SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

News Feed Item

Pioneer of the World's Largest Vacation Rental Marketplace: HomeAway Co-founder and CEO Brian Sharples Named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Services Award Winner

Sharples honored for transforming the global vacation rental industry and building the leading online marketplace for property owners and renters

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Brian Sharples, Co-founder and CEO of HomeAway, has been named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Services Award winner. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is the country'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.

Sharples was recognized for combining his entrepreneurial desire and innate ability to spot business opportunities to develop the world's leading online vacation rental marketplace, HomeAway. He was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, Calif. 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 Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from 244 regional award recipients. 

"Brian's ability to first see an opportunity and then develop a successful business model in an industry that was relatively unheard of just 10 years ago is the mark of a true entrepreneur," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. "He saw a gap in the market and build a world-class business to fill it."

The birth of a global vacation rental marketplace

After building and selling a successful marketing data and research company in his 30s, Sharples took some time to travel the world with his family and figure out his next move. He quickly discovered that he much preferred renting vacation homes – with their added space and full kitchens – over standard hotel rooms, but he found the experience of finding and booking a home online to be difficult. These frustrations uncovered what Sharples considered an untapped market and led to his idea to build the world's largest vacation rental marketplace. In 2005, Sharples co-founded HomeAway, and the following year he launched the company's website after acquiring six vacation rental sites. Understanding that choice is paramount for travelers, Sharples spent the next five years focusing on organic growth for his vacation rental sites and building his customer base by acquiring 17 additional vacation rental sites. Today, the company has more than 640,000 vacation rental listings across 168 countries.

Taking risks on the way to the top

Buying multiple companies in one day was not the only risk Sharples took to ensure the success of his brand. In 2009, he made a huge gamble and ran an advertisement during Super Bowl XLIV in hopes of raising awareness for both the company and the industry as a whole. His risk paid off; the commercial raised awareness of the vacation rental category by 15 percent and allowed him to shift his efforts toward improving existing products and services, with a focus on creating innovative marketplace technology. Thanks to Sharples' commitment to developing the best online trust and security tools, HomeAway is now recognized as the leading supplier of property management software in the U.S., in addition to being the leader in the vacation rental marketplace.

Cultivating future growth

Sharples' determination and leadership have been instrumental in helping build HomeAway, but like a true entrepreneur he sees the potential to expand his online marketplace and continues to set goals for the future. Sharples is currently striving to give travelers more options and expand HomeAway into all markets where people want to visit. He also remains committed to his initial mission to make finding and renting a vacation property as easy as booking a hotel room.

National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Services finalists

In addition to Sharples, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Services national finalists were: Paul English, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, KAYAK, of Concord, Mass., one of today's most popular online travel search sites with a core focus on making travel technology better, faster and easier; Jim Dixon, CEO, CompuCom Systems, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, a leading IT outsourcing specialist, providing managed solutions for mid-market and enterprise clients in the retail, technology, manufacturing, finance, energy, and healthcare industries; Robert Low, President, Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Mass., a leader in transportation service, including refrigerated, flatbed, tanker and logistics. National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award winner

Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani, was named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award winner.

Video and photos

To view video clips of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, please visit ey.com/us/eoy. Photos of the winners are also available by request.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the United States by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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 unique 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, 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 140 cities in 50 countries.

About Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets practice

Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary 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. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter at EY_Growth.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member firm of Ernst Young Global Limited operating in the US.

SOURCE Ernst & Young

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
Some developers believe that monitoring is a function of the operations team. Some operations teams firmly believe that monitoring the systems they maintain is sufficient to run the business successfully. Most of them are wrong. The complexity of today's applications have gone far and beyond the capabilities of "traditional" system-level monitoring tools and approaches and requires much broader knowledge of business and applications as a whole. The goal of DevOps is to connect all aspects of app...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!