Winners at Minnesota High Tech Association 2018 Tekne Awards Demonstrate Scope of Innovation Econ

November 29, 2018

Innovators Recognized at Tekne Awards Ceremony at Minneapolis Convention Center

(MINNEAPOLIS) Nov. 30, 2018 – In a celebration of Minnesota's thriving science and technology community, the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) named 16 winners during its annual Tekne Awards on Thursday night. The winners span a wide range of size and business models but share an innovative approach to technology in categories including advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, cybersecurity and community impact, among others

"This year's Tekne Award winners exemplify the diversity and strength of Minnesota's innovative economy," said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association." The selected organizations all continuously challenge the status quo of the science and technology industries, and we were proud to honor them in this ceremony.

Paul Douglas hosted the ceremony at the Minneapolis Convention Center, celebrating Minnesota-based innovations and developments within a variety of categories.

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.

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The 2018 Tekne Award recipients are:


PaR Systems is a world leader in providing advanced intelligent solutions for critical material handling, automation and robotic applications that drive customer quality, safety and productivity. Since 1961, PaR has created fully integrated systems, which are often first-of-a-kind manufacturing solutions, for a broad range of industries including aerospace, hazardous material/nuclear, life science and process automation, marine/defense, heavy material handling and industrial.


3M is a global science company that never stops inventing. Using 46 technology platforms, their integrated team of scientists and researchers works with customers to create breakthroughs. Their inventions have improved daily life for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. With $30 billion in sales, their 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Scientists, researchers and marketers work across countries and across markets and industries to solve challenges big and small.


A global pioneer in intelligent plumbing and climate solutions, Uponor has proudly led the industry forward for a century, while enriching the lives of millions throughout the world. Their trusted products and project-spanning partnerships build strong businesses while moving water where it needs to go, effortlessly and flawlessly. Their people are a force for progress, making a difference in the defining issues of our time: conserving water and energy, supporting the future of skilled labor, and creating healthier places to live and work.


As the leading provider of energy solutions, OATI looks to achieve resiliency, reliability and efficiency with all its innovations, supporting communities and businesses as they face challenges and opportunities in a changing energy landscape. OATI's core values of customer service, leadership, innovation and reliability make up the foundation of their products and services as OATI supports the grid of the future.


STARBASE Minnesota is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, founded in 1993 whose mission is to educate and inspire youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Since 1993, STARBASE has served over 63,000 youth in the Twin Cities and, most recently, in Duluth. STARBASE provides exciting, 20- to 25-hour immersive STEM programs for schools expanding their capacity to meet students' needs in STEM. Volunteers from the STEM industry and the MN National Guard also participate in the program to demonstrate how STEM is used in the workplace and to expand students' awareness of future careers.


Unisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments. Unisys offerings include security software and services; digital transformation and workplace services; industry applications and services, and innovative software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES (large company) – Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology is a global leader in data storage solutions, developing amazing products that enable people and businesses around the world to create, share and preserve their most critical memories, information and business data. The company offers the industry's broadest portfolio of hard disk drives, solid-state drives and solid-state hybrid drives.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES (small company) – MultiTech Systems

MultiTech designs, develops and manufactures data communications equipment for the industrial Internet of Things — connecting physical assets to business processes to deliver enhanced value. Their commitment to quality and service excellence means you can count on MultiTech products and people to address your needs, while our history of innovation ensures you can stay ahead of the latest technology with a partner who will be there for the life of your solution.


Land O'Lakes is a farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative with a mission to optimize the value of their members' dairy, crop and animal production systems. Key brands / business units include: Land O'Lakes dairy products, Purina Animal Nutrition and Winfield United.

HEALTH IT – Carrot Health

Carrot Health uses consumer data to provide insights that allow health interventions at the source – before they result in a clinical crisis. Their software-as-a-service product, Carrot MarketView, gives health insurance payers and health care systems a better way to use Social Determinants of Health to improve population health outcomes, growth, and market share.


Charter Solutions provides Data Analytics Development and IT Professional Services serving the mid-market and Fortune 500 companies in the Twin Cities and across the nation. Charter is a woman-owned business and has been in operation for 21 years.


RxFunction is a medical device start-up that manufactures Walkasins, a novel sensory neuroprosthesis for patients with peripheral neuropathy who have balance problems. The wearable device provides sensory balance cues that become integrated into the balance control system and helps restore gait, mobility, balance function and, ultimately, self-confidence and quality of life.


HabitAware was created out of personal need. When co-founder Aneela shared her trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling) secret, her husband and two friends set out to build a smart bracelet, Keen. Keen uses patented gesture-detection technology and haptic feedback to interrupt unwanted behaviors and allow users the chance to make healthier choices.

SOFTWARE (established) – Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of news and information for professional markets. Their customers rely on us to deliver the intelligence, technology and expertise they need to find trusted answers. The business has operated in more than 100 countries for more than 100 years, and its roots in Minnesota started in 1872 with the founding of West Publishing. Since then, with the creation of Westlaw and Westlaw Edge and its suite of information and productivity tools, Thomson Reuters remains the leader in helping attorneys and legal professionals find trusted answers.

SOFTWARE (small and growing) – Agosto

Agosto is a cloud services company that helps organizations leverage Google Cloud products in the private and public sectors, providing technical solutions, change management, custom development, migration and deployment from legacy systems, and product development. Agosto is one of the largest Cloud Platform partners globally and was named Google Partner of the Year for Cloud in 2013 and 2016. Founded in 2001, Agosto has headquarters in Minneapolis and a sales office in Toronto. Agosto's clients include 1-800-Got-Junk?, the State of Wyoming, Unilog, Groupon, Jaguar Land Rover and the Library of Congress, among others.

STEM WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT – Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato, is a public institution that was founded in 1868. It offers more than 130 undergraduate programs of study, including 13 pre-professional programs and more than 85 graduate programs, including master's, specialist and doctoral programs. These programs are offered through six academic colleges: Allied Health and Nursing; Arts and Humanities; Business; Education; Science, Engineering and Technology; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Several of the programs, or portions of them, are also offered through various University Extended Education venues.

The 2018 Tekne Awards are made possible by the generous support of its sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Optum, Seagate, Thomson Reuters
  • Gold Sponsors: Comcast, Padilla, Best Buy, Ecolab
  • Silver Sponsors: Robins Kaplan, AT&T
  • Bronze Sponsors: 3M, Calabrio
  • Media Sponsor: Twin Cities Business Journal


About the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)

The Minnesota High Tech Association is an innovation and technology association united in fueling Minnesota's prosperity and making Minnesota a top-five technology state. We bring together the people of Minnesota's science and technology ecosystem and lead the way in bringing science and technology issues to leaders at Minnesota's Capitol and Washington, D.C. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota's entire technology-based economy. Our members include organizations of every size − involved in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota. | @MHTA | @minnesota-high-tech-association


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