SEATTLE, Nov. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, has been named the EY National Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2013 Services Award winner. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Rascoff was recognized for overcoming initial industry reluctance to create a breakthrough service offering – Zillow, an online marketplace that empowers customers to make smarter decisions about real estate. He was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, Calif. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in 10 additional categories.The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients. "Spencer's ability to see around corners to identify such a key need in the marketplace, and then create a credible service offering to satisfy that need, is the epitome of the word 'entrepreneur' and is what makes these high-growth companies truly the engines of our economy," said Bryan Pearce, EY Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year. Breaking in With over 50 million current users and $90 million in venture capital, Zillow foresees a long and prosperous future — but it wasn't always like that. One of the biggest challenges when launching the internet database was assuring the real estate industry that, although Zillow empowers customers by providing access to information, they did not start the company to put real estate agents out of business. Once the real estate industry bought in to the company, Zillow soared. "The team that started Zillow, including myself, is made up of the same folks who started Expedia," said Rascoff. "Expedia ruffled a lot of feathers in the travel industry by putting a lot of travel agents out of business. At Zillow, we had to explain that while we empower consumers by giving them access to information, we still believe real estate professionals play a crucial role in the industry."