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Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Note: All internal due dates are currently based on an estimated university due date. If the actual university due date is sooner than the estimated date, internal due dates may need to be updated. Any changes to due dates will be communicated as quickly as possible.

Important Dates:
6-28-23    Packages are due to department/unit heads – contact your department/unit head for what is required
7-26-23   Full packages are due to the Award Review Group – nominees to email them to Xiangwu Zhang
8-09-23   Award Review Group sends comments and suggestions about packages back to the nominees
8-23-23   Final packages are due to the dean’s office – nominees to email them to the dean’s EA
8-30-23   (Estimated) Packages are due to the university – Dean’s EA will submit

Wilson College of Textiles Nomination Limit: The associate dean for research may nominate up to two candidates for each award. Each department head, center director or other interested parties may nominate one individual for each award. 

Award Review Group (all by position): Emiel DenHartog, Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Abdel-Fattah Seyam, Xiangwu Zhang

Award Information
This award is presented annually to a faculty or staff entrepreneur that has demonstrated excellence in entrepreneurship.


  • Entrepreneurial Impact – Encourages entrepreneurialism both on and off-campus.  
  • Demonstrates the best traits of entrepreneurship, including business creativity and perseverance.
  • Impact of companies and/or non-profits launched or supported – the impact can be measured in involvement with new startup companies, the number of jobs created, revenue generated, production of products or services that benefit consumers and/or improve the quality of life, etc. 

Previous winners are not eligible.

Required Materials
Nominations will be sent electronically by Donna Bouffard to Nominations should include a letter of support no longer than 2 pages addressing the criteria described above.