Month: July 2019

Rochester Startup Phraze Advances to Semifinal Round of Minnesota Cup

Rochester, Minnesota healthcare startup Phraze aims to improve the lives of physicians, and patients, with its artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Phraze’s product is an AI-driven medical scribe aimed at reducing the effort needed for medical documentation. 

Co-founded by Brandon McCutcheon, MD, a Neurosurgery Resident at Mayo Clinic and Logan Marcus, MD, a former Radiation Oncology Resident at Stanford Health Care, the Phraze software platform passively listens to the conversation between patient and healthcare provider and creates the first draft of medical charting. While the provider must still read through these AI-scribe generated notes to verify accuracy, the Phraze tool helps to drive down documentation time, which is the number one driver of physician burnout.

Lime Scooters Come to Rochester August 1

The Rochester City Council has approved a Memorandum of Understanding to support a pilot program of Lime scooters in Rochester from August 1 through November 30, 2019.  The scooters provide another option for shorter downtown trips, which is a part of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) Integrated Transit strategy.    

“This pilot reflects the City’s commitment to continue to explore transportation alternatives that help provide a wide selection of options for our community,” said Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish.  “We hope to utilize this opportunity with Lime to better understand the use of scooters and how it would work best in our community.” 

Current City ordinances do not prevent any scooter company from coming to Rochester and offering electric scooters.  Lime expressed its interest in working with the City and DMC to identify how the City would benefit most from scooters, and what problems may occur with them.  The pilot allows the City to require Lime to decrease the number of scooters at any time and gives the City and its partners access to a dashboard that includes ridership data. 

“Scooters, like walking or biking, will assist our community in reaching its sustainability goals while providing another affordable and equitable transportation option.  The pilot will allow Rochester to consider the longer-term implementation of such a solution and how it might complement other mobility options,” said Kevin Bright, DMC Director of Energy and Sustainability.

Scooters are treated like a bicycle; they must travel in a bike lane or traffic lane and are not allowed to be operated on sidewalks.  The scooters would be checked out through a variety of means and are expected to be parked on the sidewalks out of the path of travel when not in use.  Every scooter will be labeled with an email and phone number, and Lime will have local representatives available to respond to inquiries.

Mayo Clinic, Boston Scientific Launch Effort to Accelerate New Medical Technology in DMC’s Discovery Square

 Mayo Clinic and Boston Scientific Corp. have launched a new venture to accelerate the development of medical technology and new minimally invasive treatments for many health conditions that impede quality and longevity of life.

The accelerator, known as Motion Medical, will have its research facilities in One Discovery Square, the bioscience center in the Discovery Square research district. Both parties have committed millions of dollars over three years to develop and bring new solutions to the market to address unmet medical needs. 

“Mayo Clinic is committed to accelerating the pace of discoveries to bring new technologies and treatments to patients faster,” said Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. “This collaboration and others like it will continue to strengthen Rochester and Minnesota as a biomedical innovation and economic powerhouse.”

This venture is another step forward in the collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Boston Scientific Corp., combining Mayo Clinic’s world-class clinical experience and patient care with Boston Scientific’s extraordinary engineering, innovation and business expertise.

“This collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Boston Scientific builds on our experience working together to support the shared goal of advancing patient-centered innovation,” says Mike Mahoney, chairman and CEO, Boston Scientific. “This approach combines the unique strengths of our two organizations, and we look forward to working together to solve complex health care challenges.”

The accelerator, spreading over 1,800 square feet, will be a key tenant in One Discovery Square, developed by Mortenson. The building anchors the 16-block Discovery Square research district for the $5.6 billion Destination Medical Center (DMC) economic development initiative in Rochester, MN. The accelerator is expected to open in the fall.

“Mayo Clinic and Boston Scientific’s new accelerator collaboration is another powerful example of DMC’s vision for Discovery Square being realized as an economic engine and a catalyst to attract new talent and innovative companies to Rochester, Minnesota,” said Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency.

Mayo Clinic and Boston Scientific Corp. have collaborated for nearly a decade to develop new devices and technologies in areas such as interventional cardiology, neuromodulation and urology. Together the companies have filed eight patent applications and collaborated on two first-in-human clinical trials.


Growing Minnesota’s Startup Ecosystem with Launch Minnesota

An exciting outcome of the 2019 Legislative session was the creation of a new program through the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) called Launch Minnesota. Designed to nurture technology startups and entrepreneurs across the state, Launch Minnesota will work with private industry to create financial incentives and programming to demonstrate that Minnesota is committed to fostering an innovation ecosystem that draws global attention.

The program concept grew out of a collaboration between DEED and the Minnesota Legislature – with legislators on both sides of the aisle making meaningful contributions. It is a joint initiative with private businesses and nonprofit organizations statewide.

