Achievements In Tech Innovation

Through its 2015 Tekne Awards, the Minnesota High Tech Association honors major breakthroughs in technology.
Achievements In Tech Innovation

Technology has increased the speed of business and provided the impetus for numerous product and service creations that are improving the quality of life.

The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), a trade organization, recognizes the state’s cutting-edge leaders of technological innovation each year with its Tekne Awards.

At a November ceremony in Minneapolis, MHTA presented Tekne Awards to winners in 15 categories.

Advanced Manufacturing | PaR Systems
The company was recognized for providing equipment to help clean up two international disaster sites. At Chernobyl and Fukushima, a first-of-a-kind main crane system developed by PaR was used to reconstruct a new confinement structure at the radioactive sites. This crane system is operated within the structure by employing overhead bridge cranes, trolleys and a remote-control and video-monitoring system. This design permits the dismantling and cleanup of a site in a controlled environment.

Applied Analytics | Reeher
This company helped increase giving to higher education institutions by offering clients the first and only shared management system for conducting fundraising campaigns. Reeher’s analytics result in predictive models. By deploying donor tracking, annual reports and analytics, college and university teams can reach donors faster and more effectively. In 2014, Reeher platform members used the shared management system to raise $3.6 billion from more than 1.2 million donors.

Cyber Security | TransAuth
TransAuth is on the front lines of reducing identity theft. The company’s platform enables a user’s mobile device to act like a virtual identification badge. This is valuable because it helps prevent damage from lost or stolen passwords and identity fraud. The benefits of seamless automated detection means that users can simply carry their mobile device with them to help secure computers, sensitive data and online accounts.

Education Technology | South Central College
The college developed a new distance-learning program. It offers students the opportunity to access instructors and take part in distance classes while experiencing hands-on training of on-site mechatronics courses. Educational institutions share curriculum and specialized equipment across multiple campuses and other partners through online, simulation and remote-access tools.


Agriculture and Food | Ecolab — Dairy Quality Enhancement Program
Ecolab wanted to combat dairy production quality issues that arose from equipment contaminated with biofilms. In 2014, it launched a cleaning and sanitation initiative called the Dairy Quality Enhancement Program. In food processing plants, when biofilms are controlled, companies can produce higher-quality and safer dairy products.


Collaboration for Community Impact | Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
In collaboration with MN.IT Services, the State of Minnesota’s information technology agency, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs created the Minnesota Homeless Veteran Registry. It is used to identify and provide housing services to veterans who are homeless by linking federal, state, county and nonprofit partners. Through a case management approach, the partners offer housing solutions on a veteran-by-veteran basis.

Energy and Clean Tech | H.B. Fuller
The company developed a new global product platform for thermoplastic adhesives through its patented Liquamelt adhesive and application system. With this new product, there is no longer a need for a heated tank and hoses for dispensing. That’s because Liquamelt is available as a liquid material, and it can readily be pumped without the need for a melting process. This process increases safety for operational personnel and reduces spending on energy.

Health Care (Established Companies) | Medtronic
This Fortune 500 company was recognized for its miniature device technologies. Medtronic makes the world’s smallest pacemaker, the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System. The device offers advanced pacing technology; it is small enough to be delivered with minimally invasive techniques through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart. It is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers. The device is designed to improve patient outcomes and implant procedure efficiency.

Internet of Things | Zivix LLC
This company made a difference in the world of music. It created what is called a portable jamstik, which is a mobile digital guitar. This innovative product wirelessly connects a player to the Internet through a mobile device. With the goal of offering an authentic experience, real guitar strings are used for the jamstik. Zivix developed a suite of apps for iOS devices to provide a fun way to learn how to play a guitar.


IT Services | Field Nation
A website called offers a link for contractors and businesses to start and complete projects. Based on their specific skills, contractors can market themselves and secure work. Real-time business intelligence is provided on a project’s status, which is a key benefit for businesses. Field Nation aims to offer accountability, visibility and control that enable businesses to engage with freelancers in a cost-effective manner.

Health Care (Small and Growing Companies) | Rebiotix Inc.
A debilitating gastrointestinal infection, clostridium difficile infection (CDI), afflicts more than half a million people annually in the United States. Rebiotix offers a product that helps those who have had multiple bouts of CDI and have failed to find relief from standard antibiotic therapy. The Rebiotix product cured 87 percent of this type of patient group during clinical use.

Software (Established Companies) | Digital River
The company is known as a provider of e-commerce, online payments and e-marketing services for businesses. It has been recognized for creating a service provider interface (SPI) that advances its payments program. The SPI enables a business payments suite to function as a go-to-market channel for providers. From a benefits standpoint, providers can add their payment types, and merchants can shop from an array of regionally preferred options.

Software (Small and Growing Companies) | Apex Revenue Technologies
Health care providers and financial services firms are Apex customers for billing and payment-related financial services. To improve payment results, the Apex Connect platform was developed to serve as a powerful communications engine that leverages patient-centric data. This platform allows a provider to build a unique patient profile to communicate the right message at the right place and the right time. This type of capability helps health care organizations to connect with patients through communications that are addressing their distinctive financial needs.

Startup | Upsie
This company developed a mobile app that addresses concerns in the extended warranty business. This app allows people to question marketplace conventions, and consumers gain power through information, access and convenience. Users of the Upsie app gain dependable and transparent coverage and pricing options, which can be browsed by product category or by scanning a bar code. People can buy warranties directly through the app. Coverage information is stored for effective management and tracking.

Workforce Development | Genesys Works—Twin Cities
Genesys focuses on helping disadvantaged high school students get a foothold and thrive in the economy. It helps the youths acquire the knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Genesys delivers programming in four areas: summer training, paid internships, college access and college success. In the past seven years, Genesys trained 1,005 students and placed 807 interns in companies throughout the Twin Cities.