Preceptis Medical Inc., a developer of surgical tools for children's ear procedures, on Thursday won the ninth annual Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial competition that supports and accelerates development of innovative business ideas.
The Plymouth-based company took the top prize among nearly 1,100 firms that entered the statewide competition.
Greg Frankenfield, CEO of Magenic, a software solutions company in St. Louis Park, was named Entrepreneur of the Year. He co-founded Magenic in 1995 and has overseen its growth to seven other offices in the United States and one in the Philippines. Frankenfield is also known in the Twin Cities arts community as a co-owner of the Old Log Theater in Excelsior.
In winning the grand prize, Preceptis was awarded $40,000 plus donated professional services and other benefits to help build its business. It also won another $25,000 as winner of the life science/health IT category in the contest.
The Preceptis Medical ear tube introducer procedure has been performed on 60 patients as part of its clinical evaluation before full commercialization.
"Ear tube surgery is the most common pediatric surgery in the U.S., but for pediatric patients and their families, it can be very traumatic," said Steve Anderson, the company's chief executive, in a statement. "Preceptis Medical offers a less invasive way to get that surgery done, without general anesthetic. It reduces trauma and risk."
The five other division winners in the Minnesota Cup competition were:
• Energy/Clean Tech: Garden Fresh Farms, urban farming agricultural systems.
• General: Kidblog, a digital publishing platform that allows K-12 students to navigate the online landscape within a secure, private classroom blogging space.
• High Tech: When I Work, a Web application for employee communications that utilizes mobile apps, text messaging, social media and e-mail.
• Social Entrepreneur: Minnesota Valley Action Council, a nonprofit organization that uses federal, state, and local resources to provide assistance to children and families in need.
• Student: ShedBed, which developed a technology that attracts and contains pet hair and dander to a pet's bed.
The competition, which is free to enter and sponsored by Wells Fargo, the University of Minnesota, Carlson and other businesses and organizations, has involved 8,000 entrepreneurs since 2005. Finalists the past four years have raised more than $60 million in expansion capital. More information can be found at www.breakthroughideas.org.