Urban Evolution Episode 11: Launch Minnesota: A Launching Pad for Startups

Neela Mollgaard, Launch Minnesota Executive Director

In Minnesota, a new initiative is providing a launching pad for entrepreneurs.

Launch Minnesota is a pilot program that is fostering an innovative ecosystem across the state and is helping to get capital in the hands of startups. Over the past two years, Launch Minnesota has provided several millions of dollars in grant funding for early stage startups.

The executive director of Launch Minnesota, Neela Mollgaard, has been a leader at the local and state level helping entrepreneurs as they start and scale their business. She discusses Minnesota’s commitment to the startup community and why entrepreneurship is a key part of the economy and needs greater focus.

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Launch Minnesota Kick-Off event on October 1, 2019.
Pictured (left to right): Minnesota State Sen. Eric Pratt, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove, Launch Minnesota Executive Director Neela Mollgaard, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and Minnesota State Rep. Tim Mahoney.

Urban Evolution Episode 10: University of Minnesota Rochester: NXT GEN MED – Groundbreaking Innovation in Higher Education

Dr. Lori Carrell

The vision of the University of Minnesota Rochester is to inspire transformation in higher education. It’s a vision that aligns well with a new groundbreaking partnership with two of the world’s most recognized brands.

Mayo Clinic and Google are partnering with the University of Minnesota Rochester on a pilot program called NXT GEN MED, designed to inform the future of higher education, leveraging machines and humans working together in an optimizing relationship to accelerate learning.

This partnership is a first of its kind for higher education and provides an accelerated degree for students. University of Minnesota Rochester Chancellor Dr. Lori Carrell explains more about NXT GEN MED and what it means for higher education. She also talks about the impact COVID-19 has had on the campus community in Rochester, Minnesota, and the uniqueness of the living and learning campus, which is focused on healthcare studies.

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University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) students collaborate inside One Discovery Square. Photo courtesy UMR.


Urban Evolution Episode 9: The Nordic Shop: Retail Success During a Pandemic

Walter and Louise Hanson

A Scandinavian retailer in Rochester, Minnesota is proof that you can be successful during a pandemic. The Nordic Shop has seen a nearly 300 percent growth in its online sales in 2020 thanks to a robust digital strategy, a keen understanding of its customer base and a forewarning of the impact of COVID by its European vendors. Louise and Walter Hanson, who own and operate the Nordic Shop and are celebrating 47 years in business and in marriage, share their story.

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Urban Evolution Episode 8: Food as Medicine: A Conversation with Canomiks

Food as medicine is a popular buzzphrase, but what does it mean? A Rochester, Minnesota startup company is helping to shape and define it. Canomiks is a big data company bringing scientific rigor and a whole new standard to the natural remedies marketplace that doesn’t currently exist with an end goal to help consumers make better choices. Co-Founder and CEO of Canomiks, Leena Pradhan-Nabzdyk, shares details about her company and its new, innovative technologies. As someone who has recently moved form the big city of Boston to Rochester, Minnesota, she also provides perspective on why Rochester should be a top choice as a work-from-anywhere city.

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Urban Evolution Episode 6: The Silicon Valley of Healthcare: A Conversation with Shaye Mandle, President and CEO of Medical Alley

Shaye Mandle

In Minnesota, there’s a fearless sprit when it comes to healthcare innovation. Shaye Mandle is President and CEO of Medical Alley, Minnesota’s healthcare association. Medical Alley bills itself as the Silicon Valley of healthcare. In a wide-ranging interview, Shaye explains why Minnesota has been a longtime leader in this ecosystem and where the healthcare industry is pivoting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Urban Evolution Episode 5: The Post Pandemic City: A Conversation with Tom Fisher, Director, Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota

Tom Fisher, Director of the Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota

The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated changes in many industries and in our daily lives. Tom Fisher, Director of the Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota is a professor and former dean at the university. His research has focused on sustainable architecture, design ethics and community based service design. He shares insights on what a post pandemic city might look like, and how lessons from past pandemics and health events can help shape our future.

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Tom Fisher: https://designcenter.design.umn.edu/people/fisher.html
Minnesota Design Center: https://designcenter.design.umn.edu/
Destination Medical Center: https://dmc.mn/

Urban Evolution Episode 3: The Growth of CRAVE Restaurants and Surviving a Pandemic

Kam Talebi is founder and CEO of Kaskaid Hospitality and operator of 12 CRAVE restaurants throughout the Midwest. He surprisingly opened his newest CRAVE restaurant in Rochester, Minnesota in the middle of a pandemic, even as restaurants nationwide were closing. But his family’s special bond with Rochester and Mayo Clinic was his motivation.

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CRAVE Restaurant in Rochester, Minnesota

Urban Evolution Episode 2: The Story of Limb Lab: Changing the Business of Limb Restoration

In Rochester, Minnesota, a boutique prosthetics and orthotics company has completely changed the business of limb restoration. Limb Lab has been described as the Apple Store of prosthetics. Brandon Sampson, founder of Limb Lab, shares his story.

Limb Lab: https://limblab.com/
Six Mile Grove: https://sixmilegrove.com/
Destination Medical Center: https://dmc.mn/

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Limb Lab’s lab in Rochester, Minnesota.