Deadline nears for Entrepreneur of The Year Awards

EYThe already extended March 22 deadline is nearing for the 2013 Entrepreneur of The Year Awards. Recognized as one of the most prestigious business awards programs in the country, Ernst & Young is calling for nominations nationwide.

Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Self-nominations are encouraged, and there is no fee.

VC Roundup: Investments down overall, up in Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle

EYNational venture capital investments fell by 10% last year, according to figures released on January 18th by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. Meanwhile, with its large number of tech startups, Los Angeles has seen VC investments increase 13% from $1.1 billion in 2011 to $1.3 billion in 2012, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

Mark Sogomian of Ernst & Young LLP said the combination of big investments made in 2010 and 2011 and a slow market for mergers and acquisitions have lead to a decline in investments last year.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported that venture capital funding also went up in San Diego, surpassing $1 billion for the first time since 2008. A Dow Jones and Ernst & Young report showed that medical device and biotech firms alone raised $669 million last year, as opposed to $ 516 million in 2011.

With a 69% increase over the state’s total venture funding in 2011, Washington companies attracted $931.5 million in 2012.

“We had a pretty solid year, given all the uncertainties and the ups and downs in the economy,” Greg Beams of Ernst & Young told the Seattle Times. Software, IT services and biotech were cited as the strong sectors in Washington, whereas pullbacks in seed and cleantech investments were noted.

Mayor Villaraigosa helps Ernst & Young kick off Entrepreneur of the Year program

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa shakes hands with Patrick Niemann, Ernst & Young Greater Los Angeles Office Managing Partner at LA City Hall in Thomas Bradley Tower.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Patrick Niemann, Ernst & Young Greater Los Angeles Office Managing Partner, at LA City Hall in Thomas Bradley Tower.

Today Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Deputy Mayor for Economic and Business Policy Matt Karatz joined Ernst & Young LLP Partners Patrick Niemann, April Spencer and Brian Ring to kick off the search for business innovators to compete in the 27th Annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award program for Greater Los Angeles. The Mayor welcomed distinguished past award recipients, sponsors, judges and other business leaders in the Bradley Tower at City Hall.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Program celebrates game-changing leaders around the world who founded, strengthened or transformed successful enterprises. The regional award recognizes entrepreneurs who stimulate the economy by creating high-growth businesses and jobs in Greater Los Angeles. In 2012, Greater Los Angeles area finalists had an average 1,985 employees, net sales of $196M, net equity of $98M and 19% growth.

“I’m proud to stand with Ernst & Young in its support of local entrepreneurs and its recognition of their important role in the Los Angeles economy,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Ernst & Young’s program shines a deserving spotlight on our city’s job creators and revenue generators who drive the innovations that set Los Angeles apart.”

Each year, Ernst & Young showcases successful entrepreneurs from more than 140 cities in 50 countries. It receives more than 100 nominations from companies in Greater Los Angeles alone. Past Los Angeles winners include: Tim Leiweke (AEG), Earvin Magic Johnson, Jr. (Magic Johnson Enterprises), Don Chang (Forever 21), Robert Friedman (Summit Entertainment LLC), Mark Hughes (Herbalife International) and, most recently, David Overton (Cheesecake Factory).

The regional award winners in Los Angeles will be announced on June 18, 2013, followed by a national gala in Palm Springs in November. To qualify, entrepreneurs must be the founder or an executive who organizes, manages and assumes the risk of a business early in its life cycle or during its growth. The deadline for 2013 nominations is March 8.

“The search is on for new award winners to build on the momentum from our 27-year history celebrating entrepreneurship,” said April Spencer, Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director for Ernst & Young LLP in the Greater Los Angeles Area. “The 2012 award will help raise the profile and reach of business leaders whose passion and drive propel our economy forward.”

E&Y partner named ‘Working Mother of the Year’

Kim Letch, an assurance partner at Ernst & Young’r Orange County office, was one of 70 women nationwide honored by Working Mother magazine as a 2012 “Working Mother of the Year.”

Letch has more than 20 years of experience providing assurance and business-advisory services to clients in a variety of industries, including life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, managed care and financial services.

According to the Orange County Business Journal, she is also a board member of the Forum for Corporate Directors of Orange County and United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County.

Los Angeles EOY Youth Scholarship awardee earns national acclaim

Vincent Quigg, recipient of the 2012 Greater Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year Youth Scholarship Award, was just awarded “Best Young Entrepreneur” at this year’s 2012 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurshpi Challenge. Quigg, founder of TechWorld, won $25,000 in cash and prizes, including venture capital from MasterCard Worldwide, a Coleman Entrepreneurial Scholarship from GlobalHue, and two tickets from Southwest Airlines.

The Los Angeles native turned his passion for technology into his own startup company, TechWorld. His company specializes in repairing and customizing iPhones and plans to expand into iPads and all types of electronic devices. The main differentiator from his competitors within the market space is that he can fix an iPhone for $80 in under 45 minutes.

Fox 11 special to spotlight entrepreneurs

From left, Christine Devine, anchor, Fox 11; Vincent Quigg, EOY Youth Scholarship Winner; and April Spencer, partner, Ernst & Young.

Ernst & Young Partner April Spencer joined Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Youth Scholarship Winner Vincent Quigg at the Fox 11 studios this week to tape an interview for an upcoming news special with News Anchor Christine Devine. The show will explore what makes an entrepreneur successful and will also feature 2012 EOY Master Entrepreneur Rick Caruso.

Spencer, the director of the Greater Los Angeles EOY program, discussed characteristics of an award-winning entrepreneur and why she expects great things for Quigg, who started his own business while in high school and now has a job offer from Caruso. Ernst & Young celebrated its 26th annual EOY Los Angeles gala in June.

Last year’s Fox 11 special was titled “Livin’ the Dream” and featured 2011 EOY winners giving tips on doing business in California and starting and growing a business in today’s economy. The 2012 edition will likely air in October.

Caruso receives Master Entrepreneur of Year Award (AUDIO)

Rick J. Caruso, Founder & CEO, Caruso Affiliated

Rick J. Caruso, Founder & CEO, Caruso Affiliated, received the 2012 Master Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award for Greater Los Angeles from Ernst & Young, recognizing his entrepreneurial excellence and philanthropy at a gala Tuesday night at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

With this award, Caruso joins the ranks of past winners Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Alfred E. Mann, James Power and John E. Anderson.

KNX 1070 Radio’s Frank Mottek interviews Caruso about the award on the Business Hour:

Entrepreneur of the Year winners for LA

Ernst & Young announced the winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in greater Los Angeles at a gala Tuesday night at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. The winners are:

  • Jeffrey Clark, President & CEO, Anthony International
  • David Overton, Chairman & CEO, The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated
  • Jon Kirchner, Chairman & CEO, DTS, Inc.
  • Simon Bax, CEO, and Bill Tillson, President & COO, Encompass Digital Media, Inc.
  • Sunnie Kim, President & CEO, Hana Financial, Inc.
  • Bob Brisco, CEO & Director, Internet Brands
  • Peter Dameris, President & CEO, On Assignment, Inc.

“Ernst & Young has honored outstanding entrepreneurs like this year’s winners for the past 26 years,” said Brian Ring, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program Director for Greater Los Angeles. “These business leaders have accomplished so much and contributed a tremendous amount to the community.”