Fifteen Minnesota companies were recognized Thursday night at the state’s premier technology awards event.
 
The Minnesota High Tech Association’s (MHTA’s) 13th annual Tekne Awards honored Minnesota’s most influential companies in development, management, technological innovation, and commercialization. The MHTA is an innovation and technology association comprising more than 350 member companies and organizations that are fueling Minnesota’s technology ecosystem.
 
The awards event, hosted by former WCCO news anchor Don Shelby, honors those who play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives and futures of people living in Minnesota and all over the world.
 
“Over the last 13 years, the Tekne Awards have truly highlighted Minnesota as an emerging technology powerhouse and increased awareness for the innovators and technological front-runners throughout the state,” MHTA president Margaret Anderson Kelliher said in a statement.
 
In order to be eligible, companies and individuals must conduct business within the state of Minnesota, but state residence is not required. Nonprofit and higher education institutions are also eligible.
 
Winners of the 2012 Tekne awards, along with the location of their Minnesota headquarters and a brief description of what they do, are listed below. For more information about each company, click here.
 
• Advanced Manufacturing Award: Seagate Technology (Bloomington)
Seagate provides hard drives and storage solutions; products include the magnetic recording head, the most complex component in a hard drive.
 
• Cleantech and Energy Award: SheerWind, Inc. (Chaska)
SheerWind’s technology allows for wind power to be harnessed on the ground level, making it more accessible to people and buildings in need, and reducing the cost of generated electrical power by up to 38 percent.
 
• Computer Hardware and Electronic Devices Award: Imation (Oakdale)
Imation supplies both optical media and magnetic tape cartridges used to back up and archive customer data, along with data protection and retrieval capabilities.
 
• EdTech Award: University of Minnesota Rochester (Rochester)
The University of Minnesota Rochester developed a curriculum management system that provides access and integration across the entire curriculum; it also tracks students’ activity to provide a data set for learning analytics.
 
• Innovative Collaboration of the Year Award: Blandin Foundation (Grand Rapids)
The Blandin Foundation’s programming aims to ensure that its rural Minnesota partner communities have access to broadband Internet capabilities.
 
• Life Sciences Award—Established Company: Starkey Hearing Technologies (Eden Prairie)
Starkey designs and develops comprehensive digital hearing systems, including a device that enables hands-free cell phone conversations through a user’s hearing aids.
 
• Life Sciences Award—Small and Growing Company: OrthoCor Medical (Minneapolis)
OrthoCor combines electromagnetic field stimulation and thermal therapy to create personal medical devices that are drug-free and non-invasive; its Active Knee System eases knee pain and helps patients avoid cortisone injections, pain medication, and costly and invasive knee surgeries.
 
• Mobile and Communication Technologies Award: MakeMusic, Inc. (Eden Prairie)
MakeMusic creates music notation software that enables musicians and composers to create music on the go, print and play files, and access music from devices such as an iPad.
 
• Robotics and Automation Award: ReconRobotics, Inc. (Edina)
ReconRobotics develops tactical, micro-robot systems, which are used by federal, state, and local law enforcement teams worldwide to provide immediate situational awareness and greater standoff distance during high-risk operations.
 
• Software Award—Established Company: JAMF Software, LLC (Minneapolis)
Developed exclusively for the Apple platform, JAMF Software’s The Casper Suite provides management solutions for IT administrators, including settings management, software distribution, imaging and inventory, and remote updates.
 
• Software Award—Small and Growing Company: Code 42 Software, Inc. (Minneapolis)
Code 42’s technology protects personal and business data wherever and whenever it’s created—especially the information stored on devices such as laptops and desktops.
 
• Startup Award: SparkWeave, LLC (Minneapolis)
SparkWeave is a cloud-style system management platform that incorporates security features while providing anywhere data access, information exchange, large-file transport, and storage.
 
• Technology Excellence in a Non-Profit Organization Award: GiveMN (St. Paul)
GiveMN’s model for e-philanthropy combines a technology platform with local knowledge and relationships, allowing potential donors to find, connect with, and engage with nonprofits and other causes.
 
• Technology Services and Consulting Award—Established Company: PeopleNet (Minnetonka)
PeopleNet’s services and products enable fleet management and operational efficiency with applications that improve accounting and dispatch, optimize safety performance, and help fleets meet regulatory requirements.
 
• Technology Services and Consulting Award—Small and Growing Company: Agosto, Inc. (Minneapolis)
Agosto provides IT infrastructure management, as well as cloud consulting and development in a business setting.
 

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