On September 28, America’s top young entrepreneurs will be honored in Washington D.C. in what Empact co-founder and Partner Michael Simmons calls “the Academy Awards of entrepreneurship”. The event showcases entrepreneurs in the US age 30 and under with revenues over $100,000.
Although 352 companies participate in the Empact showcase, only the top 100 will be honored at the White House. The Empact 100 List honorees include the top 100 entrepreneurs as chosen by a panel of industry veterans, including the founders of Chuck E. Cheese, Red Box, and PriceLine.com. A few of the top companies and founders on the list include: Matt Mickiewicz of 99designs, Neil Patel of Crazy Egg, and Marc Nager of Startup Weekend. See the full list.
For Simmons, holding the event at the White House is significant. “It shows how important young entrepreneurs are to the economy to a mainstream audience. The White House has really embraced entrepreneurship through its Startup America initiative, which helps all departments within the administration be more entrepreneur-friendly. Suddenly representatives in Washington D.C are asking, ‘who can be a champion for entrepreneurship?’”.
Simmons is a young entrepreneur himself who started his first company at age 16. He lived in a community where he didn’t see many people taking the entrepreneurial path as a career choice. “I thought that when I got to college, everyone around me would be starting companies,” Simmons recalls. That wasn’t the case, and he was inspired to become that example for young people who dreamed of starting their own business. He wrote The Student Success Manifesto, and started traveling around the country to hold events at college campuses that brought America’s top entrepreneurs together to talk about entrepreneurship as a viable career for young people. His events became wildly popular, and he decided to take his message to the next level by creating the Empact 100 list in 2011.
Now in it’s second year, the Empact 100 list serves as a celebration of the fruits of Simmons’ labor. “Having this event at the White House is like Washington D.C. putting a stamp of approval on entrepreneurship,” notes Simmons.
Thanks to the success of his efforts to motivate and honor young American entrepreneurs, Simmons hopes to expand his movement to the global level. “We want to connect young entrepreneurs with speaking opportunities that help them connect with people anywhere in the world,” he continues.
While only 100 companies will be honored at the White House, the 352 companies included in the 2012 Empact showcase have all made significant contributions to the American economy. Check out some of the impressive statistics: