Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are building bolder futures
SALT LAKE CITY, May 8, 2023 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Marcus Gerhardt, co-founder and CEO, and Florian Solzbacher, co-founder and President, of Blackrock Neurotech were named Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 Mountain West Award finalists. Now in its 37th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all.
Gerhardt and Solzbacher were selected by an independent panel of judges. Entrepreneurs were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.
Gerhardt and Solzbacher, who met at boarding school as teenagers, founded Blackrock Neurotech in Salt Lake City to manufacture implantable devices for neurotechnology research. Since 2004, approximately three dozen people have participated in research trials using Blackrock’s implantable electrode in brain-computer interfaces (BCI). In recent years, the company expanded its focus to pursue development of clinical BCI technology for use as medical devices by individuals with paralysis.
“Florian and I have long shared a vision of what will be possible with BCI technology,” said Gerhardt. “We believe the field has reached an inflection point, and our hope is that this recognition by the Entrepreneur Of The Year® program will raise further awareness of the life-changing impact BCI can make for individuals with paralysis and other neurological disorders.”
Regional award winners will be announced on June 17, during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. 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 2024.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 11,000 entrepreneurs throughout the US since its inception in 1986, and it has grown to recognize business leaders across 145 cities in over 60 countries around the world.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, N.A.; SAP America; and the Kauffman Foundation. In the Mountain West region, sponsors also include Big Picture, Colliers International, Cresa, Diversified Insurance, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Strong & Hanni Law Firm, Truss, Woodruff- Sawyer & Co. and Silicon Slopes.
About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. National Overall Award winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. Visit ey.com/us/eoy.
About EY Private
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About Blackrock Neurotech
Blackrock Neurotech is dedicated to the clinical translation of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Blackrock, founded in 2008, is the world’s leading platform company for BCI technology and the development of implantable solutions that improve human lives. Blackrock’s precision electrode technology is at the core of many worldwide innovations in BCI, enabling dozens of early users (known as “BCI Pioneers”) to SeeAgain, HearAgain, MoveAgain and more. For more information, visit www.blackrockneurotech.com.