JUNE 27, 2011 AT 8:31 AM P
One of Silicon Valley’s most exclusive clubs inducted 11 new members on Saturday night.
For 25 years, Ernst & Young has been picking from among the cream of the entrepreneurial crop, designating the “Entrepreneur of the Year” in various categories.
The program is national, but the Northern California regional awards have developed a reputation for recognizing top technology business minds before they become household names.
“Ernst & Young actually doesn’t do any of the selecting,” explained Ernie Cortes, who directs the Northern California regional award program.
A committee of eight judges, each representing different segments of the tech industry, chooses the categories each year and then selects the finalists and winners within each category.
There is no cash, just recognition, and each award recipient gets access to the network of previous winners.
“It’s a pretty good group to know,” said Cortes.
Here’s a quick list of this year’s winners by category, and in the interest of full disclosure, the list of judges as well:
2011 Entrepreneurs of the Year, Northern California Region
- Business Services: Bryce Williams, Extend Health
- Clean Tech: Amit Chatterjee, Hara
- Financial Services: Scott Thompson, PayPal
- Food Products: Charles Sweat, Earthbound Farm
- Internet Services: Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn
- Life Sciences: John Bishop, Cepheid
- Media and Entertainment: David Habiger, Sonic Solutions
- Mobile: Zohar Levkovitz, Amobee
- Retail and Consumer Products: Jessica Herrin, Stella & Dot
- Technology: Jim Marggraff, Livescribe
2011 Entrepreneurs of the Year Judges
- Gilles S. Attia, DLA Piper
- Dianne Dubois, Maple Street Associates
- Priya Cherian Huskins, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
- David T. ibnAle, TPG Growth LLC
- Christopher Masto, Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
- Frank Slootman, ServiceNow
- Ellie Victor, Zoom Marketing
- Todd Wille, Unify
After the ceremony, we caught up with Zohar Levkovitz, the winner in the mobile category. He’s CEO of Amobee, a mobile advertising provider best known for its work abroad with carriers such as Telefonica.
He shared a few thoughts for entrepreneurs looking to get into the mobile technology space, and what the award means to him (and his mom):