Press release

EY announces winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Northern California Region Awards

California, 27 June 2017

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EY builds on three decades of honoring exceptional entrepreneurs in the Northern California Region

EY is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Northern California Awards. The program recognizes business leaders in more than 145 cities in 60 countries throughout the world who have disrupted industries, created new product categories, and successfully brought new innovation and technology to traditional industries. The Northern California Region winners were unveiled at a black-tie awards gala on June 23, 2017, at The Fairmont San Jose. Hosted by NBC’s Press: Here host Scott McGrew, the gala was attended by hundreds of Northern California’s elite business leaders and entrepreneurs. This group of leading entrepreneurs was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, leading CEOs, investors and other regional business leaders.

“From its inception, entrepreneur has been synonymous with adventurer,” said Rebecca Norris, Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern California Region Program Director and Assurance Partner. “We are pleased to honor these modern day adventurers for their contributions to both society and the economy, as they continue to drive innovation and capture imagination. We believe the Entrepreneur Of The Year program provides a platform for entrepreneurs to build their brand, to build their teams, and to build their networks so they can grow their businesses which is why we are so passionate about it. EY is the leader in advising, guiding and recognizing entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies. This is our way of giving back.”

The Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Northern California Region Award winners are:

  • | René Lacerte, CEO and Founder | Palo Alto, California
  • C3 IoT | Thomas Siebel, CEO, Chairman, and Founder | Redwood City, California
  • CrowdStrike | George Kurtz, President and CEO | Sunnyvale, California
  • Five9 | Mike Burkland, President & CEO | San Ramon, California
  • hint Inc. | Kara Goldin, CEO | San Francisco, California
  • HotelTonight | Sam Shank, CEO | San Francisco, California
  • Nevro Corp. | Rami Elghandour, President and CEO | Redwood City, California
  • Opendoor | Eric Wu, Founder and CEO | San Francisco, California

These companies now join the ranks of 31 years of winners. As a group, the 2017 Northern California Region award winners have made a significant mark on innovation and the economy. They employ more than 2,500 people and are a major source of economic growth, adding nearly 1,100 jobs in the past two years — an 88% boost in headcount. They have an aggregate revenue of more than $1 billion, and an impressive revenue growth rate of over 300% during the past two years.

Also honored at the Northern California Region event was Suzy Kong, creator of Eat Up. Kong received the 2017 EY Youth Scholarship for her business idea. Eat Up is a grocery scanning app that helps people with dietary restrictions/allergies filter out selected ingredients with just the swipe of a barcode. In recognition of her entrepreneurial venture, Kong was awarded a $5,000 college scholarship at the gala.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration in the Entrepreneur Of The Year National program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco in June 2018. Since its founding in 1986, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world.

To learn more about the Northern California Region program, please visit Join the conversation on social media by following us @EY_EOYUS and using #EOYNorCal


Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Northern California area, regional Gold sponsor is SolomonEdwards Group; Silver sponsors include Chatham Financial and The Big Picture.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance and the local community. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program 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 more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY’s Growth Markets Network

EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at or follow our news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence 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, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member of Ernst & Young Global Limited operating in the US.