TechPoint has announced that serial entrepreneur and tech visionary Chris Baggott will be recognized as Indiana’s 2015 Trailblazer in Technology.
Baggott will accept the award on May 2 at the JW Marriott during the 16th annual TechPoint Mira Awards presented by BKD CPAs & Advisors, which recognize and celebrate the best of tech in Indiana each year.
The TechPoint Trailblazer in Technology Award recognizes visionaries whose contributions have had lasting and significant impact on our technology ecosystem and our state.
Previous winners include Bobby Schnabel, Don Brown, Scott Dorsey, Bill Godfrey, Robert Compton, Jo Ann Gora, Scott Webber, Wil Davis, Michael McRobbie, Mark Hill, Scott Jones, David Becker, The Lilly Endowment, and Martin Jischke.
“Trailblazers are bold risk-takers and innovators who inspire others to venture, to challenge, to chase big opportunities, and to create where nothing existed,” said Mike Langellier, presdent and CEO, TechPoint. “This description well encapsulates Chris Baggott. He may be the only person in the world to sell two companies he co-founded to two of the largest software companies in the world (Salesforce and Oracle) in the same year; certainly the first to do so while also starting a sweet corn factory.”
Chris co-founded the email marketing juggernaut ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud) and served as CMO before leaving to start the business blogging and content marketing trendsetter Compendium (now Oracle Content Marketing). He also authored a book about email marketing published by Wiley — Email Marketing By the Numbers. ExactTarget was acquired by Salesforce in 2013 for $2.5 billion, and Oracle acquired Compendium the same year for an undisclosed amount.
“Chris is an extraordinary entrepreneur who defines the essence of being a trailblazer,” said Scott Dorsey, Co-Founder and Former Chairman and CEO of ExactTarget. “He brings unsurpassed vision, innovative marketing, passion and sense of urgency to new markets – moving from idea to action at the speed of light!”
Before ExactTarget’s and Compendium’s exits, Chris read The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Inspired, he bought a 98 acre plot of land and taught himself to farm, determined to change agriculture as he did marketing and disrupt food production monopolies.
In much the same way that he revolutionized digital marketing with ExactTarget and Compendium, Chris is now sparking a revolution in the food and agriculture business with new ventures HUSK and Tyner Pond Farms.
Tyner Pond Farm is an open-pasture, direct-to-consumer livestock operation in Greenfield, and Husk LLC, is a small-scale corn and vegetables processor, freezer and distributor that includes a 5,000-square-feet plant just east of Indianapolis. Chris also converted the Frosty Mug drive-in in Greenfield into a farm-to-table restaurant that sources its food from central Indiana.
In addition to his own personal ventures, Chris actively invests in others’ as an angel investor, often times in early stage startups considered too risky for many.
“As a community, We owe a great deal to Chris for dreaming big, pushing hard, inspiring all of us to do likewise and for succeeding so that companies and people in our community might live and flourish here as a result,” Langellier said.
In addition to the Trailblazer in Technology award presentation on May 2, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will receive the TechPoint Foundation for Youth Bridge Builder Award, and companies and individuals competing in 12 different technology categories will receive coveted TechPoint Mira Awards. TechPoint will also honor the inaugural class of the Tech 25, a prestigious designation for twenty-five individuals who are critical to building organizations in the tech community.
The black-tie awards ceremony and gala at the JW Marriott features an interactive dinner, Oscars-style theatre presentation, unique raffle experiences benefitting the TechPoint Foundation for Youth, and a masquerade-themed after party with a live band and other fun activities. A limited number of tickets are available at techpoint.org, but the event is expected to sell out like it did last year.