Salesforce, SupplyKick, Springbuk Among Big Winners at Mira Awards
On Saturday, TechPoint, a nonprofit working to grow Indiana’s technology ecosystem, hosted its annual Mira Awards gala. The Miras honor the best and brightest in the Indiana tech community and cover a range of categories.
With more than 1,300 attendees, TechPoint says its 19th annual Mira Awards gala was the biggest in the organization’s history. Fifty-two independent judges spent more than 250 hours poring over a record 205 applications to determine the winners.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
Here’s a bit more about this year’s Mira Award winners, with some descriptions supplied by TechPoint. To see the complete list of winners, click here:
—Tech company of the year ($20 million-plus in revenue): Salesforce. The massive customer relationship management software provider cemented its relationship with Indiana when it acquired Indianapolis startup ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5 billion. Today, Indianapolis is Salesforce’s second-biggest hub, with more than 1,650 employees. About 75 percent of the company’s employees in the Hoosier State work on Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which is headquartered in Indianapolis and grew nearly 40 percent in 2017.
—Scale-up of the year ($5 million-$20 million): SupplyKick, whose CEO, Josh Owens, recently contributed a guest post to Xconomy Indiana, has a tech-enabled and analytics-driven approach to buying, selling, and representing third-party products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.com. The 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.
— Scale-up of the year ($100,000-$5 million): Springbuk. The healthcare analytics company raised a $20 million Series B round in January, drawing investment capital from Seattle and the Bay Area. More than 1,000 employers nationwide have adopted the company’s software since it was founded in 2015.
—Best new tech startup: FreightRover. As new transportation technologies such as autonomous vehicles hit the market, the logistics industry is poised for a transformation. FreightRover’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 more than 35,000 carriers already using the FreightRover system.
—Company culture of the year: Springbuk walks away with the honors after growing from a startup of five people to 60 full-time employees in three years, with more than half of those new hires joining in 2017. The company’s focus on culture and diversity has fueled financial growth, employee growth, and fundraising success, TechPoint says.
—Corporate innovator of the year: It might seem strange for a municipal entity like City of Indianapolis-Marion County Information Services Agency to win an award for corporate innovation, but the organization responsible for the Shift Indy initiative—which leverages new technologies to transform city hall into a state-of-the-art digital office open 24/7—has spurred cultural change without needing an increase in its budget.
—Tech service of the year: Codelicious deploys a software subscription model and patent-pending technology to provide teachers with a coding curriculum that helps students discover and learn more about technology.
—Best new tech product: Heliponix, which makes “a dishwasher-sized food computer that grows a head of organic leafy greens on a daily basis,” was founded by a pair of Purdue University students who met while working on a research project for NASA. They bootstrapped their vertical farming startup by delivering newspapers at the crack of dawn, and this year are preparing to launch their proprietary Gropod system.
—Innovation of the year: WorkHere uses mobile GPS to help employers locate workers nearby, reducing turnover and accelerating the hiring process, while also making it easier for job seekers to find work closer to home.
—Investor of the year: High Alpha. Managed by former ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey, the venture firm has invested $11.4 million in Indianapolis tech companies, including six investments in 2017 alone. Its relationship with out-of-state firms is also attracting more capital to Indiana, according to TechPoint.
—Community champion of the year: Kristen Cooper, founder and CEO of The Startup Ladies, spotlights women entrepreneurs and provides them with the resources and access to capital they need to be successful. TechPoint credits her organization with helping the local tech community to recognize diversity as a serious competitive advantage.