Irish identity verification company Trustev last night took top prize at the world's most prestigious technology startup awards in Austin, Texas.

The SXSW Accelerator competition has become the world's leading indicator of the hottest trends in technology. 

Trustev gathers information from a user's online presence along with other pieces of data to determine if they are who they claim to be.

Based in Cork, the company has grown from 3 to 19 employees in 12 months and it now has over 100 customers in five countries. 

The EU Commission named Trustev as Europe's Top Technology Startup last August and in October they raised $3.5m from some of the world's top investors. 

Over 1,000 companies from all over the world applied for the gruelling six month application process to be considered for the SXSW award. 

These were narrowed down to 50 finalists who presented over two days at the world's largest technology festival to some of the world's top technology leaders.

Trustev's chief executive Pat Phelan said the award comes at a great time for the company as it prepares to open its US office in New York in just a few weeks

He said that Ireland had an incredible presence at the Texas event this year, adding that the Irish pavilion organised by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA was one of the centrepieces of the trade show. 

"Once again Ireland boxed far above its weight in the global technology community. We've spoken to several companies who are planning to set up operations in Ireland as a result," he added.

This award positions Trustev on the same path as previous success stories at SXSW like Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook and Uber.