Goldman Sachs is once again recognizing Topgolf® Entertainment Group Executive Chairman Erik Anderson as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2018 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Goldman Sachs selected Anderson as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored as a leader in innovation at the three-day event. Last week, Anderson also was ranked third on Golf Inc.’s 2018 list of “Most Powerful People in Golf,” up from eighth in 2017.
Under Anderson’s leadership, Topgolf has become one of the fastest-growing sports and entertainment brands in the world. In the past five years, the company has expanded from 10 venues entertaining 1.5 million Guests annually to 51 venues with 17 million Guest visits projected for 2018. Anderson also led Topgolf through a series of strategic acquisitions to take the Topgolf experience beyond the venues.
In addition to his role at Topgolf, Anderson is Founder and CEO of WestRiver Group (WRG) since 2002. WRG provides integrated capital solutions for the global innovation economy. Anderson also serves as Vice Chairman of ONEHOPE, a cause-centric consumer brand and technology company, most commonly known for its award-winning wine and world-class vineyard in Napa, Calif. As well, Anderson serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including Singularity University, a global community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges; Play Magnus, an interactive chess app inspired by the reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen; and Avista Corp, an energy management company.
Anderson is deeply committed to causes that help impact America’s youth and has led initiatives to contribute to nonprofits, schools and individuals across the U.S. this year. He founded First Move, America’s Foundation for Chess, which engages students in learning, positive educational experiences and lifelong social and critical thinking skills. The organization has served more than one million students of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds with an interactive and effective classroom program. Anderson also oversaw the start of the Youth Play It Forward program at Topgolf, where high school golf teams and charities serving youth can play at Topgolf for free during the day Mondays through Thursdays.
“A dynamic economy depends on dynamic entrepreneurs who disrupt industries and occasionally give birth to entirely new sectors,” said David M. Solomon, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs. “The purpose of Builders + Innovators is to support emerging leaders in their quests to innovate faster in order to grow their ideas. We are pleased to recognize Erik Anderson as one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2018.”
For nearly 150 years, Goldman Sachs has been advising and financing entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the summit consists of general sessions and clinics led by seasoned entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders as well as resident scholars.
Topgolf pioneered a technology to make golf more fun and engaging. It has since emerged as a global sports and entertainment community focused on connecting people in meaningful ways. Today, Topgolf continues to blend technology and entertainment, golfers and non-golfers, children and adults – to create an experience that makes socializing a sport for everyone. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, we believe every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and beverage, moved by music and made possible through community. Every Topgolf venue features dozens of high-tech, climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort, a chef-inspired menu for year-round deliciousness and hundreds of Associates eager to help create the moments that matter. Topgolf is truly everyone’s game, with 49 venues entertaining more than 13 million Guests annually, original content shows, next-gen simulator lounges through Topgolf Swing Suite, the global Topgolf Tour competition, pop-up social experiences like Topgolf Crush, Toptracer technology as seen on TV, and the world’s largest digital golf audience. For more information about Topgolf, including corporate sponsorships, hospitality opportunities or to learn about and view exclusive digital content, please visit topgolf.com.