TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, will recognize Angie’s List Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Angie Hicks with the Trailblazer Award during TechPoint’s 18th annual Mira Awards Gala on April 29, at The Westin Indianapolis.

The Mira Awards recognize and celebrate the best of tech in Indiana each year, including people, products and companies. The Trailblazer Award recognizes visionaries whose contributions have had lasting and significant impact on our technology ecosystem and our state.

Previous winners include Scott McCorkle, Chris Baggott, 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.

Mike Langellier

Mike LangellierPresident and CEO, TechPoint

“Angie’s personal story of taking a big risk and persevering is an inspiration to a generation of Hoosier entrepreneurs who are following in her footsteps and choosing to build their businesses in Indiana,” said Mike Langellier, president and CEO, TechPoint.

“Over the past 20 years she has built one of our community’s most recognizable brands—a brand that bears her name and features her in national TV commercials. Further, she and her former colleagues, Scott Brenton and Bill Oesterle, created the Orr Fellowship program, which has been a remarkable supplier of top talent to our tech community.”

Hicks founded the company in 1995 with her mentor, venture capitalist Bill Oesterle. During the first few years of doing business, Hicks sold memberships door-to-door, and she read contractor reviews to members over the telephone when they would call in to the company’s one phone line in a small rented office that didn’t even have furniture.

Today, Angie’s List employs more than 1,500 people in Indianapolis and has more than five million members using its home services contractor reviews and online products. The company grew by nearly two million new members after a free membership tier was added last year.

Bill Oesterle

Bill OesterleCo-founder and former CEO, Angie's List

“Angie has a uniquely Hoosier success story,” said Oesterle. “She is the modest young woman from Fort Wayne who worked hard and persevered through incredibly difficult circumstances to become an American Household name. Along the way she inspired an entire generation of Hoosier marketing and technology leaders. She is extraordinary and I am so proud.”

In 2001, Hicks helped launch the Governor Bob Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program, which focuses on encouraging young entrepreneurs to grow and flourish in Indiana. She has also served on the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Shortly after locating the company’s corporate headquarters on East Washington Street, Hicks worked with other local leaders to improve Willard Park. That community development effort sparked other company-supported projects to help nearby schools and nonprofits, which led to the launch of the Angie’s List Foundation in 2015, which focuses on supporting nonprofits on the near East Side.

Hicks earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from DePauw University, which named her a 2007 Distinguished Alumni for Management and Entrepreneurship. In 2009, she won the Indiana Commission for Women Torchbearer Award for entrepreneurial accomplishments and in 2014 was chosen to deliver the annual Hazelett Women in Leadership Forum lecture. Just last month, Hicks was named the 2017 Tech Founder of the Year at the Midwest Women in Tech conference in Chicago.

In addition to the Trailblazer Award, TechPoint will present awards to companies and individuals on April 29, in 14 different categories including Tech Company of the Year, Scale-up Company of the Year, New Startup of the Year, Tech Educator of the Year, Rising Star, Community Champion, Company Culture of the Year, Corporate Innovator of the year, Innovation of the Year and Best New Tech Product.

Last week, TechPoint announced that Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Plymouth Growth Partners and Partner Jeff Barry is this year’s recipient of the Investor of the Year Award, which recognizes an angel investor or investment firm principal who brings money plus exceptional connections, advice and attention to Indiana companies.

Last month, TechPoint announced the three winners of the first-ever People’s Choice Mira Awards selected by public voting for for Best Tech Event (ClearObject), Best Tech T-Shirt or Swag (WebLink), and Best Tech Space (Upper Hand).