Dani Bolognesi, the chief executive who helped lead Trimeris to discovery and FDA approval of a new AIDS drug, is one of eight “Entrepreneurs of the Year” from the Carolinas as selected by Ernst & Young.

Also honored were Ping Fu of Raindrog Geomagic, a software firm in Research Triangle Park, and Robin Smith of Biologics, which is based in Raleigh.

Bolognesi was recognized in the biotech-life sciences category.
Ping Fu was selected for information technology.

Smith was recognized for health services.

The winners were announced Thursday night in Charlotte, and all will advance for consideration as national E&Y entrepreneur winners.
Neal Hunter of Cree was selected national entrepreneur of the year for 2002.

The entire list of winners:

Consumer Services

Joe Erwin,
Erwin-Penland
Greenville, SC

Business Services

Keith Ravan,
Power Equipment Maintenance
Durham, NC

Hospitality/Real Estate/Construction

Robert Hughes Jr.
Dennis Braasch
James Pustejovsky
J. Coleman Shouse,
Institutional Resources
Greenville, SC

Networking and Communications

Robert Scott,
Universal Solutions
Charleston, SC

Biotech/Life Sciences

Dani Bolognesi,
Trimeris
Durham, NC

Information Technology

Ping Fu,
Raindrop Geomagic
Research Triangle Park, NC

Health Services

Robin Smith,
Biologics
Raleigh, NC

Retail and Consumer Products

Billy Prim,
Blue Rhino Corporation
Winston-Salem, NC