EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™

San Diego and Imperial Counties regional program

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Honoring world-class entrepreneurs for 29 years

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) awards program is the premier mark of world-class individuals leading world-class companies. It is a competitive award with an independently-governed judging panel and a precise due diligence process that positions it above all others. It recognizes leaders who are driving successful, innovative businesses and celebrates their exemplary performance.

Through the program, applicants can leverage new business, expand networks, broaden and diversify their public relations and media opportunities, and meet hard-to-reach peers with a wealth of knowledge to share.

There are 25 regional programs. All winners are crowned in June and move forward to compete for national EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in November.

What applicants should expect

View nomination video

Nomination phase:

  • January 5 – Nominations open. Download an application here (coming in December!)
  • March 6 – Nominations close (there is no deadline extension).

Semifinalist phase:

  • April 1 – Semifinalists are selected by the judging panel.
  • April 1-17 – “Phase 1” interviews. Attendance is mandatory. All semifinalists will meet with an EY team who will visit their office for a 1-hour interview to verify the details of the application and essay, and to expand on their personal business journey. The results obtained during the interview will be used to create an executive summary that the judging panel will read prior to meeting with semifinalists.
  • May 19 – “Phase 2” interviews at The Grand Del Mar, San Diego. Attendance is mandatory. Each semifinalist will spend 8-minute rotations with approximately 10-12 judges. The format is similar to “speed-dating”. The judges will ask non-scripted questions based on what they learned about you from your application, essay, and executive summary.

Finalist phase:

  • May 20 – Finalists are selected by the judging panel. All finalists must attend the awards gala.
  • June 1-3 – Finalist video interviews. Attendance is mandatory. Immediately following the announcement of finalists, each finalist will be contacted by EY to schedule a 1-hour video interview. The content from this interview will be used to create a video vignette to be shown on stage the night of the awards gala.
  • June 18 – Awards gala at The Grand Del Mar, San Diego. Categories and award winners will be announced during this memorable evening among approximately 500 guests. Finalists are encouraged to bring their executive team, nominator, and family members to celebrate this momentous evening.


Sponsoring Entrepreneur Of The Year puts your company in touch with a targeted group of decision-makers. Because the program attracts thousands of founders and CEOs of fast-growth companies each year, your company will have a powerful opportunity to increase your visibility and build relationships with an elite target audience. No other program offers one-on-one interaction opportunities with this audience of top executives.

For complete details, along with various sponsorship options to fit your needs, contact Kathy Beckman at (949) 437-0236 or kathy.beckman@ey.com.