Kianda Technologies Wins at National Enterprise Awards

Kianda Winners NEA 2021

Blanchardstown based Kianda Technologies, who are supported by Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Fingal, were winners at this year’s National Enterprise Awards (NEA). The awards, which took place virtually were broadcast online from the Mansion House in Dublin, are in their 22nd year and run annually by the LEOs.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Derya and Osvaldo Sousa, Kianda Technologies took home the Export award. The company has achieved significant penetration in global export markets with their business automation software that streamlines business processes in areas such as finance, HR and quality. Kianda has grown from strength-to-strength in the last couple of years, having won the Best Start Up / New Business award at the Fingal Chamber Awards in 2018, as well as being one of three Irish tech companies featured in RTE’s ‘Boost my Business’ for their resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-founder Derya Sousa was also chosen to represent Fingal as a ‘Leading Light’ at the National Women’s Enterprise Day (NWED) in 2020 and will feature at the opening event of this year’s Local Enterprise Week (LEW).

Congratulating the company on their success at this year’s NEAs, Head of Enterprise in Fingal, Oisín Geoghegan, said: ”The National Enterprise Awards are an annual celebration of the achievements of Ireland’s small businesses and Kianda Technologies are very deserving winners of this award, because of the impact that they have already made both in Ireland and abroad. Local Enterprise Office Fingal is proud to have supported them along their journey to success and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours”.

The overall winner at the NEAs was Mullingar mobile craft canning company, Bevcraft.  Established in 2016 by friends Ciaran Gorman and Darren Fenton the company has gone from strength to strength.  They now work with over 250 brands to can their produce using their mobile canning technology.  They are operating across 5 European countries and in 2021 aim to handle over 50million cans.

Along with the overall winner, five category winners were announced. The Innovation Award winner was VRAI, who are backed by LEO Dublin City.  The tech company provide virtual reality training similuations to companies who may work in remote or dangerous areas. 

The Future Focus Award went to Lidan Designs, backed by LEO Roscommon. The business creates modular energy efficient buildings off-site in the areas of offices, schools and housing.

To recognise the particular challenges overcome by businesses in 2020, two new awards were presented, the Brexit Ready Award and the Pivot Award. The Brexit Ready Award went to Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese who are supported by LEO Waterford.  The raw milk artisan cheddar cheese producer’s impressive response to Brexit has seen them actually grow their business on the back of the UK leaving the EU, accessing new markets.

The Pivot Award winner went to who are backed by LEO Clare.  A personalised gifting company who relied heavily on corporate gifting saw their business disappear once the pandemic hit but pivoted to sell direct to consumers. The response has seen them excel in an extremely competitive market.

Announcing the awards virtually from the Mansion House, Minister English said; “The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the sheer talent, determination and success which exists in Irish businesses.  The winners tonight are outstanding companies and, along with all the finalists, are trailblazers for every small business and budding entrepreneur across the country.  I have no doubt that the companies here will continue to grow their businesses, create more jobs and make a significant contribution to their local economies.  The foundations of the Irish economy is built on by small businesses and through these awards we can recognise their valuable role in society.” 

This year’s winners share a €50,000 investment fund and eight regional winners were also announced on the night. Those winners are:

  • The Artisan Pizza Company in the Dublin Region (backed by LEO South Dublin)
  • Odyssey Studios in the South West Region (backed by LEO Limerick)
  • QPQ in the Mid East Region (backed by LEO Kildare)
  • Submit Software Solutions in the South Region (backed by LEO Cork City)
  • Irish Fluid Controls in the South East Region (backed by LEO Carlow)
  • Dromod Boxty in the North West Region (backed by LEO Leitrim)
  • Qualitas Electronics in the North East Region (backed by LEO Meath)
  • Armour Interactive in the West Region (backed by LEO Galway)

Also honoured on the night with the inaugural NEA Outstanding Achievement award was former Netwatch co-founder and CEO David Walsh.  Walsh, who worked closely with LEO Carlow as he built Netwatch into a global company with over 250,000 clients across 4 continents, is now co-founder and CEO of a new start-up HaloCare. The Kerry native was honoured for his success and innovation but also his continued support of entrepreneurship in in Carlow.

Previous winners of the NEAs include Irish Yoghurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Simtech Aviation (2008), Digiweb (2004) and Design Pro (2013), Terra NutriTech (2018) and the last winners in 2019, Pestle & Mortar backed by LEO Kildare.  Founded by Sonia Deasy and her husband Padraig, Pestle & Mortar has become one of Ireland’s best-known skincare companies. Having sold out on QVC in the US in 7 minutes, Pestle & Mortar products now sit on the shelves in some of the world’s most high-end retail outlets.   

The NEAs are one of several initiatives that the LEOs run, to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include LEW, the Student Enterprise Programme, and NWED. The LEOs in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.

Established in 2014, the LEOs are the essential resource for any entrepreneur looking to start a business or any small business that is looking for support or advice to help them grow.  The LEOs work with over 7,000 client companies across Ireland in a diverse range of sectors offering mentoring, training, expert advice, and financial supports to small businesses. For more information see