Community Innovation

Episode 122: From the Edge with Janessa Nickell and Tiffany Alexandria

Photo by AJ Montpetit.

Photo by AJ Montpetit.

Today we listen in to our latest in the “From the Edge” podcast series where we discuss current trends taking place in the entrepreneurial community. This week on the show we welcome Janessa Nickell and Tiffany Alexandria. Janessa is a business strategy consultant turned entrepreneur with the launch of her new self-care business Sacred Circle Community. Tiffany is a former window display designer turned content creator and food blogger. Tiffany currently runs the Taiwanese food blog CHOOCHOO-ca-CHEW. Today on the show we cover of variety of topics including a return to our authentic cooking roots, the changing food and food community scene in Rochester, the importance of shopping local, diversity and inclusion, gender gaps in entrepreneurship, and the value of inspiration capital.

Join us for this engaging talk as part of Women’s History Month 2019!


Links from the show:

Rochester Rising’s Mental Wellness: Goal Setting and Time Management Workshop

Sacred Circle Community


Facebook: @sacredcircleconnect

Instagram: @sacredcirclecommunity




Facebook: @choochoocachew

Instagram: @choochoocachew



Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (


Episode 121: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Guardian Athletics and The Bee Shed

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Today on the show we listen in to the storytelling portion of the latest 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is an educational event that takes place in 180 different communities across the country. At each 1 Million Cups, two different entrepreneurs share their story and ask the community for help on a specific aspect of business development. At the March 1 Million Cups Rochester we heard from Jeff Chambers, Founder and CEO of Guardian Athletics, and Chris Schad, Cofounder of The Bee Shed. Guardian Athletics is a sports safety company. Their main product, called Kato Collar, is designed to slow down head movement after a contact hit. Guardian Athletics in currently in fundraising mode after finishing their proof of concept in the fall. The Bee Shed is a B-corporation producing and selling honey, offering pollination services, and selling bees. The business also educates the public about bees and pollination habitats, promotes the development of pollination habitats, and provides mentorship for new bee keepers.


Links from the show:

Rochester Rising’s Mental Wellness: Goal Setting and Time Management Workshop


1 Million Cups Rochester


Facebook: @1MCRochester

Twitter: @1MillionCupsRST

Instagram: @1millioncupsrochester


Guardian Athletics


Facebook: @athleticsguardian

Instagram: @guardianathletics


The Bee Shed


Facebook: @TheBeeShed

Instagram: @shedthebee



Odd News by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (


Episode 119: From the Edge with Courtney Bergey Swanson and Nathan Wiedenman


This week we launch our second “From the Edge” show in this new podcast series! On the show today we sit down with Nathan Wiedenman and Courtney Bergey Swanson. Nathan spent time in the entrepreneurial community in Boston before moving to Rochester about one year ago and brings valuable insight to our community. Courtney is the Director of Community Engagement with Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) and facilitates business development in rural communities in southern Minnesota. We cover a lot of ground on the show today with very diverse perspectives brought to the table. On the show we talk about the current Silicon Valley venture capital model, especially in software, focused on rapid development and exits and how this model is starting to change. We also compare growth of businesses in rural communities with mid- to large sized cities and discuss growing trends of young entrepreneurs moving back to their hometown to start a business to make their community a better place. We wrap up by taking about inclusivity barriers to the entrepreneurial community here in Rochester.


Links from the show today:

Rochester Rising’s Mental Wellness: Goal Setting and Time Management Workshop:


Collider Coworking


Facebook: @collidercoworking

Twitter: @collider_mn

Instagram: @collider_mn




Facebook: @cedausa

Twitter: @cedausa

Instagram: @ceda_usa

Episode 118: 1 Million Cups Rochester with GoAdvntr

The mountains are yearning..png

This week on the show we check in with the latest 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is an educational event for entrepreneurs that takes place in 183 communities across the United States. At each event, two different entrepreneurs tell their story and ask for help from the community on a specific issue facing their business. At the latest 1 Million Cups Rochester we heard from Brian Kugel, CEO and Founder of Go Advntr. GoAdvntr is a Winona-based business that provides booking of guided adventures and helps people find and rent outdoor equipment. Join the community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday March 6th at 9AM at the Bleu Duck Kitchen or link up for the livestream of the event on our Facebook page.


