CS&E alumni among 2021 Minnesota Cup finalists

Congratulations to Joe Strommen (B.S. 2005, M.S. 2009) for being named a finalist in the 2021 Minnesota Cup, an annual entrepreneurship contest hosted by the University’s Carlson School of Management.

He is one of four finalists in the competition who are alumni from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE). Strommen presented his start-up, 2040 Energy, to judges in early September, and was declared the winner of the Energy/Clean Tech/Water division.

He will now compete on September 20 for the $50,000 grand prize.

2040 Energy has built a heat pump that can be used as a substitute for residential gas boilers, which contribute to global warming.

“Climate change is the number one threat to humankind,” Strommen said.

“It's literally on the news right now with Hurricane Ida, which was intensified by the Gulf of Mexico’s water being warmer than average. The mission of 2040 Energy is to eliminate fossil fuels from building heat.”

CSE has a rich history of students, alumni, and faculty winning honors at the Minnesota Cup since the competition’s inception in 2005. That first year, John Berger (B.S. Mechanical Engineering '84) and David Emmons (B.S. Mechanical Engineering '84) won for Arcswitch, a low-cost optical switch for rerouting information on fiber-optic networks. In 2011, biomedical engineering alumna Marie Johnson won for developing a breakthrough medical device that identifies lethal coronary blockages in less than 20 seconds. And last year, CSE faculty-led startups BlueCube Bio and CounterFlow Technologies won the grand and runner-up prizes, respectively.

Edited from a story by Olivia Hultgren

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