If there’s ever been an innovation accomplished by one person who came up with an idea and got it to market without help from anyone, we’ve never heard of it. Leadership is key, of course, but realizing a dream requires teamwork. 

TechPoint celebrates collaboration with the Tech Innovation Team of the Year Award, which was known as the Tech Team of the Year last year. The two-person Preventia team took home top honors for the award in 2023 for its platform that allows college students facing mental health issues to connect online with credentialed caregivers immediately. 

The 2024 nominees for this award include large and small teams – one focused on preventing pancreatic cancer deaths and another that can’t even tell us all of what they did because of national security. Other teams worked in areas of hybrid work and software management, healthcare, product creation, talent development, genomics, and fintech, helping clients and companies succeed, often in dramatic ways.  

The summaries below of the teams’ work skim the surface of what led to their nominations but will give you a glimpse into why their entries were elevated to finalist status. The nominees are: 

Alleo, Carmel: Before the pandemic, only one percent of jobs incorporated a hybrid work element. After that, more than 90 percent of companies had a hybrid work component, which made remote work tools essential. Video and workflow management tools offer great productivity help but don’t fully address engagement equity or further innovation as Alleo does. Driving innovation with a hybrid team requires visual collaboration without limitations, as remote workers must shift focus between multiple places to access the people, content, and tools required for effective meetings, presentations, and workflows. Disengaged team members, missed connections, inefficient interactions, and poor outcomes are at risk. The Alleo team unifies the collaborative experience by allowing users to easily assemble the necessary people, content and tools in a way that promotes engagement and delivers collaboration equity in any hybrid environment. Used by the federal government and Fortune 500 companies, Alleo’s services are available to everyone, regardless of location or schedule, and can be customized to meet unique needs.  

Amplified Sciences, Inc., West Lafayette: Pancreatic cancer is the third deadliest cancer, and the U.S. has the world’s highest mortality rate for the disease. Diagnosis is difficult, and treatments often are too few and late. Amplified Sciences’ disease diagnostics platform is a game-changer, reducing false negative results compared to standard-of-care tests and bringing hope to pancreatic cancer patients. Getting this platform from concept to market is the focus of the company’s wide-ranging team led by cofounders, including advisors and experts in commercialization, operations, regulatory issues, reimbursement, and research and development. The team’s collective efforts attracted $2.5 million in an open series seed preferred round of more than $1 million in nondilutive funding, including a $450,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute. The collaborators also secured a regulatory certificate that allows them to conduct high-complexity laboratory testing commercially, validated their first assay, and cleared the path for a soft commercial launch of PanCystPro and future additional use cases in early 2024. 

Glassboard, LLC, Indianapolis: Two Glassboard teams worked with a relatively small company competing against companies like Garmin to develop a computer for bicycle handlebars that helps cyclists achieve ultimate riding experiences. In addition to mechanical and electrical engineering expertise, Glassboard gave the remote client team a central physical space for research and development. The project required intense collaboration. Mechanical engineers leveraged generative design to create a host of editable design options, which allowed the companies’ engineers to work together to discover the most appealing paths to follow and set the stage for a symbiotic development trajectory. Through iterative design, they created and validated a design that exceeded expectations. The electrical team created a modular electrical system that allows hot-swapping components like GPS and Bluetooth modules, batteries, and screens. Each of the multiple test permutations was tested by cyclists, providing invaluable, early user feedback. The Glassboard multidisciplinary approach allowed a small team to move through concept, prototype, and test cycles at lightning speed.  

Karyosoft, Inc., Carmel: Karyosoft offers an innovative no-code genomics technology platform that disrupts the way scientists and companies discover new agriculture and life sciences products and accelerates time to market. The technology developed by the Karyosoft team empowers scientists to find needles in the genomic haystack using an in-house, secure search engine. Karyosoft’s Genomics-as-a-Service platform enables molecular geneticists and bioinformaticians to enhance research efficiency and accelerate innovation by democratizing genome data and delivering insights within seconds. Genome sequencing has recently gained momentum with lowering costs, but organizations lack data mining infrastructure and analytics. Karyosoft’s platform fills that gap. The company’s global market is global, but its first target customers are agri-biotech industries, as well as institutes and universities conducting research using genomics data, estimated to be $640 million annually. Karyosoft’s platform can be expanded to other verticals in life sciences. The data analysis, storage, and management market in the life sciences market is projected to reach $41.1 billion by 2024.  

Lionfish Cyber Security, Indianapolis: The Lionfish Cyber Security Risk Management Enablement Platform’s team developed a groundbreaking platform that combines workforce development and governance risk and compliance (GRC) by leveraging skills ranging from military and tech leadership to technical, financial, marketing, and workforce experience to close the cybersecurity talent gap. They also overcame technical hurdles and other adversities brought on by the pandemic. The team’s ability to pivot from an in-person training academy to a scalable SaaS provider showcases its adaptability, resilience, and collaborative problem-solving skills. Each obstacle was met with a unified front, with team members leveraging unique skills to contribute to solutions that propelled the project forward. By integrating GRC with workforce development, the team developed a unique solution that fundamentally changed how businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies approach cybersecurity. It has also been a catalyst for workforce development in cybersecurity.  

