Episode 80: Bekkie, Dustin, and Jonny of My Town My Music


This week on the podcast we sit down with Bekkie, Dustin, and Jonny of My Town My Music, an emerging Rochester music platform that gives the community a voice for live musical entertainment in Rochester. My Town My Music successfully held a sold-out performance on a Wednesday night just a few weeks ago featuring local rapper Dessa. The team is set to bring Minneapolis indie musician and big-name Jeremy Messersmith to town this May.  


This week on the podcast we chatted about:

·      My Town My Music’s upcoming “Evening of the Songwriter” event with headliner Jeremy Messersmith and local artist Sam Butterfass.

·      The purpose of My Town My Music as a community driven resource to bring big names and big acts to Rochester, while always including Rochester artists.

·      The challenge of finding venues, attracting high level musical talent to play in this city, and getting Rochester residents out to support live music.

·      What people should expect from My Town My Music for the remainder of 2018.

·      My Town My Music’s ask for the Rochester music community to go out and support live music this year.


This audio features the full interview from our most recent #Emerge video with My Town My Music. Check back in later this week when that story drops!

Episode 79: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Stationary Astronauts and Solken Technologies


This week on the podcast we share some audio from the most recent 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is a national education program for entrepreneurs that takes place most Wednesdays in 174 communities across the United States. 1 Million Cups provides a platform for local entrepreneurs to share the story of their business and ask members of the community for help on one particular issue that their startup is facing. Due to a snow storm last week, the original speakers at 1 Million Cups Rochester were not able to attend. Instead, we had two entrepreneurs in the community step up and pitch with very little notice including:

·      Nikolai Zeppa of Stationary Astronauts, a philanthropic event and media company that just celebrated its one-year anniversary in February. Stationary Astronauts is embarking on a huge mission with the launch of their Meeting of the Minds series to bring a world renowned public speaker and paired Netflix comedian to Rochester. The inaugural show will take place this August with serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and comedian Theo Von.  

·      Solomon Antoine, Cofounder and Manager of Solken Technologies. This startup just launched their first product, FAVR, a service platform for users to request low skilled tasks such as errand running, snow removal, or leaf raking, at their own set price. The first live version of the platform launched just the day before Solomon gave this pitch.

We also heard updates on previous 1 Million Cups Presenters: Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza, How to Babysit, and Spark DJ. Xavier Frigola, Director of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, provided an update on the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund.

Episode 78: Community Roundup with gBETA Medtech Accelerator, Minnesota Cup, Sonex Health, and Marblehead Medical


There are so many new, exciting initiatives and developments going on in Rochester and the greater Minnesota community right now. Today on the podcast we take a look at four powerful stories unfolding within the community.


·       First off, we talk about gener8tor and their launch of a brand new medtech specific accelerator, called gBETA Medtech, in Minneapolis. gBETA Medtech is a free, seven-week accelerator program for medtech startups that’s sponsored by Boston Scientific, Mayo Clinic, and the University of Minnesota. The first six companies are currently working through the program; applications for the summer 2018 cohort are now live.

·       Next, we talk about Minnesota Cup and the addition of a new education and training division to this startup competition. This division is focused on businesses developing technology or services related to education, training, and workforce or professional development. Applications for the 14th edition of Minnesota Cup opened on March 26th and will close on April 27th.

●     Then we chat about Sonex Health, a Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator graduate making huge strides in the community. Sonex Health created the SX-One MicroKnife to enable minimally invasive, ultrasound guided carpal tunnel release surgery. Sonex now has grown to a team of five, has graduated out of the Accelerator, and was one of the first recipients of capital from the Southeast Minnesota Angel Fund.

●      Lastly, we take a brief glimpse at Marblehead Medical, an emerging startup, founded by two Mayo Clinic radiologists, that’s treating ischemic stroke through a novel process called mechanical thrombectomy. The team behind Marblehead Medical has designed a balloon-guided medical device for ischemic stroke intervention and is close to locking in a $1M round of financing.


