Tech Talent in Northern Ireland celebrated in first in-person event in 2021

DIgital DNA held their first in-person event in over 2-years on Thursday 1st July. The 6th annual Digital DNA Awards, held in partnership with MCS Group, took place at Belfast’s Ormeau Baths and featured a live studio audience as well as over 1,000 people watching online from all over the world.


Broadcasting live from Ormeau Baths, the team at Digital DNA totally transformed the unique space which is at the heart of the Tech community in Belfast and a focal point for entrepreneurship across Northern Ireland. 


The Digital DNA Awards celebrate the very best tech talent from companies of all sizes, who are excelling in the world of Digital and Tech.  Developers, engineers and entrepreneurs, alongside start-ups, FDI’s and project teams were all recognised at the very first hybrid awards ceremony to be held in Northern Ireland.

“The Digital DNA Awards are incredibly important for the NI Tech sector so we were determined that we would put on a show that would celebrate the incredible talent that exists here in Northern Ireland. Winning a Digital DNA Award is an important statement for many of our indigenous and international tech businesses as it provides further validation that they are best in class in their industry.’ said Simon Bailie, CEO of Digital DNA.


The top accolade of the evening went to Highroads, who were crowned Digital DNA Company of the Year. The highly-coveted Award is decided on a combination of the judges’ votes, as well as a public vote and features the top companies from across Northern Ireland. The Massachusetts based company specialises in providing technology for the health insurance industry and is a rapidly growing organisation in Belfast.


Commenting on the win, Highroads site lead in Belfast Dr Jonathan Sinclair said,


“We were absolutely stunned to have won this award, we had already been celebrating several weeks ago having been shortlisted for four categories with such a competitive and innovative digital community in Northern Ireland. Digital DNA is such a well-regarded event in the local calendar and the Company of the Year award is the pinnacle of achievements for any company operating in NI.


This award celebrates and recognises the team at HighRoads globally who, like so many other companies and teams, have worked hard in a difficult year of workplace challenges.”


Sean Devlin from MCS Group, the events headline sponsor, gave particular praise to the organisers saying, “We have been delighted to work with Digital DNA for the past number of years to bring these important awards to life and every year they keep getting bigger and better. Despite only a limited number of guests, the whole show was electric and really does help showcase the phenomenal talent we have here in Northern Ireland. It was fantastic to see so many talented individuals and companies recognised on the night.”

Other big winners on the night included Version 1 who picked up Large Tech Company of the Year. The Dublin HQ’d company recently announced the acquisition of Belfast based Neueda, who also won the award back in 2018. Keith Farley from Aflac Northern Ireland picked up Business Personality of the Year whilst Fintru picked up the Workplace of the Year Award.


In addition to the 14 awards, the annual event also recognised the achievements of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the growth of the tech sector in Northern Ireland and who has achieved significant success on a global scale. The 2021 Global Recognition Award was presented to Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor. Sarah joined the event live from San Francisco and was interviewed by Awards host Zoe Salmon.

Our Winners

Overall Company of the Year

Winner – HighRoads

Best Large Tech Company

Winner – Version 1

Highly Commended – Aflac NI

E-Commerce Project of the Year

Winner – Incubeta Groundswell

Highly Commended – Flint Studios, Insect Lore Europe

App of the year

Winner – Department of Health & HSC Northern Ireland

Highly Commended –Scaffold Digital, The Inspire D App

Founder of the year

Winner – Geoff & Sinead Higgins, Decision Time

Highly Commended – Deva Senevirathne, Sonrai Analytics

Best Digital Marketing Campaign

Winner – Bloc Blinds

Highly Commended – Golf Now

Best Small Tech Company

Winner – B-Secur

Highly Commended – HighRoads

Digital Innovation Project of the Year

Winner – Esri Ireland & DAERA

Highly Commended – Danske Bank

Developer of the Year

Winner – Ciara Cassidy, Almac

Highly Commended – Gareth Gray, Signifyd

Start-up of the Year

Winner – Overwatch Research

Highly Commended – LoyalBe

Young Person of the Year

Winner – Johannes Andersen, Signifyd

Highly Commended – Niamh MacAuley, Purple Dot Media

Business Personality of the Year

Winner – Keith Farley, Aflac NI

Highly Commended – Laura Haldane, SciLeads

Tech For Good Project of the Year

Winner – Liopa

Highly Commended – TriMedika

Workplace of the Year

Winner – FinTru

Highly Commended – Hurree

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