Zylo, Glassboard, Qualifi, Allegion among 2023 Mira Award winners

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Several central Indiana companies, including Indianapolis-based Zylo Inc., Glassboard and Qualifi Technologies Inc., and Carmel-based Allegion Plc, were among the winners announced Saturday at TechPoint’s 2023 Mira Awards gala, held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The Mira Awards, which recognize achievements in the tech industry throughout Indiana, is in its 24th year and is the state’s largest and oldest technology awards program. This year’s awards program honored winners from around the state, selected from among 141 nominees.

Zylo, which launched in 2017, was honored as Scale-Up of the Year—an honor the company also received in 2020. The company, which helps customers manage their software-as-a-service subscriptions, secured $36.5 million in Series C venture funding last year and expects to grow its employee base from 130 to nearly 400 over the next five years.

Judges lauded Zylo for being the first company to recognize the need for a better way to manage rapidly-growing SaaS portfolios.

Glassboard, a hardware product development company, won the Service Partner of the Year award. The company works with clients ranging from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies.

Judges said they were wowed by Glassboard’s work with client INO Armor, which used silk cocoons to make an eco-friendly alternative to polystyrene foams.

Qualifi, which offers a phone-based interview system for recruiters, won the Exceptional Employer Award. The company provides its employees with unlimited and required paid time off, company-paid continuing education, financial literacy offerings and other benefits.

Judges said they were impressed that Qualifi “walks their talk” by doing things like partnering with a group called The Mom Project to hire more women in tech.

Allegion is an Ireland-based security products company that has its Americas headquarters in Carmel. The company won the Mission41K Talent Champion Award for its embrace of TechPoint’s Mission41K initiative, which launched last year and aims to add 41,000 new jobs to the state’s tech workforce by 2030.

Judges noted that Allegion’s efforts have included hiring more than 40 new associates, participating in skills-based hiring workshops and working to launch adult apprenticeships in the company’s IT department.

Here’s the list of the night’s other winners:

Digital Transformation Award: This award was shared by System Scale Corp. and its Salesforce consultant, Growth Heroes, both Indianapolis-based. Judges said they were astonished by the results of the companies’ decade-long partnership, with a thoughtful and deliberate approach to systemic cloud migration, automation and improvement that should serve as a model for others.

Product Innovation of the Year: Lafayette-based Tactile Engineering LLC won for its Cadence tablet, an affordable and portable mass-produced electronic braille and graphics display for people who are blind or visually impaired. Tactile Engineering’s founder, Dave Schleppenbach, also won the Rising Entrepreneur Award.

Judges said the Cadence, which went into production and was deployed in schools throughout Indiana and the world last year, is “a home-grown product with global reach.”

Product Launch of the Year and Disruptor of the Year: Both awards went to New Albany-based RxLightning Inc., which helps health care providers more quickly and easily enroll patients for specialty medications, shortening the process from months or weeks to days or hours. RxLightning also was a double winner last year, earning both the Startup of the Year and Tech Product of the Year awards.

Judges said the life-saving potential of RxLightning’s product gave it the winning edge in what was a highly competitive Disruptor of the Year category.

Entrepreneurial Service Excellence: This award went to Wisconsin-based startup accelerator gener8tor, which operates several accelerator programs in Indianapolis and elsewhere in the state.

Judges praised gener8tor for helping its Hoosier accelerator alumni attract more than $121 million in funding and create or retain 579 Indiana jobs. Judges also said they liked gener8tor’s focus on tech startups and on shrinking the equity gap for women of color.

Startup of the year: West Lafayette-based Ixana, which has developed a means of transmitting information using the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body. The technology uses much less energy and is more secure than alternatives such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Judges described Ixana’s Wi-R technology as “the solution to a billion-dollar problem that has long vexed the global wearable tech market.”

Education Impact Award: Fort Wayne-based JobWorks Education & Training Systems, or JETS, which trains Hoosiers for jobs in the tech industry.

Judges said they were impressed by the program’s 80% graduation rate, and by the fact that employers who hire one JETS alum often come back and ask to hire others.

Student Entrepreneur of the Year: Kerry Ao, a senior at Signature School in Evansville. Ao is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder and CEO of Intertwined Finance LLC, an artificial intelligence-powered financial literacy program for students.

Judges said they were humbled by Ao, who has raised $36,000 in pre-seed capital for his company since January 2022.

Tech Team of the Year: Preventia, which allows college students facing mental health issues to immediately connect online with credentialed caregivers.

Judges said they were impressed that such a small team had received five-star reviews from all of its customers while also increasing its revenue by sevenfold.

Several previously announced Mira Award winners were also honored at Saturday’s gala:

Capt. Ryan Lynch, a pilot for Indianapolis-based Republic Airways, won the TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award for his work in bringing science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities to underserved students.

Terre Haute teacher Maria Sellers won the Nextech Computer Science Teacher of the Year Award.

West Lafayette-based ag-tech company Solinftec, which secured $60 million in growth funding last year, won the Deal of the Year Award.

Rupal Thanawala, CEO of Fishers-based Trident Systems LLC, won the TechPoint Trailblazer Award for her contributions to the state and its technology ecosystem.

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