Socio, Malomo, Eli Lilly and Co., GadellNet Consulting Services, 3oe Scientific, PIER Group, NearWave and IU Ventures were among the big winners Thursday at TechPoint’s 22nd Mira Awards, which was held virtually for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But two of the night’s most notable victors were KAR Global and OneCause, who won the awards for Pandemic Pivot of the Year. KAR Global won the Pandemic Pivot of the Year in the Institutions and Large Enterprises category and Once Cause in Small-Medium Businesses category.
Mira organizer, TechPoint—along with presenting sponsor Salesforce—honored 122 nominees this year and the successes and innovation of Indiana people, companies, places, and products during a live broadcast of the organization’s annual gala.
Last year, an estimated 5,000-plus people watched the first-ever virtual live broadcast of TechPoint’s Mira Awards gala, and event organizers were expecting an audience of 6,000 for this year’s live webcast. There were no live attendees this year or last.
In 2019, the last year the black-tie event was held live, the Mira’s drew a capacity crowd of 1,400 to the JW Marriott downtown.
The Mira Awards is the state’s largest and longest running technology awards program. This year, 16 award winners and honorees were chosen from a record-breaking 211 applications. 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, technology experts, engineers and other industry professionals.
Mira judges noted KAR Global’s dramatic shift in 2021 and its continuing efforts to pull the auto auction industry into the future by adopting new technologies and embracing the digital evolution that’s been dramatically transforming other industries.
When the pandemic hit, KAR voluntarily closed its 140 physical auction locations to protect customers, employees and communities. With the sudden need to pivot, KAR leap-frogged its own product roadmap by months and in some areas by years, and within two weeks launched its fully-automated, auctioneerless sales platform called Simulcast+.
The Mira Awards judges noted that it was KAR’s significant investments in people, especially tech talent, prior to the pandemic that set the company up for such a dramatic shift in its own operations, as well as its oversized role in providing digital solutions for the auto remarketing industry. The first-of-its-kind Simulcast+ platform has proved so durable and effective that by August of 2020, KAR announced it would be sticking with its 100% digital marketplace even after the pandemic, with no plans to return to physical auctions.
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