July 3, 2014

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Article

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014™

Candace Little

July 3, 2014


Some people are predisposed to become entrepreneurs. As children, they operate lemonade stands and lawn-mowing services—on top of their paper routes. But some realize their entrepreneurship later in life, or simply rise to a calling that leads them into running or creating their own organization. Either way, one thing is for certain about entrepreneurship: It takes a lot of guts—taking high risks, making quick decisions and dealing with jobs lost and found and money spent and earned. Throw in the Great Recession, and you’ve got a difficult, high-stress job.

One of this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists, Karen Woodbury of Woodbury Technologies, describes entrepreneurship this way: “Starting a company was scary and very exciting. Running a company continues to take me out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.” This year’s panel of finalists demonstrates what happens when passionate, visionary people take a step out of their comfort zone.

Business Services

Josh Coates – Award Winner
CEO
Instructure

Coates sold his first company to Intel. Soon after, another business, which eventually became Mozy.com, was acquired by EMC Corporation for $76 million. Coates’ next adventure was to reinvent Instructure. After just 30 months under his leadership, Instructure grew from zero revenue to millions of dollars in contracts across multiple markets.

“Instructure is making the world a better place by educating people with technology,” Coates says. “It’s a great industry to work in and a great place to work, and it’s been an excellent investment for our financial backers as well.”

In February 2011, Instructure launched Canvas, its cloud-based learning management system—an easy-to-use SaaS that facilitates learning for corporations, K-12 school districts, colleges and universities worldwide, including 75 percent of Ivy League institutions. Coates has spearheaded Canvas’ upward growth trajectory, helping the platform surpass 11 million active users in three years and Instructure deliver a compound annual growth rate of 373 percent.

John Pope
CEO
Jive Communications

When John Pope joined Jive Communications, he quickly recognized that the VoIP solution company had an enormous amount of potential, but he also realized that it lacked a strong sales initiative. He was determined to turn the company around by developing a long-term vision and bringing top talent to the company, which he says was key to the organization’s success.

Pope firmly believes in hiring those with an entrepreneurial mentality. The result is that every different group at Jive is allowed to grow and build successful practices with creative support from all sides.

“Jive is an excellent example of a company that bootstrapped its way into success. We attribute much of that success to the thrill of taking on enormous challenges with limited resources,” Pope says. Today, Jive has approximately 100,000 users with plans to continue growing.

Karen S. Woodbury
CEO & President
Woodbury Technologies, Inc.

Karen Woodbury is the founder of one of the largest woman-owned companies in Utah. She says starting the company was a thrilling journey that continues to take her out of her comfort zone—which, she says, has made her a better person. Woodbury Technologies provides information technology, engineering, medical and training services. “Our core values permeate our company culture. Every company effort is founded on principles of integrity, quality, commitment and teamwork,” she says.

Woodbury’s employees consistently rate communication with corporate and supervisory staff superior to any that they have experienced in their careers, and they believe that the company genuinely cares about their work and home life. Last year Woodbury Technologies employed more than 230 people and produced multi-millions in revenue, and it continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Consumer & Commercial Products

Sarah Lehman - Award Winner
CEO
ENVE Composites

Sarah Lehman has helped ENVE Composites become a worldwide leader in the cycling industry for its advancements in carbon technology. The Ogden-based company designs and manufactures the strongest, most durable carbon wheels on the planet.

Lehman lives and breathes the company’s “we can do it” attitude. “ENVE’s success is entirely dependent on our ability to innovate at the highest level in both product development and manufacturing,” Leman says. “This requires that we hire the best and the brightest engineers, we have access to the latest state-of-the-art technology and materials, and we always push ourselves outside of our comfort zone on the product development side.”

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