Press release

Brad Keywell from the United States named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019

Monaco, Minsk, 13 June 2019

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Brad Keywell, CEO of US-based Uptake Technologies, Inc., was named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019 at an award ceremony held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles on the night of 8 June. Brad was selected from among 761 program participants that included the 57 country winners from 47 countries and territories, including Belarus, vying for the title in Monaco. Our country was represented by Vladimir Linev, founder and CEO of ADANI, and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winner in Belarus.

Brad, 49, founded Uptake Technologies, Inc., a predictive analytics software provider, in 2014 after successfully founding six companies, including Groupon, which collectively created value of over US$6b. Since its inception, Uptake Technologies, Inc. has grown from 50 people to 500 and become the fastest start-up to reach a US$2b valuation. The company now works with dozens of industrial businesses to improve productivity and efficiency by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to create business value from operational data.

Brad Keywell, CEO, Uptake Technologies, Inc., says: “Entrepreneurship is not just about being a mold-breaker — it’s also about being a mold-maker and finding a more intuitive and direct path to where you want to be. The revolution in data collection and predictive insight to disrupt global industries is only just beginning. As an entrepreneur in this emerging and inevitable space, I’m in the mindset of delivering to create long-term sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing economic and social challenges. I’m truly humbled to be recognized in this way.”

Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO, says: “Brad’s passion and curiosity as well as his love of the entrepreneurial journey have driven him to found five separate companies that have reached unicorn status and now employ thousands of people around the world. His leadership is exemplified by his desire to positively impact the world around him and overcome challenges that would stop most others in their tracks. Brad is an extremely worthy EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner and someone whose entrepreneurial journey is far from over.”

Alexander Ivlev, EY CIS Managing Partner and Director of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Russian program, says: “The international finals of the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Monte Carlo is a huge event for the world business community. It is a unique venue for networking and sharing experience.”

Pavel Laschenko, EY Belarus Managing Partner and Director of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Belarussian program, says: “We join everyone in congratulating Brad Keywell, an American entrepreneur, on winning the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year award. This year, the finals saw very impressive entrepreneurs from 47 countries. We are proud that Belarus was represented by Vladimir Linev, founder and CEO of ADANI, one of the most innovative, technologically advanced and fast-growing companies of Belarus, operating in 85 countries of the world. The focus of Vladimir’s business on radiation safety, non-destructive control, protection of human life and well-being, as well as its direct involvement in mitigating Chernobyl accident consequences attracted much interest from the media, fellow contenders and international judges to a contestant from Belarus. It is important for us that Belarus is perceived as a country nurturing high-tech, innovative and socially responsible businesses.”

Vladimir Linev noted that EY Entrepreneur of the Year is the only entrepreneurial forum attended by world business leaders on the “one country – one participant” principle irrespective of the size of a country, be it China or Malta, and the winner is selected based on the company’s role and input in community development, not only on its annual sales, profit, headcount, and other operating performance indicators.

“Taking part in the contest of such prominence, a Businessman's Oscar, is more than just a global recognition for your personal success as an entrepreneur. This is an opportunity to meet and speak the same language with business people from around the world and various industries, share your success stories and embark on best global practices. And for entrepreneurs from Belarus who strive to operate in the vast global market, it is a unique opportunity to promote both yourself and your country as best you can. I am proud that after we made it to this contest, all contenders know that Belarus is home to many talents who have every opportunity to show their worth for the benefit of their company, their country and the world community in general,” Vladimir Linev added.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year
As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in 50 countries. Belarus joined the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program in 2014. The EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ finalists from Belarus included Arkady Dobkin, EPAM Systems, 2015; Valentin Baiko, Conte Spa, 2017; and Vladimir Linev, ADANI, 2019.

In Belarus, the event is held every two years. Click here to find out more and apply for the 2020 country contest.

About Brad Keywell and Uptake Technologies, Inc.
The idea for Uptake Technologies, Inc. came about when Brad went to pick up his daughter from the airport, only to find the flight delayed because the airline didn’t have the right part at the right time. With Brad’s background in technology, he believed this was a problem that could be easily resolved and he set about finding a solution.

Uptake now works with dozens of industrial businesses to help them determine when a piece of equipment is not performing well or about to break down. It analyzes data from sensors on industrial machinery and equipment and then uses data-science models to predict problems before they occur. The software can save companies millions of dollars by enabling them to look after their machinery better.

Uptake is also using its platform to solve social issues. For example, on the Nepal border, organizations are using the company’s data analytics to recognize human-trafficking patterns and intervene earlier.

Brad ensures a continuous culture of innovation at the company and this fuels his ability to attract top talent and encourage continuous learning, including launching Uptake U, an in-house education and development program accessible by all employees.

Brad’s stewardship mindset leverages the success in his business ventures to create purpose and opportunity for his family, employees, local community and future entrepreneurs. In 2014, Brad and his wife, Kim, created the Keywell Foundation to support disruptive social entrepreneurs and provide charitable donations to a variety of non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGO), focusing on education, global female empowerment and access to opportunity. In 2016, they signed The Giving Pledge, committing the majority of their wealth to philanthropy and giving back.

Brad is also the founder of Chicago Ideas Week, which has grown into one of the largest ideas gatherings in the world. He is the founder of Future Founders, a non-profit providing entrepreneurial education and inspiration to inner-city youth. Brad created and is curator of the wndr museum, presenting emerging interactive art alongside works by iconic contemporary masters. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago.

About the judging panel
The independent judging panel was co-chaired by Jim Nixon of Nixon Energy Investments and Manny Stul of Moose Enterprise Holdings & Controlled Entities. Joining them were:

  • Rosaleen Blair, CBE of Alexander Mann Solutions
  • Bernadette Ruth Irawati Setiady of Kalbe Farma;
  • Frank M. Jaehnert of Brady Corporation.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, our clients and our communities.

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