Spirit of Enterprise Award

The Spirit of Enterprise Award is Arizona's premier celebration of entrepreneurship. For more than two decades, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University has recognized businesses that positively impact our economy while exhibiting ethics, energy, and excellence in entrepreneurship.

Each fall as part of the Economic Club of Phoenix season, the W. P. Carey School honors the entrepreneurial spirit and its impact on Arizona by showcasing a locally owned and located business that is redefining what’s possible.


The 2018 Spirit of Enterprise recipient is Nextiva. Tomas Gorny, a Polish-born American entrepreneur and the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of UnitedWeb, a holdings company, and Nextiva, a cloud communications provider, will accept the award on the company's behalf.

Gorny has founded several successful technology companies, including IPOWER in 2001, which was sold to Warburg and Goldman Sachs for nearly $1 billion in 2011 and later went public. He launched Nextiva in 2006, followed by SiteLock in 2008. In 2014, Nextiva was named the fastest growing telecommunications company in North America and the fastest growing tech company in Arizona by Deloitte. In 2015, SiteLock took Nextiva’s place as the fastest growing tech company in Arizona, with Nextiva coming in second. In 2018, SiteLock sold to ABRY Partners LLC.

Tomas has received numerous awards for his leadership in the technology industry nationwide. He was named Arizona’s Top Tech CEO in 2017 by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Award requirements

Suggest a deserving Arizona company that exhibits our hallmark traits of ethics, energy, and excellence in entrepreneurship for a Spirit of Enterprise award. The company founder does not need to be an ASU alumnus, or have any affiliation with the university to be considered.

We consider nominations based on the following criteria:

  • A for-profit enterprise
  • Incorporated, headquartered, or has a majority of its business operations in Arizona
  • A minimum of three years in business
  • Three or more full-time employees
  • Founder of company is still with company, not recently acquired by another company or sold
  • To be considered, companies must be able to demonstrate:
  • Profitability over the last three years combined (not three consecutive years)
  • Outstanding achievement in business
  • Social impact on Arizona community as a core part of business operations
  • Innovation in products, services, or operations


The W. P. Carey School is proud to recognize previous winners of the Spirit of Enterprise Award who have harnessed the entrepreneurial spirit to make a positive impact on the economy and their communities.

Sun Devil 100

Sun Devil 100 celebrates the achievements of Arizona State University alumni who own or lead successful, innovative businesses across the globe. Spanning industries and locations, ASU entrepreneurs possess a history of enterprise, vision and leadership. This special awards program was instituted to invite these innovative leaders back to campus for a celebration in their honor. The Sun Devil Class of 2018 represents an elite group of talented business leaders who exemplify the spirit of ASU as a New American University.


The Sun Devil 100 awards program was instituted to invite innovative leaders back to campus for a celebration in their honor. Each year, Sun Devil 100 recipients represent the broader achievements of W. P. Carey alumni around the world — they are an elite group of talented business leaders who exemplify the spirit of ASU as a New American University.


InfernoHack: Compete in a 24-hour hackathon sponsored by Petco

Retail and innovation haven’t always gone hand-in-hand, but in the era of voice-controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, ASU’s first ever InfernoHack will allow students to experiment with this technology first-hand. The goal of the 24-hour hackathon is to help reinvent the consumer and/or store employee experience at Petco – learn more about the exciting technology and innovation opportunities in retail by registering today!


Fun? Check. Teamwork? Check. Prizes? Double check.

No matter your background, no matter your level of experience — all ASU students are encouraged to sign up for InfernoHack, a 24-hour hackathon presented by the W. P. Carey School of Business in partnership with RILA and Petco.

Teams up to four will work together to come up with a new idea or solution for Petco. We’ll have prizes, food, drinks, and swag, but you need to bring:

  • Laptop
  • Student ID
  • Chargers for electronics
  • Headphones
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Sleeping bag, blanket or/and pillow if wanted
  • Personal care items
  • Your best ideas

Sponsored by:

RILA logo
Petco Logo