By Claire West

Five Southwest technology companies have forced their way into the Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100.

Tech Track ranks the top hundred technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies in the UK.

“This is great news for technology businesses based in the South West especially as there is a huge funding gap for small businesses in the region,” said Mark Mason, managing director of Bristol based Mubaloo.

“The budget for Regional Development Agencies has slumped 20 per cent and that banks aren’t lending and the situation for a lot of South West business start ups has been looking pretty bleak,” he said. “But this news will renew confidence.”

Mubaloo specialise in writing ‘apps’ (applications) for the smart phones that have become so popular. They currently work for insurance giants like Axa and online film rental business Lovefilm.

“These days it would be unthinkable for a company not to have its own website. In 18 months time it will be the same for apps — any firm which is serious will have its own app to stay ahead of the opposition,” said Mr Mason.

“It is great to see privately-owned technology companies in Southwest making a positive contribution to the technology industry despite tough economic conditions. A new trend this year is that more than a fifth of these innovative Tech Track 100 companies are bringing the flexibility and cost savings of cloud computing to big and small businesses,” said Scott Dodds, Microsoft general manager of business strategy.

52 of the Tech Track companies are based in London and 17 more are in the South East. 10 of the remainder are based in the North, 9 in the Midlands, 5 in the Southwest, 4 in Scotland and 3 in the East.