Kainos boss Brendan Mooney says lifting the top EY Entrepreneur of the Year gong was "an award for the whole company".
The chief executive of the Belfast software firm, which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, took the overall title in Dublin, as well as picking up the 'international' award.
He fended off several other leading NI entrepreneurs including Eamon Donnelly of Uform and Gareth Loye of M&M Contractors.
"I was very surprised. I wasn't expecting it all," Mr Mooney told the Belfast Telegraph.
"From my side, while I may have collected it, it feels like an award for the Kainos company.
"It's the 970 people which have built that
"It's a great place to work and it's great to be part of that story.
"For me, the EY programme for the last six months has been amazing."
That period included a trip to Boston in the United States, where finalists met other top entrepreneurs.
The Co Antrim man, who hails from just outside Dunloy, joined the Belfast-based company in 1989.
At that time it employed little more than a dozen staff.
It's now one of only two Northern Ireland businesses to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The IT giant plans to grow its workforce to 1,000 this year after posting pre-tax profits of £14.3m during its first 12 months as a listed company.
Mr Mooney's youngest son Odhran (8) was happy to pose with his dad alongside the EY award.
"He's very pleased with himself that's he's very famous," Mr Mooney quipped.
"I had lots of other companies picked out as winners for the overall prize... there are amazing companies doing great things."
He added his young family and wife Eileen were "very pleased" with his success in taking the top award. He will now compete against top firms from 60 countries in the EY final in Monte Carlo next June.
"I would be very cautious about any predictions about a trophy," Mr Mooney added.
"I'm looking forward to that. But, I mean, Monday morning it's back to a regular week, with flights to London and keeping on with business.
"It's nice to have (won the award), but it's back to normal."
Anne Heraty, chairwoman of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year judging panel, described him as an "inspirational leader who has grown Kainos from 12 employees to a global business employing almost 1,000 people today".
Mr Mooney studied for his degree at the University of Ulster, and his interest in IT was bolstered at Loreto College in Coleraine, where he started studying computer science.