Welcome!

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
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
With over 720 million Internet users and 40–50% CAGR, the Chinese Cloud Computing market has been booming. When talking about cloud computing, what are the Chinese users of cloud thinking about? What is the most powerful force that can push them to make the buying decision? How to tap into them? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yu Hao, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, answered these questions and discussed the results of SpeedyCloud’s survey.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.