PALM SPRINGS, CA -- Bob Moore, Chairman, CEO, iGPS, has been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 national winner in the Emerging category. Now in its 24th year, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.

Moore was recognized for using technology to devise an innovative improvement to a stodgy product – shipping pallets – and overcoming significant obstacles to bring it to market. Moore was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year® gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. All Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from approximately 300 regional award recipients.

"Today's successful entrepreneurs need to be tenacious, passionate and committed to seeing their vision through," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. "This sums up Bob Moore. By inventing the proverbial better mousetrap and pushing to get it to market, Moore has led iGPS to a 25% share of the market for pallets in only four years. Moore is a perfect example of the type of individual deserving the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 award in the Emerging category."

Pearce continued: "Emerging technologies can revolutionize even what seems to be among the most basic of commodities, as iGPS's success shows. In order for other entrepreneurs to succeed, they need to take advantage of technological improvements in their own areas of expertise."

Leaping over the roadblocks

Bob Moore was CEO of CHEP, a large international wood pallet and container pooling services company with an 80% share of the worldwide pallet-rental market, when he realized trouble for the company was on the horizon. Environmental pressure against using wood pallets was gathering momentum, and even more alarming, Moore recognized the inherent long-term flaws of a product that was difficult to sanitize and often used only once.

Moore wanted to help his company develop a more sustainable business model, so he approached the board of directors to push for funding to develop a plastic alternative to wood pallets that could be tracked through RFID (radio frequency identification) chips. The board turned a deaf ear.

Tenacity's crucial role

Undeterred, Moore resigned to pursue his vision. But a four-year non-compete agreement kept him on the sidelines until 2000, just before the dot-com bubble burst and venture capital funding for startups all but vanished.

Moore responded with characteristically tenacious innovation: he purchased a large stake in a small pallet company and used it as a vehicle to attract private equity funds.

Having thus secured backing, Moore was ready to begin making his vision a reality. But his idea extended far beyond just replacing wooden pallets with plastic ones. Moore saw that his true business opportunity lay in using plastic pallets to help companies overhaul their supply chains.

A vision brought to life

Moore's insight into the weaknesses of wooden pallets and the advantages of his radio-tracked plastic alternative has paid off handsomely. Adding the RFID chips improves efficiency by enabling companies to track shipments, an important feature. Backed by this powerful value proposition for clients such as major retailers and drug companies, iGPS' market share has soared from 0.8% in its first year to 25% in 2010.

Next year, iGPS will expand into France, Spain and the UK, an ambitious step for a company that started out with three people in a small office in Cos Cob, Connecticut.

Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 National Finalists in Emerging Category

In addition to Moore, The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® national finalists in the Emerging category are: Thomas Alphonse Catanese, President, CEO of Kearny, N.J.-based Power Survey Company, that provides mobile contact voltage detection services to utilities and municipalities worldwide; Dale Pollak, Founder of Oak Brook, Ill.-based vAuto, the leading provider of web-based inventory management systems for the retail automotive industry; and Alexis Maybank / Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder, President of Premium Products and Services/Founder, Chief Merchandising Officer, respectively, of N.Y.-based Gilt Groupe, a company that provides access, by invitation only, to men's, women's and children's coveted fashion and luxury brands at prices up to 70% off retail.

Overall Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 National Winner

Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of BGC Partners, Inc., was named the Overall Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2010 national winner.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards are pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America as national sponsors.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 135 cities in 50 countries.

About Ernst & Young's Strategic Growth Markets Practice

Ernst & Young's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multi-disciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies, and convening the experts who shape the business climate

About Ernst & Young

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SOURCE Ernst & Young LLP

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