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Illumio Culture

Q&A With Andrew Rubin on Being an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Bay Area Award Winner

Andrew Rubin Illumio CEO EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Bay Area Award Winner

Illumio is excited for our CEO, Andrew Rubin, to be recognized as a winner in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Bay Area program.  

Started in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive awards program for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. The award honors business leaders, founders, and CEOs from around the world for their creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial spirit. Winners were chosen for successfully creating long-term value in their industries, committing to a purpose, and making a substantial impact on their employees, customers, and communities.

We sat down with Andrew to learn what the award means to him, his inspirations and challenges as a business owner, and his advice to young entrepreneurs.  

What does being an EY Entrepreneur of the Year mean to you?

To be included in a group of such incredible entrepreneurs and builders is both an honor and a wonderful acknowledgement of the hard work, dedication, and passion that every Illumineer brings each day. The best part of all is that, like my fellow honorees, I’m certain that we are just getting started!

How would you define entrepreneurship?

For me, entrepreneurship is the desire to build and the willingness to take risks to do it.  There’s no job title called ‘entrepreneur’ because it’s not a job; it’s a mindset.  

What inspired you to start your own business?

I started Illumio because of the recognition of a customer problem and the opportunity that it creates. The excitement of building something from nothing is a very powerful foundation to build a company on top of. And that was the Illumio story from day one.

What challenges do you see today's entrepreneurs running into?

Companies are started and built in both good and bad markets, up and down cycles, and easy and hard times. There’s no right or wrong time to start a company other than when you’re ready to take a leap. The challenges of ideation, fundraising, strategic planning, and product market fit are constant. The one at the top of the list forever and always is talent.  The people and the team are everything, and recruiting the best is never easy.

What role do Illumio's customers play in your success?

The voice of the customer has been in the room with us since day one, long before there was a product or revenue. The customer’s feedback guides everything from roadmap to prioritization to how we support them day and night around the world. They are the North Star for every Illumineer.

What's your advice to young entrepreneurs getting started in tech?

The enemy of a really good plan is a perfect plan every time. We all know the expression, but my number one piece of advice is to try something instead of spending all of your time thinking about it and analyzing it. You’ll get some right, you’ll get some wrong, but you’ll be moving forward and learning every step of the way.

Entrepreneurs play a vital role in transforming our lives by disrupting entire industries and reinventing economies. We’re honored to have Andrew recognized among so many other ambitious business leaders in the Bay Area and around the world.

Learn more about the award.

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