Common Searches



The University of Missouri–St. Louis has been a catalyst for transforming lives since 1963. As a result, UMSL has over 115,000 alumni around the globe. Thousands of UMSL alumni have started businesses that are employing hundreds of thousands in our region and around the world. In 2023, UMSL announced it was expanding its entrepreneurship program with the introduction of the UMSL Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center (UMSL EIC)—a place-based educational community of students, faculty and businesses who see the world through a lens of opportunity.  UMSL EIC is the sponsor of Entrepreneurship Week, the highlight of which is the Entrepreneur of the Year event. Creating UMSL EIC Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is the direct result of Peter A. Racen’s, BSBA 1980 conviction that communities can be changed and positively impacted through nurturing and accelerating the creation of businesses.

EOTYThe Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recognize UMSL alumni, students, faculty, staff, and advocates who are impacting our community and the world around us through outstanding entrepreneurial achievement. 


Through  accessible learning styles and formats designed to fit every individual’s unique needs, we will create a place where the best and brightest learn to embrace a growth mindset and think big, aiming not just to succeed as individuals but to catalyze large-scale transformation that improves our world. Forward-thinking students, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial rising stars, subject matter experts, faculty, alumni and stakeholders will work together to inspire thought leadership and innovation through education, experiential learning, and shared space. By catalyzing these organic connections, embracing a growth mindset, and fostering a vibrant, sustainable ecosystem, we’ll be able to take the St. Louis Region further, faster, together.

UMSL EIC Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recognizes contributions made by the following:

  1. An UMSL student entrepreneur,
  2. An entrepreneur advocate,
  3. A social entrepreneur,
  4. An UMSL entrepreneur with a lifetime of achievements, and
  5. An entrepreneur with tremendous successes during the last year.




UMSL EIC Entrepreneur of the Year Awards was established by Peter A. Racen in 2020 to promote entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit through recognition of innovators who are entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, or those who have been advocates of entrepreneurship. Each year, top achievers who best exemplify the spirit and mindset of entrepreneurship will be considered for the award.


The most competitive nominees will demonstrate the best traits of entrepreneurship such as passion, integrity, drive, a strong network, self-starter, strong work ethic, people skills, perseverance, competitive spirit, business creativity, determination, discipline, and the art of being a mensch. Additionally, the most competitive nominees will be both go-getters and a go-givers.