The Mira Awards

The Mira Awards bring us together as a community to celebrate the state’s tremendous tech success stories and amplify them to media, investors and technology buyers nationwide. This year’s gala will be held April 23, at The Westin — Indianapolis.

Where did we get the name?
The Mira Awards are named after the first of the brilliant variable stars to be discovered — the Mira Star.

More than an event. It’s a season!
The Mira Awards season begins in January with applications, followed by the judging process in February and “Meet the Nominees” events in March. The awards gala in April is like the “Oscars for Tech” and the Winners Circle in May revs up even more opportunities.

Applications are now closed.

DID YOU APPLY?
Please double check the list and make sure we have your application.  CHECK LIST

mira-best-of-tech

What’s Happened to Tech Companies

AFTER WINNING A MIRA AWARD

SECURED MORE THAN $250,000 IN VENTURE CAPITAL NAMED TO INC MAGAZINE’S 30 UNDER 30 RECEIVED PERSONAL INVITATION TO THE WHITE HOUSE SIGNED MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN NEW BUSINESS

The Categories

INVESTOR OF THE YEAR
This firm or angel brings money plus outstanding connections, advice and attention to Indiana companies.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Though maybe not in tech themselves, this person or organization has gone above and beyond to support.

TECH EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
This passionate, inspiring individual is ensuring our tech community’s pipeline of future talent.

RISING STAR AWARD
Watch out for this young leader, whose success and potential belie his/her years.

BRIDGE BUILDER AWARD
This leader is making a significant impact on children in need across Indiana.

TRAILBLAZER IN TECHNOLOGY AWARD
This bold visionary and pioneer made lasting impacts on the tech community in Indiana.

BEST NEW TECH PRODUCT
This ground-breaking tech product burst onto the scene last year.

INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
This R&D or technological breakthrough has major potential.

CORPORATE INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
It might not look like a tech company on the outside, but this corporation is doing really innovative things.

COMPANY CULTURE OF THE YEAR
With such a collaborative, productive, and creative environment, who wouldn’t want to work here?

NEW STARTUP OF THE YEAR
Keep an eye on this new company with big potential.

SCALE-UP OF THE YEAR
This rapidly growing company is taking off and could one of our future success stories.

TECH COMPANY OF THE YEAR
This larger company did big things out in the market last year and big things here in our community too.

Application Form

Before beginning your application, please review the 2016 Mira Awards Category Guidelines.

All 2016 TechPoint Mira Awards are given for achievement during the 2015 calendar year.

APPLICATION DEADLINE
All Application Forms are due on or before Friday, January 29, 2016.

CONFIDENTIALITY: TechPoint and the TechPoint Mira Awards judges agree to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality with respect to information that is not in the public domain.

Application Form

RECOMMENDATIONS: Google Chrome is the recommended browser. We recommend drafting your responses and saving them in your files, then pasting them into the form. This will prevent any accidental loss.

If you enter information but cannot complete and submit the form in one sitting, you may use the “Save and Continue Later” option located at the bottom of the form.

QUESTIONS: If you have questions about the application form or process, please contact: Joshua Hall at joshua@techpoint.org or call 317-464-5416.

GRACE PERIOD: The form below will stay active for a short grace period this weekend. If you are working on an application, please continue.

The Categories

INVESTOR OF THE YEAR
This firm or angel brings money plus outstanding connections, advice and attention to Indiana companies.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Though maybe not in tech themselves, this person or organization has gone above and beyond to support.

TECH EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
This passionate, inspiring individual is ensuring our tech community’s pipeline of future talent.

RISING STAR AWARD
Watch out for this young leader, whose success and potential belie his/her years.

BRIDGE BUILDER AWARD
This leader is making a significant impact on children in need across Indiana.

TRAILBLAZER IN TECHNOLOGY AWARD
This bold visionary and pioneer made lasting impacts on the tech community in Indiana.

The Categories

BEST NEW TECH PRODUCT
This ground-breaking tech product burst onto the scene last year.

INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
This R&D or technological breakthrough has major potential.

CORPORATE INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
It might not look like a tech company on the outside, but this corporation is doing really innovative things.

COMPANY CULTURE OF THE YEAR
With such a collaborative, productive, and creative environment, who wouldn’t want to work here?

NEW STARTUP OF THE YEAR
Keep an eye on this new company with big potential.

SCALE-UP OF THE YEAR
This rapidly growing company is taking off and could one of our future success stories.

TECH COMPANY OF THE YEAR
This larger company did big things out in the market last year and big things here in our community too.

Guidelines

All 2016 TechPoint Mira Awards are given for achievement during calendar year 2015.

Each category will have a winner and 1-2 runners-up as determined by the judges.

It is important to note that while each category is listed as a single award, the independent panels of judges may choose to split an award. Judges may also choose to move applicants into different categories or create new categories based on the content of the submissions.

