Well-told stories are one of the most powerful communication tools we can use in business. They help others better understand us, our work, and our purpose. They allow us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. And, for entrepreneurs, they give us a platform to share our successes and failures – and learn from one another.
Amanda Leightner is the founder of Rochester Rising, a website dedicated to telling the stories of the rise of entrepreneurship in Rochester. DMC spent some time with Amanda recently to learn more about her passion for sharing the stories of innovators and what advice she would give to someone considering a future in America’s City for Health.
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.
This month five Rochester businesses were honored by Minnesota Business Magazine as “Innovators in Health and Wellness” to celebrate local leadership.
Awards were given in sixteen different categories including: Startup, Software Web Application, Health and Wellness Campaign, Excellence in Facility Design, Health Care Executive, Medical Breakthrough, and Wellness Advocate.
Four Rochester businesses or startups were finalists in their respective categories and one local business came away as the overall winner in their division.
Charter House- Mayo Clinic Retirement Living was a finalist in the Health and Wellness Campaign Division. Charter House is a senior living facility in downtown Rochester, operated by Mayo Clinic, that advocates for healthy aging.
Healthtech startup OneOme was a finalist in the Medical Breakthrough category. OneOme’s solution, called RightMed, is a gene panel that analyzes patient DNA to determine how an individual will respond to medications for a wide range of conditions. The company was co-founded by Troy Kopischke, a managing partner of the Twin Cities incubator Invenshure, and John Black, a consultant in the Division of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology at Mayo Clinic.
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.