Guide to Press Releases and Opinion Pieces on Rochester Rising

Episode 77: Zoey Jantsan and Miss Minnesota, RE/MAX, and Chamber of Commerce


This week on the podcast we sit down with entrepreneur Zoey Jantsan to hear about all her latest endeavors. Zoey is the former Miss Minnesota US International. She’s also entering into her second year as a real estate agent with RE/MAX and is the current chair of the Women’s Roundtable for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

We had a very full discussion on the podcast today including:

·      A chat about a new community kindness initiative in Rochester that Zoey is a part of, called Read Roch, to connect members of the community through books.

·      Other initiatives going on right now that Zoey is excited about including the upcoming Paws and Claws Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser, EarthFest, and the Rochester Flag Project.

·      What Zoey’s experience was like as Miss Minnesota and how it impacted her public speaking.

·      Zoey’s passion for animal and environmental conservation.

·      The challenges she’s faced in growing her real estate career.

·      The importance of space for business women to share ideas.


“When you’re running and you’re starting a new project, and when you’re starting a new career, no one knows that that’s what you do besides you at that point. And to go from there to have the whole community or have the whole clientele know that’s what you do and that’s what sets you apart, I think that’s the biggest hurdle [to growing a business].” -Zoey Jantsan

Episode 76: Jay Adkins & Godwin Dold


This week on the podcast we chat with local entrepreneur and partner at Godwin Dold, Jay Adkins. Godwin Dold is a local law firm that specializes in business law, criminal defense, estate planning, commercial real estate, DWI defense, and civil litigation. The practice is currently a team of four and was originally founded by attorneys and entrepreneurs James Godwin and Rick Dold.


On the podcast today with talk with Jay about:

·      the basics of Godwin Dold.

·      what it was like to join a law firm at the early stages and help to build it from the ground up.

·      how Jay’s entrepreneur wife encouraged him to take risks and risk failure.

·      why this young entrepreneur enjoys practicing law in his hometown.

·      the value of never burning bridges and building a “web of community.”

·      the dynamics of the young attorneys at Godwin Dold.

·      Jay’s background in public speaking, including his studies in television broadcasting at St. Cloud State, where he used to call college hockey games.

·      Jay’s take on the current business environment in Rochester.


“All of these things that people want- to be their own boss, run their own business, be successful- those end results we see are tied with failures, every step of the way. …The more you fail, the more you succeed.” -Jay Adkins, Partner at Godwin Dold

Episode 75: Talking with Jim and May of Spanish and Go


On the podcast today, we share the full audio from our latest #Emerge video, talking with local entrepreneurs May Larios Garcia and Jim Fricker of Spanish and Go. Spanish and Go is “your resource for learning real-world, travel Spanish” through a series of blogs and videos. This business developed by blending together Jim and May’s passions for teaching, travel, Spanish, and recording. Now, Jim and May spend their time traveling back and forth between Rochester and Spanish speaking regions both inside and outside of the US to inspire their audience to feel ready to land and be able to talk and engage with the local Spanish culture.


Today on the podcast we chat about:

-how May and Jim both developed their love for Spanish.

-their purpose and mission behind Spanish and Go.

-where their next travels will take them.

-their newest product launching soon, Travel Spanish Confidence.

-how they’ve been able to successfully, and rapidly, build up their audience.


“I love teaching and I’ve always been in love with connecting with students….Since I was five years old, I said I wanted to be a teacher.” -May Larios Garcia

Episode 74: Ignite Minnesota and Public/Private Sector Panel Discussion


This week on the podcast it’s all about Ignite Minnesota, a brand new statewide initiative to keep greater Minnesota competitive. This regional partnership works to convene, elevate, and promote the work of innovative businesses, entrepreneurs, and technologies in Minnesota to keep the region connected and globally competitive in an ever-evolving digital space. Ignite Minnesota aims to support students, businesses, and entrepreneurs throughout Greater Minnesota.

