Press release
27 Apr 2023  | San Francisco, CA, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 Bay Area Finalists

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Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are building bolder futures

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 Bay Area Award. Now in its 37th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all.

These 29 entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

The 2023 Bay Area finalists are:

Dr. Muddu Sudhaker I Aisera I Palo Alto

Dr. Amit Etkin I Alto Neuroscience I Los Altos

Yevgeny Dibrov I Armis I San Francisco

Arturo Elizondo I Clara Foods Co dba The Every Company I Daly City

Rachel Zillner I Clutch I Fair Oaks

Jack Kudale I Cowbell I Pleasanton

Anthony Romano I CREtelligent I Gold River

Clint Sharp I Cribl I San Francisco

Mike Fitzsimmons I Crosschq I Danville

Warren Hogarth I Empower Finance, Inc. I San Francisco

Derek Lo I FirstLayerAI, Inc. dba Medallion I San Francisco

Seth Sternberg I Honor Technology, Inc. I San Mateo

Sumir Meghani I Instawork I San Francisco

Nima Farzan I Kinnate Biopharma Inc. I San Francisco

Maria Davidson I Kojo I San Francisco

Prajit Nanu I Nium I San Francisco

Melissa Bamberg I Nodpod I Rocklin

Jeremy Almond I Paystand I Scotts Valley

Hardeep Gulati I PowerSchool Group LLC I Folsom

Jason Johnson I Quick Quack Car Wash I Roseville

CJ MacDonald I Step Mobile Inc. I Palo Alto

Kristy Kim I Tomocredit I San Francisco

Shub Bhowmick, Shashank Dubey and Sumit Mehra I Tredence Inc. I San Jose

Craig Flynn I WindsorONE I Petaluma

Desmond Lim I Workstream I San Francisco

Praveen Penmetsa I Zimeno Inc dba Monarch Tractor I Livermore

Melissa Wong I Zipline I San Francisco

“This year’s finalists are ambitious entrepreneurs set on transforming their industries and communities,” said Chad Bowar, Entrepreneur Of The Year Bay Area Program Co-Director. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges for their unwavering commitment to their companies, customers and communities, and we are thrilled to recognize them.”

Regional award winners will be announced on June 9 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual 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 World Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in June 2024. 

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 11,000 entrepreneurs throughout the US since its inception in 1986, and it has grown to recognize business leaders across 145 cities in over 60 countries around the world.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, N.A.; SAP America; and the Kauffman Foundation. In the Bay Area region, sponsors also include Platinum sponsors: Cresa and Woodruff Sawyer and Co.; Gold sponsor: Big Picture; and Silver sponsor: ADP.

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 Award winners go on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® title. Visit

About EY Private

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit

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