An important element in IdeaFunding history is the tradition of honoring aspiring entrepreneurs and community leaders who have helped inspire others and build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Thomas R. Brown Awardees
Thomas R. Brown “Outstanding Entrepreneur” Award
Established in 2001, the Thomas R. Brown Award recognizes an individual entrepreneur for their commitment, innovation and economic contribution in Southern Arizona. The award honors the co-founder of Burr-Brown Corporation, Tom Brown. He and a friend, Page Burr, started the company in Brown’s garage in 1956, and shortly thereafter Brown bought out Burr’s interest and grew the company until 2000 when it was acquired by Texas Instruments. The sale was the largest in Arizona history. Burr-Brown was a precision electronics manufacturing company with sales almost exclusively outside of Arizona, and thus it contributed significantly to the economy of Arizona.
Thomas R. Brown “Rising Star” Award
The Rising Star Award is being established for the first time this year as a complementary award to the Thomas R. Brown Outstanding Entrepreneur Award. The Thomas R. Brown Rising Star Award recognizes an individual entrepreneur who is in the early stages of business, and poised for future success and impact and that demonstrates the same innovative spirit and commitment as the Outstanding Entrepreneur Award recipient.
Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson Awards
Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson “Lasting Community Builder” Award
Established in 2013, the Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson Award recognizes an individual that has shown outstanding commitment and dedication to building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tucson, making a lasting impact as a community builder. The award is named for the combined efforts of attorney and community leader Larry Hecker and startup ecosystem builder Sherry Hoskinson, both part of the original founding team for IdeaFunding.
Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson “Bright Futures” Award
The Bright Futures Award is being established for the first time this year as a complementary award to the Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson Lasting Community Builder Award. The Award recognizes an individual in the earlier part of their career that has already shown that they embody the same traits as those of the Lasting Community Building Award and is poised to continue to make an impact on our ecosystem moving forward.