University of Rochester

University to Sponsor Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Competition

March 22, 2004

The University of Rochester will be a sponsor of the regional 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Award Program recognizing premier entrepreneurs in upstate New York, part of the national EOY program.

"This sponsorship meshes squarely with the University's emphasis on entrepreneurship across its campuses, as are now supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's Campus Initiatives Program," said President Thomas H. Jackson.

In December, the Kauffman Foundation announced that the University had been selected as one of eight institutions across the country—and the only one in the Northeast—to receive a major, multi-year grant to make entrepreneurship education an even deeper ingredient of academic activity. The foundation awarded the University $3.5 million, which with matching funds will be part of a $10.5 million program over the next five years to embed entrepreneurship into programs across the disciplines and schools.

As part of the EOY sponsorship, students at the University's William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration will participate as intern reviewers in the contestant selection process. The students will visit some of the dozens of nominated companies from Albany to Buffalo and will conduct interviews, engage in discussions, and write executive summaries based on their findings. The interns will have an opportunity to work directly with Ernst & Young partners/managers in conducting the interviews and reaching their conclusions.

Applications ( are being accepted through April 2. After site visits and a period of initial screening are completed, finalists will be interviewed in Rochester by a panel of six regional judges. Recipients will be selected in categories including life sciences, consumer and business services, retail and consumer products, networking and communication, manufacturing, defense and security, and technology.

Finalists and award recipients will be honored at the annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year banquet on June 23 in Rochester. Upstate New York award recipients then will compete for national recognition in their respective categories at Ernst & Young's National EOY Awards ceremonies Nov. 18 to 21 in Palm Springs, Calif.