Silicon Valley of Ireland: Anita Finnegan of Nova Leah in Dundalk is expanding into Boston to take on the US marketKarl Hussey/Fennell Photography

Nova Leah, a hot Irish start-up, is to be honored in Philadelphia on May 18.

One of Ireland's hottest start-ups is to be honored at the Irish Small Business Awards in Philadelphia on 18 May. The news comes as the first 25 honorees on the prestigious listing are unveiled by the Irish Echo.

Nova Leah, based at the Dundalk Institute of Technology innovation and technology hub and in Massachusetts, recently secured a major investment from tech venture fund Cosimo which is headed in the US by Ciarán Hynes of Boston.

Founded by CEO Anita Finnegan, Nova Leah specialises in developing expert cybersecurity risk management systems specifically for medical devices. The company, which recently announced plans to recruit 78 new staff, is among 20 innovative tech start-ups in Dundalk, rapidly being branded the Silicon Valley of Ireland.

A third of the new posts will be in sales and marketing roles in Boston to service the US, the company's largest market.  CEO Anita Finnegan told IrishCentral.com that her devices are a valuable tool for both hospitals and General Practitioners who rely on secure data from implanted medical devices. "We're delighted to be included on the Irish Small Business 50. This profile will help spread the word about how our  cloud-based software system can guarantee best-practice in the implementation of cybersecurity requirements for medical devices."

Added Ciarán Hynes: "We invested in Nova Leah as we felt the company was solving a huge growing problem globally. We also felt Anita was a strong entrepreneur with deep expertise in the space."

Nominations for the Irish Small Business 50 close on 13 April while the honorees will be recognized at an awards dinner in the Union League of Philadelphia on 18 May. 

The first 25 entrepreneurs singled out for recognition on the listing are:

J. Bruce Boucher, Eagle Fence Company, Philadelphia, PA

Kathleen Brunner, Acumen Analytic, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Joseph Callahan, Ciright, Conshohocken, PA

Maggie Calpin, Nibbles & Bits, Scranton, PA

Séamus Canning, Canning Electric, San Francisco, CA

Keith Carney, FedNet, Alexandria, VA 

Christine Carroll, Crossing Vineyards, Newtown, PA

Thomas Coffey, United Floral Service, Philadelphia, PA

Kevin Connor, Modern Strategic Branding, North Wales, PA

Dan Cronin, Chorus Communications, New York, NY

Mike Daley, OrthogenRX, Doylestown, PA

Noel Fleming, Conley Fleming, Philadelphia, PA

Jack Glacken, TGI - Today’s Graphics Inc, Philadelphia, PA

Colm Grealy, Adforce.com, New York, NY

Ronald C. Kerins Jr., Greyhawk, Melville, NY

Helen Lennon, Secure Broadcast, New York, NY

Jim Logue, ThermOmegaTech, Warminster, PA

David McLaughlin, QuantaVerse, Wayne, PA

Robert Mendte, Service Network Design, Lansdale, PA

Paul Murtagh, Murtagh Construction, Newtown Square, PA

Mary Ann Pierce, MAP Digital, New York, NY

Erin Reilly, Pop! Promos, Philadelphia, PA

Frank Reynolds, PixarBio, Fort Lee, NJ

Susan Stipa, McDay LLC, Philadelphia, PA

Ed Sullivan, Trust Exchange, Drexel Hill, PA