Application Process and General Eligibility Requirements

  • Anyone may submit an application.
  • There is no cost to apply.
  • Self-nomination through the application process is common and encouraged. (You don’t have to be nominated by someone else, just go ahead and apply.)
  • Individual applicants must work and live in the state of Indiana, except for the Tech Investor of the Year category.
  • Company applicants must either be headquartered in Indiana or at a minimum have a significant Indiana-based operation with employees who work and live within the state of Indiana. Only work done by Indiana employees will be considered for awards.
  • Product/service or technology applicants must have been primarily developed by Indiana-based employees.
  • Association with TechPoint is not required and sponsorship has no impact on an applicant’s chances of being named a nominee or winning.
  • Should an application appear to better qualify for a different category than originally submitted, TechPoint Mira Award judges and staff reserve the right to enter the application into the more suitable category.
  • Based on applications received, the judges may choose to split a category into two or more different awards or they may choose to create a completely new category if warranted.

 

Guidelines

Application Process and Applicant Interview Dates

Mira Award applications are reviewed and ranked by independent panels of company founders, CEO/presidents, CIOs, VPs and a variety of other subject matter experts. The rankings determine which applicants will be included in the 2016 class of Mira Award nominees.

Next, Mira Award nominees are required to deliver very brief presentations and participate in 20-minute in-person interviews with the judging panel from their specific category on February 25 or 26**, and should be prepared to answer questions and discuss their application in further detail.

** We recommend making note of both of these interview dates in your calendar immediately to avoid conflicts that may prevent you from being available to present.

** MARK YOUR CALENDAR: REQUIRED IN-PERSON NOMINEE INTERVIEWS TAKE PLACE FEBRUARY 25 or 26.

Because the volunteer judges are busy professionals themselves, it is impossible to reschedule missed interview appointments.

Mira Award nominees will be announced on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. Mira Award winners will be announced during the Mira Awards Gala on Saturday, April 23, at The Westin Indianapolis Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Indianapolis.

Confidentiality: TechPoint and the TechPoint Mira Awards judges agree to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality with respect to information that is not in the public domain regarding organizations, individuals, or technologies nominated for the TechPoint Mira Awards.

Questions: If you have any questions about the nomination form or process, please contact Joshua Hall at joshua@techpoint.org or call 317-464-5416.

Awards Criteria by Category

PEOPLE

Investor of the Year
(Individual, Team or Firm)

This award category recognizes investors who bet on Indiana tech companies and serve as critical mentors and connectors beyond the financial instrument.

To be eligible, the investor must have made an investment in at least one Indiana headquartered technology company during calendar-year 2015.

Venture capital firms, peer-lending organizations, investor groups, angel investors and personal investors located within and outside of the state of Indiana are encouraged to apply.

Community Champion of the Year
(Individual or Team)

This award category celebrates and thanks people who have championed the advancement of Indiana’s tech community.

To be eligible, a major effort or project should have been executed during the 2015 calendar year. Special attention will be paid to those applicants who demonstrate genuine drive to improve the tech community and the careers and/or lives of people living and working in Indiana.

For example:

  • A legislator who champions pro-technology Indiana public policy
  • An educator who helps children discover STEM and steers them toward more opportunities
  • An early-adopter corporation with a commitment to buy its technology within Indiana
  • A public figure who helps to draw attention to the tech community’s vitality.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Is the community champion innovative, creative and adding value?
  • Has the champion demonstrated a commitment to contribute to the industry and drive it forward?
  • Does the champion project passion for the community/industry and inspire others?

Educator(s) of the Year Award
(Individual or Team)

This award recognizes educators who inspire students to learn and whose creative, innovative application of technology in the classroom or other learning environments has had a positive impact on student achievement.

No school association is required. Many applicants are associated with an educational institution including K-12 and post-secondary schools, however, educators of all kinds teaching in diverse and non-traditional environments are encouraged to apply

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Has the educator demonstrated excellence and/or innovation in the use of technology for educational achievement?
  • Does the educator inspire students and excite them regarding the opportunities available to them through technology?
  • Did the educator demonstrate how she/he motivated, rewarded and/or challenged students to achieve through the application of technology?

Rising Star Award

This award recognizes a young person working in tech who has made an impact and demonstrates outstanding, continuous achievement.

To be eligible, applicants must be 29 years old or younger as of December 31, 2015. There is no minimum age limit. Students and teen entrepreneurs who hold professional positions and/or run their own businesses are eligible.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Has the applicant achieved more than would be expected from someone at her or his level of training and experience?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated a desire to be a part of advancing Indiana’s tech community?
  • Does the applicant have any other accomplishments, civic activity or community involvement that distinguish him/her in Indiana as outstanding, or other reasons why judges should select her or him for this award?

TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award

TechPoint Trailblazer in Technology Award

Both of the prestigious industry awards – TechPoint Foundation for Youth BridgeBuilder and TechPoint Trailblazer in Technology – are selected by the respective boards of directors of the TechPoint Foundation for Youth and TechPoint. There is no public nomination process for these two awards.

PRODUCTS

Best New Tech Product

This award category recognizes innovative new technology-based products (hardware or software).

