Convio's Vinay Bhagat Named Finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Convio's founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Vinay Bhagat, already widely recognized as an Internet visionary and thought leader for the nonprofit sector, has been named a finalist for the 2006 Ernst & Young (E&Y) Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

Launched in 1986, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is one of the most prestigious honors for entrepreneurs. The award recognizes "the vital contributions of entrepreneurs — the leaders and creators who build and sustain world-class businesses that are a testament to vision, leadership, achievement, and social responsibility," according to the E&Y Web site.

Convio is the leading provider of on-demand software and services to help nonprofits use the Internet for building strong constituent relationships that drive fundraising, awareness and enduring support. Bhagat founded Convio in 1999 at the age of 29 after volunteering at a public television pledge drive and recognizing an opportunity to apply for-profit Internet principles to nonprofit organizations. At the time, he was director of ecommerce at a prominent Austin-based software company where he was helping Fortune 500 companies develop their Internet strategies.

Since inception, Bhagat has been a driving force behind Convio's strong, steady growth and the nonprofit sector's increasing adoption of the Internet as a key channel for fundraising and other mission-critical activities. Convio now serves more than 550 organizations, including many of the nation's largest multi-affiliate charitable groups, among them, American Red Cross, Easter Seals and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In the past four years, Convio's revenue has increased nearly 450 percent — from $2.4 million in 2002 to $13.3 million in 2005.

"Being named a finalist for this top honor is a well-deserved recognition for Vinay," said Bill Wood, General Partner, Silverton Partners, an Austin-based venture capital firm and Convio investor. "He is a man who epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit and whose vision, passion and dedication to his customers and the nonprofit sector cannot be matched. Since founding Convio, Vinay also has played a key role in helping to build a strong executive team that has enabled the company to become a clear market leader and well-positioned for long-term success."

Ernst & Young names Entrepreneur of the Year finalists from 26 regions in the United States and the winner from each region then competes at the national level in a variety of categories. Bhagat is one of six finalists this year from the Central Texas region. Previous Entrepreneur of the Year winners include individuals who have built some of business's most recognizable names: Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google, Inc., Howard Schultz of Starbucks Corp., Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred Liggins of Radio One, and Jim McCann of 1-800-Flowers.com.

More about Bhagat

Bhagat is renowned as a thought leader for the philanthropic sector on use of the Internet to optimize fundraising, marketing, advocacy, communications and development of strong constituent relationships to support those activities. In addition to the Ernst & Young honor, Bhagat also recently was named 2006 Fundraising Professional of the Year by FundRaising Success magazine (in the publication's "agency" category).

Bhagat also: has received the Austin Business Journal's "Rising Star" award, which honors people shaping the future of technology in Central Texas; and was nominated as a finalist by PoliticsOnline as one of the world's 25 most influential people in online politics.

A frequent speaker at conferences, Bhagat has addressed events hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. Additionally, he is a widely published author, with chapters in The Nonprofit Handbook: Fund Raising Third Edition 2002 Supplement and Nonprofit Internet Strategies: Best Practices for Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising Success. Bhagat serves on the board of the ePhilanthropy Foundation as well as on the Advisory Council of the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation.

About Convio

Convio is the leading provider of on-demand software and services to help nonprofits use the Internet strategically to build strong relationships with constituents for driving fundraising, advocacy and other forms of support. Convio has online solutions for fundraising, advocacy, Web content management, event fundraising, ecommerce and email communications. All solutions include the Constituent360™ platform, a sophisticated, online marketing database that centralizes constituent data and integrates with offline databases.

Convio has been named 2005 "Private Company of the Year" by the Austin Business Journal. The company's clients include American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, AVON Foundation, Easter Seals, Farm Aid, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Trust For Historic Preservation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Thirteen/WNET New York. For more information, please visit www.convio.com

Press Contact:
Karoline McLaughlin
Director, Corporate Communications
Convio, Inc.

Convio's Vinay Bhagat Named Finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award | Convio