Minneapolis Wins 2018 Super Bowl Bid


The NFL awarded Minneapolis the 2018 Super Bowl over other city rivals.   A deciding factor was Minneapolis’ commitment to a new 1 Billion dollar Vikings stadium that will showcase the event.   This is a key victory for the region that will draw millions of fans to tune into Minneapolis and boost tourism throughout the event.   It reenforces Minneapolis’ commitment to the Vikings and NF and ongoing regional development.   Like Target Field and Excel Energy Center,  having a world class stadiums and professional teams are key lifestyle assets that attract people to the region.


Both marketing and infrastructure investments will be made regionally to support the Super Bowl,  this is an incremental step towards winning a World’s Fair bid for 2023 to put Minnesota on the world stage.    To put it in perspective,  a World’s Fair is like a Super Bowl every day for 3 months.   So this is a good learning experience towards the larger goal.




Innovation in LifeScience Event

IDS TowerI attended the 2nd Annual Life Sciences Innovation Showcase hosted by the UMN OTC & Mayo Ventures at the “Windows over Minneasota” 50th floor of the IDS tower.

Opening the event was three videos with inspirations messages from Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Al Franken, and Representative Eric Paulsen speaking about the history and vibrancy of the Minnesota Medical / Healthcare ecosystem.

Featured speakers included:


  • Fanconi Anemia Gene Editing by CRISPR/Cas9 System
    • Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD – Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
  • Non-invasive Assessment of Serum Potassium Levels through Wireless Monitoring of ECG
    • Paul A. Friedman, MD – Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • A Method for Prognostic Classification of Canine Lymphoma
    • Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD – Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Minnesota
  • Magnetics, Nanotechnology and Rapid Endothelialization of Implanted Cardiovascular Devices
    • Brandon J. Tefft, PhD – Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic Rochester
  • Lung Pacing for Ventilator-Induced Diaphragm Dysfunction
    • James Krocak, MS, MBA – Medical Devices Center, University of Minnesota
  • Surgical Optimization System
    • Jeanne M. Huddleston, MD – Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester

The innovations and technology presented was amazing.  One example I’ll highlight was the two technologies around Lymphoma treatments.   The first technology revolved around the ability to modify any single component of the DNA.  The second was the capability to deliver that instructor to only targeted cells.   The ability to combine these two technologies successfully meant that individual mutated cells could be addressed and returned to normal.

This capability would enable extremely large and disruptive shifts in the areas of treatment, pharmacy and insurance industries.

Some potential disruptions:

  • Large number of procedures could be eliminated or replaced with the DNA altering treatments.   This would probably see a mass consolidation of procedures and reduce the number of alternative procedures and surgeries.   This impacts both the training of care providers and the types facilities & staffing needed in the future many be simpler requiring less survey units and recovery capacity in hospitals.
  • The ability to treat the DNA directly would eliminate many of today’s pharma products.
  • Insurance companies may dramatically shift to only funding these types of procedures based on how the outcomes compare to older methods.
  • If gene manipulation can correct defects,  what is the savings to society or benefits in productivity
  • How does overall advances in technology change the cost of health care
  • How does a shift to treating wellness vs. illness change the philosophy of health care providers
  • Can the industry make the shift,  or will it resist and block new technologies
  • etc…   this can go on and on

Perhaps a more concerning aspect of this progress is the legislation and regulation nationally and internationally required to govern the overall ability to modify DNA.   What rights to patients have?  To be returned to “normal”,  what is normal?   Can you be made better than normal?   Enhanced?    Also,  what rights to employers have to make the employees more productive?   What rights to governments have to better citizens and soldiers?  What rights to children have to save their parents from illness?    The return of Eugenics is upon us.

The day concluded with a networking event with new start-ups from the UMN OTC & Mayo Ventures:

  • cVcHD HeartSavers Clinics | Maury Taylor
  • EmboMedics | Omid Souresrafil
  • Hennepin Life Sciences | Bill Faulkner
  • MesoFlow | Kai Kroll
  • Vigilant Diagnostics | Rick Carlson
  • Vital Simulations | Lisa Jansa
  • Xcede Technologies | Allen Berning

Past Worlds Fairs – Expo 2023


HGA hosted the May Expo 2023 gathering.   Guest speaker, Dean Tom Fischer, presented on the history of the Worlds Fairs selecting a number of prominent and international examples to showcase the size and impact these events have on their region economically and in terms of global branding.  A history of the fairs and the theme’s each represented was covered and it showed how cities where using the fairs to establish themselves on the international stage and for investment & development of city infrastructure.
Some of many examples covered in the briefing included:
  • The 1889 Worlds Fair in Paris.   This set the bar for future events and put Paris on the map as an international city.   The Eiffel tower was constructed as the entrance to the fair grounds. Other significant structures included the Galerie des machines.   Countries from around the world, including South Africa where included event.
  • The 1893 Worlds Fair in Chicago was a hallmark for the USA featuring 14 “great buildings”, moving walkways, and a large ferris wheel. The fair commemorated the 400th anniversary of Columbus voyage to america through a great reflecting pond.  This was building on the momentum of the 1933 fair that showcased electric lighting of the fair to the world and continued the tradition of establishing America’s cities as leading on the international stage.
  • The 1962 Worlds Fair in Chicago saw the construction of the iconic space needle and the World of Tomorrow grounds as a symbols of America’s commitment to the space race.  A monorail system.
  • The 1964 Worlds Fair in New York was the third in the cities history.  Themed Peace and Understanding the central symbolic feature was the Unisphere.  It showcased the American life style and emerging technologies like mainframes and CRTs.
  • The 2010 Worlds Fair in Shanghai set new records for both transformation and investment in the city, as well as,  record attendance and tourism.
The post briefing discussions focused on why fairs matter:
  • World Attention and Branding
  • Global Collaboration and B2B partnerships are formed
  • Leveraging investments in infrastructure and technology to propel the city going forward
  • Create infrastructure for transportation, education, and business that develops a lifestyle that attracts young talent
  • Tourism to expose people to the region and the regional income due to the millions of visitors can range in the billions
  • Investments in public transportation can allow the city to scale over time at a reduced cost
Common concerns where in two categories:
  1. The last US worlds fair was over 40 years about in New Orleans and it lost money.
  2. The US has pulled out of the international community for expos due to political reasons,  so it will take Federal State Department support to region if Minneapolis or several other USA cities to be a host.
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Discussing Innovation Centers with Russia Vice Rektors


Alexander Bedny & Kendrick White, two Vice Rectors from The University of Nizhny Novgorod on the Russia tour to Minnesota.   Our conversation explored potential partnership opportunities to bring cohorts of top Russia researchers to the UMN to help commercialize their technology to benefit all countries.   NNU has taken the lead in Russia to create its first Proof of Concept center within a university that can help mature business models and valuation around advanced research technology.    These best practices where built upon partnerships with MIT and other POCs in the USA and are now being replicated in over ten Universities in Russia.    Building “international corridors to the other countries is a key component of the strategy to move Russia to a leadership position in global innovation.