WEST LAKE, Texas, Nov. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tony Aquila, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Solera Holdings, Inc., has been named the National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2013 Technology Award winner. The EY 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.
Aquila was honored for his intensity and vision to transform the automotive insurance claims industry. He was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the EY 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 10 additional categories.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients.
"Tony Aquila has demonstrated the ability to think big and take risks that change the way the automotive insurance claims industry does business," said Bryan Pearce, EY Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year. "Aquila's passion and drive are contagious and help inspire his team to continue to innovate and find new paths to growth."
There are no limits
"I'm only limited by the limitations I put on myself," he says. "I love having the opportunity to create whatever I want to create and raise the capital to do it, bring the people together and go for disruptive technologies. And I love the fact that people say 'You're crazy' in the beginning and then five years later they say 'What a great idea.'"
A serial entrepreneur, Aquila founded MaxMeyer America (a subsidiary of MaxMeyer Duco, S.p.A. of Italy), an importer and distributor of European refinishing products. He sold that business in 1997 to PPG Industries before founding software technology company Ensera, which was subsequently sold in 2001 to Mitchell International, where Aquila served as president and COO.
At Solera, Aquila has created and instilled a set of organizational principles that encourage and foster an environment of innovation, high performance and outstanding results. His communication style is to focus on the output of the mission, rather than the input of the individual. And his intensity, which he says is shared by all of Solera's leaders, goes a long way to explaining the company's extraordinary success.
"What differentiates us is 'the Solera way,'" says Aquila. "We are twice as profitable per dollar as anybody in our industry, and that's really driven by the culture of the company. We have 3,000 associates around the world. We run a decentralized model but a common culture in all these countries, and it allows for innovation."
Solera companies leverage each other to develop and deliver the latest technologies, market intelligence and best practices to more than 75,000 customers.
Acquiring for growth
In building the multi-operational strength of Solera, Aquila has relied on wisdom grown from more than 20 years of global experience in the manufacturing, distribution, automotive software and collision-repair industries. He also has co-invented and patented several products.
Solera's nimble dodging (not to mention incredible growth and success) has been partly fueled through shrewd and effective acquisitions. Aquila scrutinizes transactions using a philosophy of MMC — management, margin and core. He asks three questions: Does the target have the right management team? Do they have margin? Are they core to the business? If the answers are yes, the transaction is consummated.
The approach works. Since 2010, Solera has grown two-and-a-half times in revenue, created software in 16 languages and 40 dialects, serving 63 countries, and has more than 50% market share — with plans for 75% market share by 2020.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Technology finalists
In addition to Aquila, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Technology finalists in the US were: Ashar Aziz, Founder, Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, FireEye, Inc., based in Milpitas, Calif.; Rony Kahan, CEO and Co-founder, and Paul Forster, Senior Advisor and Co-Founder, Indeed, based in Austin, Texas; and Steven V. Abramson, President and CEO, Universal Display Corporation, based in Ewing, N.J.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Overall Award winner
Hamid Moghadam of Prologis was named the National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Overall Award winner.
Video and photos
To view photos of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, please visit www.ey.com/us/eoy.
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the United States by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY 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 150 cities in over 60 countries.
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SOURCE Ernst & Young