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The Asper Center Annual Awards for Entrepreneurship

The Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship

The Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship is given annually to a person that best exemplifies the Asper Center’s values of entrepreneurial spirit and independent thinking at Brandeis International Business School (IBS). 


2015 Winners - John Harthorne and Akhil NigamJohn Harthorne, Akhil Nigam, and Chuck Reed
Co-founders, MassChallenge


2014 Winner - Diane HessanDiane Hessan of Communispace
Chairman, Communispace


2013 Winner - Brian Lash '78Brian Lash, founder, Target Companies
Founder, Target Companies

Brian Lash founded The Target Companies in 1978 and is responsible for Target Logistics' overall strategic direction, sales and marketing operations. While directing numerous projects all over the world, Brian has built a reputation as a tenacious, indefatigable leader who has helped his company grow from a startup to the largest turnkey provider of remote workforce housing in the United States. Brian's expertise has led to both national and international press, including appearances on CNBC and CNN. In addition, he has served on the Governor's Entrepreneurial Advisory Council in Massachusetts, and also received the DeWitt Wallace Fellowship. Brian earned his bachelor's degree with a double major from Brandeis University. He has been a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship at Brandeis International Business School.


2011 Winner - Helen GreinerHelen Greiner, iRobot, CyPhyWorks, Asper Award Recipient 2011
Co-Founder of iRobot, Founder/CEO of CyPhyWorks

A robot industry pioneer with more than two decades of experience, Greiner has helped to promote the use of robots as one of today’s most important emerging technologies. She has been named one of America’s Best Leaders by the Kennedy School at Harvard University in conjunction with US News & World Report and has been honored with the Pioneer Award from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Greiner has also been named New England Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young with iRobot co-founder Colin Angle. She is chair of the national Robotic Technology Consortium. Greiner holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from MIT. She recently serves as the founder and CEOof stealth robotics company CyPhyWorks.
2010 Winners - Shai Agassi and Michael GranoffShai Agassi and Michael Granoff, Asper Award Recipients
Better Place

In 2007, Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi embarked on a mission to make zero-emission, electric-powered cars a reality across the globe. Michael Granoff was the first investor in this drive for oil independence. Better Place is now the best-funded ($700 million) clean technology company in history, deploying electric car systems in Israel, Denmark, and Australia: systems in Japan, the US and Canada will soon be implemented.
2009 Winner - Linda Rottenberg
CEO and Co-Founder, Endeavor Global

Ms. Linda Rottenberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Endeavor Global, was presented with the 2009 Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship at Brandeis International Business School.  Ms. Rottenberg was recognized for her exceptional leadership in creating an organization that identifies and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.  She was the first social entrepreneur to receive this prestigious accolade. 

2008 Winner - Jon L. LutherJon Luther, Dunkin Brands, Asper Award Recipient
Chairman and CEO, Dunkin' Brands

The 2008 Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship was given to Jon L. Luther, Chairman and CEO of Dunkin' Brands. The award honored his extraordinary leadership and innovative approach in transforming a regional New England company into a national corporate leader. Mr. Luther drove an ambitious plan to expand and energize two world-renowned brands: Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins. Under his leadership, Dunkin' Brands reached $6.6 billion in worldwide sales in 2007 with over 13,800 stores, many of which are located abroad.


2006 Winners - Jeffrey Briggs, Sid Meier and Jonathan Plutzik '76Firaxis Games, Asper Award Recipient 2006
Firaxis Games

The 2006 Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship was given to the leaders of Firaxis Games - Jeffrey Briggs, Sid Meier and Jonathan Plutzik '76. The award honored their outstanding success in the global marketplace through development of creative products that span geographic and cultural boundaries, integration of technology, marketing and business strategy, uncommon attention to detail and execution as well as exemplary corporate citizenship.


2004 Winner - FUBU

Founded in 1992 by four neighborhood friends in a basement in Queens, New York, FUBU quickly established itself as a leading global brand in sportswear, accessories, home products and music recordings. The company’s product line can be found in more than 5,000 retail stores in 60 countries.

FUBU has pioneered new venues for celebrities and hip hop artists to help promote its diverse product line to audiences throughout the world. The company has received numerous national awards for setting a new standard in entrepreneurship.

The Asper Award honored FUBU in light of its unique combination of talents and abilities that led to its success. FUBU has consistently maintained a profile that is cutting edge, multi-cultural, and global in scope, while at the same time remaining loyal to the community from which it first emerged.

Highlights from the 2014 Asper Awards

2014 Asper Award winner Diane Hessan spoke at the ceremony.

2014 Asper Award winner Diane Hessan spoke at the ceremony.

Professor Carol Osler interacts with students at the awards dinner

Professor Carol L. Osler, Program Director for the MA in International Economics and Finance.

Asper award winners Paul Walborsky and Diane Hessen with Len Asper

2014 Asper Award winners Diane Hessan and Paul Walborsky, `88, MA `89 with Len Asper, `86.

Students and local guests joined the honorees for a cocktail reception.

Len Asper speaking at the award ceremony

Len Asper, `86, President & CEO of Anthem Media Group, spoke at the awards ceremony.

Professor Charles Reed, Jr., Co-Director of the Asper Center, met with guests throughout the evening.

The Brandeis Alumni Entrepreneurship Award

The Asper Alumni Entrepreneurship Award is given annually to a Brandeis IBS graduate that best exemplifies the Asper Center’s values of entrepreneurial spirit and independent thinking.


2015 Winner - Sam Sisakhti, MA '07 
Founder and CEO of UsTrendy


2014 Winner - Paul Walborsky, '88, MA '89 

 


2013 Winner - Zenobia Moochhala, MA '98
Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing, Care.com

The 2013 award was given to Zenobia Moochhala, MA '98, co-founder and vice president of marketing at Care.com, an Internet-based service that assists in matching families with caregivers. Founded in 2006, the company now hosts more than seven million members in more than 15 countries worldwide.