TechPoint announces winners of the Mira Awards to honor ‘The Best of Tech in Indiana’April 28, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS (April 28, 2018) — TechPoint, the nonprofit, industry-led growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, honored the successes and innovation of Indiana companies, professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and other leaders at the JW Marriott Indianapolis during the 19th annual Mira Awards gala presented by Angie’s List, Infosys, and Salesforce. With a sold-out crowd of 1,300 attendees — up 400 from last year — this was the largest Mira Awards in history.
The Mira Awards – Indiana’s largest and longest running technology awards program – this year celebrates 15 award winners and two honorable mentions chosen from a record 205 applications. Fifty-two independent, volunteer judges spent more than 850 total hours evaluating applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included company founders, CEOs and presidents, CTOs, CIOs, and subject matter experts.
“Every year the quantity and quality of Mira Awards applications and attendance are an important indicator of the health of Indiana’s tech ecosystem,” said Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint. “Record attendance and applications this year speak to the momentum here and corroborate recent headlines about the ecosystem being one of the fastest growing in the country. The Mira Awards play an important role toward TechPoint’s mission of building the tech ecosystem here because the distinction of winning helps companies win new customers, acquire investment capital, and attract skilled talent.”
Counting only information submitted by the 55 different companies competing in the six Mira Awards company categories, they employ nearly 25,500 people worldwide and more than 14,300 people here in Indiana. In 2017, these same 55 companies posted revenues of more than $6.8 billion (including Indianapolis-headquartered Salesforce Marketing Cloud operations but not Salesforce global).
Full List of the 2018 TechPoint Mira Award winners and honorees:
(Descriptions of the companies or individuals and why they were chosen are below.)
- Rising Star Award: Ellie Symes, CEO, The Bee Corp
- Tech Educator of the Year: Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW), IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI
- Honorable Mention: Javier Barrera Cervantes, Executive Director, Latino Youth Collective
- Investor of the Year: High Alpha – Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner
- Community Champion of the Year: Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder, The Startup Ladies
- Trailblazer Award: John Wechsler, Founder, Launch Fishers and Indiana IoT Lab
- TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award: Jeffrey C. Musgrove Jr., Digital Development Lead at Eli Lilly and Company
- Innovation of the Year: WorkHere
- Best New Tech Product: Heliponix
- Tech Service of the Year: Codelicious
- Corporate Innovator of the Year: City of Indianapolis-Marion County, Information Services Agency
- Honorable Mention: OurHealth
- Company Culture of the Year: Springbuk
- Best New Tech Startup: FreightRover
- Scale-up of the Year ($100K-$5M): Springbuk
- Scale-up of the Year ($5M-$20M): SupplyKick
- Tech Company of the Year ($20M+): Salesforce
Rising Star Award (Ellie Symes, CEO, The Bee Corp) Ellie Symes is an ambitious entrepreneur pioneering patented technologies and other innovative IoT solutions in an industry devoid of tech adoption: the beekeeping industry. In 2017, she launched her first two products and raised over three quarters of a million dollars in funding for her startup. At a time when honeybee populations are at great risk of dying off, Ellie’s ag-tech products helped her customers save their hives. READ MORE
Tech Educator of the Year (Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce – iDEW, IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI) iDEW is increasing the number and diversity of people in the tech pipeline by teaching high school students how to design and code. iDEW courses teach advanced, real-world technologies that inspire and equip them for a successful career in tech.. Eighty percent of the iDEW students are from underrepresented groups like females, minorities and students from low-income families, and now they have a real sense of belonging to the tech community. READ MORE
Investor of the Year (High Alpha – Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner) In the 30 months since the four founding partners launched High Alpha, the venture studio has invested $11.4 million in Indianapolis tech companies, including six investments in 2017 alone. High Alpha has also forged a number of relationships between VCs and investors outside Indiana that have culminated in large investments into the Indianapolis tech community from firms across the country. READ MORE
Trailblazer Award (John Wechsler, Founder, Launch Fishers and Indiana IoT Lab) John Wechsler founded or co-founded no less than a dozen startup companies or community organizations in the Greater Indianapolis tech community. His most recent ventures – The Indiana Coworking Passport, Launch Fishers, Launch Indiana, Launch Indy and the Indiana IoT Lab – are all compounding the impact he has on tech as thousands of Hoosiers learn and grow and launch their own ventures throughout the state. READ MORE
TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award (Jeffrey C. Musgrove Jr., Digital Development Lead at Eli Lilly and Company) Jeffrey C. Musgrove Jr. has spent nearly two decades working in various technical roles at large Indianapolis-based companies such as Eli Lilly and Company and Roche Diagnostics. His steadfast commitment to sharing his passion for technology with younger generations is demonstrated through his work as a leader and instructor for the Black Data Processors Association (BDPA), Indianapolis chapter, dedicating more than 1,000 hours of service over the past seven years. READ MORE
