By Lisa Clarke, DMC Economic Development Agency executive director
Recently, biotech startup Vyriad announced it would build out 25,000 square feet of space on the former IBM Campus in northwest Rochester. Vyriad’s decision to grow its business locally demonstrates both investment and confidence in Rochester and Minnesota.
High-potential startups that originate in the Midwest are often encouraged to relocate to the coasts in order to maximize business opportunities, but Vyriad, which is developing genetically-engineered viruses for the treatment of numerous forms of cancer, found it important to remain in Rochester.
Destination Medical Center (DMC) is moving at a good pace, and it seems like every time we turn around there is something different or new happening in the DMC District that is changing the landscape in an exciting way. We’ve created a way that you can track the momentum easily with the click of a button on the new DMC Metrics Dashboard.
This new tool offers an at a glance way to stay up to speed on the progress being made toward each of the goals outlined in the DMC Development Plan.
Access to capital is a common obstacle faced by entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow businesses. Communities that offer diverse funding options for innovators tend to be healthier and more prosperous than those without.
Since there is no single blueprint for financing the launch or expansion of a business, area leaders have worked tirelessly to create new funding sources to help enhance the local entrepreneurial environment and get these businesses off the ground.
These funding sources will be of critical importance to Destination Medical Center (DMC) as the DMC Development Plan positions Discovery Square as a keystone to the DMC economic strategy, resulting in the need for multiple sources of readily available capital for new and growing businesses.
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.
Strategic urban planning is key to sustainable development in a growing community like Rochester. It helps city leaders to maximize public dollars, adapt to changing demographics, and address the demand for housing, transportation, and workforce. While DMC helps shape the future of downtown, city and county planners are looking ahead to prepare for citywide growth.
“Planning to Succeed” or P2S 2040 is the city’s comprehensive plan intended to provide community members, business leaders, city staff, and government officials with a roadmap as they prepare for current and future growth.
Both the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the DMC Development Plan, which was endorsed by the City of Rochester in March 2015, encouraged extensive community engagement throughout the planning processes. “Community-wide participation is incredibly important,” says Patrick Seeb, DMC economic development and placemaking director. “It leads to better ideas, community buy-in, and long-term success.”
The DMC vision is not one that can be accomplished alone – or overnight. But with the advancements that took place on the DMC Development Plan over the past year, Rochester is well on its way to becoming a premier global medical destination.
It doesn’t take an urban planner to recognize the qualities it takes for a city to be successful. DMC is in the middle of it all: growth, investment, culture, community, innovation… the list goes on. And Rochester is hitting the mark on each attribute, ensuring 2017 will be another year of success.
Located downtown in Rochester’s historic Conley-Maass Building, Collider Core recently opened its doors for business.
The co-working hub can be found in DMC’s Discovery Square sub-district and is designed to provide both fledgling and established entrepreneurs with a unique environment where they can work, connect, and learn.
Collider founder Jamie Sundsbak explains the difference between Collider and Collider Core. “Collider is the entrepreneurial ecosystem – think BioAM, but for all entrepreneurship in the Rochester area,” he explains. “Core is the physical hub – a hybrid of a traditional coworking and business incubator space.” In short, Core provides the Collider community with its operating space.
Rochester Home Infusion (RHI) serves a unique niche in the pharmacy market, providing individually compounded medicines to patients with ongoing intravenous (IV) therapy needs, but who are well enough to go home.
RHI is also unique in that it is one of the earliest medical businesses that chose to set its roots in downtown Rochester specifically because of DMC’s vision to coin Rochester as America’s City for Health.
“We provide patients with IV medications in the comfort of their own homes,” Joselyn Raymundo, founder and president of Rochester Home Infusion (RHI), tells Destination Medical Center (DMC) in an interview.
Home infusion has been around since the 1980s. It is safe, effective, and, according to Raymundo, preferred by most patients. “People tend to recover faster when they are at home with the support of their loved ones. And going home allows them to return to work or school and resume their normal lives” she says.