New Mira Award category to shine light on companies that made notable pandemic pivot

TechPoint is adding a new category to its annual Mira Awards—the state’s biggest and longest-running tech awards program—to reflect the realities of 2020.

The Pandemic Pivot of the Year award will shine the light on exceptional efforts by tech companies in the face of a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the new category was just announced Thursday, TechPoint officials said they’ve already seen a lot of interest in the new category and expect dozens of entrants.

Entries for the awards are due by Jan. 22.

“As we started looking at the nominations and applications coming in early, we realized that many of the state’s tech employers had done amazing work responding to and even overcoming some of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those efforts didn’t fit into our standard category selection,” said TechPoint CEO Mike Langellier.

“We realized that if we didn’t do something, some truly inspirational stories weren’t going to get told,” he said. “The tech industry is known for its creativity, adaptability and resilience, and if ever there was a year to recognize those qualities, it’s this year.”

The new award category is expected to only be awarded this year. Tech companies that revamped their normal course of business, created a new offering or otherwise rose to the challenge of the pandemic are encouraged to apply.

Dozens of local tech and tech-enabled companies have successfully altered course or enhanced their offerings due to the pandemic, and IBJ has chronicled a number of them.

A sampling of the companies that have acted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak this spring:

  • Filo, a startup that created a unique virtual meeting space that was credited for helping High Alpha do remotely what had previously been done in-person and for being a catalyst to launch 10 companies this year.
  • hC1, which created a digital dashboard to track COVID-19 cases and exposure.
  • US Water Systems, a local water purification firm which pivoted its technology to clean air of germs.
  • AutoBioReduction, a firm that was launched and quickly created an autonomous robot capable of cleaning large offices, warehouses, factories, schools and hospitals of bacteria and viruses with ultraviolet-C lighting technology.
  • Indianapolis Art Center, which created and launched an online marketplace to help local artists hit by the cancellation of events—such as the Broad Ripple Art Fair—needed to sell their wares.
  • Passageways, Boardable and Selfless.ly which either enhanced their offerings or expanded free trial periods and services to assist a wide range of not-for-profit organizations and for-profit companies hit by the pandemic.

To be eligible, companies must be headquartered in Indiana or have a significant Indiana-based operation with employees who work and live within the state. Special attention will be given to those applicants who demonstrate creative, bold, unique or innovative solutions that are supported with available data and positive outcomes.

Scheduled for April 22, the annual Mira Awards gala—which has traditionally been held in a large downtown ballroom in front of a live audience more than 1,300 attendees—is being held virtually for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic

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