Rochester, MN: A City on the Move

Wealth of resources draws entrepreneurs and innovators to the region

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Rochester, MN
Courtesy of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Rochester is known worldwide as the home of the prestigious Mayo Clinic. While the medical center and its components make up an impressive percentage of the area’s economic development sector, they’ve also encouraged a number of creative minds to flock to this thriving city.

Today, Rochester is home to a diverse group of entrepreneurs and innovators – and innumerable resources to help them grow their ideas. From co-working spaces and nonprofit incubators, to countless festivals and the largest destination medical facility in the United States, the evidence is everywhere.

It helps that the city continues to attract driven, motivated, and intelligent people who are all willing to work together for the good of the community.

“People are coming here from all over the world,” says James Rogers III, J.D., Chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures. “They are the best at what they do, and they want to move here to be a part of a team. The collaboration in this city is powerful. I’ve traveled all over the world and never seen anything like it.”

Mayo Clinic Ventures exists to find partners who can bring Mayo Clinic inventions to the marketplace in order to improve medical care for people worldwide. While the details are vast and complex, the mission is simple: transform medicine to the benefit of the patients.

Eyes on the Future

It’s no surprise that operations like Mayo Clinic Ventures have encouraged an incredible movement of ideas within the city. People from all over are moving to Rochester, eager to bring their creativity and join a community with its eye on the future.

And as more like-minded people migrate to Rochester, more resources become available.

Take the Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. for example. Since their inception, RAEDI has strived to fill in the necessary gaps to help drive growth. They offer seed funds, a large network of connections and physical space with offices and conference rooms.

“We try to open doors for our entrepreneurs to get direct access to potential partners and acquirers,” says Xavier Frigola, director of entrepreneurship at RAEDI.

Rochester is also home to organizations like The Commission, which launched in 2013 to bring together young professionals in the city to collaborate and better the city. They’ve since hosted monthly meetings, launched an expert talk series, and run multiple community improvement projects.

They even partnered with the Rochester public schools to organize career panels, classroom speakers, 8-week programs, and teach high school students how to build their resume and interview skills.

When you look at organizations like Mayo Clinic, RAEDI and The Commission, it’s easy to see why some of the country’s most clever and curious minds are choosing to call Rochester home. They see opportunity to grow and thrive – and to live in a community that puts its money where its mouth is.

Fostering Growth

The efforts are already paying off in dividends. Frigola says the majority of companies who launched in Rochester over the last four years are not only flourishing, but they’re actively choosing to put down roots and claim the city as their own.

Rochester has even started hosting festivals that cater to its innovative population. Events such as Global Entrepreneurship Week, TEDxZumbroRiver and Placemakers Rochester Prototyping Festival all offer creative minds the opportunity to foster the growth of ideas and continue developing ways to move the ball forward.

Between the likeminded community of creatives and the countless resources available to bring their ideas to life, Rochester has proudly staked their claim as a hot spot for innovation.

Perhaps the best part is that this city gives newcomers the opportunity to hit the ground running.

“If you come here and want to solve problems for people, you will be a part of the solution right away,” says Rogers. “If I’m an entrepreneur, I’m really missing the boat if I’m not looking at this city.”

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Fri, 12/07/2018 - 12:34