Two Rochester-based health-tech companies finished with strong showings at Minnesota Cup, the nation’s largest statewide startup competition. Mill Creek Life Sciences and Thaddeus Medical Systems placed in the top three in MN Cup’s Life Science/Health IT Division.
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.
Ranked as one of the Top Ten Cities for Entrepreneurs by Livability in 2018, Rochester is not a stranger to innovation. Spark DJ is a Rochester-based music streaming service co-founded by John Boss and James Jones. The duo utilizes artificial intelligence to power their Spark DJ mobile application and deliver personalized music directly to smartphones nationwide, offering users a musical experience tailored specifically to their preferences. Spark DJ was recently selected as one of only ten startups to participate in the 2018 Techstars Music Class.
DMC recently connected with co-founder John Boss to find out more about the business and why Rochester is a great place to launch a startup of your own.
Funding has long been considered the fuel that propels a startup from the idea phase to becoming an income-generating enterprise. But for participants in the MN Cup startup competition, the mentorship and business advice can be just as valuable.
As the largest statewide startup competition in the country, MN Cup supports emerging entrepreneurs from across the state through events, educational programming, and it’s widely-recognized annual competition, now in its 14th year. The Cup is a program of the Holmes Center at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Last year, more than 1,300 teams and individuals applied to the competition in hopes of tapping into the tools, resources, and support the organization provides to help launch and accelerate these new ventures.
A global destination for health and wellness, Rochester is home to many innovative healthcare entrepreneurs.
Brothers Scott and Eric Snyder launched their personalized medicine business, Geneticure, in Minnetonka in 2014. But four years later, the Rochester-born siblings recognized the mounting opportunity in their hometown as a result of Destination Medical Center and expanded the business to Rochester. The group originally occupied space in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator but recently moved to their own location now operating out of the offices above Grand Rounds Brewing Company in downtown Rochester.
DMC sat down with Scott Snyder, Geneticure’s CEO, to learn more about the company and its decision to return to its Rochester roots.
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.