Pierce Aerospace, Fishers: The Pierce Aerospace team was already working on a way to enable drones to accurately broadcast their identities to federal authorities before new regulations requiring it were enacted. So, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Air Force (USAF), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) realized they needed to ensure drones could comply with the regulations, Pierce was the obvious choice to prove it could be done. DHS and USAF wanted Pierce to test the technology at the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl 57 in Arizona in February 2022. Still, the FAA scheduled the team for multiple weeks of other testing in Alaska in January. Pierce agreed to take on the additional project and made massive logistical changes to tackle both. They dealt with active construction in Arizona and coordinated with numerous local, state, and federal agencies, as well as the NFL and broadcasters. On game day, the Pierce team’s pioneering technology successfully detected, tracked, and identified all the law enforcement and media drones, aiding in the airspace security mission, which included overcoming the radio frequency noise of 73,000 football fans and publicly shareable matters.  

Pinecone, Carmel: A three-person team built and markets the Pinecone platform of training, technology, and comprehensive resources to teach independent financial advisors the importance of growing a business through a client-result-focused approach rather than one that put sales above all else. The learning management system (LMS) platform is based on a model followed by Crown Haven Wealth Advisors, a company one cofounder launched for which another consulted. The Pinecone platform is a blueprint for advisors to follow from initial business formation to dream exit. It includes over 40 standard operating procedures with hundreds of instructions leveraging technology to save time and energy. It also features over 75 white-labeled document templates and over 50 sales-success videos showing how to align solutions to clients’ financial pain points while building relationships and discouraging sales for only financial gain. Services are delivered through Pinecone Academy, a custom LMS that enables self-paced learning. Pinecone’s Total Technology Toolkit is powered by Salesforce’s Financial Service Cloud. It is an AppExchange Package built as Salesforce ISV Partners. It offers over 60 email templates, job postings, internal process documents, and other industry customizations organized around a core customer relationship management (CRM) solution. 

Recruit Rooster, Indianapolis: Recruit Rooster’s Tech Innovation Team focuses on forward-thinking technology that helps organizations connect with top talent and has helped propel the company to the forefront of innovation in the recruitment industry. The team doesn’t respond only to client and industry needs; it anticipates and defines them. From pioneering a robust candidate relationship management system to creating a video platform for employee testimonial videos, every innovation is a testament to the team’s foresight and strategic vision. The team prizes creativity and collaboration. Each product is designed to empower teams to do their best work. The team provides creative services, like custom employer brand video and content creation, an innovative software suite, recruitment marketing automation, and an employee testimonial video platform. The combination of CRM software, career sites, video tools, and creative services helps employers with talent attraction and proactive recruitment efforts. 

STARTedUP Foundation, Indianapolis: The STARTedUP Foundation’s mission is to empower students and teachers to view the world through a lens of innovation and entrepreneurship while building a life of purpose. It provides communities with free curriculum for thousands of Indiana high school students. Since 2018, it has expanded statewide, engaging more than 6,000 students. The team actively encourages students to reach out to local business and political leaders and collaborate with their local teacher fellows to tackle real-life challenges. Through its “Indiana Innovation Fellowship,” the team identified 35 teachers from around Indiana to dedicate time to implement innovation and entrepreneurial thinking into the classroom. By collaborating with educational leaders statewide, the team ensures the program includes rural and inner-city schools. 

Your Money Line, Indianapolis: The two-person Your Money Line (YML) tech team was asked to modernize YML’s existing product offering, which helps customers achieve financial wellness and confidence and prepares the company for scale. The team saw how artificial intelligence (AI) could add additional functionality and infinitely more user power and impact. In just six months, the team rebuilt the company’s existing product from a WordPress site to a full SaaS app while adding industry-leading new capabilities to integrate financial accounts and give end users AI-powered insights into their financial lives. The team created a new packaging offering – “YML Plus” – which doubled the company’s annual contract value. After launching Plus, they grew the team, earned SOC 2 security certification, and are now developing a new custom financial large language model enabling the company to significantly increase the personalization and fidelity of its financial guidance to hundreds of thousands of households. 

Zylo, Indianapolis: Zylo’s marketing team was tasked with igniting demand for SaaS management, a new market category the company had created to address an issue most companies didn’t realize they had: SaaS mismanagement. The team’s education campaign used the power of authentic storytelling and included the first-ever podcast on SaaS management: SaaSMe Unfiltered; a second podcast, SaaSMe Anything; original SaaS management research and trends, tailored to specific buyer personas to maximize engagement; and the first report of its kind, Zylo’s annual SaaS Management Index. The Index uses data to help readers benchmark their tech stack, make informed decisions, and identify cost savings. The team also developed the SaaSMe conference, the only event for modern IT, Procurement, and service-addressable market leaders. This innovative, multi-channel, data-centric approach resulted in the company’s best quarter ever for qualified opportunities while significantly reducing waste and spending.  

Only one of the nominated teams can win the Tech Innovation Team of the Year Award.  

That winner and 17 others will be announced at the 25th annual TechPoint Mira Awards gala on Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis. The event is presented by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Salesforce, and a host of the state’s most innovative companies, universities, and organizations. See that growing list, learn more, and get your tickets here.