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3 medtech execs make EY entrepreneur finalist list

Ernst & YoungA trio of Minnesota medtech business leaders has landed on the finalist list for EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Heartland.

Executives from AbiliTech Medical, Minnesota Rubber & Plastics and TSI rank among the 36 finalists from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The finalists were selected by a panel of independent judges, according to EY.

Angie Conley is founder and CEO of Abilitech Medical (Eden Prairie, Minn.), developer of the Assist exoskeletal arm, designed to help people with neuromuscular disorders to do everyday tasks. Conley founded the company in 2016 after working at Medtronic and with a nonprofit that was developing an earlier version of what became the Assist. When Conley realized the nonprofit’s version was not scalable, she developed a new device with a different design that was lightweight and non-robotic.

Minnesota Rubber & Plastics CEO Jay Ward joined the company in 2017 after 18 years of working for Donaldson Company, a $2.4 billion global manufacturer of filtration systems. For medtech companies, Minnesota Rubber & Plastics (Plymouth, Minn.) specializes in custom rubber formulations, designing and manufacturing rubber, silicone, and thermoplastic components and assembly services.

Tom Kennedy has been president & CEO of TSI (Stillwater, Minn.) for nearly 15 years. The company develops hospital room and laboratory monitoring systems and controls; respirator/mask fit testers; and gas flow analyzers to assess the performance of devices such as mechanical ventilators, infusion pumps, MRI, CPAP and anesthesia gas delivery machines.

Finalists for the EY Heartland award were evaluated based on six criteria: entrepreneurial leadership; talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation and future plans. Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

“This year’s finalists are the next class in a long line of unstoppable visionaries,” said Dominic Iannazzo, Entrepreneur Of The Year Heartland Region co-director, in a news release. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges for their unwavering commitment to their companies, customers and communities in a year of unprecedented change. We are thrilled to share their inspiring stories this year.”

Regional award winners will be announced during a virtual event on Tuesday, July 27, and are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November.