NearForm was named Overall Waterford Business of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards on Friday last (February 26th) by Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr Damien Geoghegan, during a live virtual awards ceremony.
The multi-national company also picked up the Technology & Innovation of the Year award during the streamed event and is the second time the Tramore based company has won the top prize, collecting it first back in 2016.
NearForm is one of the biggest success stories to come out of Waterford, if not Ireland, during Covid 19, having created the tracker app, which is now being used globally. Just last week, the company secured a multi-million euro investment from Columbia Capital, which will be used to scale up operations and accelerate recruitment in sales, marketing, engineering and design, across North America and Europe.
The company, owned by Tramore native Cian O’Maidin, currently employs around 160 people, most based in the sunny South East, but plans are afoot to grow that number considerably.
The Waterford Business Awards, which are organised by Waterford Chamber, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber and WLR, were hosted by Damien Tiernan and Mary O’Neill and celebrated the successes and contributions of the shortlisted companies.
Commenting during the live stream, Mayor Geoghegan said: “We have had a very challenging start to 2021 while last year was certainly the most difficult we have faced in recent years, so it is particularly important that we recognise the positives and this afternoon we will do just that.
We must be proud of ourselves and show leadership in times of adversity. Leadership comes in many forms – it’s about setting an example and our business community has done that. We have shown the rest of the country how a community can come together and achieve. We have done it during the pandemic, and you have done it as business leaders.”
Topping the categories were RelateCare for Customer Service Excellence, The Food & Beverage Award went to Glorious Sushi, Murphy Larkin Timber Products for Excellence in E-Commerce,
Green Excellence winners were Enerpower, Liberty Blue Estate Agents took home the Marketing Excellence Award, Micro Business of the Year went to Inn the Doghouse, New Business of the Year was Iasc Seafood Bar, SME of the Year was Powerflow Electronics, Nearform for Technology and Innovation and Dunmore Adventure was named Tourism Activity/Attraction of the Year.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Faithlegg, was presented to David and Sandra Whelan, Immersive VR Education.
The shortlisted businesses were nominated by the public and also by self-nomination in all eleven categories. An independent judging panel, under the Chairmanship of Noel Kelly, and including David Breen, David M Breen & Co; Julie Smyth, WLR; Tina Darrer, Dooley’s Hotel; TV Honan, Spraoi; Louise Grubb, Q1 Scientific, Richie Walsh, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Irial Mac Murchu, Nemeton TV and John Noonan, Flahavans, carried out the difficult task of selecting the final shortlist and category winners after a rigorous judging analysis of each application.
Following the awards, Danette Connolly, Waterford Chamber President said, “On behalf of Waterford Chamber, I would like to sincerely congratulate NearForm on being announced as the Overall Winner of the Waterford Business Awards and to all category winners and finalists – thank you. Without your hard work and determination our business community would not be as vibrant as it is today and we wish you all continued success.”
Speaking on behalf of WLR, Des Whelan, Managing Director, said: “WLR as a local company with offices and studios in Waterford City and Dungarvan was very pleased to be involved in both organising and promoting the Waterford Business Awards. It’s such a positive event for Waterford City and County with so many world class companies and innovative business people being honoured. My congratulations to all the nominees and winners and thanks to all who entered and supported the 2020 awards.”
Waterford City and County Council sponsored the Overall Waterford Business Award, while category sponsors include Permanent TSB, AIB Bank, PwC, Faithlegg, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, EY, Waterford Shop Local Gift Vouchers, Visit Waterford and Dawn Meats. For further details see www.waterfordchamber.com