We were lucky enough to attend the Ignite Minnesota launch last week in Red Wing to celebrate the creation of this program in our community. On the podcast today, we give a brief overview of Ignite Minnesota and then take a dive into a panel discussion held at the Ignite Minnesota launch. This panel included several local leaders in private/public sectors including: Rob Anderson of 3M, Ross Lexvold of Xcel Energy, Scott Olson of Winona State University, and Dan Pecarina of Hiawatha Broadband Communications. The panel was moderated by Glenn Ricart of US Ignite.

The panel covered a variety of topics including:

·      The role of innovation in each of these organizations.

·      Specific problems each organization is facing that Ignite Minnesota could help with crowdsourced solutions, including: how to transition to clean energy, how to convert toys into tools, how to improve telemedicine in rural areas, and how to break large problems into smaller deliverables.

·      What they think success for Ignite Minnesota looks like.

Episode 73: 'Should You Build Your Business in Stealth Mode?' with Chris Lukenbill and Jan Hagenbrock


This week on the podcast we sit down with local entrepreneurs Chris Lukenbill and Jan Hagenbrock and have a focused discussion about building a business in stealth mode. We talk about what stealth mode is in business development, why some businesses may build in this manner, and why some choose to grow their business outside of stealth mode. This was a great conversation today and hopefully the first of many focused debates on our podcast.

"The challenge that you're running into of going into stealth mode is that your only feedback is from this eco-chamber of people that think it's a good idea." -Chris Lukenbill

"When you [build a business] on your own, you waste your most precious resource, which is your time. You can't get that back." -Jan Hagenbrock

Episode 72: Talking EatRochMN with Cheyenne and Katie


This week on the podcast we talk with the ladies behind EatRochMN: Cheyenne Labott and Katie Zupancic Wymer. EatRochMN is a food blog and popular Instagram account started about one year ago where the girls tour through the Rochester food scene, creating meaningful connections and making Rochester feel a little bit more like home. The EatRochMN Instagram account recently hit 1000 followers as Cheyenne and Katie continue their food adventures around the city. This week on the podcast we talk about what drew these transplants to Rochester in the first place, the growth of EatRochMN over the past year, and what they’re looking forward to in Rochester’s food scene this year.

“We just want to keep eating. So, the more that we can get out there, the better!” -Katie Zupancic Wymer

Episode 71: Tyler Aug, Mike Terrill, and The Rochester Posse


Today on the podcast we talk with Tyler Aug and Mike Terrill of The Rochester Posse, a community link to events taking place within the Rochester community. On the show today, we talk about the evolution of the Rochester Posse, what has these innovators excited about the Rochester community, how they approach telling a story about the local business and cultural scene, and the growth they see in the Rochester music community.

Episode 70: April Dahl and Dahl Dance


This week on the podcast we travel out to Dahl Dance studio to speak with owner April Dahl. Dahl Dance is a professional social dance studio that teaches nineteen different dances, including swing and Argentine Tango, to adults. April and her husband Gary opened up the studio in 2005 in Rochester and have been operating the business for thirteen years. This week on the podcast, we talk about Dahl Dance’s move to their brand-new space, what it takes to successfully run a business for over a decade, and the studio’s involvement in the Rochester Dancing for the Arts program this spring.

“Just remember when you’re running a business that it’s all about the relationship.” -April Dahl

Episode 69: Looking Backward to Look Ahead


This week on the podcast we take a look at the past year in the entrepreneurial community of Rochester and talk a bit about where the community is headed. We take a look back at some predictions that were made for the entrepreneurial community in 2017 and break down these predictions to see if they actually happened. We also take a deep dive into what actually was accomplished in our innovation community in 2017. And lastly, we talk about opportunities in 2018 and what some entrepreneurs predict the year will hold.


