Finalists for the Heartland division of the 33rd annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Awards were announced Wednesday. Leaders of 29 businesses—chosen for their innovation, financial performance, personal commitment to their work and communities, and other factors—make up the 2019 winner’s circle. Twenty-one are from Minnesota.
One of about 20 separately considered regional sects, the Heartland division covers Greater Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.
But Minnesotans dominate the list of finalists, again. From a couple of teen sisters who started their own bath bomb company, to a millionaire CEO with a biotechnology holding company, to the owner of a prank gifts company featured in TCB earlier this month, 70 percent of the finalists are from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. They are:
Of the remaining eight finalists, five hail from Missouri, leaving one each from Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.
Regional award winners, selected by a panel of independent judges, are eligible for consideration for a National award. National winners will be announced at the Strategic Growth Forum and National awards gala in Palm Desert, California, in November.
A reception for the Heartland Finalists is being held on May 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Radisson Blu Downtown Minneapolis.