EY Selects Unconventional Entrepreneur as Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year® 2024

Canton, OH

Patriot Software is proud to announce that its founder & CEO, Mike Kappel, has been selected by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024. Kappel is among 29 entrepreneurs selected by an independent panel of judges.

Kappel is known for founding the first of the Patriot Software companies in 1986 in a cold and dingy basement of a factory. EY initially zeroed in on Kappel after hearing his many bizarre-but-true national radio ads on Sirius XM that told of his business escapades. And more recently, EY took notice of Patriot Software’s intentionally unconventional social media presence led by Kappel.

Now in its 38th year, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year competition is the preeminent business award for entrepreneurs who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries, and have a transformational impact on lives. The East Central program celebrates entrepreneurs from Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.

“I think it’s incredible and almost comical that EY selected me as a finalist because I’m so unconventional,” says Kappel. “Like most entrepreneurs, I’ve started more businesses than I probably should have, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve made every business mistake known to man, and many of them twice.” 

Kappel went on to say, “I probably hold the world record for taking the longest amount of time to turn a company profitable; 21 years. No kidding, I intentionally allowed Patriot Software to run with a negative EBITDA for 21 years. I did this because I knew it was more important to build Patriot’s systems and products to actually solve American businesses’ accounting, payroll, time & attendance, and HR problems than it was to cut corners to generate short-term profits. Naturally, bankers and equity firms admonished us, but once we hit about 58,000 American businesses using our software, they started changing their tune. They wanted to see short-term results, but we were building generational results. What we’ve done is unheard of, and it’s good. American businesses are going to be blessed, and our shareholders are going to reap healthy dividends for decades to come. So, me being selected by a very buttoned-up organization like EY for Entrepreneur of the Year, actually blows my mind!”

EY’s competition celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their businesses, raised outside capital, delivered unique innovative products, and created multigenerational solutions helping thousands or even millions of people.  

According to Patriot’s president, Michael Wheeler, Esq., “Don’t let Mike Kappel’s self-deprecating nature fool you. He is a savvy entrepreneur and more than meets the criteria laid out by EY. Patriot Software is already helping tens-of-thousands of American business owners and their accountants, which represents hundreds of thousands of American employees and contractors, and it’s on its way to helping millions. And Kappel, even with all of his quirks, has demonstrated grit by building one of the largest and most automated payroll companies in the USA.” 

Regional award winners will be announced on June 13, 2024 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National independent panel of judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.


About Patriot Software:

Patriot Software is disrupting the accounting and payroll industries with its low prices, highest customer reviews, and award-winning software. Patriot offers cloud-based accounting, payroll, HR, and time and attendance solutions that help American businesses with up to 500 employees simplify their administrative tasks. Patriot’s US-based Customer Support Team provides a personal touch that most software companies lack today. The company has been serving tens of thousands of businesses nationwide since 2002.

For more information, please contact:

Patriot Software, LLC
Michael A. Wheeler, Esq.