Further reading:

·      Local Entrepreneurial Experts Predict Momentous 2017

·      Momentous Events in the Rochester Entrepreneurial Community: A Look at the Past Year

·      Local Entrepreneurs Honored at R.A.V.E. Event

·      2018: Predictions and Asks for the Rochester Entrepreneurial Community

·      The State of the Rochester Entrepreneurial Community-2018

Episode 68: Winona State University + Information Technology Expert Panel, Part 2


This week on the podcast, we listen in to the final portion of audio from a recent Information Technology (IT) Expert Panel with Winona State University Rochester and Collider Coworking. This panel event facilitated an “open and fluid” conversation about IT in Rochester, talent and educational needs in the field, and how higher education organizations like Winona State can help to fill these gaps. The podcast today is the second in this two part series from the discussion. The expert IT panel at the event included David Borrillo of CoreLogic, Nadia Wood of The Hybrids, and Chris Lukenbill of Fresh with Edge. In this final part of the discussion, the panel talked about the importance of developing a business around their IT product, lessons they learned while building a company, what they look for when hiring talent for a startup, and the reality of working with a remote team.

“It’s not just about developing a software solution. It’s also about…the business around it.” –Nadia Wood, Founder of The Hybrids

Episode 67: Winona State University Rochester + Information Technology Expert Panel

 From left to right: Informational Technology (IT) Expert Panel of David Borrillo, Nadia Wood, and Chris Lukenbill.

From left to right: Informational Technology (IT) Expert Panel of David Borrillo, Nadia Wood, and Chris Lukenbill.

This week on the podcast, we listen in to some audio from a recent Information Technology (IT) Expert Panel with Winona State University Rochester and Collider Coworking. This panel event facilitated an “open and fluid” conversation about IT in Rochester, talent and educational needs in the field, and how higher education organizations like Winona State can help to fill these gaps. The podcast today is the first in this two part series from the discussion. The expert IT panel at the event included David Borrillo of CoreLogic, Nadia Wood of The Hybrids, and Chris Lukenbill of Fresh with Edge. On the podcast today, the panelists talk about how their companies are solving problems in today’s marketplace, what IT training gaps they see in the community, and how to attract and hire the right talent for your startup.

“When you’re trying to find people that are willing to take that same jump, and to a certain degree when you’re a small company, you have to find people that are okay without that kind of security.” – Chris Lukenbill, Founder of Fresh with Edge

Episode 66: Garret Sorensen and Mandala Tea


This week on the podcast we talk with Garret Sorensen of Mandala Tea. This business imports and sells Chinese and Taiwanese teas and tea accessories and is based in Rochester, Minnesota. On the show today we talk about the meditative and health benefits of tea, the different types of tea, and how to hold a proper tea service. Garret also shared how the business has grown and developed over the last 13 years of operation, especially through an increased online and social media presence, and how the Mandala Tea was recently revitalized after he almost walked away from it all.

“I think that one of the things is, as far as business success for myself, is not being afraid to ask for help.” – Garret Sorensen

Episode 65: Derrick Chapman and Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza


Welcome to our first podcast of 2018! This week, we sit down with Derrick Chapman, owner of Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza. This audio is from our very latest video #Emerge series, where we have a low-key discussion with an entrepreneur in the Rochester community. This week on the podcast, we talk about the growth of the mobile food unit industry in Rochester, how Derrick’s been navigating his first year “all in” with his food truck business, and what he does at the end of the calendar year to prep for the next twelve months.

“The one thing you have to do is sacrifice when you want something to succeed. If you’re not willing to make those sacrifices, then you’re not going to get any bigger or anywhere beyond where you’re already at.” –Derrick Chapman, Owner of Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza

To find the most updated locations for the food truck, link up with their Facebook page or download the Twisted Barrel app.

Episode 64: Dr. Victor Montori and the Patient Revolution


Today on the podcast we talk with Dr. Victor Montori, a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic who recently self-published his very first book called The Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care: Why We Revolt. This manifesto calls for a fundamental change in today’s global healthcare system, advocating for patient care that’s kind, careful, and based on love.