Links from the podcast: 



Facebook: @GoAdvntr

Instagram: @goadvntr


“Strong Women Creating Value” Series nominations:

Sponsorship inquiries:


Thanks to our sponsors for making this podcast happen!

This podcast is brought to you by:



Facebook: @BrandHoot

Twitter: @BrandHoot

Episode 111: Top Podcasts of 2018

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Today on the show we take a look back at some of the top podcasts of 2018!

First off, we listen in to Episode 66 from January with Garret Sorensen of Mandala Tea. Mandala Tea is a thirteen-year-old business that imports and sells Chinese and Taiwanese teas. On the show today, we listen to a portion of Episode 66 where Garret talks about the foundation of Mandala Tea, the keys to running a business for thirteen years, and how different perspectives can revitalize a company.

o   Website:

o   Twitter: Mandala_Tea

o   Instagram: @mandalatea

Next we listen in to Episode 90, recorded in July, where we had a discussion about mental health and entrepreneurs with local innovators Chris Lukenbill and Rosei Skipper. This was one of my favorite podcasts of the year, talking about a largely overlooked, and sometimes taboo, topic. On the show today, we talk about the reality of mental health issues in entrepreneurs and why founders might be more susceptible to mental illness. This was a two-part series, with a continued conversation on Episode 92. Here at Rochester Rising, we feel that mental health is such an overlooked issue in entrepreneurs that we are developing some new wellness programming for 2019. Please take a few moments to fill out this survey to help us provide what is needed in the community.

o   Twitter: @roseiskipper, @ChrisLukenbill

Then we fast-forward to August with Episode 95 talking to the owner and studio manager of Orangetheory Fitness Rochester, Mackenzie McCormack. Orangetheory Fitness is a one-hour total body workout focused on endurance, strength, and power using heartrate-based interval training. This studio just opened its doors in December in the Apache Mall. On the show today, we listen to a portion of Episode 95 where Mackenzie talks about Orangetheory Fitness, what it was like to open a franchise, and why she wanted to launch this type of business.

o   Website:

o   Instagram: @orangetheoryrochestermn

And finally, we check back in with Episode 104, recorded in October, where we sat down with the new president of Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) Ryan Nolander. RAEDI is a private/public partnership for economic development that serves Rochester and the surrounding four county area. Ryan began his career with RAEDI this June after spending close to thirteen years with the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency. On the show today, we hear Ryan talk about RAEDI, how the organization works with local businesses, and what initially drew him to economic development in Rochester.

o   Website:

o   Twitter: @RaediInfo


Thanks to our sponsors for making this podcast happen! This podcast is brought to you by:

Riverwalk Rochester

o   Website:

o   Instagram: @riverwalkrochester

The Musicant Group

o   Website:

o   Twitter: @musicantgroup

o   Instagram: @musicantgroup

Alsbrook Accounting

o   Website:

110: 1 Million Cups Rochester with Trail Creek Coffee Roasters and MedEd Web Solutions


This week on the podcast we listen in to the audio from the most recent 1 Million Cups Rochester. 1 Million Cups is an educational event for entrepreneurs that takes place in over 180 different communities across the US. At this latest event we heard from local small businesses Trail Creek Coffee Roasters and MedEd Web Solutions

·      Trail Creek Coffee Roasters is a Kasson, Minn. based business with the mission to provide high quality, small batch roasted coffee. Owner Crystal Whitmarsh and her husband began the business roasting out of a single popcorn popper. Now, they’re renovating a space in Kasson to expand their production capacity.

·      MedED Web Solutions is developing a solution to address healthcare worker burnout, called the Well-Being Index. The Well-Being Index is an anonymous online assessment tool that analyzes wellbeing of a particular healthcare worker compared to their peers. The tool has been implemented in over six hundred healthcare institutions to date.

Join the community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday January 9th at 9AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen event space. Next month, we hear from Busy Bee Meal Prep.

Can’t make it to 1 Million Cups? Join us for a livestream of the event on our Facebook page and ask your own questions to the presenters!

Episode 105: Jamie Sundsbak and Collider Coworking

Photo courtesy of Collider Coworking.

