Republic Airways Inc., Zylo, KSM Consulting, Woven Teams Inc. and Kronos Inc. were among the big winners Thursday at TechPoint’s 20th Mira Awards, which was held virtually for the first time.
The 21st annual event had been scheduled to take place April 18 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis, but TechPoint postponed it due to the pandemic and decided to hold it virtually.
Last year, the black-tie event drew a sellout of 1,400 to the JW’s biggest ballroom, and event organizers were anticipating a similar crowd this year.
With the event going virtual, TechPoint officials were hopeful that more people than ever would witness the Mira Awards.
Republic Airways took the prize for Large Enterprise of the Year, beating out a field of finalists that included Delta Faucet Co., GEICO, Sallie Mae and Stanley Security.
“Republic Airways is an airline turned tech-enabled, tech-heavy company,” the Mira judges commented.
During the live judging process, Republic presenters said: “We’re not a transportation company; we’re a tech company that has airplanes.”
The Mira judges agreed, saying, “And that transformational approach to how they do business is one of the factors that helped Republic Airways win this year’s Mira Award for Large Enterprise of the Year.”
Zylo, which has created a platform that helps companies manage software subscriptions, got the nod for Scale-Up of the Year (Tech Product); and KSM Consulting won Scale-Up of the Year (Tech Service).
“Three years ago, the [Zylo] co-founders shared a desk. Today, Zylo powers SaaS management for Nike, Adobe and Salesforce and manages $12 billion in software,” noted the Mira judges.
KSM Consulting is not your typical scale-up, the Mira judges noted.
“KSM Consulting was not a traditional candidate for the Scale-up of the Year award. As an 11-year old tech, data, and management consulting firm, they didn’t raise capital and they don’t sell a product. However, the tremendous expansion the company experienced following its acquisition in April 2019 by Renovus Capital Partners thrust KSMC into a growth stage rarely seen by pure consulting firms,” the judges commented.
Notably, KSM Consulting was the only double winner, also taking the Service Partner of the Year Award.
Woven, an Indianapolis-based firm that makes software to help high-growth engineering teams hit hiring goals, was awarded Startup of the Year.
Judges struck a particularly timely chord when it came to Woven.
“In the past year, Woven has proven to be a driving force for equality and fairness in tech. Thanks to Woven, talented software engineers who would normally go overlooked due to their background have had the opportunity to show their skills and earn great, high-paying jobs for high-growth tech companies,” Mira judges commented.
Kronos, meanwhile, took home the Exceptional Employer Award.
“One of the X-factors of judging the Exceptional Employer Award category includes: ‘Would I want to work for this company?’” the Mira judges noted in their comments. “The judges were unanimous that Kronos would be their choice because of how complete the company is and how focused they are on providing employees every opportunity to grow and excel and live their best professional lives.”
The Mira Awards—Indiana’s largest and longest running technology awards program—this year picked 15 award winners from 129 nominees. Forty-eight independent, volunteer judges spent more than 780 total hours evaluating applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting winners, according to event organizers. Judges included company founders, CEOs and presidents, chief technology officers, chief information officers and other experts.
Here’s the full list of winners (along with abbreviated judge commentary):
Rising Entrepreneur Award: Amy Brown, founder and CEO, AuthentiCx
“The judges believe Amy’s remarkable leadership and passion are responsible for AuthentiCx’s rapid growth and early successes, including being named top culture startup of 2019 by PowderKeg. With solely a minimum viable product in hand, Amy secured five clients, including a top 10 pharmaceutical contract within her first year, and grew her team to 14 employees all while bootstrapping the company.”
Investor of the Year: Elevate Ventures
“The passion Elevate Ventures team members exhibit about investing in Indiana companies is palpable. However, it’s the dedication to creating active and engaged entrepreneurial communities beyond the capital that truly earned Elevate Ventures the Investor of the Year award. According to PitchBook, Elevate Ventures ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region for the third year in a row for number of venture investments made, as well as ranked as top 13th most active globally among venture capital firms investing in angel-stage or seed-stage companies.”
Community Impact Award: Indiana Department of Correction
“After his visit to the classroom at San Quentin State Prison, Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Rob Carter saw the potential for a program called The Last Mile to be a paradigm shift to expand opportunities for incarcerated people to learn new and life altering skills. What started as a small pilot program in 2018, blossomed last year into a multi-facility program in Indiana providing skills training that few, if any, believed could be successfully completed by incarcerated persons.”
