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Deloitte & Touche hunts for top 50 UK IT growth firms

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Accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche has launched nationwide awards scheme to find the fifty fastest growing UK technology companies. The Fast 50 programme aims to "highlight and reward" the fastest performing companies in the sector. The bad news for the winners is that they get a plaque and the opportunity to attend a conference in the US - rather than cash. Deloitte & Touche has highlighted the IT, biotech and telecoms industries as areas of rapid growth, and claims that the awards scheme will enable it to get a snapshot of how fast these sectors are developing, and whether the world of finance can do more to help them grow rapidly. "There is a problem in the UK with venture capital funding," said Mike Berners Lee, national programme director for The Fast 50. "Its very hard for fast growing companies that need up to £1 million - once they get to a certain size they have to go to the US." Berners Lee said the results might make the UK VC industry take more interest in the high-tech sector, and look at more innovative methods of funding. Companies eligible for the Fast 50 must have been in business for three years, and will be ranked on percentage growth in turnover between 1995 and 1997. There is no size restriction and the parent company must be UK-owned. Details on Deloitte ®

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