Photo courtesy of Collider Coworking.

Today on the show we sit down with Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager of Collider Coworking. Collider Coworking is an open coworking space in downtown Rochester, launched on August 15, 2016. Collider was originally envisioned as a space for entrepreneurs to work and connect. But since its opening, the coworking space has become home to many freelancers and remote workers, shifting Collider’s mission to helping these people connect with the Rochester community at large to keep this talent in the city. On the podcast today, we talk a bit about the challenge of launching a coworking space in a city like Rochester, where the concept was new. Since its launch, Collider has primarily grown by word of mouth and by just getting people through the doors to see the space. Collider was born out of Jamie’s mission to create a more robust entrepreneurial community for Rochester. The coworking space has a warehouse feel and includes its own hand-drawn Sasquatch. The business aims to promote creativity, social interactions, and work just getting done in Rochester’s entrepreneurial and innovation sectors. As the year ends, Collider is working on two new initiatives. The first is a nonprofit arm of the business to open up the business to additional funding sources and to support the organization’s work to create an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Collider will launch an additional location soon, called Collider 424. This space is located in a disused building on the Mayo Clinic campus and will primarily be private offices.

Episode 104: Ryan Nolander and RAEDI

Ryan Nolander.jpg

This week on the podcast with sit down and chat with Ryan Nolander, President of Rochester Area Economic Development Inc, or RAEDI. RAEDI is a private/public partnership for economic development that serves Rochester and the surrounding four county area including Olmsted, Dodge, Fillmore, and Wabasha Counties. Ryan began his career with RAEDI this June after spending close to thirteen years with the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency. On the podcast today, we talk about:

·      How RAEDI assists local businesses and performs economic development in the region.

·      RAEDI’s focus on entrepreneurial development with the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, the Economic Development Fund (EDF) and the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund.

·      Progress with the EDF over the past years, including the lending of $1.8M (all approved by Rochester City Council) for fifteen different projects. These loans have allowed the recipient businesses to go on to raise $72M in funds and to create one hundred jobs.

·      Progress with the Southeast Minnesota Capital fund, which closed at $2M in June with fifty-six total investors and has invested $500,000 thus far across five different projects.

·      Ryan’s time performing economic development in Albert Lea and how that differs from activity currently taking place in Rochester.

·      What attracted Ryan to the Rochester area.

·      Ryan’s view on entrepreneurial activity taking place in this city.

Episode 100: Going Back To Where We Started, An Entrepreneurial Roundtable Discussion


Join us this week on the podcast for our 100th show! To celebrate this event, we went back to where we started from in our very first podcast with an entrepreneurial roundtable discussion with local innovators in the community. This week on the podcast we sit down with Chris Lukenbill, Hunter Downs, and Jamie Sundsbak to talk about entrepreneurship in Rochester.


On the podcast today, we discuss:

·      The definition of an entrepreneurial ecosystem and why they are important.

o   We talk about an entrepreneurial ecosystem as the networks that surround entrepreneurs and help to address the needs of those innovators.

o   Also important to an entrepreneurial ecosystem is the will and spirit to be an entrepreneur.

o   And lastly, a community that is supportive of risk taking and trying new things is also essential to an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

·      Major milestones that have occurred in the Rochester entrepreneurial community over the past two years.

o   These milestones include the continued growth of the community and the emergence of events like 1 Million Cups Rochester and Startup Weekend, which can serve as conduits to the entrepreneurial community as a whole.

o   A very recent milestone is the announcement of the Collider Foundation, a nonprofit focused on building the Rochester entrepreneurial ecosystem.

o   Important events also include the continued growth of companies Sonex Health and GoRout, organizations that are capable of having a large presence in Rochester.

o   The emergence of initiatives like Red Wing Ignite and Minnesota Ignite are also imperative with their efforts to build up communities and augment resources.

o   Over the last few years, we’ve also seen an increased number of applications from Olmsted County to the Minnesota Cup business pitch competition.

o   There is also heightened awareness of businesses starting up in this city, including elevated business growth outside of the medtech space.

