Rochester Rising: The State of the Rochester Entrepreneurial Community – 2018

As we transition into another year, it is a prime opportunity to examine the state of the Rochester entrepreneurial community, take stock of our achievements over the past year, examine our losses, and assess the future direction of this city’s innovation sector.

2017 brought several significant ongoing programs to Rochester. February saw the launch of 1 Million Cups Rochester, a monthly educational program for entrepreneurs that takes place in 163 communities across the United States. This event gave fourteen different Rochester startups the opportunity to share their story and gain input from the community on pressing business issues.

Passenger numbers soar at Rochester International Airport

2017 was a big year for the Rochester International Airport (RST), which saw a 27% increase in passengers over 2016.

Why the significant year-over-year increase?

In 2017, RST introduced several new flight options. United Airlines added new service to Chicago O’Hare, Delta increased frequency on routes to Atlanta and Minneapolis, and American Airlines continued to offer daily flights to Chicago O’Hare as well.

State Legislative Leaders Applaud DMC

Lisa Clarke

A Message from DMC EDA Executive Director Lisa Clarke:

Destination Medical Center (DMC) was a topic at a recent 2018 State legislative preview hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. In attendance were Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate, including Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt, House Minority Representative Rick Hansen, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent.

As part of the discussion, the leaders were asked for their thoughts on DMC. There is strong support. All legislators agreed DMC is a model for economic development and job growth for communities throughout Minnesota.

Meet #AccessibleOlli: The future of autonomous accessible transportation

For one week each January, tens of thousands of innovators, tech pioneers, and business leaders from around the world gather in Las Vegas for CES 2018* to introduce their next-generation ideas to the global marketplace.

Accessible Olli

This year, #AccessibleOlli made the journey to Las Vegas. If you’re not yet acquainted with Olli, it’s the future of autonomous public transportation. The electric, self-driving shuttle holds up to 10 people and is 90-percent 3D-printed. Olli offers transportation solutions for individuals with mobility limitations, cognitive disorders, and vision and hearing impairments.

Five Questions with Steve Rymer, Rochester City Administrator

City Administrator Steve Rymer

Steve Rymer was hired as Rochester’s fourth City Administrator just over four months ago. Rymer was chosen from a pool of 23 applicants, taking on the role held for nearly four decades by Stevan Kvenvold, who recently retired. Rymer sat down with DMC to share his thoughts about his experience in America’s City for Health so far and provided a glimpse at what he sees for Rochester in the future.

Tailoring technology to fuel our workforce

Regardless of company size or type, technology is vital for improving productivity, enhancing convenience, and providing increased opportunity for growth. Whether you’re a business owner or a software developer, collaboration will be key to meeting the Rochester area’s collective technology needs.

To assess the state of local tech-related training needs and ensure this critical component of workforce and economic development is being addressed, Destination Medical Center (DMC) is partnering with Winona State University–Rochester (WSU-R) to host an Information Technology (IT) Open House.

The event, scheduled for January 16, will include a gallery walk, a panel featuring IT professionals, and reveal the results of last year’s research and discovery work identifying the IT training needs required to meet our growing workforce demands.

“Bright Ideas” for the New Year

Kevin Bright

2018 is just around the corner. And whether you see New Year’s Day as an arbitrary date or resolve to undo all the bad habits you’ve developed during 2017, the New Year presents an opportunity for each of us to take inventory of our lives – and our impact on the environment.

DMC Economic Development Agency Energy and Sustainability Director Kevin Bright shares some simple ways to live more sustainably in the coming year.

A collaborative commitment to housing affordability

As growth and development continue throughout the Rochester area, local leaders are making housing affordability a top priority for 2018.

A new collaborative community initiative was announced on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at a press conference at the Rochester Area Foundation (RAF) where more than 40 community leaders and residents came together to learn more about this important effort.

From left: Randy Staver, City of Rochester; Jeff Bolton, Mayo Clinic; Jennifer Woodford, Rochester Area Foundation; Ken Brown, Olmsted County

The Coalition for Rochester Area Housing will bring together public and private sector organizations to acquire, invest, manage, and distribute funds and resources to create and preserve affordable and workforce-priced housing. The group will be led by the Rochester Area Foundation and supported by founding partners from the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and Mayo Clinic. The group will rely on the community to bring forward ideas and proposals and will leverage local expertise to identify and address gaps in today’s housing market and use resources efficiently.

A thank you to Lt. Gov. Tina Smith for her service to Destination Medical Center

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith

Over the past four years, Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith has provided valuable leadership to the DMC initiative as chair of the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors.

During her tenure, she has helped guide the DMC from its initial start-up, through the detailed planning, to the present where hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment are now underway in Rochester in support of the DMC vision.

Lieutenant Governor Smith has resigned from the DMCC board of directors; we wish her the best in her new role representing Minnesota in Washington, D.C.

Introducing the DMC Sustainability Series

Sustainable development is essential for economic growth and a key priority of the DMC initiative. Improving community health, exploring alternative modes of transportation, and reducing consumption of water, waste, energy, and emissions are just a few of the goals outlined in the DMC plan.

But these goals cannot be achieved by a single person or organization. To achieve a sustainable future for America’s City for Health, it will take an informed and engaged community working together.

DMC is launching a monthly speaker series to help initiate a community-wide conversation about sustainability.