NI tech sector pioneer wins 2019 Innovator Award

  • Photo: Niall Devlin, Denis Murphy & Steve Orr

    Tech sector entrepreneur Denis Murphy has been named as Catalyst’s Innovation Founder for 2019 by a panel of Northern Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs.

    The Innovation Founder award celebrates Northern Ireland’s rich history of innovation and is awarded to a person who has achieved success in founding, leading or building a celebrated local innovative business.

    The award is now in its 10th year and will be formally presented at the Invent Awards 2019 on 10th October in the ICC Waterfront, Belfast. It’s expected to be attended by around 700 people and is also where the final winners of Invent 2019 will be announced.

    Denis has more than 20 years of experience in IT and mobile telecoms. He founded locally based telecoms software company Apion in 1996. It grew to become a European leader for wireless mobile network software and employed over 200 people before being sold in 1999 to the stateside group for $239m.

    Following the success of Apion, Denis co-founded application software firm Mobile Cohesion, which created 70 jobs and raised more than $20m over a six-year period.

    His present business Anaeko, which he co-founded, is a cloud integration company with a focus on data management and analytics. It employs 50 people across two sites in Belfast and Enniskillen. He is also an experienced angel investor and has invested in companies such as Lagan Technologies, which was acquired by Kana Software for US$29m.

    Denis was unanimously chosen by a panel of past winners of the Innovation Founder award.

    Past winners include John Rainey MBE, James Lecky, Martin Naughton KBE, Dr William Wright CBE, Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE, Tom Eakin, Dr Hugh Cormican, Prof John Anderson and First Derivatives founder Brian Conlon, who sadly passed away this year.

    Denis commented on how it “is a great privilege to receive the Innovation Founder award. I am honoured to be included within such a distinguished group of entrepreneurs who have contributed so much to Northern Ireland.”

    Niall Devlin from Bank of Ireland UK, which sponsors the Invent Awards said: “Denis has been instrumental in the creation of almost 500 jobs in the local technology sector as a founder and investor. He continues to champion innovation at Anaeko and has played an important role in helping to establish Northern Ireland’s position in the global technology industry.”

    Steve Orr, CEO of Catalyst, said: “Northern Ireland’s tech sector has expanded significantly in recent years and we have a growing reputation for producing talented software developers and engineers. The growth of the industry is in no small part down to pioneers like Denis and the companies they founded, which have paved the way for the current crop of start-up and scale-up entrepreneurs."

    For more information on INVENT go to

    About the author

    An article that is attributed to Sync NI Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story