Three Indiana technology firms join elite startup list

Three Hoosier companies were named by Red Herring as top U.S. tech startups yesterday, which Red Herring officials said marks the first time more than one Indiana firm took the honor in a single year.

CloudOne Inc., SteadyServ Technologies LLC and Blue Pillar Inc. were recognized as Red Herring Top 100 North American Startups at a ceremony Wednesday night in San Diego, an event that's in its 21st year. Red Herring is a media company focused on tech startups, and its awards involve whittling down pools of about 5,000 startups to get what it believes are the most promising 100.

"I'm surprised it did not happen before," said Red Herring Chairman Alex Vieux about the feat, "given the richness of the talent pool that exists in Indiana."

CloudOne is a managed-services firm that brings enterprise applications to the cloud, enabling global collaboration for firms like engine-maker Cummins Inc. It landed $4.5 million in venture capital last December.


SteadyServ sells beer-management software and plans to be in drinking establishments in at least 12 states this year. It makes iKeg, a system that monitors the amount of beer left in kegs, sends digital alerts when supplies are low, and collects gobs of data on customer consumption.

BluePillar sells energy-management software that monitors electrical systems, helping building managers prevent or respond to outages, among other things. It landed $14 million in venture capital earlier this year.

Blue Pillar moved its headquarters from Indianapolis to Frederick, Maryland, in March, according to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. CEO Tom Willie said the company doesn't consider anywhere its headquarters and will continue to grow its workforce in Indianapolis.

The firms find themselves in good company. On the list of previous honorees are firms that weren’t yet household names—tech startups such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and eBay.

John McDonald, CEO of CloudOne, said he was honored to be recognized, especially since "only a handful of companies outside of California" make the cut.

"It's known in Silicon Valley as a mark of 'arrival' for a tech company," McDonald said.

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