The 2011 Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial awards were announced at the U.
AUM Cardiovascular, which boasts an economical, non-invasive device that identifies lethal coronary blockages, was named the top prize winner in the annual Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial sweepstakes Thursday night at the University of Minnesota.
In addition to $25,000 for earning top spot in the biosciences category, AUM earned another $25,000 for being the overall winner of the seventh annual Minnesota Cup.
CEO Marie Johnson, a onetime General Motors manufacturing engineer, completed a doctorate in biomedical engineering from the U of M and spent several years working in the medical device field before starting AUM.
Meanwhile, veteran homebuilder Tadd Johnson earned his company, Energy Max Panel, top honors in the Clean Tech & Renewable Energy category.
Johnson, a boot-strapping entrepreneur, and his nail-pounding partners at Lakeland Custom Remodeling and Building, as well as the other category winners, get $25,000 in addition to consulting, legal and other services from the state's premier entrepreneurial awards competition.
Johnson said Thursday that the publicity and consulting services will help him expand his patent-pending "expanded-polystyrene" panel business that he says helps reduce heating and cooling costs by more than half in new residences.
"Energy Max costs about 60 cents per square foot more to do a fiberglass job, but we are much cheaper than spray foam," he said. "We are showing a payback of under 12 months with the utility savings you get from Energy Max. We save people 50 to 70 percent on utility costs."
The seventh annual Minnesota Cup awards were presented Thursday evening at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center by Gov. Mark Dayton, U of M President Eric Kaler and Carlson Cos. Chairwoman Marilyn Carlson Nelson.
The runner-up in the clean-tech category is Electric Yacht, a manufacturer of electric and hybrid motors for sailboats that are cleaner and quieter than gas motors.
Other category winners include:
High-tech: Naiku, technology platform that provides teachers real-time insight into the strengths and needs of their students, creates customized learning profiles and recommends learning activities.
Student: Tesgen, a developer of a lightweight power generator that can run on any fuel source.
Social entrepreneur: Hourcar, a program of Neighborhood Energy Connection that supports energy-efficient living through Twin Cities vehicle sharing.
More information is at www.MinnesotaCup.org.
Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144