·      Gaps existing in Rochester’s current entrepreneurial community.

o   We talked about the difficulty of going outside of early stage growth communities to obtain talent for young companies.

o   Location is also important and marketing the importance of that location is essential to building an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

·      Observations in other entrepreneurial ecosystems of methods to spur entrepreneurial activity or business development.

o   This includes instances of 100% tax rebates for investments in high tech companies and up to 100% matches on SBIR grants.

o   We also need to make a dedicated investment in talent to spur entrepreneurial activity locally.

·      Activity taking place in the community right now that hints to where our entrepreneurial ecosystem is headed.

o   This includes increased construction activity, which might not be matched with the amount of people and workforce being recruited to the city.

o   We’ve seen an increased sprit of entrepreneurship demonstrated from Mayo Clinic.

o   Rochester experienced an increased number of freelancers with versatile skill sets.

o   We have not seen the emergence of quite as many companies as we might have expected over the past two years.

o   There is also a general lack of incentives in the community to be entrepreneurial and a lack of culture for young people.

·      Events taking place over the next few months in the Rochester entrepreneurial community including:

o   Startup Weekend

o   The Assistive Tech Challenge

o   Global Entrepreneurship Week

o   Walleye Tank

o   The Ag Tech Challenge

Episode 97: What Makes a Good Startup City?


Today on the podcast we ask, “What makes a good startup city and how does Rochester rank?” Today on the podcast we talk about:

·      A recent “Best of the Midwest Report” released by the Chicago venture capital firm M25.

o   This report ranks the 54 best tech hubs in the midwest based on measurements in three broad categories including: startup activity, access to resources, and business climate.

o   Chicago ranked first in all three broad categories in this report. Minneapolis ranked second overall. Rochester ranked 53rd out of the top 54 midwestern cities, coming in very last in business climate.

·      We also examine additional ways to examine the strength of a startup community, including a 2015 report from Kauffman Foundation called “Measuring an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.”

o   This report suggests examining three broad categories when assessing strength of an entrepreneurial community including: density, fluidity, connectivity, and diversity.


Which set of measurements do you prefer? How do you think Rochester fares in these categories?

Episode 96: Chris Schad and Discovery Square


Today on the podcast we sit down with Chris Schad, Director of Business Development for Discovery Square. Discovery Square is one of the six Destination Medical Center (DMC) subdistricts and is specifically focused on biomedicine, research, and technology innovation. DMC is the largest public-private economic development initiative in the state of Minnesota to catalyze growth in the Rochester area over the next twenty years.

Today on the podcast we talk about:

·      DMC and the DMC subdistricts.

·      The three current DMC priorities.

·      The dream vision for the Discovery Square DMC subdistrict.

·      How DMC can help entrepreneurs by spreading stories of entrepreneurship on a large scale, identifying gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and bringing programs like the Assistive Tech Challenge to the region to spur prototype development and ideation.

·      The significance of the topping off ceremony at the first new building in the Discovery Square subdistrict, called One Discovery Square.

·      The value proposition for attracting businesses to Rochester.

·      Additional activities in Discovery Square and Rochester as a whole.

·      Challenges that DMC and the city of Rochester face in implementing this large economic initiative in this city.

“The most exciting [challenge] is the challenge of big expectations. The state is watching us. The state has invested a lot of money in what we’re doing here, and we have to rise to the challenge of those expectations.” -Chris Schad, Director of Business Development, Discovery Square

Call for Opinion Pieces and Press Releases: A Guide for Submissions to Rochester Rising

Episode 92: Discussing Mental Health and Entrepreneurs with Rosei and Chris, Part 2

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This week on the podcast, we wrap up the final part of our discussion talking about mental health and entrepreneurs with Rosei Skipper and Chris Lukenbill. Check back in with Episode 90 to hear the first part of this podcast.

Today on the show we talk about:

·      The stress and anxiety that results from tying your self-worth to your business.

·      Having contingency plans.

·      Why this is the prime time in Rochester to be an entrepreneur.

·      The importance of tying your identity to something outside of your business or career.

·      Methods that we can use as a community to start removing the stigma around mental health in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

·      The negativity of a culture that glorifies working excessive hours.

·      Moments that have kept us going as entrepreneurs.

·      The idea that when you say “yes” to one opportunity, you by default say “no” to other opportunities.

·      The danger of living at the excessive extremes.

