Zack Baker, an 18-year-old honors graduate from Noblesville High School this May, received the Rookie of the Year award during TechPoint’s 17th annual Mira Awards honoring the best of tech in Indiana.
Zack founded PassWhiz, an iOS app he coded himself that eliminates the need for paper hall passes. He first pitched PassWhiz to his school district with success and now over 13,000 students in schools across the country are using PassWhiz. The app is the second product Zack has created and sold to paying customers, the first of which was an app he built when he was 14.
In addition to his skills as a young programmer, the judges appreciate Zack’s passion for doing good in the community as a knowledgeable tech resource and volunteer. Following the success of his app, Baker founded the Noblesville High School Code Club to teach fellow students how to develop and program mobile apps, and he and fellow members of the club put their talents to good use with community service programs. Baker has spoken about education and entrepreneurship at Stanford University and at a conference in New York City, and he founded a podcast interviewing tech and education innovators.
TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, honored Indiana’s best companies, entrepreneurs, educators, and other leaders for their technology excellence and innovation at The Westin in downtown Indianapolis during the 17th annual Mira Awards gala presented by Angie’s List, Interactive Intelligence, and Salesforce.
A total of 17 award winners and seven runners-up were chosen from the 98 outstanding companies, organizations, and individuals who were selected as nominees this year out of the 168 applications received highlighting achievements during the 2015 calendar year.
Forty independent, volunteer judges spent more than 700 total hours reviewing and ranking applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included company founders, CEOs and presidents; CTOs, CIOs and software developers; professors and chancellors from Indiana universities; design, human resources and sales professionals, and a variety of other subject matter experts.
The Mira Awards — named after a variable star thousands of times brighter than the Earth’s sun — represent the best of tech in Indiana each year.