for example, has benefited from Atlanta Tech Village, a catalyst that allows tech startups to hit the ground running.2 Moreover, Georgia’s state-level universities and educational institutions play an important role in supporting the region’s tech ventures; local colleges are weaving in new types of entrepreneurship-related programmes as part of their curriculum to promote students’ tech business ideas and ventures.3
Ranked No. 9, Florida benefits from an ambitious plan to become a global tech hub, which includes hosting an array of events geared to startup companies.4 The state has a range of venture capital firms, accelerators and collaborative workspaces that support and enable promising tech startups to operate and grow.
At No. 10, British Columbia’s government-led initiatives and local universities have combined to make the region a hotbed of fast-growing tech companies.5 Thanks to government funding, R&D assistance and tax credits, tech ventures can be launched at a lower cost than in many other North American provinces and states. In addition, local universities have sharpened their focus on offering world-class computer science, engineering and tech courses, aiming to foster a startup culture.
All of the emerging Fast 500 tech hubs have three things in common:
The next herd of unicorns6 could very well emerge from these emerging Fast 500 states and provinces—presenting new options for TMT companies looking to invest in, buy, or partner with new-age tech companies in North America.
Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice brings together one of the world’s largest group of specialists respected for helping shape many of the world’s most recognised TMT brands—and helping those brands thrive in a digital world.