DMC

Rochester Team “Adapt-A-Cart” Wins Open Division of the Inaugural Assistive Tech Challenge

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(Rochester, MN) November 3, 2018 – Adapt-A-Cart from Rochester won big in the Open division at the inaugural Assistive Tech Challenge on Saturday, November 3.  Adapt-A-Cart provides an adaption on grocery carts for the wheelchair user that is light, compact, assistive and easily attachable and detachable.  This device allows wheelchair users the opportunity to easily shop with the standard cart from the comfort of their own chair.  Adapt-A-Cart team collaborators are Rochester residents Nicholas Elliott and Cody Schmidt.  

AbleKitchen from Minneapolis placed second in the Open Division.  Vitals Aware Services, Inc. and Mobility 4 All - both from Minneapolis took top honors in the Professional Division.

First place teams in the Open and Professional divisions were awarded $5,000 by The Arc Minnesota.  Second place teams received $2,500 from the Arc Minnesota.  All first and second place teams are automatically eligible to participate in the Walleye Tank pitch competition in Rochester, MN on December 7, 2018.

Thirteen teams came from the greater Rochester area, the Twin Cities and nationally from Naples, Florida.  University teams participating included: University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University Mankato and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. 

The Assistive Tech Challenge was presented by Destination Medical Center Discovery Square in collaboration with The Arc Minnesota Southeast Region and the disABILITY Mayo Clinic Employee Resource Group to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and the daily challenges they face.

Special thanks to Fredrikson and Byron, P.A. and Home Federal for their support of the Assistive Tech Challenge.

Locally Designed Prototypes on Display in DMC's Heart of the City Subdistrict for Next Month

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Three Rochester innovators will see their creations come to life this month as part of this city’s downtown infrastructure. After a two-year journey, these public health prototypes, created during a city-wide prototyping festival, are on display in Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City subdistrict for further development as the structures seek their final home.

All three concepts- “the Artery,” “Info Alley,” and “Multilingual Pedestrian Signage”- were born in June 2016 at the Rochester “Idea Jam,” an event to engage the community to tap its creative side and transform the built environment to better support public health. This initiative- supported by DMC, the Rochester Art Center, and Downtown Rochester Alliance- brought together fifty-five community members to develop concepts engaging nature, food, connectiveness, inclusivity, accessibility, diversity, or art to improve health. Twenty different ideas for prototypes, or small models to test a concept, emerged from this session.

Over the next few months, ideas for prototypes were submitted as proposals, with sixteen concepts chosen to be built and displayed during a three-day PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival in September 2016. During that time, about five thousand people interacted with the prototypes.

Now, three of these original concepts have been scaled to an even larger level and are on display for the next month for further refining and testing in the Peace Plaza. These prototypes include: “The Artery,” “Info Alley,” and “Multilingual Pedestrian Signage.” 

Development of “The Artery” is led by local artist Eric Anderson. This art piece displays “the profound moments of hope and healing happening within our healthcare institutions every day.” This installation changes color based on real-time data from Mayo Clinic to signal health events such as a birth, organ transplant, or chemotherapy treatment completion. 

The “Info Alley” prototype team is led by local business owner Sean Baker. This installation is “an interactive multimedia display that enhances an otherwise underutilized space by projecting live video, event listings, social media activity, and other relevant community information.”

Development of the final community prototype, “Multilingual Pedestrian Signage,” is led by Edgar Mtanous. This prototype is designed “to advocate for a collaborative, healthy, and vibrant community by forming stronger cultural and infrastructure links between Rochester, its citizens, and visitors.”

All three prototypes were unveiled on October 17th as part of DMC’s 2018 Annual Meeting. The installations will be on display in the Peace Plaza for thirty days.

Press Release: DMC Hosts Design Workshops: Ideas to Solutions in 90 Minutes As Prep for the Upcoming Assistive Tech Challenge

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Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency will be hosting three design workshops September 27 – 28, 2018, to help address challenges faced by individuals with disabilities as part of the Assistive Tech Challenge. 

The workshops will be facilitated by the civic design nonprofit Our City in partnership with the Assistive Tech Challenge. 

Participants in these workshops will learn the art of design thinking to address problems and create solutions in just 90 minutes. 

Ideas that emerge from the workshops will prepare participants to submit ideas to the Assistive Tech Challenge pitch competition on November 3 at the Assistive Technology Expo. 

Two design workshops are scheduled in Rochester on Thursday, September 27 and one workshop is scheduled in Minneapolis on Friday, September 28. 