To be eligible, products must currently be in-market and must have been available for sale for the first time (no upgrades or Mark II products unless entirely new) prior to December 31, 2015 and no earlier than July 1, 2014.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Does the product demonstrate tech innovation or market disruption?
  • Is the product a great value for its target audience?
  • Has the product proven to have market viability either through mass usage, strong pilots, or paying customers?
  • Does the product have lasting ability and the potential to become a technology staple?

Innovation of the Year Award

This award category recognizes scientific achievements, the results of R&D efforts and other trailblazing, market disrupting new technologies, which may include completed products.

To be eligible, the innovation must have achieved a significant development milestone in 2015. The innovation of the year is a singular innovation, not a company or body of work. The technology-based innovation must have been primarily developed in Indiana. New versions of previously marketed technologies will not be considered.

Nominees are expected to demonstrate how this innovation positions the company or licensees for sustainable future growth and business success, even though actual sales are not a requirement. However, commercial viability will be closely examined.

Awards Criteria by Category

COMPANIES

Corporate Innovator of the Year

This award category recognizes technological innovation within a company that has had a significant, measureable impact on the organization. Tech-enabled companies outside of the technology industry are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible, the corporate innovation must have achieved a significant development milestone in 2015. The corporate innovation must have been primarily developed in Indiana.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Has the innovation positioned the company for future growth and success?
  • Does the innovation create a new market entry for the company or significantly strengthen the company’s ability to compete in existing markets?
  • Has the innovation resulted in significant budgetary savings or new revenues with a high return on investment?

Company Culture of the Year

This category recognizes tech companies that have cultivated workplaces that inspire their employees to succeed in a positive, productive environment that drives the organization forward.

To be eligible, companies must be headquartered in Indiana or at a minimum have a significant Indiana-based operation or division/business unit with employees who work and live within the state of Indiana.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • How does the company’s culture support communications/feedback with employees and customers?
  • Is professional development via continuing education, training and other methods an integral part of the company’s culture?
  • Does the company’s culture enhance performance and help it to sustain a competitive advantage?

New Tech Startup of the Year
(Launched in 2015)

The New Tech Start-up of the Year category recognizes start-ups with great potential that demonstrate the creative, strategic and innovative entrepreneurial spirit of Indiana’s technology industry.

To be eligible, start-ups must have publicly launched after January 1, 2015. The incorporation date of the company can be earlier, but the primary launch of the product or service must be in 2015, and there must be an in-market tech product or service that can be purchased.

Nominees will be judged on a variety of factors including the quality of their business idea and plan, the strength of the founding team and their ability to fund initial operations.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Has the company achieved measurable growth since its inception or has it sufficiently demonstrated a strong likelihood for measurable growth?
  • Does the company show potential for high-growth $10MM-$50MM in a much larger market?
  • Are the company’s go-to-market strategies unique and strong? How are they measuring/demonstrating success?

Tech Scale-up Company of the Year
(Two Levels: $100,000-$5 Million Revenue and $5MM-$20 Million Revenue)

This award category recognizes two different levels of high-growth, innovation-driven companies that provide technology products or services (or are a highly tech-enabled business), are gaining traction and could be Indiana’s next big success stories.

Two Levels:

  • $100,000 – $5,000,000 Revenue
  • $5,000,000 – $20,000,000 Revenue

To be eligible, companies must be headquartered in Indiana or at a minimum have a significant Indiana-based operation or division/business unit with employees who work and live within the state of Indiana.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • At least (1) one year old
  • Annual revenue of at least $100,000, up to millions
  • At least 20% annual revenue growth
  • Desire to grow and hire significantly in Indiana
  • Fewer than 500 employees

Key considerations are financial growth, business growth, sustainability, impact on the market/industry, and technical business and product/service excellence.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Is the company thinking big? Do they have designs for reaching $1BB valuation and going public one day?
  • Who makes up the leadership team and how are they driving this company’s success?
  • Has the company demonstrated positive financial growth for the previous three years, and has the company’s value increased as a result of its financial performance?
  • Has the company grown its employee base in Indiana substantially in the past three years?

Tech Company of the Year Award
($20 Million Revenue and Higher)

This award category recognizes tech companies with $20 million in revenue and higher that provide technology products or services (or are a highly tech-enabled business), and demonstrate exceptional innovation and market position that is helping Indiana to become a recognized technology leader.

To be eligible, companies must be headquartered in Indiana or at a minimum have a significant Indiana-based operation or division/business unit with employees who work and live within the state of Indiana.

Key considerations are financial performance, strategic business development, sustainability, impact on the market/industry, technical business and product/service excellence, and accomplishments as an exceptional corporate citizen.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the nominees and winner:

  • Is the company a recognized leader in its market with a reputation for being innovative?
  • Who makes up the leadership team and how are they driving this company’s success?
  • Has the company demonstrated positive financial performance for the previous three years, and has the company’s value increased as a result of its financial performance?
  • Has the company grown beyond Indiana/United States or gained national exposure for its product/service?