First Derivatives founder awarded Global Recognition title at Digital DNA Awards

Brian Conlon (left) is presented with the Global Recognition award at the Digital DNA Awards by Jeremy Fitch (executive director at Invest NI)

BRIAN Conlon, the man behind one of the north's most successful tech companies First Derivatives, was honoured with the Global Recognition Award at the Digital DNA Awards in St Anne's Cathedral, while Neueda lifted the overall company of the year title.

The awards, hosted by presenter Zoe Salmon and comedian Andrew Ryan and attended by more than 400 tech and business people, recognise the achievements of the individuals, projects and companies in the Northern Ireland business, technology and IT sectors.

The recipient of the Global Recognition award is influenced by Digital DNA's global network who feedback on the impact key individuals from Northern Ireland are having globally.

Mr Conlon is the driving force behind First Derivatives, which has grown to become a world leader in providing products and consulting services for global financial institutions.

From establishing the company in 1996, building up a client roster which includes some of the biggest blue-chip financial institutions in the world, to floating the business on the London Stock Exchange, he has created a global name for the Northern Ireland company.

He said: “Digital DNA has always promoted innovation and disruption, key values shared with First Derivatives. I am honoured to be recognised by a community that supports technology and business growth across Ireland and beyond.”

Gareth Quinn, founder of Digital DNA, said: “There are few people in Northern Ireland who have done more to bolster the reputation of the local tech community than Brian Conlon.

"The fact First Derivatives has remained headquartered in Newry in the wake of such stellar growth shows huge commitment to Northern Ireland and communicates a great message to the world about the depth on talent on these shores. Congratulations to Brian and the FD team. The award is richly deserved.”

MCS Group was the principal sponsor of the Digital DNA Awards, while major sponsors include PwC, Flint Studios, esri Ireland and Barclay's Eagle Labs.

Ellvena Graham, one of the judges, said: “The quality of entrants was so high we had to extend the short list from three to six and it was particularly exciting to see smaller companies coming through who have begun to scale up and become big players, adding a breadth of high value jobs to the Northern Irish economy. We were also really pleased to see so many fantastic male and female entrepreneurs.”

The winners and runners up were:

:: Overall Company of the Year - Neueda

:: Best Large Tech Company - Neueda; runner-up: Kainos

:: E-Commerce Project of the Year - Eyekiller / Wave and Wake; highly commended:: Total Hockey

:: App of the year - Big Motive-BBC Pandemic; highly commended:: Danske Bank/Danske Life

:: Entrepreneur of the year - Nuala Murphy (Moment Health); highly commended:: Mark Dowds (Trov)

:: Best Digital Marketing Campaign - Digital 24, Babocush; highly commended: Spar NI, 12 days of Christmas

:: Best Small Tech Company - Salt DNA; highly commended: Zymplify

:: Digital Project of the Year - Allstate, Uber Technologies; runner-up: Dawson Andrews/The Dumbest Chatbot

:: Developer of the Year - Mark O'Neill (Cayan); runner-up: Colin Young (Dawson Andrews)

:: Start-up of the Year - Modius; highly commended: Hurree

:: Young Person of the Year -Aaron Gibson (Hurree); highly commended: Adam Flanagan (Future Summits)

:: Business Personality of the Year - Patrick McAliskey (Novosco); highly commended: Naomh McElhatton (SMARTNI)

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