Eight Minnesota Execs Win Entrepreneur of the Year Heartland Award

Eight Minnesota Execs Win Entrepreneur of the Year Heartland Award

The winners are now eligible for national recognition.

The CEOs of an alternative protein company, a fintech firm, and a health insurance startup are among the winners of Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneur of the Year Heartland Award.

At a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, Ernst & Young unveiled the 11 award winners in its “Heartland” division, which encompasses Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Minnesota again had a strong showing in the competition: This year, eight of the winners are from companies based here. This year’s Minnesota winners are:

  • Brian NeSmith, CEO of Eden Prairie-based cybersecurity firm Arctic Wolf Networks Inc.
  • Janet Johanson, founder and CEO of Little Canada-based BevSource and The Lab
  • Tony Miller, CEO of Minneapolis-based health insurance startup Bind Benefits
  • Jamie Candee, CEO of Bloomington-based ed-tech firm Edmentum
  • Todd Wilkinson, president and CEO of Shakopee-based cybersecurity firm Entrust Corp.
  • Nicole Atchison and Tyler Lorenzen of Minneapolis-based alternative protein company Puris
  • Charlie Youakim, co-founder and CEO of Minneapolis-based fintech firm Sezzle

In a news release issued Wednesday, Ernst & Young said the winners “test the limits of what’s possible.” The winners will be profiled in an upcoming issue of Twin Cities Business magazine. (TCB is a sponsor of the program.)

Each Heartland winner is now eligible for EY’s national Entrepreneur of the Year award, scheduled to be announced in November.

EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program has been in place since 1986.

EY unveiled the finalists for the Heartland division last month.