Five questions with Jerome Ferson, president and CEO of the United Way of Olmsted County

Jerome Ferson

The United Way is a community change organization that unites people in need with the resources they need to reach their full potential.

Jerome Ferson has been leading that change at the United Way for just more than four years. DMC sat down with Ferson to learn more about his goal of achieving education, health, and financial stability for every person, especially those most in need.

Reinventing Downtown alleys

Examples of hanging art installations

Activating and beautifying underutilized public spaces like alleys integrates exciting and healthy public spaces into our existing urban environments. It also tends to increase the perception of safety and reduce unwanted behaviors in those areas.

Over the past few months, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) has been working on a new project that aims to repurpose the Third Street Alley (behind Café Steam, Kathy’s Pub, and 318 Commons) in Downtown Rochester by integrating art and design installations into the space.

Prototyping with an eye to the future

Prototyping is not a new concept for designers. They regularly create early representations of an idea with intentions of testing a theory or response, then adapting the design into a bigger and better version of the original.

The same can be said when introducing prototyping into the public realm.

Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) recently invited local innovators to help activate the Peace Plaza in Heart of the City by installing their own prototypes in the space.

Talent lured to Walleye Tank 2018

Business pitch competitions are essential to grow and foster innovation and fuel entrepreneurial growth, an important part of the strategy for Destination Medical Center (DMC) Discovery Square in downtown Rochester, Minnesota.

Twenty-five biomedical companies will compete in the sixth annual Walleye Tank pitch competition on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic Medical Science Building in Mann Hall. Ranging from concepts in the idea stage to established companies raising seed financing, these life science businesses are all pushing the boundaries of innovation by tackling unmet medical needs.

Five Questions with Kathleen Harrington, Executive Director of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

Kathleen Harrington
Kathleen Harrington

The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is widely recognized for its networking, public advocacy, and the educational opportunities it provides to members across the region. Hear from Executive Director Kathleen Harrington about what’s to come for the organization in 2019 and why Rochester’s size is such an asset to the community.

Local startups find support through 1 Million Cups

Since 1 Million Cups Rochester launched in Rochester, Minnesota in February 2017, the organization has provided a platform for thirty-two emerging startups and businesses to share their story.

This educational opportunity offers a supportive environment for entrepreneurs to learn and grow their business while gaining feedback and support from the local community. A regional startup less than five years old with an innovative new idea or an established business that is launching a new disruptive product can apply to make a 1 Million Cups presentation.

Innovation on display at the inaugural Assistive Tech Challenge

Destination Medical Center’s first-ever pitch competition, the Assistive Tech Challenge, took place on Saturday, November 3, 2018 as part of the Assistive Technology Expo at the Rochester Community and Technical College Heintz Center.

Presented by Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square in collaboration with The Arc Minnesota Southeast Region and the disABILITY Mayo Clinic Employee Resource Group, the Assistive Tech Challenge aims to alleviate barriers to employment, better enable social communication, and improve access to public infrastructure for those living with disabilities.

DMCC Board highlights progress at year-end meeting

The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors applauded the significant accomplishments in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) district in 2018 at its final board meeting of the year on November 13. These accomplishments include eight approved private projects at various stages of development with several to complete construction and renovations and open in 2019, including the Hilton Hotel, One Discovery Square, Hotel Indigo, and Urban on First.

The DMCC Board reaffirmed its commitment to Heart of the City and support of $1.1 million in renovations to the historic Chateau Theatre, with construction to begin this December. A summer 2019 re-opening of the theatre is projected.

Arrive Rochester: A new way to Arrive

Transportation is a priority of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative, and the new transportation management association (TMA) – Arrive Rochester – strives to make commuting easier for downtown Rochester employees.

Arrive Rochester is an initiative of the City of Rochester, DMC, and local employers. Arrive Rochester is part of the broader DMC plan and City of Rochester Comprehensive Plan. Both plans identify the need to shift downtown commuters to more sustainable travel modes such as carpooling, transit, walking, and cycling. This initiative is the product of more than a year’s work by the Arrive Rochester Advisory Committee, a voluntary group of representatives from the city, DMC, local businesses, and other transportation stakeholders.

Limb Lab founder highlights the importance of the Assistive Tech Challenge

Photo credit: Limb Lab

The Assistive Tech Challenge pitch competition, presented by Destination Medical Center Discovery Square, was developed to explore ways to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and address the daily challenges they face. It also strives to help minimize the direct support workforce crisis confronting communities in the region and across the United States.

It is some of these same challenges that Brandon Sampson wanted to solve when he first launched the Rochester-based boutique prosthetic and orthotic company Limb Lab. “We asked clients to list five specific goals they wanted to achieve,” Sampson explains. Then, the Limb Lab team would keep those goals top-of-mind as they sought ways to improve the daily independence and overall quality of life of their clients.