If you want to know just how far Rochester’s entrepreneurial community has come in a few short years, ask Jamie Sundsbak.
As a Senior Program Coordinator at the Mayo Clinic and the founder of BioAM, a meet-up group for bio-business startups in southern Minnesota, Sundsbak says Rochester has “come a long way.”
“I know that many people don’t see that, but for those of us in the trenches, it has been a monumental shift,” Sundsbak told Destination Medical Center in a recent interview. “I have worked with fantastic people from all over the city who share a fantastic entrepreneurial vision and who have worked tirelessly to expand our ecosystem.”
Commercial Research and Technology is term that can be difficult to grasp. Simply put, the Rochester area is looking to attract and develop businesses based on research and technology. Some of these businesses will come from elsewhere, some will be started right here in Rochester largely based on intellectual property (IP) developed at Mayo or IBM.
In fact, the Rochester area is a gold mine of IP. Per capita, Rochester generates more IP per year than even Silicon Valley! This is due to our educated, creative, and hardworking citizens that create game changing breakthroughs every day.
The passage of the DMC has sparked a new dawn for Rochester commercial research and technology. I believe that technologies created here in Rochester should have incentives to be developed here. We shouldn’t be outsourcing our ideas to Minneapolis, Boston, or Madison. In fact, we should be “in sourcing” talent and ideas from other places to continue the long tradition of Rochester based innovation started by the Mayo Brothers over one hundred years ago.
The growth of biobusiness in our area has already begun. Biotech and healthcare IT companies are starting to emerge. Rochester biobusiness entrepreneurs have pioneered a new industry in our community and should be applauded for their efforts. Additionally, the Mayo BioBusiness Accelerator hosts over 10 new start-ups right now with many more in the pipeline. These start-ups will create new jobs help to diversity our local economy as well as attract investment dollars to our region. That’s an exciting recipe for success and a bright future for Rochester biobusiness.
I’m excited to see what the next twenty years of DMC holds for Rochester. Ultimately, DMC is about the people in our community who have the willingness to take the risks to make this grand vision come true. All you need to do to help is to find your passion and make it happen. Let’s build our future together.
What are your ideas on developing biobusiness in Rochester and the State of Minnesota? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
Jamie Sundsbak is a senior research technologist at Mayo Clinic and founder of BioAM, a monthly meet-up group dedicated to fostering a biobusiness start-up culture in Rochester.