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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.
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