TripAdvisor CEO Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005 in the Realizing Business Potential Category
Stephen Kaufer, Co-Founder of Leading Online Travel Information and Advice Resource, Receives National Award
NEEDHAM, Mass. - November 21, 2005 - TripAdvisor LLC, the leading global travel information and advice destination (www.tripadvisor.com), today announced that Stephen Kaufer, co-founder and chief executive officer, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2005 national award in the Realizing Business Potential category. The award was presented by Microsoft to honor smaller companies that have demonstrated success and growth by leveraging computer-related technology in their businesses.
In his acceptance remarks, Kaufer recognized the TripAdvisor employees who helped him build the company from a small start-up to the leading online travel information and planning resource for consumers today. TripAdvisor.com provides consumers with honest, unbiased, real traveler reviews and opinions to help them make informed decisions about where to go, where to stay, where to eat and what to see when traveling to destinations worldwide. The site features more than three million travel reviews and opinions.
"Very simply, TripAdvisor was started with the goal of helping consumers make the right decisions about travel," said Kaufer. "We delivered a product that allows travelers to cut through the marketing hype and clutter and get the whole truth in an easy-to-use format. We've grown into an active and loyal community of more than 18 million unique visitors worldwide."
Kaufer's inspiration to start TripAdvisor stemmed from a personal travel planning experience. He was frustrated with the travel resources available in 2000 when he was planning a family trip to Mexico. So, Kaufer, a software engineer by training, recruited an experienced team of software architects and collaborated with high-technology executive and venture capitalist Langley Steinert to build TripAdvisor. The company was sold to IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2004 and is now an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Kaufer and Steinert remain active in the day-to-day management of the company.
In addition to the award, sponsor Microsoft presented Kaufer with $50,000 in donations. Half of the award money is designated for technological investment at TripAdvisor and the other half is earmarked for a local charity of Kaufer's choice. Upon winning the New England regional award in June, Microsoft presented Kaufer with a $10,000 prize. The prize provided $10,000 worth of Microsoft software to the Stephen and Caroline Kaufer Fund for Neuroendocrine Research, named in honor of Stephen Kaufer's late wife, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. The fund supports research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass.
Recognizing the few with the passion and perseverance to turn a bright idea into a brilliant business, the 19th annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year national awards ceremony was held at J.W. Marriott's Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, Calif. on November 19. The ceremony was hosted by late night comedian Jay Leno and keynote speakers included Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga, winner of the Overall National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2004 award.
About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Program
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program was created and is produced by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. As the first award of its kind, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. The program honors entrepreneurs through regional, national and global award programs in over 100 cities and 35 countries.