Rochester Minnesota

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 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.

Episode 40: Ali McDowell and AM Fitness

This week on the podcast we talk with Ali McDowell, a young female entrepreneur bringing her in-home and online personal training service, AM Fitness, to Rochester. AM Fitness offers a range of in-home services including rehabilitation, pre- and postnatal fitness, sports performance, fat loss, and nutritional guidance. Online services incorporate individualized weekly workouts and nutritional programming. Listen in today as we talk about the ins and outs of launching a new business in Rochester and the direction that Ali sees fitness headed in the future.

“The thing with entrepreneurship is, my biggest takeaways are risk. Take big risks and be really patient and realize that things are not going to happen overnight.” –Ali McDowell, Owner of AM Fitness

Episode 25: COVR Medical

From left to right: Romeo Catracchia, COVR Medical CCO; the author; Bruce Levy, COVR Medical CEO and Founder.

This week, we speak with COVR Medical, a life science startup based out of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator. COVR Medical was built within the Mayo Clinic Emerging Entrepreneur Program, a partnership between Mayo Medical Ventures and the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator. The COVR Medical team created medical garments that raise the standard of care and improve patient privacy by covering the groin area during surgery and other medical procedures. The startup was established in 2014 and is currently gearing up for commercialization. The team recently won the professional division of Walleye Tank, Rochester’s first life science business pitch competition.

“I think there’s more to being a successful entrepreneur than just having a good idea and being able to do a lot of hard work, although that’s certainly a good start. I think what you need to do is surround yourself with a competent team…that can really help develop the company.” –Dr. Bruce Levy, COVR Medical CEO and Founder.

Rochester Rising featured article: Local Entrepreneurial Experts Predict Momentous 2017

Rochester Rising Episode 15: Chris Lukenbill and Able

This week I got to speak with Rochester entrepreneur Chris Lukenbill and learn how he and his team are combining farming with technology at Able. Able is a farm planning software that’s built by farmers for farmers. Able is a subsidiary of Bright Agrotech, an established leader in controlled agriculture. Listen in to the podcast as Chris and I talk about Able, tech entrepreneurship in Rochester, and the use of technology in farming.

  • Able is software for farmers that functions like a kitchen table. This kitchen table has existed in commodity farming for many years, where farmers sit around and calculate last season’s numbers and pass on knowledge to the next generation.
  • Able allows for the transfer of knowledge from farmers who have production experience to those just starting to produce or just starting to grow a new kind of crop. Able is primarily for farmers who are feeding their local community, a separate entity from commodity farming.
  • Able software can help farmers in the planning phase of farming all the way through production and sales.
  • Chris started an aquaponic greenhouse farm, called Fresh with Edge, in Rochester while working at Mayo Clinic. During this time, he recognized the need for a product like Able and gained much of the knowledge needed to build the product.
  • Able currently has a three-person development team working in Rochester.

Rochester Rising Episode 9: Details of ArchHacks, a HealthTech, Student Hackathon in St. Louis, with Stephanie Mertz

This week, I got to speak with Stephanie Mertz, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis and co-organizer of ArchHacks, a forty-eight-hour hackathon in St. Louis this November.

  • ArchHacks takes place November 4th through November 6th, from Friday through Sunday.
  • ·Over this weekend, teams of students will build a healthtech-themed, functional prototype by Sunday evening and compete for prizes.
  • The hackathon is exclusively for students, but there are no age restrictions.
  • The application process takes all of ten minutes.
  • For more information, link up with the ArchHacks Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
  • Any additional questions can be directed to info@archhacks.io.

