"Rocket man" Peter Beck has been getting more attention than any other contestant ahead of the prestigious EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monaco.
Beck and his company Rocket Lab last month successfully launched an orbital-class rocket into space, the first time this has been achieved from a private site.
While the rocket reached space it did not complete its orbital mission, but the feat was nonetheless considered a major success.
Beck was crowned EY New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year and is now in Monaco where he is up against 49 other entrants vying for the world title. The winner will be announced by midday today.
Beck's manager for the competition, Nigel Godfrey, said Beck had been receiving more media attention than any other contestant.
"The interest in Peter has been enormous. Every single media outlet has wanted to talk to him: he's done live crosses with Fox, the BBC, CNBC and had interviews with the Times, the Irish Times, the Telegraph. They're all extremely interested in how this Kiwi has managed to get a rocket into space."
Godfrey had been involved with the awards for some 12 years and he felt Beck could well become the first ever New Zealand winner.
"It's a very hard one to call but what I would say is that the interest in him is extreme and the buzz is that he's got a good chance," he said.
"In terms of what the judges are looking for, I think this gives a New Zealander the best chance we've had."
Beck had undergone a rigorous 20 minute interview process with the awards' seven judges, one of whom is former Kiwi national winner Diane Foreman, and Godfrey said it had gone well.
In an interview Godfrey conducted with Beck on Friday, Beck said his nomination was a "huge honour".
"Whether you're a sportsman or an entrepreneur, representing your country is the ultimate. It's the ultimate responsibility too so I'd better bloody win for the country, I don't really care for Peter Beck it's got to be for the country so that to me is really the prime driver here, being here amongst the most the most amazing people in the world, representing your country," he said.
"I think it was really well summed up at an event last night: this is the Olympics for entrepreneurs and business and that is really exciting."