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Jacksonville, Alachua entrepreneurs takes home state-wide awards

Friday, June 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Jacksonville, Alachua entrepreneurs takes home state-wide awards


By  – Reporter, Jacksonville Business Journal

Quang Pham, CEO of Espero BioPharma, has been crowned the EY 2018 Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida winner in the Emerging category.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award," Pham told the Business Journal by email. "It’s a great recognition for Espero for all of our efforts. It’s also wonderful to be recognized as a Jacksonville company.”

Pham was a winner in one of nine award categories. Winners were chosen by a panel comprised of previous award winners, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders. The award recipients were unveiled at a special gala on June 7 at the Lowes Sapphire Resort in Orlando, Florida.

This was Pham's second consecutive year as a finalist for the award. Espero develops and commercializes heart-focused pharmaceuticals, including Tecarfarin, a new blood thinner candidate that will challenge Warfarin. Espero was Jacksonville's fastest-growing private company in 2017.

Karen Zaderej, CEO of Alachua-based AxoGen Inc., took home the prize in the Health Care category. Her company focuses on the development and commercialization of technologies for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair.

“I am honored to be named an Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner in Florida,” Zaderej said in a statement. “AxoGen’s success is the result of a true team effort and a patient-focused culture... We have tremendous opportunity to improve quality of life and offer hope to patients with debilitating nerve damage.”

Five other Jacksonville area entrepreneurs were among the 30 finalists for this year's award in Florida, including:

About BioFlorida

BioFlorida represents 6,200 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthIT and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 87,000 Floridians.


Members of the BioFlorida network include emerging and established life science companies, universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, incubators, economic development agencies, investors and service providers.


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