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Dean Drako Named Entrepreneur of the Year Gulf South

Dean Drako, Eagle Eye Networks Founder and CEO, has won the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year 2024 Gulf South Award. Entrepreneur of the Year is the prestigious business awards programme for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies.

Under Drako’s leadership, Eagle Eye Networks has achieved significant growth in video surveillance industry and helped businesses worldwide enhance security and operational efficiency through cloud, advanced AI and analytics.

Eagle Eye Networks has made notable advancements in AI technology, including its award-winning, AI-powered Smart Video Search and License Plate Recognition, and its newly launched 911 camera sharing, which has already won two awards recognizing its positive impact on public safety and emergency response.

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honour and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Eagle Eye Networks team,” said Dean Drako, Founder and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. “We remain committed to pushing the boundaries of the cloud video surveillance industry with our AI features, delivering exceptional value to our customers, and positively impacting the world.”

Drako founded Eagle Eye Networks in 2012. He is also Chairman of cloud access control leader Brivo, and Chairman of enterprise security automation leader Cobalt AI. Previously, Drako was founder, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks, where he created the IT security industry’s first spam filter appliance, growing the company from its inception in 2003 through 2012 to more than 140 products and 150,000 customers.

An independent judging panel of previous award winners, leading CEOs and other business leaders selected Drako. Candidates were evaluated based on their ability to create long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to their purpose and the demonstration of growth and substantial impact, among other key indicators.

As a Gulf South award winner, Drako will be considered for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2024 National Awards. The National Award winners, including the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the Strategic Growth Forum, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in June 2025.

Entrepreneur Of The Year recognises many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. The programme celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organisation to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

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