This week marked the biggest accolade to date for Kokomo robotics firm AndyMark, which two years ago outgrew its incubator stage and moved into a new home on North Washington Street.
Continued rapid growth since then has landed the company, which designs and distributes parts and systems for use in robotics, on the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s annual “Indiana Businesses to Watch” list.
More than 300 businesses were nominated for the award, but only 33 made the cut. The IEDC looks at a variety of economic benchmarks, submitted by the companies, before making its selections.
That’s no mean feat for a business which started in vice president Mark Koors’ basement.
Started through Koors’ and AndyMark president Andy Baker’s involvement as adult mentors in the high school FIRST robotics competitions, AndyMark has quickly become the first name in suppliers for the competitors, going from a startup at the Inventrek business incubator to a business with 15 full-time employees and more than 20 part-time workers.
“We started using our house, and when it got into the dining room, I told Andy, ‘We have to find a building,’” said company spokeswoman Mary Baker, Andy’s wife. “When you look back, you just say ‘Really? We did that?’”
“With the spark of a great idea, the ingenuity to develop solutions and the determination to achieve greatness, these companies demonstrate what it takes to stand out in the marketplace,” IEDC president Eric Doden said. “Because we offer a low-tax climate with a skilled workforce, companies of all sizes know that they can exercise a competitive advantage in Indiana, a state that works for business.”
All of the 33 companies recognized will be invited to an awards ceremony Aug. 22 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.
For AndyMark, which was turned down three years ago as not being quite large enough, the recognition is a bit overdue.