Seagate vet takes helm of VC-backed tech company

By   –  Senior Reporter, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Former Seagate Technology executive Darwin Kauffman has been named CEO of venture-capital-backed tech company LiquidCool Solutions Inc.

Kauffman most recently spent five years as vice president of management and senior director of product strategy for data-storage giant Seagate. He succeeds Herb Zien, an early LiquidCool Solutions investor who took over as CEO in 2013.

Rochester, Minn.-based LiquidCool keeps servers and other equipment from overheating by submerging components in a soybean-based liquid that keeps them chilled.

The company launched a decade go as Hardcore Computer with plans to build high-end computers for gamers. It later got out of that business, citing stiff competition from hardware manufacturers, and began targeting the data center market.

The company was one of four businesses picked to participate in Wells Fargo & Co.’s Innovation Incubator (IN2) program for clean-tech startups two years ago.

LiquidCool’s investors include Arthur Ventures, which has operations in Fargo, N.D., and Minneapolis, plus Capital Midwest Fund and Minneapolis-based StarTec Investments.