Ernst & Young has launched the 35th year of its Entrepreneur of the Year competition, with finalists in 20 regions across the United States announced, including many Indian Americans and South Asian Americans.

Among the finalists in the Northern California region are Nikhil Arora of Oakland-based Back to the Roots, an organic gardening company; Sid Viswanathan of San Mateo-based Truepill; and Rao Mulpuri of Milpitas-based View. Winners will be announced Aug. 4.

Greater Los Angeles region finalists – with winners to be announced July 29 – includes Punit Shah of Santa Monica-based EZ Texting.

Orange County region finalists include Deepak Garg of Smart Energy Water. Meanwhile, in the San Diego region, Cortica’s Neil Hattangadi was named a finalist. Winners in both regions will be announced Aug. 5.

In the Pacific Northwest, Tushar Garg of Seattle-based Flyhomes was among the finalists. Winners in the region will be named Aug. 4.

The Mountain Desert regional winners will be announced July 28. Among the finalists are Niji Sabharwal of Denver, Colorado-based AgentSync Inc.

In the Heartland region, finalists included Mynul Khan of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Field Nation; and Sirish Samba of Minneapolis-based Sambatek Inc. Winners will be named July 27.

Among the Southwest regional finalists are Naveen Gupta of Birdeye; Das and Nipa Nobel of MTX Group Inc.; Chakri Gottemukkala of o9 Solutions; Prasanna Singaraju and Sanjay Jupudi of Qentelli; and Aakash Kumar of Shiftsmart. The winners will be announced Aug. 4.

In the Gulf Coast region, the finalists include HIREtech’s Saqib Dhanani and Zee Makhani. Winners of the region will be announced Aug. 4.

The Midwest region finalists included Saggezza heads Arvind Kapur and Socka Suppiah; and The AZEK Company’s CEO Jesse Singh. The winners will emerge July 28.

In the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region, finalists include Amjad Hussain of Algo; Robin Mohapatra of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity; and Mina Patel Sooch of Ocuphire Pharma. The winners will be named Aug. 5.

The East Central finalists, of which the winners will be named Aug. 5, included Kash Shaikh of BSB Group International; Asha Chaudhary of Jaipur Living Inc.; Vishal Hiremath of Jet It; and Sanjeev Tirath of Pyramid Consulting Inc. Winners will be named July 29.

Florida region finalists include Suneera Madhani of Stax. The winners of the region will be named Aug. 5.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, 10Pearls’ Imran Aftab and Harish Chidambaran of iLearning Engines were named finalists. The winners will be announced Aug. 3.

In Greater Philadelphia, Abhi Ramesh of Misfits Market, and Mahe Bayireddi of Phenom People were named among the finalists. Winners will be named July 27.

New Jersey regional finalists, with winners emerging July 26, included Sanjay Mirchandani of Clio Snacks; Fulcrum Digital’s Dhana Kumarasamy and Rajesh Sinha; Avani Modi Sarkar and Viral Modi of Modi Toys; Raj Patil of Orion Innovation; Srinivas Maddali of United Pharmacy Network; and Arshad Masood of Visionet Systems Inc.

Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens; Marg Patel of Medly Pharmacy; Diwakar Choubey of MoneyLion; and Gaurav Shah of Rocket Pharmaceuticals were named finalists in the New York region. Winners will be named Aug. 3.

The New England region included finalists Venkat Krishnamurthy of Alignable; Hari Balakrishnan of Cambridge Mobile Telematics; Vishal Sunak of LinkSquares; and Praveen Tipirneni of Morphic Therapeutic. Winners will be announced July 28.

No Indian American or South Asian Americans were named finalists in the Utah and Central Texas regions.

Entrepreneur of the Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies, EY said in a news release.

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, it said.

Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

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 release adds.

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, the organization said.

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