Jamie Sundsbak

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

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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: https://www.facebook.com/events/575164749665204/

 

Collider Coworking

Website: https://www.collider.mn/

Facebook: @collidercoworking

Twitter: @collider_mn

Instagram: @collider_mn

 

CEDA

Website: https://www.cedausa.com/

Facebook: @cedausa

Twitter: @cedausa

Instagram: @ceda_usa

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

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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 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