EY Announces Mahesh Rajasekharan of Cleo as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Midwest Award Winner

ROCKFORD, Illinois, June 21, 2022 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Mahesh Rajasekharan, CEO of Cleo, was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year®2022 Midwest Award winner. Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who think big to succeed. An independent panel of judges selected Rajasekharan based on his entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

“On behalf of Team Cleo and our global ecosystem of customers, partners, investors and employees, I am extremely humbled to receive this regional leadership award from a world-class organization like EY,” Rajasekharan said.  “While my name may be on the trophy, this honor is truly a testament to the commitment, focus, and integrity of everyone who over the past 10 years has worked so hard to transform Cleo into the innovative pioneer and global leader of the fast-growing Ecosystem Integration software category. Thank you.”  

As a Midwest award winner, Rajasekharan will now be considered by the National independent panel of judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 National Awards. 

National finalists and winners, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2023. 

In addition, Dick Leinenkugel, President and Chief Beer Merchant of Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Leinenkugel, who led his family-founded brewery to an audience of drinkers across the country, will retire at the end of 2022 after serving eight years as president and over 35 years in the family business.  

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as: 

  • Cherie Kloss of SnapNurse 
  • Saeju Jeong of Noom 
  • Joe DeSimone of Carbon, Inc.
  • Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Jodi Berg of Vitamix
  • Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation
  • Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani, Inc.
  • Kendra Scott of Kendra Scott LLC
  • Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks
  • James Park of Fitbit
  • Daymond John of FUBU 
  • Sheila Mikhail of AskBio 


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are presented by PNC Bank. In the Midwest sponsors also include Becker Professional Education, Cresa Global, Inc., LaSalle Network and Marsh.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year® 

Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. National overall winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. ey.com/us/eoy

About EY Private 

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit ey.com/us/private

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

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About Cleo

Cleo is an ecosystem integration software company focused on business outcomes, ensuring each customer’s potential is realized by delivering solutions that make it easy to discover and create value through the movement and integration of B2B enterprise data.  Cleo gives customers strategic, “outside-in” visibility into the critical end-to-end business flows happening across their ecosystems of partners and customers, marketplaces, and internal cloud and on-premise applications.  Our solutions empower teams to drive business agility, accelerate onboarding, facilitate modernization of key business processes, and capture new revenue streams by reimagining and remastering their digital ecosystem through robust application, B2B, and data integration technologies. For more information, visit www.cleo.com or call +1.815.282.7695.


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