·      Thoughts on the use of technology to facilitate meditation and stress relief.

This week we also check in with SCORE Southeast Minnesota to answer the question, “Does SCORE provide loans or financial capital to small businesses?”

Episode 82: Innovationology with Limb Lab and Grand Rounds Brewing Company


This week on the podcast we talk about Innovationology, an upcoming adults only fundraiser for the Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester. This event will take place on May 17th in the Bleu Duck Kitchen and Collider Coworking. The evening event features “Experience Teams” showcasing their innovation with a paired small food and drink to highlight innovation occurring in the Rochester community. Today on the podcast we hear from one Experience Team for this year’s event: Limb Lab and Grand Rounds Brewing Company. The podcast today features Becca Stiles-Nogosek, Development Manager of Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester; Brandon Sampson, Founder of Limb Lab; Andrew Nelson, Resident at Limb Lab; and Aaron Espy, Lead Brewer at Grand Rounds Brewing Company. Today we learn more about Innovationology, what people can expect at the event, and how innovation and play as a child influenced the members of this Experience Team.


“We know that by providing inspiring opportunities for young people, it allows them to grow up into adults that are more creative, more innovative, and more collaborative.” -Becca Stiles-Nogosek, Development Manager of Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester

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 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 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 59: Transforming Science Education with InSciEd Out

This week on the podcast we take a trip to Lincoln K-8 Public School to speak with the Integrated Science Education Outreach Program, or InSciEd Out. Today we’re joined by Chris Pierret, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic and InSciEd Out organizer, and Lincoln teachers Liz Koehler and Kyle Casper. On the podcast today we talk about InSciEd Out, an innovative collaborative partnership that is redefining today’s science curriculum, discuss specific science education modules that the program has implemented in Lincoln classrooms, and take a peek at the future of the program.

“InSciEd Out was a great way for us to learn as teachers that it’s ok, we can be scientists too and we learn right along with the students.” –Liz Koehler, Lincoln K-8 Public School science educator

Episode 58: How to Navigate Career Change and Manage Risk and Uncertainty

This week on the podcast we listen in to the latest audio from our #Emerge video series. In these videos, we sit down and have a conversation about entrepreneurship in Rochester and peek into the city’s startup culture with a member of the innovation community. This week, I sit down with Collider Coworking Community Manager Jamie Sundsbak. We talk about navigating career change, how to handle risk and uncertainty, and ways to build your business while maintaining another full-time job. And as always, we end by talking about the current state of the Rochester entrepreneurial community and what it needs to grow.

“That’s what a true entrepreneurial community should do. We give first, we surface what’s going on. We go out of our way to help people in any way that we can.” –Jamie Sundsbak

Episode 57: Examining the Multiplier Effect of Inclusion to Expand Your Business

This week on the podcast, we talk about a recent Supplier Diversity Summit held in Rochester. The summit was hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce to highlight the benefits of engaging with diverse suppliers and to explain the importance of diversity and inclusion in today’s workforce. In the podcast today, we dive into the keynote speech at the event, which was given by Dr. Tony Byers. Dr. Byers has over twenty years of experience with diversity and inclusion initiatives, including roles at Starbucks, Heinz, and Cargill. In his talk, Dr. Byers explained the importance of diversity and inclusion for growth of a business and spoke about how the “multiple effect of inclusion” helps businesses capture new markets, expand their existing markets, and truly innovate.

“We want to not just count heads, but make heads count.” –Dr. Tony Byers

Episode 53: Talking Entrepreneurship with City Council Representative Nick Campion

This week on the podcast we talk about entrepreneurship with Rochester City Council Representative Nick Campion. Born and raised in Rochester, Nick received a degree in Computer Information Systems from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he minored in Entrepreneurship. In Rochester, he joined the mobile app development startup DoApp during the early stages of the company and stayed with the business after it was acquired. This week on the podcast, we talk about Nick’s first-hand experience in startups, the growth of entrepreneurship in Rochester, and what role he thinks government should play in business development.

“I think we have a lot of work to do in figuring out how to make Rochester an accessible place to start a company. I think a lot of people are struggling and starting to feel the pinch with the costs of renting space, the costs of paying property taxes, the cost of finding employees.”