“As I tried to write [this book], what kept coming up was not a summary of the research that we had done, but rather was a series of statements, a series of declarations of something bigger, the need for fundamental change in the way healthcare is inflicted on people.” – Dr. Victor Montori

Dr. Montori was raised in Lima, Peru, where he obtained his medical degree. He moved to Minnesota in 1996 to perform his training in Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Montori is an endocrinologist and health services researcher who has authored over 550 peer-reviewed publications. He’s also the Director of Late Stage Translational Research at the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science and leads the Knowledge and Encounter Research Center at Mayo Clinic to advance person-centered care for patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Dr. Montori has a deep interest in patient-centered care, working to better understand how to deliver care without disrupting the lives, either by the disease or by the burden of treatment, to his patients. On the podcast today, we talk about his work with The Patient Revolution, an organization that promotes a fundamental change in the way that patient care today is delivered.

We also walk through the core set of values put forth in Dr. Montori’s brand new book, The Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care: Why We Revolt and his vision for a healthcare system that’s not based on competition, but on collaboration and conversations, a system that is careful and kind to all.

Dr. Montori will be performing a signing of his book at Café Steam on December 18th.

Episode 63: Fall Sustaining Membership Drive with Rochester Rising

This week on the podcast we talk about our fall sustaining membership drive. Rochester Rising was launched last July to amplify stories of entrepreneurship in Rochester, Minnesota, share the stories of our risk-takers, and begin to document the rise of entrepreneurship in this city. Over the past seventeen months, we’ve told the stories of 110 different entrepreneurs, startups, or innovation initiatives in Rochester and the surrounding communities. We are always experimenting, learning, and growing to tell these stories in the best way possible. Last year, we launched a sustaining membership initiative to help keep Rochester Rising running and reduce our dependency on advertisement and sponsorship. If you support our mission and think something like this needs to exist in Rochester, please consider becoming a sustaining member of this platform. We have several rewards for our sustaining members including weekly teasers, advanced access to content, coffee mugs, and highly reduced advertising.

Click here for more information about becoming a sustaining member.

Episode 62: An Evening with the Founders of DoApp, Part 2

This week on the podcast, we listen in to part two of “An Evening with the Founders of DoApp” straight from Rochester’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. In part one founders Wade Beavers, Joe Sriver, and David Borrillo spoke about the early stages of DoApp, a mobile app development company, and the risks of taking outside funding when building a startup. To wrap the story up today, the team talked about the importance of hiring great talent, life after your company is acquired, and how to work through hardship- professional and personal- within a business. To date, DoApp serves as one of Rochester’s largest startup success stories; insight from these founders are invaluable to anyone looking to start something in this city.

“As you scale up as an organization, as you’re building your organization, you want to build great people, who can build great people, who can build great products that people can’t live without.” –Joe Sriver, Founder at DoApp


Previous stories about DoApp:

One Of The Biggest Rochester Startup Stories That You Don’t Know: Meet DoApp

After Exits, DoApp Founder Looking To Give Back To The Rochester Entrepreneurial Community

Episode 61: An Evening with the Founders of DoApp, Part 1

This week on the podcast we listen in to some audio straight from Rochester’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. On the show today we listen in to part one of “A Night with the Founders of DoApp” where DoApp founders Wade Beavers, Joe Sriver, and David Borrillo along with key individuals- John Roberts with New Counsel and David Olson with Blackridge Financial- talk about the growth and exits of this mobile application development company. Today on the podcast, we hear about the very beginnings of DoApp, how they developed three of the very first apps for the Apple App Store, and the reality of starting a business and taking outside funding.

“Whether it’s luck, calculated risk, whatever it is, you have those moments where you have to recognize it’s a failure and you have to adjust.” –Wade Beavers, former CEO of DoApp