Palm Springs, CA – Four entrepreneurial leaders from Stella & Dot, Hara, NxStage Medical, Inc., and LinkedIn Corporation, received the Ernst & Young Venture Capital Award of Excellence on Thursday, November 10 at Ernst & Young LLP’s 2011 Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, CA. Square 1 Bank co-sponsored the awards, which were presented at a luncheon ceremony.
“Entrepreneurs are the key to innovation, economic growth, and job creation that we need so desperately in America right now. When we celebrate the stories of these accomplished winners and tell them often, that’s how you build the movement,” said Bryan Pearce Americas Director Entrepreneur Of The Year® and Venture Capital Advisory Group, Ernst & Young LLP.
The Venture Capital (VC) Award of Excellence winners are selected from Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® regional winners whose companies have been backed by venture capital funding. The recipients were selected on the basis of VC funding, equity and revenue growth, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margins, and the stories of their founding. The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges, including: Lee J. Burrows, Managing Director, VantagePoint Capital Partners; Lawrence D. Lenihan, Jr., Founder, CEO and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital; Adele C. Oliva, Partner, Quaker Partners; and Deepak Sindwani, Principal, Bain Capital Ventures.
“As a bank started by entrepreneurs, who serves entrepreneurs and their investors, we are exceedingly dedicated to that space,” commented Doug Bowers, Square 1 Bank President and CEO. “We are proud to once again partner with Ernst and Young in support of the VC Award of Excellence as it recognizes pioneering companies and the fundamental importance of venture capital support.”
Highlights from the 2011 VC Award of Excellence winners’ stories include:
Stella & Dot, San Bruno, California – It is easy to see the effect the high-energy entrepreneur, wife, and mother of two Jessica Herrin has had on the eager team at her rapidly growing seven-year-old business, Stella & Dot. Herrin, CEO and Founder has redefined the home-based business platform for our times. The company offers boutique style jewelry and accessories exclusively through a social selling channel, a network of more than 11,000 independent stylists who sell Stella & Dot products online and through in-home trunk shows. Herrin successfully developed the company from a bootstrapped operation in her living room to an international trendsetter with an expected $200M in revenue in 2011. Herrin distinguishes her company from others in the direct selling market by offering a superior product, and excited, motivated sales people dubbed “stylists.” The concept is presented as the antithesis of the stodgy reputation of the “Tupperware parties.” Stella & Dot currently operates in United States and Canada, with expected expansion to Europe in the near future. There are approximately 18,000 stylists pursuing their goals under Herrin’s overall direction.
Hara, San Mateo, California – After multiple successful startup internet companies, Amit Chatterjee believed that he would remain at SAP and sit on the board of non-profit organizations for the remainder of his career. However, after learning more about the International Aid Transparency Initiative, Amit realized the lack of transparency surrounding natural gas in Angola, and that the ability to rid countries, cities, and companies of the transparency of their carbon footprint created a unique opportunity for Amit to be not only successful—but significant. In founding Hara, Amit found his true calling as an entrepreneur. Hara’s platform allows its customers to quantify their spending on energy and amount of energy consumed, and then to reduce their carbon footprint, while enabling a faster return on investment and profitability. Hara has enabled companies to save billions by using through using more efficient energy resources.
NxStage Medical, Inc., Lawrence, Massachusetts – Jeffrey Burbank CEO
LinkedIn Corporation, Mountain View, California – Conceived by visionary entrepreneur Reid Hoffman former executive vice president of PayPal, LinkedIn was developed out of Reid’s aspirations to help improve individuals’ lives and society. CEO Jeff Wiener, also embodies this same ideal of impacting the well being of others, and together, these innovative leaders are working to grow a company that helps people take control of their professional lives. LinkedIn’s mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Reid understood the difficulty in starting a company that was based on a network of people. In a network, with a group of people who are all connected with each other and sharing an ability to find other people, talent, expertise opportunities, and information; the network is only valuable with people. Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has become the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
About Ernst & Young’s Strategic Growth Markets Network
Ernst & Young’s worldwide Strategic Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of rapid-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 achieve its potential. It’s how Ernst & Young makes a difference.
About Ernst & Young
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a U.S. client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.
About Square 1 Bank
Square 1 Bank is a full service commercial bank dedicated exclusively to serving the financial needs of the venture capital community and entrepreneurs in all stages of growth and expansion. Square 1’s expertise, focus and strong capital base provide solid support for its clients’ needs. The bank offers tailored products and solutions aided by the latest in technological innovations. To serve its relationships, Square 1 has offices coast to coast in Austin, Boston, Boulder, Durham, McLean, New York, San Diego, Santa Monica, Seattle and Silicon Valley. For more information, visit www.square1bank.com
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