Serial tech entrepreneur Charlie Kratsch
This year's winners from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas.
July 18, 2012
For the visionary men and women who run growing businesses, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition is something like American Idol (except that everyone who competes actually has talent). In other words, for entrepreneurs, this is a big deal. The selection of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas started with hundreds of suggestions, which in turn led to dozens of formal nominations. The panel of judges conducted site visits and interviews, narrowing the field to 25 finalists. From this group, the judges made the difficult decision of choosing this year’s eight winning companies.
The stories of the winners and the other finalists—each a successful entrepreneur who has uncovered a distinctive opportunity and driven notable growth—are told on the following pages.
In addition, this year’s award recipients include William Cooper, CEO and chairman of TCF Financial Corporation, whose entrepreneurial endeavors were recognized in a Lifetime Achievement award.
The 2012 Entrepreneurs of the Year were honored June 14 at the Marriott Hotel in Minneapolis. They now are candidates for the national Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which will take place in November in Palm Springs, California. Whether or not the Minnesota and Wisconsin winners earn national honors, they deserve your applause.
Click the links below to read about each winner.