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.
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.
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.”
With entrepreneurship brewing in Rochester these days, there is a growing need for more opportunities for these like-minded individuals to connect and network, share successes and struggles, and simply bond. Perhaps over a cup of joe.
1 Million Cups is a national program that incubated out of the Kauffman Foundation where entrepreneurs can come together over coffee to hear pitches from other startups and learn from one another. The free program exists in more than 100 cities nationwide and, today, Rochester became one of those cities.
There isn’t a blueprint for becoming an entrepreneur. There also isn’t a universally agreed-upon definition. In the simplest sense, an entrepreneur is an individual who identifies a need or a problem and finds a way to fill it or a solution to fix it. An entrepreneur can be an inventor, an artist, or an organizer. In the end, it’s not so much the definition but the impact of entrepreneurship that matters. That impact is so powerful that, every November, 165 countries around the world dedicate an entire week to celebrating it.
GEW Rochester kicks off on Monday, November 14 and runs through Friday, November 18. Events throughout the week provide opportunities to learn from those involved in new and existing startups, to support the evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rochester, and to connect with kindred spirits.
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.
A hub for local entrepreneurs opened its doors Monday in Downtown Rochester. “Collider Core” gives novice and seasoned entrepreneurs a place to work and connect with each other. There are conference rooms, dedicated workspaces and help finding community resources to launch their business.
“I think its super important that what’s happening with DMC we have these sort of hubs to engage the entrepreneurial community in fact that’s why we called it Collider, we wanted these sort of random collisions to happen with people to get them successful,” Community Manager Jamie Sundsbak explains.
The business incubator is already looking to the future and aims to fill space in the DMC’s Discovery Square going forward.
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.”