IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Entrepreneur® magazine and small business solutions provider The UPS Store® have selected the winners of the magazine's Entrepreneur of 2013 contest: Patrick O'Neill, founder of olloclip; Joshua Opperman, CEO of I Do Now I Don't; and Nelly Garcia, founder of Rocheli Patisserie. These entrepreneurs will be recognized at an awards luncheon during the 2014 Growth Conference in New Orleans.
"This year's winners have genuinely inspired us by building completely original companies around everyday products," said Amy Cosper, VP and editor in chief of Entrepreneur. "They've somehow reinvented the need for camera lenses, jewelry and cakes with their entrepreneurial thinking and brought them to market with truly great new ideas on marketability."
The magazine's Entrepreneur of 2013, Patrick O'Neill, capitalized on the increasingly sophisticated iPhone camera capabilities and founded olloclip. He created the three-in-one olloclip, featuring fish-eye-, wide-angle and macro lenses, which can be attached on either side of a small plastic sleeve and slipped over the iPhone's camera lens. The company has grown rapidly since starting out in O'Neill's home; it now boasts 50 employees, a projected $20 million revenue, more than 30 distributions throughout the world, and is sold in multiple chains including the Apple store.
Joshua Opperman, winner in the Emerging category, launched I Do Now I Don't after a broken engagement and several attempts at selling the ring that was left behind. What started out as a small online marketplace for rings with only five listings turned into a big media buzz—so much that the site actually crashed. By raising enough money, Opperman's story was rewritten with a happier result. I Do Now I Don't is now considered a safe go-between for jewelry buyers and sellers with approximately 100 transactions per month, and is close to partnerships with multiple retailers.
"Entrepreneurship is about the capacity to take a dream, mix it with risk and make it reality, and each of these winners has done just that," said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. "Their success sets the bar high for others wishing to follow their own vision, and The UPS Store is proud to support these inspirational entrepreneurs."
The College winner is Nelly Garcia, founder of Rocheli Patisserie, a bakery that turns out 50-60 cakes each weekend. The Bringham Young University student started out posting her creations on Facebook, and then the requests started rolling in. With the $5,000 contest prize money, Garcia plans to grow her bakery into a brand and start an online baking school for global reach.
The winners will each share their success stories at the 2014 Growth Conference to be held on Jan. 22, 2014, at the New Orleans Convention Center. This one-day, complimentary event will also feature keynote speaker Erik Wahl; numerous seminars on growth strategies led by a variety of small-business experts; and many networking opportunities. Attendance is free with online registration at entrepreneur.com/growthcon.
About the judging process: Candidates were narrowed down to five finalists per award category by a panel of judges. Their online profiles together with their videos were featured on Entrepreneur.com, where visitors could vote for their favorite contestant. The Established, Emerging and College Entrepreneurs of 2013 were then determined based on a point system that reflected the number of online votes they received and the judges' individual choices.
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SOURCE Entrepreneur Magazine