Tickets for the 2019 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards now available online. The annual gala hosted by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino will be held at the Riverside Convention Center on Nov. 13.
Top innovators from the Inland Empire will compete to win awards ranging from nine entrepreneurial categories, each honoring the leadership, determination, teamwork, community involvement, and risks taken to build successful entrepreneurial companies. An independent panel of judges consisting of primarily past Spirit Award recipients will elect finalists and award recipients from a vast field of over 200 nominees. 
“The Spirit of Entrepreneurship is truly alive in Inland Southern California region. Once again, we have some outstanding companies that will be vying for the prestigious Spirit Award,” said Mike Stull, CSUSB management professor and founder and producer of the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards. “They are each uniquely innovative, but yet, so much more than that.
Innovation is not enough to be successful – they have compelling stories of overcoming odds, persevering through challenges, and demonstrating excellent leadership to establish successful and sustainable businesses.”
Attendees can book tickets online with direct seat selection for the 2019 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala event at the Spirit of the Entrepreneur website.
Attendees have the selection choice of pre-show standard reception or VIP reception. Ticket prices for the black-tie event range from $135 to $175 each. Full-table discounts are available. Proceeds from the Spirit of the Entrepreneur event benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship established by Stull.
The Spirit Awards event features:

  • Commencing at 5 p.m. on Nov. 13, attendees can experience either a Gala or VIP reception, three course dinner, stellar event entertainment, awards presentations, and for select parties, an exclusive after party!
  • The “Best of the Best” award. Sponsored by Best, Best & Krieger, LLC.
    One company from among the award recipients that best exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit will take home the additional 2019 Best of the Best award.
  • The Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition
    Witness featured business pitches from the Top 5 student finalists. Audience members cast their votes for the best business idea through a live voting poll to determine which students will win the cash prizes. These Top 5 students will have competed in a semi-qualifying event that is held one week prior to the Spirit Awards gala in order to gain those top positions. This is a truly unique aspect to the awards program that celebrates and supports student growth and involvement.
  • Entertainment
    Upcoming entertainment guest stars are always an anticipated reveal during the gala. Past events have included top flight entertainment such as: Rock Legend Eddie Money, Ekenah Claudin – Transcending Box, and Greg Adamson – Facing the Music Performance Art.
  • VIP Reception. Sponsored by City National Bank, an RBC Company.
    Treat yourself to a luxurious experience only available to VIP ticket holders. The 2019 Spirit VIP Experience includes access to the exclusive pre-show VIP reception with hosted wine bar, hors d'oeuvres, entertainment, and preferred access to showroom seating for the gala presentation as well as top section seating for the main event while enjoying specialty selected cuisine for a three-course dining experience.


The Spirit of the Entrepreneur event is presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) and the Jack H. Brown College of Business & Public Administration at California State University, San Bernardino and sponsored by a wide range of local organizations including:

PLATINUM SPONSORS – Best Best & Krieger LLP, Southern California News Group, Bank of America, Inland Empire Magazine, and the Inland Empire Business Journal

GOLD SPONSORS – San Bernardino County EDA, City of Riverside, US Bank, Wilson Ivanova CPAs, Wells Fargo, Altek Media Group, Chase, Riverside County EDA, and Entrepreneur High School

SILVER SPONSORS – Varner & Brandt LLP, CDC Small Business Finance, The Community Foundation, SmartSyt, Pacific Premier Bank, Tangram, City of Ontario, and Roark Financial Solutions Inc.

JUDGING RECEPTION SPONSOR – Roorda, Piquet & Bessee, Inc.


AFTER PARTY SPONSOR – Leadership Dimensions, Inc.

More information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please contact Mike Stull at (909) 537-3708 or via email at

About the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE)

Established in 1999, the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino supports and celebrates entrepreneurship and small business through innovative programs and educational resources. IECE coordinates academic programs that lead to business degrees in entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students as well as delivering experiential learning and student support programs such as the Fast Pitch Competition. In the local community, IECE offers existing and aspiring entrepreneurs a wide array of business advisory and mentoring services and entrepreneurial training programs that help them achieve greater levels of success in their business ventures.

IECE was recognized internationally by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and received the Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge award for demonstrating leadership in creating (and incubating) cutting-edge business innovations through enriched student learning and experiential education, which ranked them among the top 35 entrepreneurship programs globally.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit