Tech Breakthroughs From The 2013 Tekne Award Winners

Tech Breakthroughs From The 2013 Tekne Award Winners

The 2013 Tekne Award winners, selected by the Minnesota High Tech Association, represent the best work in developing products and programs that advance innovation.

The following businesses and organizations received
2013 Tekne Awards:




Advanced Manufacturing
3M, Maplewood
3M employed new manufacturing techniques, processes and collaborative efforts within the company to develop the LED advanced light. It is a replacement light bulb that offers the form and function of an incandescent bulb.

The new design, built in New Ulm, Minn., uses light guide technology to alter the light from a directional point source to a uniform source of light in residential and workplace settings. Personnel in engineering, manufacturing and business development worked together to produce the new bulb and bring it to the marketplace.


Agricultural Technology
The Toro Co., Bloomington
Toro Precision Sense is a rapid, sensor-based mapping system developed to prevent overwatering of lawns and turf. In commercial uses such as golf courses and sports fields, Toro’s Precision Sense allows customers to achieve major water savings through calculated irrigation methods. With the Precision Sense system, individual sprinkler heads are assigned to site-specific irrigation-management zones. Moisture sensors in each zone provide constant feedback on soil moisture and salinity conditions.


Computer Hardware and Electronic Devices
Honeywell, Golden Valley
Honeywell won recognition for introduction of the Prestige IAQ, the most advanced thermostat that the company has produced. Smart sensors in this thermostat and “internal intelligence” give the thermostat the capacity to control the temperature, humidity and ventilation in a home. A Honeywell app allows consumers to control their home thermostats from their smartphones, tablets or other web devices.


Healthcare Delivery, Established Company
HealthPartners, Bloomington
HealthPartners was honored for Virtuwell, an online clinic used to diagnose more than 40 common ailments such as allergies, flu and sinus infections. It provides 24-hour access to care and prescriptions, and emphasizes evidence-based clinical practices. After individuals provide information about themselves on, they receive personalized diagnoses and treatment plans from nurse practitioners. Patients are referred to medical offices if their conditions cannot be treated through the Virtuwell clinic.


Impact on Industry, Established Company
Ecolab, St. Paul
Ecolab was recognized for Hydris, a system that provides cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting solutions for public and commercial facilities. It combines water, electricity and natural minerals with electrolytic cell technology for an affordable cleaning option.

By using electrically activated water systems, Ecolab is focused on delivering cleaner, safer and healthier environments. The Hydris system eliminates the need for customers to ship in traditionally packaged cleaning products.


myON, a business unit of Capstone, Edina
MyON is a literacy program personalized to match the interests and reading levels of pre-K through 12th-grade students to a large collection of enhanced digital books. More than 300 school districts are using the myON program. MyON provides unlimited access to more than 5,000 digital books. Its reading supports include text highlighting, an embedded dictionary and recorded audio. MyON offers recommended reading lists tailored to a student’s reading preferences and abilities. Reading progress is tracked through embedded assessments and quizzes at the end of the books.


Healthcare Delivery, Small and Growing Company
Corventis Inc., St. Paul
Corventis received a Tekne Award for its NUVANT Mobile Cardiac Telemetry System, which is designed to help doctors better diagnose and treat cardiac arrhythmias. Patients wear a device called a PiiX, which allows them to be constantly monitored. When an arrhythmia is detected, the device transmits the patient’s information to a cloud-based data-review application. At the Corventis Monitoring Center, certified cardiographic technicians analyze the collected medical information and provide reports to prescribing physicians.


Impact on Industry, Small and Growing Company
BankCard Services Worldwide, St. Paul Park
BankCard Services Worldwide developed ClientPay, a credit card processing interface that meshes with law firms’ financial management systems. Launched in 2012, it was designed to streamline the payment process for law firms.

It replaces time-consuming and cumbersome credit card payment processes. In addition to increasing efficiency, ClientPay is designed to ensure data accuracy and a high level of security. Previously, law firms processed credit card payments by manually entering data and cross-referencing payment information in multiple systems.


Innovative Collaboration of the Year
Boston Scientific, Maple Grove
The partnership between Boston Scientific and the University of Minnesota was recognized for its benefits combining the resources and industry know-how of Boston Scientific with the researchers and health care resources of the University of Minnesota. The U of M’s medical devices center and BSC’s cardiovascular division are pursuing multiple projects together. By pooling their resources, the two parties are focused on innovative ways to meet patient needs.


Mobile Technologies
XRS Corp., Eden Prairie
The company was honored for a fully functional mobile solution for the trucking industry. The XRS wireless data collection and analysis system is designed to allow trucking companies to cut their costs and reduce the number of accidents. XRS operates on the mobile spectrum. Data are collected from trucks and drivers, then transferred wirelessly to an analytical dashboard. The information is used to improve operations, safety and regulatory compliance.


Safety and Security
MPC, Mendota Heights
The company has developed an important niche by offering a suite of services to help organizations prevent problems linked to end-of-life or end-of-current-use IT hardware and equipment.

MPC manages the disposition of IT assets, providing chain-of-custody tracking to customers through a reporting portal called myMPC. The service was developed to provide customers a way to securely eliminate company data, as well as appropriately handle old equipment. MPC has obtained the AAA certification with the National Association of Information Destruction to ensure that its processes and procedures meet the highest security standards.


Software, Established Company
Navitaire, Minneapolis
Navitaire, which has worked with the airline industry for two decades, developed Ticketless software, which is the essential element of its New Skies reservation and Travel Commerce ancillary revenue systems. Airlines using the software have been able to expand their businesses with low distribution costs, critical information about customer-buying behavior, and streamlined call center and airport check-in processes.


Software, Small and Growing Company
UpNet Technologies, Minneapolis
UpNet Technologies developed a platform called iEDeX (Information Enterprise Data Exchange), designed to integrate any kind of data regardless of where the information originated. This innovation is being used to enhance the speed of data conversion, partner integration and access to global business analytics. IEDeX allows companies to customize business solutions to meet their specific needs.


STEM Education and Digital Learning
University of St. Thomas, School of Engineering, St. Paul
St. Thomas offers no-cost camps for girls to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Over the past 14 years, St. Thomas has hosted camps with hands-on activities and has served more than 3,000 girls. Camp workshops have explored fields such as electronics, physics, renewable energy, computer programming and manufacturing. The girls stay overnight at the university during the weeklong camps.


CogCubed, Minneapolis
People with cognitive disorders such as ADHD and autism are being identified and treated with a new approach created by CogCubed. Clinicians, educators and consumers can improve cognitive health by using gaming systems that leverage multiple sensors. CogCubed products have the potential to offer at-risk children alternatives to prescription drugs. This new approach was developed by data scientists, computer scientists, neuroscientists and psychiatrists.

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