TechPoint’s Mira Awards: MOBI Wins Company of the Year
TechPoint, the organization dedicated to growing Indiana’s tech ecosystem, held its annual Mira Awards gala in front of a packed house on Saturday. Meant to recognize the success and innovation of the state’s tech companies, entrepreneurs, educators, and other leaders, the Miras have been awarded for the past 18 years.
From the 180 nominating applications TechPoint received this time around, a total of 15 winners and three honorable mentions were chosen. Fifty volunteer judges—startup founders, CEOs, software developers, and other IT experts—spent more than 850 hours reviewing and ranking applications, interviewing nominees, and choosing the winners.
In a statement about the Miras, TechPoint president and CEO Mike Langellier said, “In 2016, the majority of new job announcements were from tech companies, and three-fourths of the venture capital investments made in Indiana companies were in tech companies. Both of these measures mean more high-paying jobs for Hoosiers. We are also seeing more large companies in other industries joining the tech community and becoming tech-enabled, an important development for Indiana’s future economy.”
In March, TechPoint announced the winners of the first-ever People’s Choice Mira awards, which were determined by public voting: ClearObject (Best Tech Event), WebLink (Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag), and Upper Hand (Best Tech Space.) The other Mira winners are listed in full below:
—Rising Star award: Lindsay Siovaila, lead solutions developer at Salesforce. A former graphic designer who taught herself how to code, Siovaila also founded the Indianapolis chapter of Girl Develop It, a non-profit organization that offers “affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning Web and software development.”
—Tech Educator of the Year: Julie Alano, the computer science department chair at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, IN. Alano began her career in 1998 as a math teacher.
—Investor of the Year: Jeff Barry, partner at Plymouth Growth Partners, based in Ann Arbor, MI. Barry and Plymouth are being recognized mainly for two investments: ClearObject (formerly CloudOne) and Kinney Group. In 2014, Plymouth led ClearObject’s $4.5 million Series D round, and Barry joined the fast-growing cloud software company’s board as part of the deal. Plymouth also led Kinney Group’s “multi-million-dollar growth round” in November. (Specifics of the deal were not disclosed.)
—Trailblazer in Technology: Angie Hicks, co-founder, namesake, and CMO at Angie’s List. When we interviewed Hicks a few weeks ago, she gave no indication that a big acquisition was in the works. Two days after she won this award, the company announced a new path: Angie’s List has agreed to be sold to Internet giant IAC, which will merge Hicks’s firm with another company IAC owns, HomeAdvisor, the Golden, CO-based online service for home remodel and repair. The deal was reportedly worth roughly $500 million, and the new company, called ANGI Homeservices, will be based in Colorado.
—TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award: Mark Hill, co-founder and former CEO of Baker Hill. A founding member of the TechPoint Foundation for Youth, Hill is a longtime supporter of STEM education and was instrumental in launching New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech, a magnet school program in Indianapolis.
—Community Champion of the Year: Joshua Driver, founder of Open for Service. A few years ago, after the Indiana legislature passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—which many perceived as a license to discriminate—Driver created Open for Service, a network of businesses that pledged to not turn customers away based on sexual orientation, gender, race, or political or religious affiliations.
—Innovation of the Year: Arrhythmotech’s neuECG, a novel medical device and software platform capable of non-invasively detecting sympathetic nerve signaling (fight-or-flight activity) on the skin. The company believes neuECG could help in detecting pain, epilepsy, or atrial fibrillation.
—Best New Tech Product: DemandJump, a predictive marketing startup based in Carmel, was recognized for creating DemandJump Advanced Search, which “prevents wasted spending in areas where up to 79 percent of the ads being served are missing their mark,” TechPoint says.
—Tech Service of the Year: Fizziology, a social media research firm and digital consultancy for the entertainment industry, offers what TechPoint describes as “an unparalleled dataset of consumer opinion, predictive analytics and industry-leading benchmarks” and counts film studios, television networks, producers, and Fortune 500 companies among its customers.
—Corporate Innovator of the Year and New Startup of the Year: ClusterTruck, an on-demand service that prepares and delivers restaurant-quality food without delivery fees, since patrons meet drivers at the curb, and uses its technology to streamline the process.