Kirk won the title of North East Emerging Entrepreneur in February and was invited to MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival to compete for the National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year title.
The former artist who can potentially save the NHS £1bn a year with his sight-saving technology fought off stiff competition to be crowned the overall winner.
He founded the company based at CPI in Sedgefield in 2009. It has two divisions, one develops treatments for macular eye disease among other medical applications and the other is focused on developing process solutions for manufacturing organic electronic devices in large volumes. Its phototherapy eye mask, which is worn during sleep, uses light therapy to treat diabetic retinopathy and will save the NHS more than £1bn a year.
Bryan Hoare, managing director of BQ, said: “We are delighted to crown Richard BQ’s national emerging entrepreneur of the year.
“We’ve spent the past 12 months searching the UK and eventually narrowed it down to four worthy shortlisted finalists.
“We will continue to cover Richard’s journey in BQ and wish him all the best for the future.”