Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Award Guidelines



The UMSL Accelerate Entrepreneur of the Year Awards was established by Peter A. Racen in 2020 to promote entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit through recognition of innovators who are: entrepreneurs, corporate innovators or those who have been advocates of entrepreneurship. Each year top achievers who best exemplify the spirit and mindset of entrepreneurship will be considered for the award.



Former or current UMSL alumni, students, faculty, staff are encouraged to self-nominate or nominate a deserving individual. Honorees will demonstrate the best traits of entrepreneurship such as: passion, integrity, drive, a strong network, self-starter, strong work ethic, people skills, perseverance, competitive spirit, business creativity, determination, discipline and the art of being a mensch. They are both a go-getter and a go-giver.

EYA presenter


Applications must be received by the UMSL Accelerate Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (EYA) committee no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on FEB 28th, 2021.  Incomplete applications, or applications received after the stated deadline, will not receive consideration.

EYA presenter


A selection committee comprised of UMSL staff and local entrepreneurship professionals hand-picked by UMSL for their commitment and achievements in entrepreneurship will review each completed submission that is received on or before the entry deadline. 

Applying the stated evaluation criteria, each committee member will then rank the submissions in order from highest to lowest. The applicant/nominee receiving the highest aggregate score will be designated as an UMSL Accelerate Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recipient. The non-finalist with the highest aggregate score will be designated as an alternate and will be invited to participate in the event should the finalist notify us that he or she is unable to attend. 

Candidates may be nominated in multiple categories but may only be honored in one category. The judges will make the final determination.

EYA presenter


  1. Complete the online application ( what info is in this application? include bullet #3 below). 
  2. Provide a narrative statement outlining the applicant/nominee's contribution and achievements to entrepreneurship and how it relates to the benchmarks described in both the “Evaluation Criteria” section and include relevant items found under your specific “ Award Category” below:
    1. If you are nominating, include a narrative about the nominee’s achievements.
    2. If you are an applicant, include a letter of recommendation about your achievements.
    3. In either case, use 500 words or less, 12pt font to complete. (ie one typewritten page)
  3. Confirm for us that if you, the applicant/nominee are selected, you will participate in our UMSL Accelerate Entrepreneur of the Year Award program to be held Spring 2021.

All nominees will be notified of their status following the judging and the top five finalists for each category will be invited to UMSL Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebration event where the winner will be announced