ClearObject, Upper Hand and WebLink win first-ever People’s Choice Mira Awards

Honored for Best Tech Event, Best Tech Space and Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag

Nearly 5,000 votes were cast by the public for the first-ever People’s Choice Mira Awards. Twenty-two tech companies and organizations submitted applications in the categories of Best Tech Event, Best Tech Space and Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag.

TechPoint created these fun, new public voting categories to recognize aspects of our tech community that are important to company cultures and have a huge impact on employee experiences and connecting the community, but are not often included in awards programs.

WINNERS

  • Best Tech Event — ClearObject’s IndyIoT Symposium
  • Best Tech Space — Upper Hand’s Headquarters
  • Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag — WebLink’s “Fight of the Century” T-Shirt

The inaugural People’s Choice winners will be recognized on April 29, at the 18th Annual TechPoint Mira Awards gala at The Westin — Indianapolis. The black-tie event is “Tech’s Biggest Night” where 15 awards are announced honoring the highest-achieving, most innovative people, products and companies of 2016.

Mira Awards categories that will be announced at the gala on April 29, are determined by the 50 independent judges who evaluated applications and interviewed the nominees. The People’s Choice Mira Awards are the first-ever to be voted on by the public.

Best Tech Event — ClearObject’s IndyIoT Symposium
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With over 250 attendees, the 2nd annual IndyIoT Symposium reached maximum capacity in only its second year and served as a forum for professionals across all sectors to learn how consumers, businesses and governments are using the IoT ecosystem to create new operating models, bring products to market faster, and develop more efficient processes.

In an effort to highlight how IoT is being put to practice here in Indiana, a wide-range of business leaders shared real-world stories of how they got started with IoT, the trials and tribulations of adoption, and ultimately how IoT has transformed their business. This year’s list of speakers included: Kip Tom, CEO of Tom Farms LLC; Robert Rodenbeck, Director of R&D for Delta Faucet Company; and Scott Humphreys, Commercial Lead for Tyco International to name just a few.

The event took place in 2016 at Launch Fishers and was emceed by Gerry Dick, host of Inside INdiana Business. IndyIoT was produced and presented by ClearObject, but brought together a critical cross-section of Indiana IT thought-leaders, including: Arrow, Elevate Ventures, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Launch Fishers, Mesh Systems, Purdue Foundry, SAS and SIS.

Furthermore, on the heels of the events success, an event offering more technical programming will be offered on April 21 in partnership with the AT&T Developer Team to conduct a 24-hour IoT Hackathon this spring.

Best Tech Space — Upper Hand’s Headquarters
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When customers, partners or employees walk into the Upper Hand headquarters, there is no questioning whether or not they’ve come to the right place. From a basketball hoop and table tennis, used after hours and during breaks, to the occasional corn hole toss, sports are always present.

It was just May, 2016 that Upper Hand started calling the Morris Opera House home, but in less than a year, the team has brought color and Upper Hand spirit to the building.

The Upper Hand brand-green is dominant in the office decor, intermixed with splashes of brick wall and wooden beams that show the traditional structure of the Morris Opera House. Also representing the Upper Hand brand and team, are the company’s Core Value banners. To remind and motivate individuals when they arrive in the office, three banners display Upper Hand’s Mission, Core Values, and Three Rules.

The Upper Hand workspace is also rich with history. The space was previously the ExactTarget headquarters. Being in the software industry, there is a special kind of energy that comes with the chance to build Upper Hand in a location with such a rich tech history. While the team has some big shoes to fill, they are confident they’re up for the challenge.

The company has also built in wellness values to the workspace, with standing desks and posture chairs. Break and collaborative space provides a more relaxed and creative feel for team members to brainstorm on new ideas and customer feedback. Several walls are covered with white board paint used to share weekly goals, successes, or whatever inspirational sports quote a team member wants to share!

To add to the sports theme, team talks or lunch breaks often take place on a set of bleachers set in the center of the office. ESPN and sports news are constantly streaming on break room TVs and Hoosier sports themed photos hang throughout the office, reminding the team of the rich sports history in Indiana. Rooms and areas of the office are within the theme as well, with creative names such as Press Box and Bullpen.

Even when the Upper Hand team ventures off-campus, the surroundings almost always match their mission. The 2016 Upper Hand retreat was hosted in the IU Bloomington Field Hockey locker room, and other office outings have included Pacers and Indians games.

Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag — WebLink’s “Fight of the Century” T-Shirt
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WebLinkers (the official name of a WebLink employee) love swag. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a significant portion of the staff sporting a WebLink t-shirt or sweatshirt around the office on a daily basis. But this year, the company had the opportunity to share their love for swag in a really big way.

Every August, WebLink exhibits at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Convention. The big event brings together hundreds of chamber professionals from across the United States, and as 54 percent of Weblink’s clients are Chambers of Commerce, this is definitively one of the most important conferences that they attend.

ACCE’s planning committee conducted a membership database face-off session with WebLink and the company’s top competitor. The breakout was marketed as “The Fight of the Century,” featuring a moderator and the CEOs from both software companies. During the session the moderator was to provide 6 different industry topics, and each CEO would have 3 minutes to explain how their company’s software solution specifically helps users manage/meet the needs of each.

While the session was designed to be fun, educational and not too serious, WebLink knew that it was a unique chance to showcase product and make it clear that WebLink offers the superior software. Needless to say, they were ready to take the gloves off and have some fun! After a collaborative brainstorming session, WebLink came up with a marketing plan centered around custom “Fight of the Century” t-shirts.

A series of emails were sent to customers that would be attending the event, encouraging them to stop by the booth for their free customer appreciation gift (the t-shirt) and to cheer on WebLink at the session. From the moment the conference started, customers flocked to collect their mystery gift – and they seriously loved the swag.

WebLink handed out hundreds of shirts, the majority of session attendees were WebLink fanatics, and both customers and prospects were more active and engaged at the booth than ever before. At WebLink headquarters, staff wore the shirts in support of the team working the event that day, and the t-shirt is still a favorite that is worn around the office today.

To have the opportunity to share this love, design an epic graphic tee, and create a one of a kind conference experience for attendees truly exemplified the “WebLink Way”.

Browse the Mira Nominees

The Mira Awards Nominee Showcase is still live and you may browse all of this year’s nominees by category or by popularity, and be sure to like and share your favorites!

For more information about the Mira Awards visit http://techpoint.org/mira2017/.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349