EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2017: 20 years of honoring Swiss entrepreneurs

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  • Finalists of the 2017 "Entrepreneur Of The Year" competition announced
  • 14 of the 46 nominees with a chance of winning
  • Winners to be announced at anniversary gala on 27 October 2017, in Interlaken

ZURICH, 14 SEPTEMBER 2017 – EY presents the finalists of the 20th edition of the Entrepreneur Of The Year competition in Switzerland. Overall, 46 people from 44 international Swiss companies were entered for the award. The independent jury nominated 14 finalists, five of them from French-speaking Switzerland. These entrepreneurs competing in the "Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017" contest are split into four categories:

Trade/Services category:

  • Bernard Russi, Boas Gestion SA, Crissier, hotel/wellness industry, 1,654 employees
  • Simon Stampfli, Stampfli AG, Subingen, facility services, 519 full-time positions
  • Thomas Hanan, Webrepublic AG, Zurich, digital marketing, 102 employees

Emerging Entrepreneur category:

  • Dr. Christoph Gebald, Dr. Jan Wurzbacher, Climeworks AG, Zurich, environmental technology, 32 employees
  • Dr. Yann Tissot, L.E.S.S. SA, Ecublens, lighting technology, 9 employees
  • Jurgi Camblong, Sophia Genetics SA, Saint-Sulpice, health technology, 40 employees

Industry/High-Tech/Life Sciences category:

  • Marcel Meyer, Robatech AG, Muri, industrial bonding technology, 359 employees
  • Beat Zaugg, Scott Sports SA, Givisez, outdoor/sports equipment, 843 employees
  • Olivier Haegeli, Willemin-Macodel SA, Delémont, machine and tool manufacturing, 230 employees
  • Paul J. Wyser, Wyon AG, Appenzell Steinegg, batteries, 108 employees

Family Business category:

  • Marcel Frank, Frank Türen AG, Buochs, special doors, 53 employees
  • Jan Martel, Martel AG St. Gallen, St. Gallen, retail trade, 44 employees
  • Max Renggli, Renggli AG, Schötz, timber construction, 202 employees

Numbers of employees are as of 2016 in each case.

All the finalists have achieved remarkable things. They have impressed the jury with their entrepreneurial track record as well as their commitment both within and outside of their companies. Over the next few weeks, the jury will select the winners from this illustrious group. The winners will be announced and the awards will be presented at a gala event held for this purpose in Interlaken on 27 October 2017. The prestigious Swiss business award, which is in its 20th year, will be held at Hotel VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU.

The jury

The 11 jury members are responsible for evaluating the finalists and awarding the title of Entrepreneur Of The Year. Autonomously and independently of EY, they evaluate the exemplary candidates. The 2017 jury comprises Dr. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli (CEO Deeption SA), Claude R. Cornaz (Vetropack Holding AG, CEO and Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012), Dr. Beat Curti (Entrepreneur), Dr. Paul J. Hälg (Chairman of the Board of Directors Sika AG), Dr. Sara and Christoph Hürlimann (founders zahnarztzentrum.ch AG, Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010), Dr. Jan Lichtenberg (CEO InSphero AG, Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015), Simon Michel (CEO Ypsomed AG), Dr. Edouard Pfister (Entrepreneur), Sébastien Tondeur (CEO MCI Group Holding SA, Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Zellweger (Director Center for Family Business at the University of St. Gallen).

An internationally renowned award

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program by EY is the only award of its kind in the world. Originating in the USA, the program was first launched in 1986 with great success and has since been established in over 70 countries. Besides the competition, it also offers the entrepreneurs various opportunities to expand their networks and exchange experiences. As part of the competition, worthy winners are honored in almost 150 cities around the world every year. In total, over 10,000 entrepreneurs compete annually for the coveted title of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™. In early summer of the following year, an independent jury selects the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ from among all national winners. This makes EY the only organization with a competition for entrepreneurs with global reach. In 2017, Switzerland was represented by Willi Miesch of Medartis AG. Miesch was the winner of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 in the category “Industry/High-Tech/Life Sciences”.

In Switzerland, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program is supported by its program partner Credit Suisse, as well as AMAG, watch manufacturer H. Moser & Cie., Die Mobiliar and SWISS. 2017 sees the competition entering its 20th year. In the run-up to the anniversary gala on 27 October 2017, EY is offering interested entrepreneurs the chance to take part in a tailored workshop program entitled “From Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur".


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EY’s organization is represented in Switzerland by Ernst & Young Ltd, Basel, with ten offices across Switzerland, and in Liechtenstein by Ernst & Young AG, Vaduz. In this publication, “EY” and “we” refer to Ernst & Young Ltd, Basel, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.