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.
Startup Weekend Rochester, October 26 – 28, 2018, offers an excellent opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs to learn how to take an idea, evaluate it, talk to potential customers, prototype, and pitch – all in 54 hours.
“If you are thinking about starting a new business or want to learn tips and tricks to apply to your job or schooling, there is no better place to learn,” says Jamie Sundsbak, Startup Weekend Rochester organizer.
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.
From coffees to keynotes, there have been an array of activities throughout the week of November 13-17 to fit everyone’s interests and schedules. “This year’s events really continued to grow what we started five years ago,” says Jamie Sundsbak, community manager of Collider Coworking and GEW Roch organizer. “We’ve provided networking, educational events, and inspiring speakers to celebrate entrepreneurs throughout the region.”
One such event was hosted by DMC on Monday, November 13. “Doing Business Globally: A Cultural Perspective” featured Dr. Peter J. Stark, an expert in international business strategies. Stark helped attendees navigate the unfamiliar terrain often encountered when conducting business abroad. “Doing business internationally is about more than understanding the cultural norms,” Chris Schad, DMC’s Senior Strategy Consultant, explains. “Dr. Stark provided insight on a variety of issues to consider when engaging in business with other countries.”
Private investment is critical to the balanced growth of a city’s economy and workforce, and a growing number of Americans are investing less in Wall Street and more in their local communities. Rochester is no different.
To help illustrate the many ways individuals are transforming Rochester, DMC has created a video series called “DMC Rochester, MN Storyteller Videos.” These snapshots of forward-thinking people and approaches showcase the opportunities that exist in Rochester as DMC sets in motion a new future for America’s City for Health.
In the Middle of Investment
Companies, non-profits, and individuals – local and global – have demonstrated confidence in the future of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative by investing in projects throughout the DMC District. In March, that investment resulted in DMC not only meeting but exceeding the $200 million threshold required to release state infrastructure dollars, with investments at that time totaling $297 million.