Tech Education Award: Nextech
“Through its K-12 Computer Science Teacher Training and Catapult programs, Nextech creates equitable access to computer science curriculum and experiences for all K-12 Indiana students. The result? Students are inspired by and excited about tech career possibilities and motivated to pursue them. In 2019, Nextech facilitated 4,757 hours of programming for 48 area high school students as part of the Catapult program.”
Rising Tech City Award: #FortBenTech Campus and City of Lawrence
“The #FortBenTech campaign was created to unite and celebrate the Fort Ben tech campus that has grown from the former Fort Benjamin Harrison military base, just 10 miles northeast of downtown Indianapolis in Lawrence. The mix of unique, historic structures and amenities that dot the Fort Ben campus sets it apart from other cultural districts and communities. After almost a century as an active military base, state and community leaders were faced with a challenge of what to do with a 2,500-acre tract of land in the center of Lawrence that would lie dormant upon the federal closure of the Fort Benjamin Harrison military base in 1995. Today, Fort Ben is considered a model for mixed-use redevelopment of military bases throughout the country.”
TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award: The STEM Connection
“Vera Vander Kooy founded the STEM Connection in 2014, with the mission of encouraging diversity, inclusion and equity in STEM. In its first year, the program served about 100 participants. In the past five years 17,500 participants have taken part in offerings ranging from virtual STEM Quick Wins, day camps, field trips, professional development opportunities, family events, STEM Future Leaders and community engagements.”
Tech Product of the Year: Hc1
“The Mira Awards judges believe Hc1 is truly leading the way to improve a critical area of healthcare by applying its unique approaches to solving problems with data, cloud-based software, and a dedication to treating patients as individuals by providing a holistic view of each patient through complete data.”
Service Partner of the Year: KSM Consulting
“The Mira Awards judges were particularly struck by a complex and far-reaching public sector project with national security implications that KSMC worked on with Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division. By incorporating numerous cutting-edge analytical capabilities, KSMC was able to help Crane achieve a 40% reduction in a critical supply chain risk-assessment process.”
Innovation of the Year: Anvl
“The Mira Awards judges believe Anvl is tackling a problem that has been left to chance and blamed on complexity and random variables for far too long. Anvl’s solution is already proving its potential to have a significant impact on human life by saving workers from injuries that have sadly become viewed as the cost of doing business.”
Exceptional Employer Award: Kronos Inc.
“Over the past four decades, Kronos has grown from a start-up into the leading global workforce management and HR software provider. The Indianapolis Tech Center of Excellence at Kronos has played a pivotal role in helping the company reach more than $1.5 billion in revenue growth since opening its doors in 2012.”
Large Enterprise of the Year: Republic Airways
“One of the things that stood out to the Mira Awards judges about Republic Airways was the company’s focus on efficiency through innovation and reinvestment at all levels, but especially its workforce, its people. What makes Republic unique and successful in the aviation industry are the bold, crazy ideas that its people put into action.”
Trailblazer Award: Kristian Andersen, co-founder and partner at High Alpha
“People may be familiar with Andersen because of his more colorful traits, including showing up to business meetings with a blue mohawk haircut and cowboy boots, or arriving in his monster truck dubbed “tall cotton.” These stories and the mythology of his bold, unconventional personality are absolutely true, but they may belie the earnestness of his dedication to excellence and the sincerity with which he approaches his roles as a leader, mentor, husband, father and friend.” (This award was announced Thursday morning.)
Startup of the Year: Woven Teams Inc.
“Woven is a technical screening solution that helps high-growth software teams hire faster and more effectively, while reducing bias. By using realistic work simulations instead of resumes to sort candidates, Woven uncovers hidden gems in your hiring pool so you can find talented engineers that other companies overlook.”
Scale-up of the Year (Tech Service): KSM Consulting
“The Mira Awards judges were impressed by KSMC’s 11-year history of profitable growth, cutting-edge work with local and national clients, and exceptional potential.”
Scale-up of the Year (Tech Product): Zylo
“The Mira Awards judges believe that Zylo stands as an exceptional example of not only the creative problem-solving and innovation coming out of Indianapolis, but the company’s ability to attract venture capital to fuel its rapid growth has put Zylo on the path towards a $1 billion evaluation.”