Press release

3 Jun 2021 Austin, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Southwest Finalists

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Southwest Award. Now in its 35th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors audacious business leaders whose ambition, courage and ingenuity help catapult us from now to next and beyond.

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Related topics Entrepreneur Unstoppables

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Southwest Award. Now in its 35th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors audacious business leaders whose ambition, courage and ingenuity help catapult us from now to next and beyond. These 46 entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual celebration on August 4, 2021, and will join the ranks of a lifelong community of esteemed Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world.

The 2021 Southwest finalists are:

  • Accelerate Real Asset Management, Brennan Potts | Plano, Texas
  • Apex Fintech Solutions LLC, Bill Capuzzi | Dallas, Texas
  • Astura Medical, Joel Gambrell | Irving, Texas
  • AVAD Energy Partners, LLC, John Davis | Dallas, Texas
  • Bestow, Jonathan Abelmann and Melbourne O'Banion | Dallas, Texas
  • Birdeye, Naveen Gupta | Coppell, Texas
  • Catalyst Health Network, Christopher  Crow and Lance Spivey | Plano, Texas
  • Catalyze Dallas Holdings, LLC, Joe D'Cruz and Tricia D'Cruz | Dallas, Texas
  • Compass Data Centers, Chris Crosby | Dallas, Texas
  • Concote Corporation, Shelby Ricketts | Coppell, Texas
  • CONTI Texas Organization, Carlos Vaz | Dallas, Texas
  • Critical Start, Rob Davis | Plano, Texas
  • Elevate Credit, Jason Harvison | Fort Worth, Texas
  • HealthMark, Bart Howe | Dallas, Texas
  • Hedera Hashgraph, Leemon Baird and Mance  Harmon | Richardson, Texas
  • iiPay, Bob Foster | Dallas, Texas
  • Kibo Commerce, David Post | Dallas, Texas
  • Monkedia, Noah Curran | Irving, Texas
  • MTX Group Inc, Das Nobel and Nipa Nobel | Frisco, Texas
  • National Circuit Assembly, Inc. Mike Tieu | Garland, Texas
  • Neighborhood Goods, Matt Alexander | Dallas, Texas
  • Neighborly, Mike Bidwell | Waco, Texas
  • o9 Solutions, Chakri Gottemukkala | Dallas, Texas
  • Omni Logistics, JJ Schickel | Dallas, Texas
  • Onbe, Juli Spottiswood | Plano, Texas
  • PMG Worldwide LLC, George Popstefanov | Westover Hills, Texas
  • Qentelli, Prasanna Singaraju and Sanjay Jupudi | Dallas, Texas
  • Resi Media, Collin Jones and Paul Martel | Plano, Texas
  • Shiftsmart, Aakash Kumar and Patrick Brandt | Dallas, Texas
  • Shine Solar, Nicholas Gorden | Rogers, Arkansas
  • Sign Gypsies LLC, Stacey Hess | Celina, Texas
  • SignaPay, John Martillo | Irving, Texas
  • Taysha Gene Therapies, RA Sessions | Dallas, Texas
  • Titus Oil & Gas, LLC, Marshall Hickey | Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tricolor, Daniel Chu | Dallas, Texas
  • Van's Kitchen, Theresa Motter | Dallas, Texas
  • Yesway, Inc., Tom Trkla | Fort Worth, Texas
  • Zirtue, Dennis Cail | Dallas, Texas

Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. Finalists were evaluated based on six criteria: entrepreneurial leadership; talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation and future plans. Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

“This year’s finalists are the next class in a long line of unstoppable visionaries,” said Innocent Shumba, US-West EY Private Leader. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges for their unwavering commitment to their companies, customers and communities in a year of unprecedented change. We are thrilled to share their inspiring stories this year.”

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2022.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners have exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

Southwest Focus

Each year, EY US showcases successful entrepreneurs from 20 regional competitions across the United States. In 2020, nine entrepreneurs from eight leading companies from the Southwest were selected as Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Southwest program, please visit


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America.

In the Southwest region, sponsors also include Colliers International, Haynes and Boone LLP, PNC, Donnelley Financial Solutions, RHSB, Smith Frank & Partners and D CEO Magazine.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. National Overall winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title.

About EY Private

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