Vizio founder William Wang has been named Chapman University's Entrepreneur of the Year.

Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics will honor William Wang, CEO of Irvine-based VIZIO, as the 2011 recipient of the university’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. 

Wang will formally accept the award at a dinner event to be held in his honor on Thursday, Nov. 17, which will celebrate the vital role Orange County businesses and entrepreneurs play in the American economy. 

By highlighting and commemorating the accomplishments of local entrepreneurs and the dynamic entrepreneurial spirit of Southern California, Chapman’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award has become a valuable component of the university’s entrepreneurship program. 

“We are pleased to be honoring William Wang as Chapman’s Entrepreneur of the Year,” said Richard Sudek, director of the
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics
at Chapman University.  “Wang’s dedication to value and his focus on customer service has led VIZIO to the top of the HDTV industry.  It is due to his impactful presence and success as an Orange County entrepreneur that we chose to recognize him this year.”  

Wang launched
, America’s #1 LCD HDTV company, in 2002 with two employees and just $600,000.  Having guided the company to profit through extremely lean operations and key retail partnerships, Wang led VIZIO to secure the title of first American brand in over ten years to lead the U.S. in LCD HDTV sales.

“It is an honor to be selected as Chapman University’s Entrepreneur of the Year,” said William Wang, Chief Executive Officer, VIZIO.  “I founded VIZIO with the vision that we could be the industry leader by bringing the highest quality HDTVs to market at the most affordable prices. Our team is the reason VIZIO has become number one in the U.S. and receiving positive recognition from a prestigious university like Chapman is a testament to that.”

Chapman’s emphasis on innovation and originality has afforded the university a Top 25 entrepreneurship program ranking by the Princeton Review.  

“Orange County is a key driver in U.S. entrepreneurship,” said Daniele Struppa, Ph.D., Chancellor of Chapman University.  “This fact is actively reflected by Chapman’s
Argyros School of Business and Economics
, which is recognized around the world as one of the premiere business schools. We’re honored to present the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to an executive such as Wang who so exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit.”