Workshops are FREE to attend. Registration is required for each workshop at dmc.mn/events


 Workshop #1: Assistive Tech and the Caregiver Experience 

Thursday, September 27, 2018, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Dr. SE, Rochester, MN 55904 | This workshop is embedded within the Transform conference. You will be joined by Transform attendees in exploring design thinking. 

Description 

This fast-paced, hands-on workshop will focus on how to use design thinking to help caregivers thrive. Participants will “sprint” from starting from a real or perceived barrier to developing an idea to address it in just 90 minutes. Each participant will walk away with a new understanding of the design process and how it might support caregivers -- plus a real idea of their own to put into action. 


Workshop #2: Assistive Tech and Public Infrastructure 

Thursday, September 27, 2018, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Studio 324 (Fagan Studio), 324 South Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904 

Description 

This fast-paced, hands-on workshop will focus on how to use design thinking to help design public spaces that support greater independence for individuals with a disability. Participants will “sprint” from a real or perceived barrier to developing an idea to address it in just 90 minutes. Each participant will walk away with a new understanding of the design process and how it might support different development paradigms in the public realm -- plus a real idea of their own to put into action. 

Workshop #3: Assistive Tech and Workforce Readiness and Social Skill Development 

Friday, September 28, 2018., 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55416. 

Description 

This fast-paced, hands-on workshop will focus on how to use design thinking to 1) help people with a visible or invisible disability to interact and cultivate meaningful relationships; and 2) alleviate barriers to employment. Participants will “sprint” from a real or perceived barrier to developing an idea to address it in just 90 minutes. Each participant will walk away with a new understanding of the design process and how it might spur development of new products or services in these two important areas -- plus a real idea of their own to put into action. 


About the Assistive Tech Challenge 

The Assistive Tech Challenge is a pitch competition presented by Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square in collaboration with The Arc Minnesota Southeast Region, and the disABILITY Mayo Clinic Employee Resource Group to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and the daily challenges they face. 

The Assistive Tech Challenge seeks solutions to: 

  • Alleviating barriers to employment 

  • Reducing the need for and/or easing the demands of direct support on care providers 

  • Developing social skills that better enable people with and without disabilities to interact and cultivate meaningful relationships; and 

  • Improving access to the community through public infrastructure 

The Assistive Tech Challenge is November 3 in Rochester, Minnesota at the Assistive Technology Expo. Prizes awarded to first and second place teams in two divisions. Applications and complete details at dmc.mn. 


About Our City 

Our City is a national nonprofit, working to transform how people engage with their cities. 

Our City believes in the power of art, design, and play to transform this engagement. 

About Our City 

Our City is a national nonprofit, working to transform how people engage with their cities. 

Our City believes in the power of art, design, and play to transform this engagement. 

Our City envisions a world where every person sees the world as changeable – then goes out and changes it. 

Our City works to achieve this by creating large-scale public design events, installations, and workshops. 

Through Our City’s work, they empower residents to imagine and build the future of their communities. 

More at ourcity.is. 

Press Release: Assistive Tech Challenge Orientation Sessions Scheduled for September 13 & 14 in Rochester and Twin Cities

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What: Assistive Tech Challenge Orientation Sessions 

When: Thursday, September 13 and Friday, September 14, 2018 

Where:  September 13: Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator. 221 1st Ave SW #202, Rochester, MN 55902. 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 

September 14: Microsoft Store, Mall of America. 162 South Avenue, Bloomington, MN 55425. 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Details: The Assistive Tech Challenge is a pitch competition to highlight new innovations to support people with disabilities in order to facilitate greater independence. In this orientation session, interested individuals and teams will learn more about the Assistive Tech Challenge, connect with disability subject matter experts and with others, and explore an area of highest interest to develop a new product or service. 

Complete details about the Assistive Tech Challenge can be found here

Press Release: Introducing the Assistive Tech Challenge A New Pitch Competition in Support of Individuals with Disabilities

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(Rochester, MN) August 20, 2018 - Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency is pleased to introduce the Assistive Tech Challenge - a pitch competition presented by Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square in collaboration with The Arc Minnesota Southeast Region and the disABILITY Mayo Clinic Employee Resource Group to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and the daily challenges they face.

 

Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the Assistive Technology Expo

Heintz Center, Rochester, Minnesota

Expo Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Assistive Tech Challenge Pitch Competition: 12 Noon – 3:30 p.m.

