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A Virtual Toast: EarthScout Celebrates the 2020 Tekne Awards!

Typically, Minnesota’s science and technology community gathers at the Minneapolis Convention Center in their fancy gala attire to celebrate the Minnesota Tekne Awards. While I was happy to partake in the ceremony comfortably from my living room, seated next to my handsome dog, the camaraderie was missed at the events 23rd year as we toasted the winners, finalists, and honorees virtually.

The Minnesota Technology Association managed to create an inclusive event during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping our safety in mind. The program honoring Minnesota innovation was engaging and insightful from beginning to end. I felt inspired, hopeful, and proud of Minnesota’s technology innovators following the event.

Jade Denson and Jeff Tollefson were excellent hosts for the evening and all the award presentations were very well done. An in-depth program of the event was provided, perfectly executed and timed. My hats off to MnTech for their ability to creatively adapt to the challenges of this year.

It was fun to watch the live chat bar during the program and see everybody cheering on their favorite finalists during the award show. As the program moved through the award categories, I enjoyed the creative videos from all the finalists. Everyone really showed their personality, talent, and professionalism.

Our team at EarthScout is honored to have been recognized as a finalist, in the category: Sustainable Resources, alongside Claros Technologies and Counterflow Technologies. We want to congratulate Claros Technologies for winning the category this year. Their work is impactful and important and we are thrilled to see them succeed.

More notable mentions from the evening include the two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Tekne Award and the new category, Rising Star Awards.

Tekne Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Rick King, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters, and John Santelli of UnitedHealth Group/Optum.

The Rising Star Award recipients are Michelle Hermanson of Land o Lakes Inc., Tarah Beyers of Target, and Ja’keh Clark of Best Buy!

Sprinkled throughout the program were the 10 nominees for the very special 2020 category: COVID-19 Community Response Award. I could not fail to mention this incredibly important recognition as we continue to face many challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three winners were chosen from this category for their extreme efforts to help our communities and promote public safety during the pandemic: 3M (The Decontamination of 3M FFR Project), KnightKrawker Robotics (Irondale High School’s Robotics Team, 3D Printed Face Shields), University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization (Prioritizing Pandemic Related Solutions).

Congratulations to all the winners, finalists, and honorees this year. Hope to see you all again next year at the Tekne’s!