Episode 52: Weekly Roundup- Apri Health, the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, and Teen Entrepreneurship

These past eight days have been momentous for the southeast Minnesota entrepreneurial community. This week on the podcast, we look back at our top stories of the week. First, we check in with Apri Health, a machine learning and AI startup that recently pivoted to expand their focus. Second, we take a dive into the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund and learn what this seed capital source can do for the community. Lastly, we spend some time with the five teenage girls of SKeMAs who are developing a mobile application, called Via, to limit distracted driving. The teens hope to advance through the semifinal round of the Minnesota Cup competition this week.

Episode 51: Chris Schad and Byolincs

This week on the podcast we discuss a recent Byolincs “Meet the Expert” event with Chris Schad, Senior Strategy Consultant at Mayo Clinic. Byolincs is a community group dedicated to training and educating entrepreneurially-minded scientists and medical professionals that meets bi-weekly within Mayo Clinic. At the most recent event, Chris Schad spoke about Destination Medical Center (DMC)- a 20-year economic development initiative to transform Rochester into a destination medical city- the first new building in the life science-focused Discovery Square DMC subdistrict, and availability of wet lab space for emerging biotech startups in the city.

Episode 50: Brittany Fenley and Platinum Studios

This week on the podcast we sit down with local entrepreneur Brittany Fenley of Platinum Studios Dance and Pageantry. Platinum Studios is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit that offers full scholarship opportunities to children in Rochester and the surrounding community. The studio focuses on children between the ages of three and seventeen and teaches ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and cheer. They also offer a dance competition program and natural pageantry experience.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are people out there who want to help you. If someone says no, move on to the next one.” –Brittany Fenley Owner of Platinum Studios

Episode 49: Rochester's Entrepreneurs #Emerge

This week on the podcast, we visit the latest edition in our #Emerge Facebook live video series where we sit down and talk about the past week in the Rochester entrepreneurial community. In this episode, we speak with Collider Coworking Community Manager, Jamie Sundsbak, about the recent “Welcome to the Neighborhood” event with Mortenson, Rochester Rising and Collider’s first year, the “Google Interwebs”, and lessons in being a solopreneur. We wrap up the conversation by discussing some major strides taken by the Rochester entrepreneurial community over the past year.

Episode 48: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Pure Rock Studios, ROCKchester, and Carpet Booth Studios

Today on the podcast we listen in to some audio from the very latest 1 Million Cups Rochester. This month was a very special, music-focused 1 Million Cups. The event had one main pitch from Ryan Utterback of Pure Rock Studios and mini pitches from two entrepreneurs in the music community. Pure Rock Studios is Rochester’s premier music and lesson facility, offering live group classes, performance opportunities, and ways for local musicians to connect with Pure Rock students. Dylan Hilliker of ROCKchester and Zach Zurn of Carpet Booth Studios also told a bit of their story at the event. ROCKchester is an all local music festival that was developed to give teens a place to play live music. Carpet Booth Studios is Rochester’s only studio providing recording, production, and composition session work.

“Art knows the gaps and how to fill them. And so do entrepreneurs.” – Dylan Hilliker, Founder of ROCKchester.

Episode 47: Nikolai Zeppa and Stationary Astronauts

This week on the podcast, we got to talk with another podcaster in town, Nikolai Zeppa of Stationary Astronauts. Stationary Astronauts began as a clothing line and podcast, called “The Useful Podcast and Beyond.” The Stationary Astronauts have plans to grow the business into the place to go for viral content creation and advertisement for businesses in Rochester. On the podcast today, we talk more about Stationary Astronauts and what it takes to be an entrepreneur in Rochester…and beyond.