 

The Assistive Tech Challenge seeks solutions to:

  • Alleviating barriers to employment;
  • Reducing the need for and/or easing the demands of direct support on care providers;
  • Developing social skills that better enable people with and without disabilities to interact and cultivate meaningful relationships; and
  • Improving access to the community through public infrastructure.

 

Who can participate:

Anyone interested in forming a team and developing innovative assistive technology solutions that would allow people with visible and invisible disabilities to live more independently, engage in productive employment, and participate in community life.

 

There are two divisions:

Open (community-based teams and students)

Professional (corporations formed with annual revenues not exceeding $250,000)

 

Innovations in both personal technology and the public realm/public infrastructure will be encouraged. Teams will be asked to address the following questions in a five-minute presentation to an expert panel of judges, followed by three minutes of Q&A:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • How are you solving the problem?
  • Why is your team the one to solve it?
  • What do you need to develop a minimally viable product (MVP)?

 

$15,000 will be awarded by The Arc Minnesota to the first and second place winners in each division to further advance their idea.

First Prize: $5,000

Second Prize: $2,500

 

All first and second place teams will be eligible to participate in the Walleye Tank pitch competition in Rochester, MN on December 7, 2018.

All teams must submit an application to Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency by October 19, 2018.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions. (FAQs)

Orientation and workshop sessions will be announced soon.

To learn more, visit dmc.mn.

Press Release: Progress and Excitement Build around Discovery Square as DMCC Board Supports Mortenson’s $35 Million Project in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (July 27, 2017) – The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors voted to approve the $35 million Mortenson project in the Discovery Square sub-district under the DMC Development Plan. The building is one is a series of DMC projects in the sub-district. The project will receive $4.9 million in DMC tax-increment financing.

“Today we take an important step forward with Discovery Square, a place where Minnesota's next successful medical technology start-ups will be launched. This project will help diversify Rochester's economy, create great jobs, and ensure Rochester remains America’s City for Health,” said Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Chair of the DMC Board of Directors. “I thank Mortenson, Mayo Clinic, and the Rochester community for their work on this Discovery Square project. We have taken another important economic development step for the Destination Medical Center, Rochester, and Minnesota.”

During the meeting, the DMCC board recognized the certification of the 2016 DMC private investment figures by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). This move allows the State of Minnesota to provide the first annual installment of public infrastructure aid, totaling approximately $2.68 million in fiscal year 2018, to the City of Rochester and the DMCC.

Other updates provided information on the public realm design of the Heart of the City, Chateau Theatre, and St. Marys Place; a progress update for the Alatus, Titan-Opus, and Titan Hilton projects; the work of the DMC Energy Integration Committee and the impact of the DMC marketing plan.

“Today we continued to see the momentum of the DMC initiative,” said Lisa Clarke, Executive Director of DMC. “By voting to approve this Discovery Square Public Infrastructure Project, the board has advanced the goal of making Rochester a global destination for health, wellness and research. This project, the third DMC project in the last year, further validates the DMC vision and the strength of the Rochester real estate, development, and investment markets.”

The next scheduled meeting of the DMCC Board of Directors will take place on November 2, 2017.

 

About DMC

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota's history. The 20-year plan to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness will attract developers, investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to live, work, and play in America's City for Health. For more information, visit dmc.mn

Summer Prototyping Festival makes Permanent Impact on City

Yesterday morning, the first in a series of three Art + Business = Innovation breakfast events was presented by Rochester Downtown Alliance, Destination Medical Center (DMC), and Rochester Art Center. The purpose: to discuss how art and business intersect. While the connection between these entities may not seem so straightforward, they are linked. Art can not only make a city environment more unique, it can spur creativity among the city’s residents, including innovation in the business sector.

The first installment of the Art + Business = Innovation series focused on “Creative Place Making: the Rochester Prototype.” In a city best known for strong medical roots, this past year the PlaceMakers | Rochester Prototyping Festival activated the creative side of Rochester. This event engaged Rochester residents in a community-wide discussion of what the future of Rochester could look like and got residents to consider how they could transform the urban environment around them into something that could better support a healthy city.

