Recognizing exceptional startup founders of any age and experience and celebrating their impact on our community

An industry defined by its vibrancy and innovation, the technology sector is known not just for the great products it creates, but the captivating minds that conceived them.

The Rising Entrepreneur Award recognizes exceptional startup founders of any age and experience who have looked outside the box, started something new, and have great potential for future success. This award celebrates the courage and industriousness of rising tech leaders as well as their impact on the community.

This year, we have selected 11 top candidates for this award, many of whom bring working solutions to bridge technology gaps in Indiana. Whether working on the forefront to provide clean and safe drinking water; connecting patients, doctors, and healthcare providers with more streamlined communication; making healthcare affordable and accessible with digital help; or ensuring Hoosiers (and beyond) can get the dental attention they need, these entrepreneurs’ visions are changing the world we live in. 

Past recipients of the award continue to innovate and inspire as well. 2019’s recipient, Casey Gauss of Viral Launch, has continued to improve the platform in a mission to be the ‘go-to’ platform for advertising on Amazon. Viral Launch also secured a $7.3 million Series A funding round in 2019 led by New York-based Tenfore Holdings, with participation from existing investors Mentor’s Fund and UpOver Ventures. The company has several pilots running with major brands and has already signed one of the world’s largest consumer electronic brands, continuing to gain traction in the industry. 

The Bee Corp’s founder Ellie Symes won the Rising Entrepreneur award in 2018. Since then, The Bee Corp’s headquarters have moved from Bloomington, IN to Indianapolis, IN, and the organization received the National Science Foundation grant funding for $750,000, which has allowed them to pursue infrared imagery technology to further their studies with beehives and add personnel to the team.   

This year’s nominees include:

Amy Brown, Founder & CEO, AuthentiCx, Inc (Carmel, Ind.) — As a 20-year veteran in the healthcare industry, Amy Brown launched AuthentiCx to transform the way humans understand humans.

Ben Forrest, Founder and CEO, Olio (Carmel, Ind.) —  Ben has foresight and enthusiasm to tackle massive problems in the evolving healthcare space to transform how care is delivered.

Megan Glover, Co-Founder/CEO, 120WaterAudit (Zionsville, Ind.) — Megan Glover is the CoFounder & CEO of 120Water, a company that provides solutions to manage drinking water programs to protect public health.

Luke Jacobs, Co-founder & CEO, Encamp (Indianapolis, Ind.) — Luke Jacobs is the co-founder & CEO of Encamp, an award-winning, venture-backed tech startup in the environmental, health and safety compliance space based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Megan Lohman, CEO, Plan Forward (Indianapolis, Ind.) — Megan Lohman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Plan Forward, a company that enables dentists to easily offer subscription plans to their uninsured patients as an alternative to insurance. 

Brodie Meyer, CEO, FuseMe (Indianapolis, Ind.) — Brodie is the CEO of FuseMe, an in-person recruiting tool that turns recruiters and teams into talent acquisition machines.

Aaron Pierce, CEO, Pierce Aerospace (Carmel, Ind.) —  Aaron launched Pierce Aerospace to new heights in 2019, including expanding the team and enhancing their drone Remote ID technologies.

Evan Rocheford, Co-Founder and CEO, NutraMaize (West Lafayette, Ind.) — Evan Rocheford and his company NutraMaize are bringing Orange Corn — a more nutritious, better-tasting, non-GMO crop — to the US and beyond.

Darren Root, CEO, Rootworks LLC (Bloomington, Ind.) — Top influencer in business model and tech in accounting space. Passionate about redefining the accountant role to innovative entrepreneur.

Sarah Stilz, Founder, Prime Movement Healthcare (Indianapolis, Ind.) Sarah created a CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program delivered via telehealth. Patients are connected to expert, affordable care for the cost of less than a cup of coffee per day.

Sunny Lu Williams, President, TechServ Corporation (Indianapolis, Ind.)  Sunny Lu has focused her efforts on implementing great ideas for community benefit and sustaining through technology and proven outcomes.

The 2020 Mira Award winners will be announced live on a special broadcast during the 21st gala on Thursday, June 18, with presenting sponsors Eli Lilly and Company, Genesys, Infosys, Raytheon and Salesforce. Thousands are expected to watch the live broadcast on social media platforms and via Zoom VIP room watch parties.

Get more information about the broadcast here. Join us on June 18 for the unveiling of the Rising Entrepreneur Mira Award winner.