“Entrepreneurs are the future of Minnesota’s innovation economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We need to play an active role in helping make this state a great place to foster new technologies and ideas so that maybe the next Google or Apple could come from Minnesota.”

Launch Minnesota will provide financial incentives, training, and grants to people starting companies in technology sectors such as aerospace, agricultural processing, nanotechnology, and medical devices. The program has an annual budget of $2.5 million.

A key goal of Launch Minnesota is to make the risks related to leaving a steady job to start a high technology company a little more manageable for entrepreneurs through:

  • Grants to assist in attracting federal research and development funding
  • Business liquidity grants to help entrepreneurs with capital constraints
  • Childcare and housing assistance
  • Training in areas such as understanding equity capital, building toward scalability, and pitching venture capitalists

Launch Minnesota is set up to provide special consideration and social capital connectivity for startups and small businesses in Greater Minnesota as well as businesses started by women, veterans, and people of color.

Commissioner Grove recently spent some time in Rochester, Minnesota to meet with the startup and entrepreneurial community. Grove’s visit highlights the growing interest in Rochester and Destination Medical Center as a success story in economic development and as a major technology hub within the state. 

Register Now for the Investor & Innovator Forum

The Investor & Innovator Forum returns to Rochester, MN on August 1. Launched by Destination Medical Center and Mayo Clinic, the Investor & Innovator Forum seeks to foster conversation and collaboration between emerging and experienced entrepreneurs and the investors who support their growth. Participating investors and advisors include Brightstone Ventures, capita3, Medtronic and more. 

“During the Forum, there will be a private speed networking session between innovative companies and investors, during which companies will have the opportunity to talk with investors and advisors on a one-on-one basis for input and insights,” said Christopher Melsha, co-chair of the Life Sciences Group at Fredrikson & Byron, a co-presenter of the Forum. 

“The Investor & Innovator Forum is an important opportunity for founders and investors to get connected. We are excited to use this opportunity to showcase the growing startup ecosystem that is anchored in Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square,” said Chris Schad, director of business development, DMC Discovery Square.

Here is an overview of the day on August 1:

  • The Forum will include a lively panel discussion featuring innovations in the use of data in key industries, including healthcare, medical device, insurance and financial services; 
  • Perspectives from a range of investors, including individual/angel investors, a venture capital fund and strategic investors; 
  • Lessons and insights from battle-tested innovators, sharing details on how to go from idea to company; 
  • and best practices and lessons learned from Mayo Clinic and nference, a company committed to synthesizing information to make better healthcare decisions, on their several ongoing data-focused projects.

The forum is co-presented by:

The registration cost for the Investor & Innovator Forum is $35 and takes place at the Rochester Civic Theatre. Register here.

Refined Prototype Furniture Returns to Heart of the City

Prototyping is a way to inform designs before they’re final. Over the years, you’ve seen DMC, the City of Rochester, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance prototype in multiple ways. From the Placemakers Prototyping Festival to the recent Community Couch and Flexible Fountain installation, each step has informed the next. Prototyping allows design teams the ability to react quickly to community feedback and to efficiently make modifications, with the end goal of creating a better design.   

This summer, DMC has been prototyping public benches – incorporating universal design – in and around the east side of Peace Plaza. The first installation of the bench prototypes was placed on Peace Plaza next to Primp. The Heart of the City design team sought initial reactions to the overall idea of the benches, their look and feel, and to learn how people use them.

The community used the benches in a variety of ways, standing and sitting while eating meals, using the lean bench for working, and having conversations. Strong feedback was received on the industrial look of the benches.  Some people wanted a softer, more approachable feel for public seating.

After a busy few weeks of modifying the Heart of the City bench prototypes, they will now be placed back onto Peace Plaza for phase 2 prototyping. The second prototype incorporates many of the suggestions provided by the community, including:

  • Adding wood to the seat and table/counter surfaces to provide a softer material to the touch
  • Adding color to the end panels to add visual interest and a more playful feel
  • Sanding the metal to smooth the edges of the joints and perforations

You can find the prototype benches on First Avenue in front of Primp. During the first prototype phase, the benches were set up in a way that encouraged conversation. During this second phase, you will notice that the benches are arranged differently – one faces the street, and the other faces the shops and the sidewalk. 

The design team invites you to stop by and check out the benches. A Heart of the City goal is to create seating that helps you get the most out of your public space and help make Peace Plaza a place where all will want to gather – community, visitors and patients. 

The design team would like to know what you think about the arrangement. When do you use them and why? How do you observe others using them? What are your thoughts on the new surfaces?  

Please send your comments to [email protected]