2021 Spirit of Entrepreneur Awards

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Aug 26, 2021


Spirit of Entrepreneur

The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) opened submissions for the 2021 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards. The judges panel will assess the nominated entrepreneurs’ propensity for innovation, leadership, performance, character, and entrepreneurial mindset.

The winning candidate receives a $4,000 cash prize and the chance to obtain investment capital from members of the audience.

The most interesting thing is that Spirit Awards will have a televised broadcast.

History of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards

The awards program was founded by IECE at California State University San Bernardino in 2003. The idea was conceived by Dr. Mike Stull, founder and executive producer of the Spirit of Entrepreneur Awards. For the first time in 2020 the awards were showcased in a televised presentation due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

19 years of Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards

The program is in its 19th year and sponsored by Wells Fargo, Bank of America (BoA), Inland Empire Business Journal, The Press Enterprise, BBK Attorneys, and the Inland Empire Magazine. Last year, the award recipients were: 

Student Fast Pitch Competition 

One of the key highlights of the Spirit of Entrepreneur Awards is “Student Fast Pitch Competition”. Competing students have 90 seconds to present their winning idea. The judging panel determines the winner based on the quality of the pitch and the attractiveness of the business concept. [Also read about a hackathon run by Esri and TechCrunch].  

This pitch competition is also called the “The Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition”. As it is sponsored by Garner Holt, the founder of Garner Holt Productions, the world’s leading producer of animatronic figures and theme shows.  

All students entering this competition must be enrolled at Cal State San Bernardino at the undergraduate or graduate level. The applicants need to submit a 250-word summary of their proposed business concept and the pitched businesses should have been in operation less than 1 year.

Important Dates

Here are the important event dates you don’t want to miss:

Key Takeaway

The award competition provides an important forum meant to invest in the Growth of San Bernardino’s local entrepreneurship students.

Sponsors of The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards have contributed more than $200,000 to fund scholarships
for the region’s future entrepreneurs.


  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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