“I’ve learned over the last few years just how important taking care of myself is, hence Stationary Astronauts, going within to blast off to see the stars and to be able to change people’s lives for the better.” –Nikolai Zeppa, Founder of Stationary Astronauts

Featured Story: Rochester Native and Former US Army Ranger Launches Executive Protection Services Ehni Enterprises

Episode 46: Funding Your Business with MNvest Equity Crowdfunding

This week on the podcast, we recap a recent event held in Rochester, “Funding Your Business with MNvest Equity Crowdfunding”. This event was organized by Collider Coworking and hosted by the Well Living Lab. The program featured Rick DeVoe, owner of Fair Trade Books, and David Duccini , Founder and CEO of Silicon Prairie Portal and Exchange. MNvest is a law that permits equity crowdfunding in Minnesota, opening a new revenue stream for Minnesota-based small businesses. MNvest provides the first opportunity in over eighty years for anyone to invest in public offerings from private companies. Under this law, Minnesota businesses can raise up to $1M or $2M in capital. Non-accredited investors can invest up to $10,000 per offering. There is no investment cap for accredited investors and founders of that company. MNvest.org is a nonprofit organization in Minnesota that provides education around the MNvest equity crowdfunding law.

Featured Story: Singer/Songwriter Opens Carpet Booth Music Production Studio to Fill Gap in Rochester Music Scene

Tickets for Rochester Rising’s 1 Year Birthday Party and Community Celebration: https://goo.gl/DdFbCo

Episode 45: Emerge 0 with Chris Lukenbill

Photo courtesy of Jamie Sundsbak.

This week on the podcast, we listen in to some audio from our very Facebook live video in a new #Emerge series. As in all things related to entrepreneurship, this is an experiment and a work in progress. On our first episode, we talked with local entrepreneur Chris Lukenbill. Chris was the Founder of Able.ag, a software branch of the vertical farming technology company Bright Agrotech. Able.ag built software for farmers by farmers, to pass down knowledge and assist farmers serving their communities. Just last week, Bright Agrotech was acquired by the Silicon Valley company Plenty. As part of this process, Able.ag will be shut down and the team is going in separate directions. In this episode, Chris talks about his new direction and a brand new local startup that he wants to build in a unique manner.

“I always like the idea and I always tell people, when you’re going to start something, tell everybody about it.”- Chris Lukenbill

Join us on Thursday at 5PM as the community celebrates the life of Able.ag.

Episode 15: Chris Lukenbill and Able.ag

Featured story:  New Initiative to Gage Interest in Shared Community Kitchen Space in Rochester

Episode 44: The Story Behind the Digital Solutions Company The Hybrids

This week on the podcast we hear from local digital solutions company The Hybrids. Software developers Nadia and Trent Wood launched the startup in late 2014 to provide web application development, website design, and solution design services. Their first product, Community Care Connections, is a data management system that connects people with healthcare educational programs.

Episode 43: 1 Million Cups Rochester Presentations from MyBarJar and The Hybrids

This week on the podcast, we listen in to audio from the latest 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is a national education program for entrepreneurs that takes place in 116 different communities across the United States. This month we heard from the St. Paul startup MyBarJar and the Rochester based startup The Hybrids. MyBarJar is creating a registry for bars, where users can register at their favorite drinking establishments and can receive drink drinks to enhance their celebrations. The Hybrids is creating digital solutions to empower the community. Their first product, C3, serves as a digital hub for preventative health educational programs within a community.

Episode 42: Minnesota Life Science Business Pitch Competition Walleye Tank Travels to University of Minnesota- Part 2

This week on the podcast, we wrapped up the pitches from the latest Walleye Tank. Walleye Tank is a life science business pitch competition in Minnesota. The competition originated in Rochester and took place for the very first time on the University of Minnesota campus this April. Early stage startups compete in two categories: a student “junior angler” division and a more experienced “professional” division. Student and professional division winners received a semifinalist entry into the Minnesota Cup. This Walleye Tank was organized by Dr. Stephen Ekker, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic, and Carla Pavone, Associate Director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship. Startups were judged by the “Walleyes,” a group of seasoned life science entrepreneurs and investors.

In this podcast, we wrap of the pitches from the Professional division. Check in with podcast Episode 41 for part one of our Walleye Tank coverage.