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Whether it’s due to a past failure, a new opportunity or simply a desire to try something different, it’s a rare entrepreneur who hasn’t been through some sort of transformation.

This issue of Exceptional features stories of reinvention. Our cover stars, Leonard Schleifer and George Yancopoulos, are certainly familiar with it.

They both moved from academia to the business world to build a pharmaceutical company — with no small measure of success. But to get to this point, they’ve had to go back to the drawing board over and over again, all in the pursuit of good science.

Andra Rush reinvented herself when she left her job as a nurse and started a trucking business with three vehicles, a credit card and a loan from her parents. But perhaps her most important reinvention is the one she’s trying to undertake for the city of Detroit.

She’s creating jobs, transforming lives and improving communities — and it’s earned her the recognition of the White House.

Serial entrepreneur Frank Eakin defines “reinvention.” He’s done business in areas from electricity and shipbuilding to Cajun food and film, and he was instrumental in ensuring the historical accuracy of the Oscar-winning movie
12 Years a Slave.

We also take a closer look at the US IPO market. After a period of stagnation, it’s been revitalized thanks in no small part to the venture capital industry.

Here’s to reinvention.

Herb Engert
Americas Leader, Strategic Growth Markets, EY