Founder of the cloud-based accounting company Xero, Rod Drury has been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013.
Selected as the winner of Technology and Emerging Industry in August, Drury was one of five category winners in competition for the ultimate prize announced at an event in Auckland this evening.
As this year's overall winner, Drury will represent New Zealand in the EY Global Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Monaco in June 2014.
The other category winners were co-founder of Synlait Milk Dr John Penno, chief executive of Vista Entertainment Solutions Murray Holdaway, Au Pair Link and My Food Bag founder Cecilia Robinson, and director of Tax Management NZ Ian Kuperus.
Xero's share price has soared this week following the company's announcement it had raised $180 million by issuing 9.9 million new shares to existing investors.
Drury said the capital raising was "money in the tank" for building a US-based management team.
Founded in 2006, Xero's share price has exploded from $5.39 on October 17, 2012, to trade about $25.20.
Entrepreneur of the Year judge Greg Cross, of Cross Ventures and PowerbyProxi, said the standard of winners grew higher each year.
"It was a tough decision for the judges ... It was very competitive and a very tight finish."
Judge Diane Foreman of Emerald Group said it was a privilege to hear each entrepreneur's story.
"It's like getting an MBA in business in one day. It makes you reflect on your own business and re-evaluate what you are doing."
The Entrepreneur of the Year awards have been held annually since 1986 in more than 50 countries.
- © Fairfax NZ News