Avecto co-founders, Mark Austin and Paul Kenyon, have been awarded the EY North of England Entrepreneur of the Year award for technology.

The awards, which are one of the most prestigious in the world, recognize the UK's most innovative, best-performing companies from each UK region and celebrate the achievements of the country's leading entrepreneurs.

The judges described Avecto as an outstanding example of how "teamwork and technical know-how and commercial flare" can be combined to create an industry leading company.

Mark and Paul will now join the other regional winners for the UK finals in September, where the successful finalists will go on to compete for the title of World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Mark Austin, CEO at Avecto commented: "To be recognized as two of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country is a fantastic achievement, which wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of our whole team. Everyone in the business shares our passion for innovation and that is the real driving force behind our success."

Paul Kenyon, EVP global sales at Avecto added: "We are extremely proud to be the winners of such a respected award. Our strength lies in spotting and nurturing talent right across the business and creating a team of creative, hard-working and skilled individuals. This win rewards the whole team and is a huge boost which will help to drive our expansion plans even further."

The North West led the way at the awards evening, with seven of the nine category winners going to companies based in the area.