Hamilton-based website design and software development company, Enlighten Designs, has been shortlisted in the Best Emerging Business category for the prestigious New Zealand International Business Awards.
The awards are run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage, coupled with excellence and innovative practice.
The award winners – in eight categories – will be announced in Auckland on October 14, alert levels permitting.
Enlighten Designs has been recognised for bringing New Zealand innovation to the global stage. More specifically, it has been lauded for its artificial intelligence projects and global work with Microsoft as its provider of data journalism, where Enlighten has powered popular data visualisations used across a number of leading international news media sites.
Founder and CEO of Enlighten, Damon Kelly, says he is immensely proud that the business has been recognised as a finalist after an intensive judging process.
"As a proud Kiwi company punching well above its weight on the international stage, we're honoured to be named as finalist," he says.
"Instead of reducing our staff numbers when Covid-19 first hit, we doubled down and redeployed our people to focus on our international expansion. We're now seeing those benefits flow through with our international presence having grown significantly in the past 18 months.
"For the first time, our overseas services have outstripped our domestic offer, and we're currently hiring more talent to keep up with this demand.
"The fact that our Waikato-based team is creating cutting-edge innovation that's changing the world is truly remarkable, and so I'm delighted our efforts have been recognised in this way."
The awards' convener of judges David Downs says the number of finalists this year is testament to the standards being set by exporters during a uniquely challenging period for businesses.
"Even in normal times becoming a finalist in the New Zealand International Business Awards is no mean feat – entrants have to complete detailed applications, and then present to our judging panels with 20 minutes to explain why their business should be recognised.
"It's even more impressive to come through that process with flying colours despite all of the challenges of the last two years. We're genuinely privileged as judges to hear from these remarkable people and businesses.
"Success in exporting is so much more than the quality of your product or service. It means building strong relationships with customers, investors and partners, having a real grasp of what value you're delivering, and also the resilience and courage to deliver that value in new ways, as we've seen in the last year.
"In 2021 we've seen a group of finalists come through that captures these qualities, and also represents the hard work and the contribution that export business make to our economy and the communities we live in."
Founded in 1998, Enlighten Designs was built on a passion for people and has a vision to bring exceptionally designed, innovative and custom focused technology solutions to the world from New Zealand. It is one of New Zealand's largest website design, systems design and software development companies. Its clients range from medium enterprises to large corporate and government organisations.
Over the past two decades, Enlighten Designs has received numerous awards including the 2020 Microsoft New Zealand Partner of the Year and has grown to employ more than 80 talented staff across offices in Hamilton, Auckland and Portland, USA.