The germ of an idea for the prototyping fest began back in December of last year when it was first introduced by Patrick Seeb, DMC Director of Economic Development and Placemaking. An Idea Jam event took place in early June to brainstorm ways that we, as ordinary Rochester citizens, could transform aspects of Rochester along seven selected foci that residents associated with a healthy city including: nature, food, connectedness, inclusivity, accessibility, diversity, and art. Over fifty-five community members attended this event and twenty individual ideas emerged from the session. By the end of June, teams submitted these ideas as proposals to construct prototypes, or small creations to test their ideas. Sixteen designs in total where chosen to be developed into full prototypes. Teams then had three months to bring their ideas to life. In September, a three day PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival took place in downtown, displaying these concepts on the streets of Rochester to encourage engagement and feedback from the community.

The "Rocker Talker" built by Tyler Whitehead and Chuck Stewart.

The "Rocker Talker" built by Tyler Whitehead and Chuck Stewart.

The PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival had three main goals: to test ideas, to engage the community, and to demonstrate change. As stated by Patrick Seeb, Rochester is undergoing a tremendous change right now. And it’s important for us, as residents of this community, to own and shape the change that is occurring around us. The prototyping festival demonstrated the intersection of creativity and place. It encouraged the idea that “place” is something that we live in, but it is also something that we very much have the power to change. All we have to do is just ask and try.

Five to six thousand people attended the festival, as demonstrated by statistics shared by the organizers. 89% of the attendees felt more creative after the event, while 89% also felt more engaged with the downtown area. Prototype Maker Dee Sabol related that people, in general, want to feel more connected, and the festival offered them the opportunity to meet in a new place. Besides creating a sense of community, the festival also spurred discussions about belonging, or feelings of not belonging, in the city.

And as Rochester Downtown Alliance Executive Director Jenna Bowman stated, the PlaceMakers Prototyping Fest brought something else to the surface, something that might not be quite as apparent. Risk taking, and even failure, were almost requisite to this experience. The makers creating these prototypes not only gave up large chunks of their time to bring their ideas to life, they also had to stand up next to their work at the festival and engage with the community, witnessing first-hand the reactions to their idea.

Now that the festival is over, how will this event impact the future of Rochester?

As Maker Rene Lafflam stated, lessons learned during the Prototyping Festival could have lasting impact on the city. Rene and her team developed the prototype “Creative Crosswalks.” This concept not only brought art into the crosswalks to make them more aesthetically pleasing, it made pedestrian crossings more noticeable, promoting a safer downtown walking environment. Painted crosswalks are not a new concept, even in Rochester. But the festival taught Rene and her team the correct protocol to follow to get a work like this implemented into Rochester neighborhoods, potentially allowing “Creative Crosswalks” to start popping up around the city soon.

Some of the prototypes found permanent homes. The Rochester Art Center purchased two of the structures, the “Rocker Talker,” a large rocking platform that can seat multiple people, and “Chime In,” a set of life-size, multicolor chimes, for Mayo Park. This space will, hopefully, slowly be transformed into a public art park.

"The Artery" built by Eric Anderson, Rose Anderson, Diane Klein, Matthew Moore, Anthony Huber, Nel Pilgrim-Rukavina, and Grace Wengler.

"The Artery" built by Eric Anderson, Rose Anderson, Diane Klein, Matthew Moore, Anthony Huber, Nel Pilgrim-Rukavina, and Grace Wengler.

There are plans to permanently house the “Artery,” a three-dimensional installation that relays significant health events in the city by changing colors, in the 3rd Street Parking Ramp. A storm water waste management system will also be installed in this ramp as part art project, part educational piece to encourage public interaction and learning.

PlaceMakers | Rochester Prototyping Festival activated and showcased a part of Rochester that often goes unrecognized. It allowed residents to get a taste of what role they can play as this city develops. Now it’s time for us to play our parts and help to mold the future of our city into an inclusive place for all of our residents.