Community Champion of the Year (Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder, The Startup Ladies) Kristen is filling a crucial role within the tech community of bringing more women entrepreneurs to the forefront and providing the resources and access to capital that they need to be successful. She’s modeled a more hopeful and approachable environment for all genders, races, ages and other groups in tech, and she’s helped the tech community recognize diversity as a serious competitive advantage. READ MORE
Innovation of the Year (WorkHere) WorkHere has pioneered using mobile GPS to help employers locate people nearby, reduce turnover and accelerate the hiring process, while at the same time making it extremely easy for job seekers to find a great job closer to home. In 2017 alone, WorkHere added features like instantaneous texting, social media messaging, geo-targeted and geo fenced recruitment advertising, and community coaching services to the company’s existing patent-pending technology. READ MORE
Best New Tech Product (Heliponix) The Gropod by Heliponix is a dishwasher-sized, food computer that grows a head of organic leafy greens on a daily basis. Ivan and his co-founder Scott Massey met while working on a NASA project at Purdue University, and they literally bootstrapped their company with a paper route! The judges called the Gropod a potential “category killer” in the fast-growing vertical farming market. READ MORE
Tech Service of the Year (Codelicious) Codelicious is transforming the way elementary and middle schools teach students how to code. Using a SaaS-like subscription model and its patent-pending technology, Codelicious builds and licenses curriculum that’s engaging and scalable, allowing teachers to spend more time teaching, which will have a significant impact on the future tech workforce in Indiana and nationwide. READ MORE
Corporate Innovator of the Year (City of Indianapolis-Marion County, Information Services Agency) In April last year, the City Information Services Agency launched its Shift Indy initiative, which leverages new platforms and technologies to dismantle outdated manual processes and transform them into a digital city hall. Through Shift Indy, the City of Indianapolis is making government services easy to find, simple to use and available 24/7, and most impressive, they’re doing it all without increasing the budget! READ MORE
Company Culture of the Year (Springbuk) Health-intelligence software developer Springbuk grew from a start-up of five people to 60 full-time employees in three years, with more than half of those new hires joining in 2017. They’ve attracted high-caliber talent, and their unique focus on culture and diversity has fueled financial growth, employee growth, and fundraising success. READ MORE
Best New Tech Startup (FreightRover) FreightRover is combining two of Central Indiana’s greatest economic strengths — technology and logistics. The company’s platform reduces 15 manual, paper-based processes down to three automated steps and streamlines payment processing so that transportation carriers get paid in 24 hours rather than 30 days. There are over 35,000 carriers already using the new FreightRover ecosystem, the startup grew to 27 employees last year and they expect to more than double again this year. READ MORE
Scale-up of the Year – $100K-$5M (Springbuk) Springbuk and its health-analytics software are tackling one of our nation’s biggest issues by using data science to prevent illness, injury and disease. More than 1,000 employers nationwide have adopted the company’s software in just three years; they’ve processed over $7 billion in total medical claims and identified over $250 million in potential health savings for their clients. Springbuk expects to help employers save up to $4 billion in healthcare costs by 2020. READ MORE
Scale-up of the Year – $5M-$20M (SupplyKick) As online retail rapidly evolves, SupplyKick has developed a successful, tech-enabled and analytics-driven approach to buying, selling, and representing third-party products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.com. Despite operating in a notoriously high-risk market, the fast-growing, self-funded company nearly doubled its workforce and more than doubled its revenue in 2017, which it’s done each year for the past three years. READ MORE
Tech Company of the Year – $20M+ (Salesforce) Global CRM leader Salesforce has a thriving employee base in Indiana – home to its second largest hub with over 1,650 employees in Indianapolis. About 75 percent of the employees here work on Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which is headquartered in Indianapolis and grew nearly 40 percent year-over-year in 2017. In addition to adding another 200 new high-wage jobs in 2017, Salesforce celebrated the grand opening of Salesforce Tower Indianapolis, which is the tallest building in Indiana and one of just four such Salesforce Towers in the world – San Francisco, New York, London and now Indianapolis. More than 90 percent of Salesforce employees in Indiana volunteer in local public schools or with nonprofits, and they volunteered over 65,000 hours in 2017. READ MORE
In March this year, TechPoint announced the winners of three People’s Choice Culture Awards selected by public voting for for Best Tech Event (Kronos Incorporated), Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag (UpperHand), and Best Tech Space (DeveloperTown).
TechPoint is the nonprofit, industry-led growth accelerator for Indiana’s technology companies and overall tech ecosystem. The team is focused on attracting talent, accelerating scale-up companies, activating the community, and amplifying stories of success. For more, visit www.techpoint.org.