Jeff Barry, partner with growth-stage venture capital firm Plymouth Growth Partners received the Investor of the Year Award during TechPoint’s 18th annual Mira Awards honoring the best of tech in Indiana.
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Plymouth Growth Partners specializes in Midwest tech companies and has invested over $10 million in Indiana tech companies. Two large 2016 investments include internet of things (IoT) convener ClearObject and cloud solutions integrator Kinney Group, both fast-growing scale-up companies.
The Investor of the Year Award recognizes an angel investor or investment firm principal who brings money plus exceptional connections, advice and attention to Indiana companies.
The Mira Awards judges selected Plymouth Growth Partners and Partner Jeff Barry for the risks taken and investments made in Indiana tech firms — specifically two large 2016 investments in internet of things (IoT) convener ClearObject (formerly CloudOne) and cloud solutions integrator Kinney Group, both fast-growing scale-up companies.
The judges noted that the financial investments were important in making their decision, but that the positive working relationships Plymouth has built with its Indiana-based portfolio companies and the VC firm’s dedication to helping the state’s tech community grow were major factors.
John McDonald, CEO, ClearObject said that the relationship with Plymouth Growth Partners marked a significant turning point for his company. The investment was the first out-of-state venture capital for ClearObject and Plymouth partners including Jeff Barry, Evan Ufer and Ian Bund have gone above and beyond in contributing to the company’s success.
“Plymouth brought a new sense of professionalism and focus to our board of directors, encouraging high standards of interaction and process that have raised our team to a new level,” McDonald said. “More importantly, they have leveraged their relationship with us to become active in the Indiana venture scene, investing in other companies and actively inquiring and meeting with governmental, entrepreneurial and venture organizations in our state to bring their experience, investment capital and insight to our technology community.”
Jim Kinney, CEO, Kinney Group said: “Jeff Barry and the team at Plymouth are tremendous people to work with. They are committed to developing more investments in Indiana tech companies like they have with us at Kinney Group because they believe there is a lot of untapped potential in our market. Having a firm that is consistently putting out $10 to $20 million in investments in Midwest technology companies year after year has an impact on our tech communities that is difficult to overstate.”
TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, honored the successes and innovation of Indiana companies, entrepreneurs, educators, and other leaders at The Westin Indianapolis during the 18th annual Mira Awards gala presented by Angie’s List, Genesys, and Salesforce.
A total of 15 award winners and three honorable mentions were chosen from the 90 outstanding companies, organizations, and individuals who were selected as nominees this year out of the 180 applications received highlighting achievements during the 2016 calendar year.
Fifty independent, volunteer judges spent more than 850 total hours reviewing and ranking applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included company founders, CEOs and presidents; CTOs, CIOs and software developers; professors and chancellors from Indiana universities; design, human resources and sales professionals, and a variety of other subject matter experts.
The Mira Awards are named after the first of the brilliant variable stars to be discovered – the Mira Star. It is also the Latin root meaning “worthy of admiration, wonderful, marvelous.” The awards represent the best of tech in Indiana each year.