Fresh News Friday: DMC, OneOme, and Ethanol Co-ops

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

  1. Noseworthy: Mayo Clinic on Schedule to Meet DMC Developmental Targets- The Med City Beat. The Mayo Clinic CEO announced that the company is on track to deliver their DMC target funds. Over the next two decades, Mayo Clinic will invest $3.5B toward DMC projects. DMC is on track to receive $200M in private investment by the end of the year.
  2. Rochester Airport Keeps International Flights with $7.3M Upgrade- StarTribune. The Rochester International Airport faced a potential downgrade to municipal airport status when U.S. Customs and Border Protection found the airport’s customs facility to be outdated. The airport recently scored $7.3M in a U.S. Department of Transportation grant to upgrade the customs facility. Maintaining status as an international airport is essential to support the DMC initiative and the future of international business in Rochester.
  3. Claremont, MN Awarded a $500,000 CEDA Authored Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant- Community and Economic Development Associates. Claremont recently received a $500K grant for street improvements to aid in a $146M expansion of Al-Corn Clean Fuel, a farmer-owned ethanol production co-op. Three hundred construction jobs are expected to be generated for the buildout.
  4. Winners of the 2016 Manufacturing Awards by Minnesota Business Magazine- Minnesota Business Magazine. This week, Minnesota Business Magazine honored top manufacturers in the state with their 2015 Manufacturing Awards. Manufacturing contributes $37B to the state economy. Blooming Prairie based Minimizer was a finalist in the mid-sized company category this year. Minimizer is a leader in poly semi-truck fender manufacture.
  5. OneOme Lands $5.25 Million in Financing Round- Twin Cities Business. The life science startup OneOme is backed by Mayo Clinic and Invenshure, a Minneapolis incubator and venture investor. OneOme uses DNA analysis and their software product, RightMed, to minimize adverse drug reactions in patients. OneOme currently has twenty-five employees.

PlaceMakers | Rochester Prototyping Festival Runs All Weekend

Have you visited the PlaceMakers | Rochester Prototyping Festival yet? Stop by the meet the makers today and learn about the creative minds in our community. The festival runs until 1pm tomorrow.

Here's a sneak peak at the prototypes on 3rd Street SW.

PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival Offers Rochester Citizens a Platform for Innovation

PlaceMakers, the Rochester prototyping festival, in this writer’s humble opinion has really engaged Rochester citizens, instilled a sense of community, and offered people the opportunity to innovate.  This Tuesday, groups of Rochester residents pitched sixteen selected prototype concepts at the Rochester Art Center, highlighting the possibilities that can occur when communities band together.

The PlaceMakers initiative began only this April to engage the community and test ideas of what the future of Rochester could look like.  The public was charged to examine the built environment of the city and determine how that environment could be used to support better health.

Teams developed ideas for prototypes- or a preliminary models used to test and refine concepts before final development- around this idea of health and the built environment.  And Rochester responded.  A total of twenty-three prototype concepts were submitted to DMC, Rochester Art Center, and Downtown Rochester Alliance.  A group of volunteers took an in-depth look at the proposals and narrowed down the field to sixteen submissions to move forward.

These sixteen groups pitched their prototype concepts to the community Tuesday night and have the opportunity to display a physical prototype during the PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival in September in conjunction with the Mayo Transform Conference.

The PlaceMakers Pitch Night wasn’t really about individual teams.  It almost wasn’t really about the prototypes.  The theme was more about community, encouragement, and value added.

Many of the selected prototypes developed by Rochester’s resident innovators would create a more bike and pedestrian friendly city, including the Artscaping the Bikeway, Creative Crosswalks, and Bike Corral concepts. 

Two proposals, Recharging Wastewater and SWAMP, targeted water management issues.

Several were just about having fun like the Chime In, Kids on the Block, Rocker Talker, and Sit next to me, Sue! concepts.

Some would instill a sense of inclusivity in the city, including the Info Alley, Inner Ear Echo, and Multilingual Pedestrian Signage prototypes. 

The Destination Inner Peace and The Living Wall concepts were about finding a sense of relaxation and peace from nature.

Two proposals in particular left the room speechless.

The first was Light Rail.  This concept would project colored lights underneath the Rochester skyways.  The colors would constantly change to represent some major medical or health event happening in the city.  One color might indicate the birth of a child, another the completion of the final round of radiation, and yet another the awarding of a twenty-four-hour Alcoholic Anonymous token.  Not only would this design foster inclusivity, it would allow for the city as a whole to share in these positive moments of hope.

The Town Cube was the second awe-inspiring prototype.  The concept is exactly what it sounds like.  The Town Cube is made up of small, cube-like structures.  The design, in a sense, challenges what we think is the “typical Rochester citizen,” especially as our community becomes more and more diverse.  The structure would engage the community by asking questions or displaying statistics on the surface of the cubes, all related to a sense of belonging and cultural identity.  The team is considering ways to encourage people to take selfies and have the images displayed on the cubes.

Now it’s time for the teams to build.  The next stop is the PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival in September. 

Are you interested in watching the progress or helping one of the teams?  All prototypers can use a Maker Space in the Rochester Art Center woodshop Thursdays from 5-9PM starting in August.

For more detailed information on all of the prototypes, check out a recent Med City Beat article.