Thirteen Minnesota High-Tech Innovators Recognized at 2017 Tekne Awards

November 16, 2017

The Minnesota High Tech Association recognizes Minnesota companies that support the state’s tech economy

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 16, 2017 — The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) honored Minnesota companies and organizations committed to advancements in technology and science at last night’s 2017 Tekne Awards. The MHTA recognized 13 recipients throughout the state whose innovative drive and focus seeks to improve the lives of their communities, economy and state.

“More than 30 years ago, MHTA’s founding members came together around three principles: build support for Minnesota’s science and technology institutions, enrich relationships between industry and education to understand future workforce demands, and develop a strategy for science, engineering and technology education,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and CEO of MHTA. “The Tekne awards are a celebration of these principles, and these 13 recipients highlight the advancements of science and technology right here in our community.”

Paul Douglass hosted the ceremony at the Minneapolis Convention Center that celebrated Minnesota-based innovations and developments within software, healthcare, STEM education, workforce development, Internet of Things, cyber security, and more.

Public Service Awards were presented to Senator Paul Anderson, Commissioner Tom Baden and Representative Marion O’Neill. These public officials helped raise awareness about cybersecurity issues in state government, and led efforts to pass legislation to help create a framework for deploying small cell technology throughout Minnesota.

MHTA presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Dr. Bhabani Misra, associate dean at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, and Steven L. Crouch, former dean of the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering.

During the ceremony, the MHTA Foundation also honored undergraduate students who received the Foundation’s STEM scholarships. These students represent the future STEM leaders in our state.

The 2017 Tekne Award recipients are:

Analytics – Calabrio

Calabrio is a customer engagement software company that provides analytic insights to catalyze growth through customer service contact centers. Calabrio is revolutionizing the way enterprises engage their customers with Calabrio ONE, a unified workforce optimization (WFO) suite that records, captures, and analyzes customer interactions to improve the overall agent and customer experience.

Building Design & Infrastructure – Perkins+Will

Consistently ranked among the world’s top design firms, Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture practice founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and communities. Perkins+Will works around the world to create healthy, sustainable places in which to live, learn, work, play and heal.

Communications Technology - PeopleNet
Founded in 1994 and based in Minnetonka, PeopleNet is a leader in providing fleet mobility technology to North America’s land transportation industry that enables greater levels of safety, compliance, cost reduction and customer service. The PeopleNet platform combines network communications, mobility and analytics to create the next-generation standard in technology-driven fleet performance and decision-making management.

Community Impact – Minnesota IT Services

Minnesota IT Services is the IT agency for Minnesota’s executive branch, providing enterprise and local IT services to more than 70 agencies, boards and commissions. MNIT employs more than 2,000 people across 90 physical locations to build, maintain, and secure the State’s IT infrastructure, applications, projects and services.

Cyber Security – Arcserve (USA) LLC

Arcserve develops data protection and availability solutions that deliver enterprise power with small team simplicity. Launched in 1990 as a product under Cheyenne Software, Arcserve became independent in 2014 and released Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) for comprehensive backup and recovery across all environments under one pane of glass.

Healthcare – OneOme

OneOme® was established by Invenshure, LLC and Mayo Clinic to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective pharmacogenomic solution integrated into patients’ everyday clinical care. OneOme’s key product offering is the RightMed® pharmacogenomic test, a physician-ordered genetic test that predicts how a patient’s DNA and current prescriptions may affect their response to medications.

Industry Impact – Activated Research Company

Activated Research Company® (ARC) was founded in 2014 with a vision to improve chemical analysis through expertise in catalysis. In October 2015, the Polyarc® system was launched, which provides the scientific community with better, faster and cheaper gas chromatography analyses.

Internet of Things – SelectComfort

Thirty years ago, Sleep Number transformed the mattress industry with the idea ‘one size does not fit all’. Today, the company is the leader in sleep innovation and ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” by J.D. Power. Sleep Number is a pioneer in biometric sleep tracking and adjustability, and proving the connection between quality sleep and wellbeing.

Software (Established Companies) – ABILITY Network Inc.

ABILITY is a leading information technology company helping healthcare providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare. Customers across the country – and across the continuum of care – rely on ABILITY’s innovative applications and data analytics, which are delivered via a powerful integrated cloud-based, SaaS-platform.

Software (Small and Growing Companies) – Sentera, LLC

Sentera, LLC is a near real-time, in-field data management solutions company designing and producing high-tech sensors, AgVault Web, Mobile and Desktop Software, and drone platforms. With more than 250 years of remote-sensing experience, Sentera is a leading supplier of sensors and solutions to the agriculture industry, making it easy for users to use data in-field, or bring it off the farm for further analysis.

Startup – StemoniX

StemoniX® is transforming how new medicines are discovered. StemoniX is able to use human skin or blood to create stem cells that can be converted into functioning mini-organs, such as our microHearts® and microBrains®. StemoniX is making it possible to test medications on humans without that medication ever entering their bodies.

STEM Education – Code Savvy

Code Savvy strives to make kids and teens more code-savvy through creative educational programs and services. We incubate and support community-based programs that bring technology and know-how to local kids and educators, all the while championing gender and ethnic diversity.

Workforce Development – Rêve Academy

Rêve Academy's mission is to help kids dream with direction through pathways to digital careers. To create marketable talent, we offer innovative in-school methodology and out-of-school courses. All of Rêve Academy's programming is designed to prepare underserved students for successful careers in business, technology and design.

The 2017 Tekne Awards are made possible by the generous support of its sponsors:

  • Presenting Sponsors: Optum, Thomson Reuters

  • Red Carpet Sponsor: Comcast

  • Platinum Sponsors: AT&T, Ecolab

  • Gold Sponsor: Padilla

  • Finalist Reception: Robins Kaplan

  • VIP Reception: Genesis 10

  • Post Event Reception: Computex Technology Solutions, Digineer

  • Silver Sponsors: 3M, MN Cup, Medtronic, Unisys, XcelEnergy

  • Media Sponsor: Twin Cities Business

  • Webcast Sponsors: Implex, Qwikcast TV

  • Event Partners: MentorMate, Medical Alley Association

About Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)

MHTA is an innovation and technology association united in fueling Minnesota’s prosperity. We help bring together the people of Minnesota’s science and technology ecosystem and lead the charge in directing science and technology issues to Minnesota’s state capitol. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota’s entire science and technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size − involved in virtually every aspect of science and technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota. Find out more online at or follow MHTA on Twitter at

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