Akilah Darden, founder and president of The Darden Group won the Community Impact Award for an Individual during TechPoint’s 23rd annual Mira Awards gala honoring the best of tech in Indiana. 

The Indianapolis business leader has accomplished on the construction jobsite what few, if any, others have: 100% diverse participation. What’s more, she did it for Cook Medical’s new 38th Street and Sheridan Ave. manufacturing facility (a forward-thinking, community-based project in its own right) in a tight labor market by meeting people “where they are” on Instagram, creating an animated video to promote her project and offering onsite interviews with diverse construction professionals to allow the community to “see what they could be” in construction.

She also created an e-course to help construction professionals with construction core competencies go from technical hands-on construction professionals to managerial professionals teaching operational and administrative strategies. 

Watch the Gerry Dick, Inside Indiana Business interview with Akilah W. Darden, founder and president of The Darden Group.

The Mira Awards Judges were impressed by how Darden artfully leveraged technology to disrupt the industry and augment opportunities for under-represented groups, her passion for projecting success, leading by example and bringing others along with her on the journey to success. They were inspired by Akilah’s ability to not just see the need for inclusion in the building trades, but to set out to solve the problem using tech-enabled resources that eliminated barriers and instilled a growth mindset that she, herself, modeled for the community.


Browse Photos from the 2022 Mira Awards Gala.
Watch Acceptance Speeches from the Award Winners.
Watch Winner Interviews with Gerry Dick of Inside Indiana Business.
See All Award Winners from the 2022 Mira Awards Gala.


TechPoint, the nonprofit, industry-led growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, honored the successes and innovation of Indiana people, companies and products during the 23rd annual Mira Awards gala with presenting sponsor Salesforce.

A total of 16 award winners and honorees were chosen from the 125 outstanding people, companies and products that were selected as nominees for their achievements during the 2021 calendar year. 

Fifty-two independent, volunteer judges spent more than 850 total hours evaluating applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included an impressive roster of company founders, CEOs and presidents, CTOs, CIOs, engineers and other industry professionals. 

TechPoint’s Mira Awards are named after the first of the brilliant variable stars to be discovered—the Mira Star. It is also the Latin root meaning “worthy of admiration, wonderful, marvelous.” The awards represent the best of tech in Indiana each year.

This story will be updated with new links, photos and videos as they become available.