Indianapolis-based Apparatus and Animated Dynamics in the Purdue Research Park were among the top winners at this weekend's 16th annual Mira Awards. Indiana's technology growth initiative TechPoint hosted the award ceremony, which recognized companies, entrepreneurs and community leaders for technology excellence. May 4, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – TechPoint, Indiana’s technology growth initiative, honored Indiana’s best companies, entrepreneurs, educators, and other leaders for their technology excellence and innovation at the 16th annual Mira Awards gala presented by BKD CPAs & Advisors at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
Among those taking home top honors were Apparatus (Tech Company of the Year), AniDyn: Animated Dynamics (Tech Innovation of the Year), TinderBox (Emerging Tech Company of the Year), Lesson.ly (Tech Startup of the Year) and the co-founder of ExactTarget and Compendium Chris Baggott (Trailblazer in Technology), and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder).
Out of the 100 companies selected as nominees this year, 73 of them didn’t even exist five years ago. Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint, said that this trend of new companies accounting for half or more of the nominees has been going on for three years in a row now, and that it is a good sign — the sign of a thriving tech ecosystem.
There are 31 companies competing in the Tech, Emerging Tech and Startup of the Year award categories. These companies created more than 315 jobs altogether in 2014, and 13 of the nominees posted triple digit growth last year.
“The Mira Awards amplify success stories of some of the very best Indiana startups, scaleups, and established tech companies, which helps them win new customers, attract investment capital, and acquire skilled talent,” Langellier said. The Miras are a large, annual part of our mission to accelerate tech growth in Indiana.”
Forty-three independent, volunteer judges spent more than 700 collective hours reviewing and ranking the applications, interviewing the nominees and selecting the winners. Judges included 15 company founders, eight CEOs and presidents, four CIOs, six vice presidents and a variety of other subject matter experts.
Full List of the 2015 TechPoint Mira Award winners and runners-up:
(Descriptions of the companies or individuals and why they were chosen are below.)
Tech Company of the Year: Apparatus
Emerging Tech Company of the Year: TinderBox
Tech Startup of the Year: Lesson.ly
PRODUCT OR TEAM ACHIEVEMENT
Tech Innovation of the Year: AniDyn – Animated Dynamics
Tech Services Award (IT in Support of the Business): NextGear Capital
Runner-Up: Megaputer Intelligence Inc.
Tech Services Award (IT in Support of Go-to-Market): Vennli
Tech Sales and Marketing Award: Weblink International
Runner-up: Great Fermentations
Mobile Tech Award: pi lab – Edwin the Duck
Runner-Up: The Traveler by Kyle Parker, Ball State University
Marketing Tech Award: Geofeedia
Health Tech Award: Extension Healthcare
Runner-Up: LifeShare Technologies
Special Contribution to Health Tech: Regenstrief Institute
Education Tech Award: SPEAK MODalities
Tech Educator of the Year Award: Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division
Runner-Up: Eleven Fifty Academy
Trailblazer in Technology Award: Chris Baggott, Co-founder of ExactTarget and Compendium
TechPoint Rising Star Award: Ilya Rekhter, CEO, DoubleMap Inc.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award: Mayor Greg Ballard, City of Indianapolis
TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award (Mayor Greg Ballard, City of Indianapolis) Mayor Ballard was chosen to receive this award in recognition of his vision, commitment, and steadfast pursuit to provide access to hands-on, mentor-led, robotics education programming for all Indianapolis students through the City of Indianapolis VEX Robotics Championship (IndyVRC).
TechPoint Trailblazer in Technology Award (Chris Baggott, Co-Founder of ExactTarget and Compendium) Baggott co-founded the email marketing juggernaut ExactTarget and served as CMO before leaving to start the business blogging and content marketing trendsetter Compendium. He also authored a book about email marketing published by Wiley. ExactTarget was acquired by Salesforce in 2013 for $2.5 billion, and Oracle acquired Compendium the same year for an undisclosed amount.
Tech Company of the Year (Apparatus) Apparatus specializes in durable, scalable managed IT solutions backed by technological insights that deliver increasing business value to clients over time. The company’s suite of highly configurable, enterprise consulting solutions stretch across unified communications, collaboration, business intelligence, mobile, and cloud computing. Last year, Apparatus launched its acclaimed Kore IT management platform, entered 24 new markets nationwide and created dozens of new jobs.
Emerging Tech Company of the Year (TinderBox) TinderBox makes it faster to create and deliver sales proposals, contracts and even presentations entirely online. In 2014, the company doubled its workforce to 49 employees, added more than 200 customers, and launched an entirely new mobile-first product experience that allows users to create, send and track sales materials from any device, anywhere. After rounds of funding each year since its founding — including being the first non-Silicon Valley company to receive funding from West Coast-based FundersClub — TinderBox raised an additional $3 million in venture capital in 2014 to fuel growth and product innovation.
Tech Startup of the Year (Lesson.ly) Team-training software company, Lesson.ly, has experienced rapid growth from two to 10 full-time employees, while revenues grew by 850 percent in 2014 alone. Lesson.ly’s clients include brands such as Lyft, ModCloth, and Angie’s list, and the company secured $1.1 million of financing in late 2014 — mostly from angel investors with participation from Allos Ventures. Lesson.ly is the first company outside of ExactTarget to raise money from all three ExactTarget co-founders.
Tech Innovation of the Year (AniDyn: Animated Dynamics, Inc.) Animated Dynamics, Inc. (AniDyn) is a biotechnology start-up that uses a breakthrough technology, called BioDynamic Imaging, to look inside living samples of patient biopsies to measure how well cancer drugs are working. With Anidyn’s 9-hour assay, BioDynamic Imaging has the potential to eliminate terrible lost weeks of chemotherapy that simply isn’t working, and allow doctors to select new combination therapies that can begin to eliminate the cancer within days.
Tech Services Award – IT to Support the Business (NextGear Capital) NextGear Capital is the world’s leading independent inventory finance company, providing flexible lines of credit for car dealers to purchase new and used inventory. NextGear Capital’s growth in 2014 was nothing short of astonishing with receiveables increasing by 50 percent to nearly $3 billion. It was developing and implementing a proprietary ERP/CRM/mobile platform — upon which NextGear operates its entire business — that directly contributed to doubling the company’s revenue last year.
Tech Services Award – IT to Support Go-to-Market (Vennli) Vennli is a software-as-a-service platform that harnesses real-time customer insights — the factors customers weigh when making purchasing decisions — and transforms them into growth strategies upon which leaders can take immediate action. Vennli has found a business development niche that is underserved and applied technology in innovative ways that provides research, visualization