Exceptional non-student startup founders or operators who have looked outside the box, started something new and generated momentum

Taking the leap to start a business takes courage and initiative. The Rising Entrepreneur Award recognizes exceptional startup founders of all ages, shapes, sizes and experience levels who thought outside the box, started something new and generated momentum in their field. This award celebrates the success of entrepreneurship, as well as the nominees’ community impact and leadership.

This year’s nominees range from supporting STEM education systems, developing medical technology that reduces bedsores, researching and supporting for animal fertility and beyond. These entrepreneurs have years of experience to match their prestigious nominations. We can’t wait to see what these entrepreneurs continue to achieve and we applaud their ability to take strategic risks with great success. 

This year’s nominees include:

  • Ravi Bhatt, Co-Founder & CEO, Folia, Bloomington, Ind. — Ravi Bhatt is a seasoned entrepreneur who’s driven multiple exits and holds a unique background in law, cognitive science and computer science that fuels his approach to building teams and disruptive tech.
  • Jessica Bussert, CEO, Wave Therapeutics, Nashville, Ind. — Jessica Bussert is the CEO of Wave Therapeutics, which has developed smart cushioning technology to prevent bedsores and improve blood flow. Their connected devices will improve health, save lives, and reduce a substantial cost burden.  
  • Megan Cox, Founder, Genie Supply, Bedford, Ind. — Megan Cox is a MIT grad and the founder of Genie Supply, the beauty lab for entrepreneurs in Bedford, IN. With a diverse team and AI and automation, she’s helped launch 400+ beauty brands.
  • Brandon Fischer, Founder and CEO, Alleo, Carmel, Ind. — Brandon has over 25 years of experience in designing and developing interactive software-based solutions for web, mobile, desktop and large-scale video wall systems. He has 12 patents and 3 pending patents.
  • Liane Hart, CEO & Co-Founder, Verility, Inc., Maxwell, Ind. —  Liane Hart is the CEO and co-founder of Verility, Inc., a global platform providing fertility analysis products that enable livestock producers and breeders the ability to accelerate reproductive performance.
  • Darye Henry, Founder and CEO, AfterSchool HQ, Fishers, Ind. — Darye Henry is the founder and CEO of AfterSchool HQ, a platform that enables students to find exceptional learning opportunities outside of the school day, using technology to make a real impact on the future of our children.
  • Jake Miller, CEO, The Engineered Innovation Group, Indianapolis, Ind. — Jake Miller is the CEO of The Engineered Innovation Group, a company that helps organizations create new and meaningfully useful products and services.
  • Cory Nation, President, Embark EMR, Indianapolis, Ind. — Cory Nation is the President of Embark EMR, which empowers practices with the power of data-driven decision making. With automated attendance tracking and streamlined documentation, Embark EMR clients can gain valuable insights into your client interactions and run a connected practice with confidence.
  • Rajesh Perianayagam, Founder and CEO, Karyosoft, Carmel, Ind. — Rajesh Perianayagam is the founder and CEO of Karyosoft, a technology start up company that drives data to innovations in life sciences research with novel software solutions. 
  • Julia Regan, Co-founder and CEO, RxLightning, Greenville, Ind. — Julia Regan is the co-founder and CEO of RXLightning, a platform that simplifies, streamlines and automates the complex manual process of specialty medication enrollment across manufacturers, hubs and specialty pharmacies. It ultimately reduces the burden for administrators and accelerates the speed to therapy for patients.
  • Dave Schleppenbach, CEO, Tactile Engineering, Lafayette, Ind. —Dave Schleppenbach has founded several successful companies dedicated to developing technologies and products to improve access and opportunities for people with disabilities.

The 2023 Mira Award winners will be announced during our in-person gala at the JW Marriot during the 24th gala on Saturday, April 22, with presenting sponsors Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Salesforce and UKG.Get more information about the 2023 Mira Awards and join us on April 22 for the unveiling of the “Best of Tech” Mira Award winner for Rising Entrepreneur!