The Judging Process

The Spirit of the Entrepreneur accepts nominations for its annual event. To be eligible to receive an award, the nominee must be an owner and/or active key manager of the firm and be primarily responsible for the overall performance of the company.

All nominees are screened and evaluated by the Spirit of the Entrepreneur award staff to ensure that they meet the basic eligibility requirements. Those companies that pass the initial screening are eligible to participate in the judging process. Each eligible nominee provides extensive company information that is used in the judging process. Judges are selected for the event by the Spirit of the Entrepreneur team and work independently, evaluating each nominee. Each judge is chosen based on their prior business experience, integrity, and willingness to dedicate a significant amount of time to review and evaluate the nominees. The judging panel is almost exclusively made up of past recipients of the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards. Judging is based on financial metrics as well the nominee's accomplishments, innovative approach, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Judging Process

What are we looking for from nominees?

Innovation - Entrepreneurs and companies that have innovative products or services, use unique business practices or are constantly pushing the boundaries of their industry.

Leadership - Entrepreneurs who possess strong leadership skills that inspire their team to reach new levels of success.

Performance - Entrepreneurs and companies that have achieved significant financial performance as measured by growth, revenue, profitability and sustainability. Companies should have been in business at least 2 years and achieved a minimum annual revenue level of $400,000.

Character - Entrepreneurs who demonstrate personal integrity and values that have earned them respect from their team, their peers, industry and the greater community.

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Vision - Individuals who truly possess the entrepreneurial mindset and are constantly pushing to improve their businesses, always striving to advance their ventures and facilitate progress in the industries in which they work.


Please contact Mike Stull, the Founder and Director of the Spirit Awards, at 909.537.3708 or for more information.

Key 2024 Dates

  • AUGUST 16 Nomination Period Closes
  • SEPT 2 Nominee Profile Forms Due
  • OCT 3 Spirit Semi-Finalist Judging Reception
  • NOV 14Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Semi-Final Competition
  • NOV 21Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards - Riverside Convention Center
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