Fresh News Friday: Sharing Economy, Workforce Housing, and Discovery Square

Here are the top stories this week of Rochester’s entrepreneurial and small business scene from around the web.

  1. Sharing Economy Delivers Risks, Rewards to Rochester- MPR News. Homes are rooms are beginning to open up in Rochester for short term rentals via websites like Airbnb and the numbers are expected to keep increasing. The emergence of a sharing economy in Rochester has brought complaints and concerns from some residents and local businesses. Over three million people visit Rochester each year and many want to stay in locations with all the amenities of home, similar to offerings in other US destinations.
  2. Mortenson Sets Timeline for Mayo Project in Rochester- Finance and Commerce. M.A. Mortenson Company hopes to break ground and be moving dirt in the Destination Medical Center’s (DMC) Discovery Square subdistrict by next October. The first project in Discovery Square will be a 60,000-100,000 square foot building, still of undetermined use. Discovery Square is meant to attract biotech entrepreneurs to Rochester. Mortenson expects to select an architect for the project in the next two months.  
  3. Workforce Housing in Rochester “at a Crisis Situation” According to Rochester Area Foundation- KTTC. The Rochester Area Foundation recently warned that the city’s middle class will be squeezed out of new housing developments in Rochester. New workforce housing is essential to keep talent in the area. But Rochester Area Foundation says that housing for people earning $35-55K per year is lacking in Rochester and needs to be built now before it’s too late.
  4. NIH Awards Recombinetics a Research Grant to Develop Swine Model of Alzheimer’s- Alzheimer’s News Today. Recombinetics, a Saint Paul biotech company with ties to Rochester, was recently awarded a ~$350K Phase 1 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant. The funds will be used to create a pig model of Alzheimer’s Disease for preclinical drug trials. Recombinetics uses precision gene editing techniques to efficiently mimic human disease in animals.
  5. Introducing Elysium: A New Underground Music Experience Coming to Rochester- The Med City Beat. Elysium is a brand new music and dance event launching in Rochester. Each Elysium event will hold a little bit of mystery and allure. Attendees have to buy tickets for the events in advance, but they won’t know the location or theme until just hours before the event starts. Elysium events are set to take place in multiple locations around Rochester.