2017 EY Entrepreneurs of the Year

Honoring the brightest and most innovative regional businesses.
2017 EY Entrepreneurs of the Year

Through its Entrepreneur of the Year program, EY recognizes leading CEOs and regional business leaders for their entrepreneurial prowess and notable contributions to their communities. The Upper Midwest division of competition includes Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Judges selected leaders from eight Minnesota companies for the Entrepreneur of the Year awards, honored for building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses. They are role models to inspire others to channel their passions into distinctive businesses.

Eleven leaders from those eight companies are profiled in the following pages. This year’s honorees are dominated by lifestyle entrepreneurs, a growing trend. “They are solving a problem—people don’t have time,” explains EY partner Joe McCarney.

The judges identified several trends, says judge Phil Smith. He notes that “people businesses continue to be a driver of the broader economy; he identifies a growing focus on giving back; and the continued strength of family business in the Upper Midwest.

Venture capital remains “thin” in the Upper Midwest. “Financing is available to grow to a certain size,” explains EY partner Dominic Iannazzo, “then startups look to be acquired.”

The 2017 Entrepreneur Of The Year awards were presented June 8 at the JW Marriott Hotel Mall of America. All 11 regional award winners will participate in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year National Award competition, which will take place November 18 in Palm Desert, Calif. Winners move on to compete for World Entrepreneur of the Year next June in Monaco.


Sima Griffith
Founder and managing principal
Aethlon Capital LLC

Atul Gupta
Advanced Technologies Group LLC

Dan Mallin
Equals 3

Read more from this issue

Amy Nelson
Accurate Home Care LLC

Phil Smith
Managing director
Duff & Phelps

Jerry Will
Vice president corporate development/new ventures

For more information on the Entrepreneur of the Year program, contact Jim Kowitz in EY’s Minneapolis office: jim.kowitz@ey.com, 612-371-8301, or visit the website at ey.com/us/eoy/um