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Interactive claims top MIRA Award for second straight year

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The top honor at the Mira Awards on Saturday night went to a repeat winner, while academia made waves in other categories at the annual technology-sector event.

Judges for TechPoint’s annual soiree whittled down a list of 170 applicants to 14 winners, one of which received two awards.

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., the Indianapolis-based developer of software for corporate contact centers, won Company of the Year honors. Interactive claimed the same award last year.

Judges noted the publicly traded company’s rapid growth, both in revenue and employment, which included a massive hiring announcement on Thursday.

Bobby Schnabel, dean of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, walked away with the top honor for an individual, the Trailblazer in Technology Award.

Under Schnabel, the school’s enrollment has tripled to 2,000 undergraduate majors and its research funding tripled to $17 million since he began in his role in 2007. He manages 150 faculty members in Bloomington and Indianapolis while also teaching classes in computer science and informatics.

Other awards included:

Tech Innovation of the Year: LumenCache, a McCordsville company that develops power-grid devices and automation systems more suited for LED lighting than standard, 110-volt AC power systems.

LumenCache changed a long-static technology, and its patent-protected products have it projecting 200-percent revenue growth this year, judges said.

Emerging Tech Company of the Year: Ticketracker, an Anderson company that develops software that replaces paper tickets that schools use to collect payments.

Ticketracker tapped a widely ignored market by changing an often-risky, paper-based system that schools used, judges said.

Tech Startup of the Year: DoubleMap, an Indianapolis company that developed a bus-tracking application that feeds information to riders and transit authorities.

DoubleMap quickly gained a national presence of 1.2 million daily users in 10 cities and 40 college campuses after tapping student governments as a sales channel, judges said.

(Honorable mentions went to BlueBridge Digital in Indianapolis and SteadyServ Technologies in Carmel.)

Mobile Tech: DoubleMap was a double winner for its bus-tracking system.

An easy-to-use platform for both consumers and businesses also delivers analytics that help transit authorities obtain grants, which bolster the business model, judges said.

Marketing Tech: Perq, formerly known as CIK, an Indianapolis digital marketer that recently unveiled FatWin, a marketing mailer that uses games and other incentives to drive consumers to clients’ websites and stores.

Perq has reported “remarkable” growth with FatWin, which increases customers’ sales by 25 percent, judges said.

Tech Sales and Marketing: Teradata Corp., the Dayton, Ohio-based data-storage company that acquired Indianapolis marketing software developer Aprimo Inc.

A Teradata team in Indianapolis coordinated a content-marketing campaign that ultimately produced eight figures in revenue for the company, judges said.

Health Tech: PolicyStat, a Carmel software firm that helps health care providers track policies and procedures.

PolicyStat established itself as a force in health IT by altering the way its clients process information, boosting transparency and accountability, judges said.

Tech Service – IT to Support the Business: One.IU development team, which created an Indiana University app store for IT services that has helped the university’s 130,000 students and employees access resources.

One.IU, in four months, emerged as an intricate system providing a range of services, from class registration to cloud storage. Two other schools have adopted the system, which has generated revenue for IU, judges said.

Tech Service – IT Support Go-to-Market: The Schneider Corp., an Indianapolis e-government firm that offers core services in surveying, engineering and geographic information systems.

By digitizing government tasks, Schneider has cut government work times from days to hours, and the company spared people 11 million trips to local government offices in 2013, judges said.

Education Tech: Social Net Watcher, a Plainfield software service that scans students’ social media posts for data indicating bullying, suicide and violence.

Social Net Watcher has changed student safety to preventative from reactive by providing easily used software to parents and school administrators, judges said.

(An honorable mention went to Standard for Success in Cloverdale.)

Tech Educator of the Year: Jonathan Blake Huer, director of emerging technologies at Ball State University, who created Digital Corps, a program that hires undergraduate students and puts them to work alongside professionals as they make creative digital products, such as apps and short films.

Huer’s Digital Corps reports every student who has participated in the program either has a job or is in graduate school. He also has worked with the Indiana Legislature to digitize paper documents, judges said.

TechPoint Rising Star of the Year: Chris Palmer, founder and CEO of BoxFox, a marketplace for overstocked retail inventories.

Palmer, who also founded the e-commerce company SupplyKick, employs  20 people and reports seven-figure revenue. He mentors student entrepreneurs and co-invests in businesses started by former prison inmates, TechPoint said.

TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder: Robert Kizer, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Starfish Initiative, a college-access mentoring program that matches students with college-educated mentors.

Every student who has participated in Kizer’s program has completed it, and 97 percent of them have been accepted into colleges or universities, the TechPoint Foundation’s board said.

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