Xero founder Rod Drury has won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, capping off a week in which he raised $180 million and his company's value climbed to more than $3 billion.
Mr Drury will now represent New Zealand at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monte Carlo, next June, joining national winners from 55 countries.
Shares in the accounting and software firm hit another record on Friday, closing at $27.
Mr Drury said after a stressful few weeks, winning the award was special.
"I think it's one of those things that you see when you're younger, and you see all these heroes - the Bill Days and Craig Heatleys - those people have been absolute heroes of mine as I've gone forward and to think you're in that some group is absolutely special," he said.
He always thought big, following Silicon Valley success stories in his 20s and dreaming of listing his own company.
"It was so exciting when the web started to come together and you could build applications on the web, just seeing this massive global opportunity," Mr Drury said.
"What really surprises us is that we've had so much time to get the platform right and, really, the market is only just starting. That's the scary thing about Xero - this is just the beginning."