Ever year, Ernst and Young holds “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards, regionally and nationally. (I was nominated for the award last year in my region but lost out to a smart guy who provides internet access to hotels (opens in new tab), while Dave Moll. over at WebRoot deservedly won last year (opens in new tab)in his region.) The process of winning an award is a bit of a mystery, but one assumes there’s a certain amount of due diligence in the whole process.
Well, the E&Y team for the Minessota/Dakotas region decided that the folks who power Freeze.com deserved to become Entrepreneurs of the Year for their region. They are Aaron Weber, Vice President, Robert Weber, President and Founder, and Ryan Weber, Executive Vice President and Founder.
Ok. What is Freeze.com? It’s a site which tries to load you up with adware and spams you (opens in new tab), in return for free screensavers.
A recent test install of a screen saver netted attempts to install products from New.Net, WhenU and the Yahoo toolbar. It was a cornucopia of fruity, juicy ads blizzard happiness. Use a product from Freeze.com and you will be awash in sea of happy advertising! But you’ll have a cool screensaver, so that’s a relief.
These point to Certified-Safe-Downloads, aka Registry Cleaner (rating (opens in new tab)) and 24/7 downloads (rating (opens in new tab)) — and a couple of other sites. (Fwiw, Freeze.com EULA here (opens in new tab).)
Anyway, Freeze’s formula has worked. According to the company,. the company has grown over 400% in the last three years, has been profitable since inception and has 85 million registered users.
Well, what can I say. This company isn’t a criminal enterprise by any stretch of the imagination. They’re just a bunch of guys aggressively monetizing free screensavers through advertising. I just wonder if that E&Yoffice should have given the award to their local guy who does internet access to hotels.