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Donald F. Kuratko
Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Sue Artmeier
Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2005

Life science firms dominate Johnson Centerís new program honoring emerging Indiana companies

Oct. 20, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Sixty-two successful Indiana companies are finalists in a new awards program from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business that recognizes them for their growth and innovation and their willingness to take calculated risks.

This is the first year for the Indiana Entrepreneurial Awards of Distinction, which are being presented by the school's Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Winners will be announced at a dinner Thursday (Oct. 20) at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis.

About half of the 62 finalist companies are in the life sciences or emerging technologies industries. At least seven of the finalists have experienced 100 percent growth since 2002. The finalists were chosen from about 175 companies that applied. Altogether, the companies being honored employ 9,816 people in Indiana and reported total revenue of $1,550,515,495.

To be eligible for the awards, companies had be founded prior to the 2002 fiscal year, had to be a public or private corporation, proprietorship or partnership located in Indiana, and had to have revenues of more than $1 million.

"Our awards program is living proof that everything that the state of Indiana was trying to do five, six, seven years ago to get the life sciences movement initiated is starting to pay off now. We're starting to see some very powerful emerging companies," said Donald F. Kuratko, executive director of the Johnson Center and the Jack M. Gill Chair in Entrepreneurship.

Most of the finalists that are life science firms were recognized for their entrepreneurial spirit or innovation. "Some of their stories were remarkable for what they had to overcome and others obviously were demonstrating some real innovations and how they were being applied in a business sense," Kuratko said.

There will also be a Social Enterprise Award that will go to a non-profit with a social mission.

"The companies considered as finalists for the Indiana Entrepreneurial Awards of Distinction are truly treasures of the state of Indiana," said Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School. "They play a vital role in the state's efforts to retain top-flight talent. Not only do these firms provide attractive career opportunities, but by being so successful, they contribute to the collective psychological feeling that Indiana is a state on the move. It is certainly an honor for the Kelley School to recognize the accomplishments of such impressive companies."

Also being honored will be William L. Haeberle, IU professor emeritus of management and an adviser to scores of Indiana entrepreneurs over a 50-year career. The William L. Haeberle Entrepreneurial Legacy Award is being created in his honor and will go to others who have left an indelible mark on business creation in the state.

"We created this award because Dr. Haeberle is the godfather in this state of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial leadership. We felt that it was important that we set up some special award so that his legacy would live on," Kuratko said.

The new awards program replaces a previous award, the Growth 100, that only recognized companies for their growth. The Indiana Entrepreneurial Awards of Distinction continue to honor some companies for revenue growth -- of at least 35 percent over a two-year period. But a new Entrepreneurial Spirit Award will honor some companies for their higher standards in risk-taking behavior and for persevering through the lessons learned. Another award will go to companies that pioneer with new systems, products or best practices.

The former award "left out a whole array of entrepreneurial firms in the state of Indiana that have done some pretty amazing things, but because they don't fit the growth category would never get honored," Kuratko said. "If we're going to be changing the culture of Indiana, to be more entrepreneurial, we have to recognize entrepreneurship in all areas and forms."

Also new this year was that an outside panel of business consultants and executives did the judging. Judges were Steve Beck of the Indiana Venture Center, George Berry of NASDAQ, Ken Kaczmarek of Elliott & Associates, David Millard of Barnes & Thornburg, Scott Molander, founder of Hat World and Simple Furniture, Keith Slifer of La Salle National Bank, Jeff Taylor of Katz Sapper & Miller, Larry Wechter of Monument Advisors, Gary Anderson of TL Ventures, and Tim Boeglin of the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic at IU.

Also, the certified public accounting firm of Katz, Sapper & Miller audited and verified all of the financial statements for finalists in the growth category and required companies to explain how they achieved their growth.

Award sponsors are NASDAQ, LaSalle National Bank, Monument Advisors and the Indiana University Research & Technology Corp.

Individuals who wish to nominate a company for consideration for next year's awards should contact the Johnson Center at 812-855-4248. For more information regarding the program and the Johnson Center, visit the center's Web site at

Here is a list of finalists, grouped alphabetically by location. The award category for which they are being recognized is included:

Harlan Bakeries Inc., spirit, Avon
Electronic Communication Systems Inc., spirit/growth, Bloomington
Employment Plus, spirit/growth, Bloomington
Information in Place Inc., innovator, Bloomington
MSP Aviation Inc., growth, Bloomington
Option Six Inc., spirit/growth, Bloomington
Prange Building LLC, growth, Bloomington
Baker Hill, innovator, Carmel
BitWise Solutions, spirit, Carmel
Performance Assessment Network Inc., innovator/growth, Carmel
TGX Medical Inc., innovator, Carmel
Elwood Staffing, growth, Columbus
LHP Software, growth, Columbus
Productive Resources, spirit, Columbus
SIHO Insurance Services, spirit/growth, Columbus
Electronic Commerce Inc., growth, Elkhart
Best Home Furnishings, spirit, Ferdinand
MediaSauce, innovator, Fishers
TruStar Solutions, spirit, Fishers
Briljent LLC, spirit/growth, Fort Wayne
LaBov & Beyond, innovator, Fort Wayne
SCAN Inc., social enterprise, Fort Wayne
Advantis Medical Inc., growth, Greenwood
OFS, spirit, Huntingburg
Ace Mortgage Funding Inc., growth, Indianapolis
American Institute of Toxicology (AIT Laboratories), innovator, Indianapolis
ANGEL Learning, innovator/growth, Indianapolis
Benefit Associates Inc., spirit, Indianapolis
BioStorage Technologies, innovator, Indianapolis
Bose McKinney & Evans, spirit, Indianapolis
Civil Designs LLP, growth, Indianapolis
Coverstar Central, spirit, Indianapolis
eTapestry, innovator/growth, Indianapolis
Fortune Diversified Industries Inc., growth, Indianapolis
Gateway Medical Resource Alliance, spirit, Indianapolis
Global Shred Inc., innovator/growth, Indianapolis
Government Payment Service, innovator, Indianapolis
Healthx Inc., spirit/growth, Indianapolis
Image Technology Corp., innovator, Indianapolis
Marketing Informatics, growth, Indianapolis
Pac-Van Inc., spirit, Indianapolis
Perkins Specialized Transportation, spirit, Indianapolis
Perpetual Technologies Inc., spirit, Indianapolis
POLARIS Laboratories, spirit/growth, Indianapolis
Product Action International LLC, innovator/growth, Indianapolis
Quest Information Systems Inc., innovator, Indianapolis
SELCO Engineering Inc., growth, Indianapolis
Senex Services Corp., innovator, Indianapolis
That's Good HR Inc., growth, Indianapolis
TriMedx, growth, Indianapolis
Unique Window and Door, innovator, Indianapolis
Venture Logistics, spirit, Indianapolis
Daman Products Co. Inc., spirit, Mishawaka
Helmer Inc., spirit/growth, Noblesville
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, innovator, Santa Claus
KMS Enterprises, spirit, South Bend
Hannum, Wagle & Cline Engineering, innovator, Terre Haute
ObTech Corp., innovator, Terre Haute
Arxan Technologies Inc., innovator, West Lafayette
gh LLC, innovator, West Lafayette
Griffin Analytical Technologies Inc., innovator/growth, West Lafayette
Imaginestics LLC, spirit/growth, West Lafayette