“It’s really a unique combination that St. Louis has where we have the expansive medical background, the corporate resources, and startup drive, and the technical talent, all in one area. We thought that here in St. Louis, we were uniquely poised to bring the resources together to enable [a HealthTech themed hackathon].” –Stephanie Mertz

Rochester Rising Episode 6: Launching a Genome Engineering Startup with Jake Bergren

By Madprime (talk · contribs) - Own work. The source code of this SVG is valid.This vector image was created with Inkscape., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1848174

By Madprime (talk · contribs) - Own work. The source code of this SVG is valid.This vector image was created with Inkscape., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1848174

“Forming a business is out there with like performing surgery or something like that. I had no idea how that worked before I came [to the Mayo Clinic]. And I think I got really lucky with the lab I was placed in because my boss, Dr. Ekker over here at Mayo, he … formed a group about a year ago called Byolincs. And that group has been really integral to not only helping me find a passion for entrepreneurship but also begin to understand and process and learn all these different skills that are crucial for business development, entrepreneurship, and all these things.”- Jake Bergren

What is genome engineering? Take a peek at this video from Kurzgesagt.

Anyone with questions or comments about genome engineering, please contact the Genome Writers Guild at GenomeWritersGuild@gmail.com.

Rochester Rising Episode 5: Nate Nordstrom and BrandHoot

Today’s podcast features another entrepreneur operating out of the Conley-Maass building, Nate Nordstrom, and his journey to launch BrandHoot, a team that is passionate about empowering great ideas and impactful brands through innovative apps and websites.

  • This Omaha, Nebraska native moved to Rochester in 2011 after he got burnt out from a job in a daily deal company and decided to leave the job and launch his own company. 
  • Nate left his job and launched his journey in entrepreneurship right when he and his wife were pregnant with their first baby, leaving the couple with no sure source of income or health insurance.
  • BrandHoot has grown and succeeded by doing things well and creating value for people.
  • One of Nate’s biggest lessons was learning how to strategically price BrandHoot’s products and services.
  • BrandHoot just launched a new service product called FanCoach, which provides automated consulting and actionable reports for restaurants.

 

“I really like Rochester. I think there’s a lot of opportunities and I think we’re really at a great time when there’s more collaboration than ever. Which is fantastic. I think sometimes, still though, people feel like ‘Oh, I can’t do what GoRout, or BrandHoot, or whatever the other company is has done.’ And I would say, ‘Yes you can.’” – Nate Nordstrom

Rochester Rising Episode 3: Rochester Entrepreneurial Panel Part 2

A few weeks ago we sat down with some of Rochester’s entrepreneurs for a roundtable discussion about the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rochester, where the community is headed, and what it will take to get there.  This is part two in a three article series covering the conversation. 

Our esteemed entrepreneurial panel:

  • Mike Rolih, Founder and CEO of GoRout, a sports wearable display and sensor company and recent graduate of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.
  • Xavier Frigola, Director of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator that houses twenty-two life science companies.
  • Nate Nordstrom, Founder of BrandHoot, a company that designs websites, mobile applications, and additional products.
  • Hunter Downs, Founder of Area 10 Labs, a hardware and software product development company, and Co-owner of Café Steam.
  • Chris Lukenbill, Founder of AbleBright Agrotech software to connect produce farmers that have the passion grow, with the knowledge they need to be successful.
  • Jamie Sundsbak, Founder of BioAM and Program Director at a new coworking and business incubator space called Collider.

Rochester Rising Episode 1: Rochester Entrepreneurial Roundtable, Part 1

A few weeks ago we sat down with some of Rochester’s entrepreneurs for a roundtable discussion about the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rochester, where the community is headed, and what it will take to get there.  This is part one in a three article series covering the conversation. 

Our esteemed entrepreneurial panel:

  • Mike Rolih, Founder and CEO of GoRout, a sports wearable display and sensor company and recent graduate of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.
  • Xavier Frigola, Director of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator that houses twenty-two life science companies.
  • Nate Nordstrom, Founder of BrandHoot, a company that designs websites, mobile applications, and additional products.
  • Hunter Downs, Founder of Area 10 Labs, a hardware and software product development company, and Co-owner of Café Steam.
  • Chris Lukenbill, Founder of AbleBright Agrotech software to connect produce farmers that have the passion grow, with the knowledge they need to be successful.
  • Jamie Sundsbak, Founder of BioAM and Program Director at a new coworking and business incubator space called Collider.