Rochester Commercial Real Estate Development and Investment Summit

screenshot.pngI attended the 2017 Destination Medical Center Real Estate and Investment Summit in Rochester MN.   It was a full day event being hosted at the Mayo Civic Center located on the downtown waterfront of the Zumbro river.   The day would begin with guided walking tours of the new development areas in downtown as well as visit familiar sites around the Mayo buildings and cultural centers of downtown.   This included the Heart of the City,  Discovery Square, Central Station, St. Mary’s Place, and the Downtown Waterfront areas of planned development. The UMR/recreation area was also mentioned on the tour.
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Over twenty speakers would take the stage throughout the day to talk about different aspects of the development activities in Rochester.  The speaker roster included:
Mayor Brede, City of Rochester
Doug Holtan, Mayo Clinic
Rob Miller, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce
Jon Buggy, RSP Architects
David Vigliotta, Seventhwave
Joe Weis, Weis Builders
Jamie Sundsbak, Collider
Chris Puchalla, Iron Point Partners
Jeanine Gangeness, Winona State University
Nick Pompeian, Realty Growth Incorporated
Kent Roers, Roers Investments
Tom Leimer, Knutson Construction
Lisa Clarke, Destination Medical Center, Economic Development Agency
Richard Freese, City of Rochester
Patrick Seeb, Destination Medical Center, Economic Development Agency
Mac Hamilton, Hamilton Realty Inc
Bob Lux, Alatus LLC
Rick Fenske, Weis Builder
Nate Stencil, Stencil Group
There where many diverse stories of investment, development, and innovations that spanned industry, community, and transportation.   They investments around infrastructure are very future forward in terms of next generation solutions.  The city is also attracting a fair amount of international investment.
The day concluded with a large networking session and then the final ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new expansion of the Mayo Civic Center.   The amount of energy, interest, investment, and mindshare that the community shares was both visible and felt in all the interactions.   The depth and breadth of the vision into the future also sets a high bar for other city planners.   My steps involve a number of follow-on meetings in Rochester that will explore the best practices around building economic engines around innovation, education, and exchange that can amplify the great progress already underway.
More pictures in the event gallery

 

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Canada’s Innovation Budget / Superclusters

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the 2017 budget included an Innovation and Skills Plan.   This is a bold and visionary plan for the development of the country.   It is driven by concerns for the stability of the USA as a long-term trading partner and focuses on building the necessary assets required to be a leading country in tomorrow’s global innovation economy.   The future state plan is multi-faceted targeting major investments in the development of their ecosystem around six superclusters and emerging industries.   It also incorporates the building of new education offerings around lifelong learning for both the current workforce and next generation of students and workers.  While many regions around the world are working on their regional cluster strategies,  this marks a leading trend of county-wide strategies targeting the development and integration of cross-region assets into superclusters.
Here is a quick summary of the budget announcement.
Proposed industry efforts include:
  • $950 million CAD ($709.8 million USD) over five years to develop superclusters in six key national industries:
  1. advanced manufacturing
  2. agri-food
  3. cleantech
  4. digital industries
  5. health/bio-sciences
  6. clean resource
    (+ 7. emerging AI cluster)
  • $50 million CAD ($37.4 million USD) to launch Innovative Solutions Canada.  This is a government procurement program modeled after the United States’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
  • $400 million CAD ($298.9 million USD) over three years to help drive investment in growth-stage companies. Through the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI), the Business Development Bank of Canada would make late stage venture capital deals with the intent of stimulating co-investment from the private sector.  The government hopes to unlock nearly $1.5 billion CAD ($1.1 billion USD) in private sector investments through these efforts.
Proposed education and research efforts include:
  • $3.1 billion CAD ($2.3 billion USD) for research and research training – e.g., scholarships, fellowships, research grants, and support for the overhead costs associated with federally funded research conducted in post-secondary institutions.
  • $741 million CAD ($553.3 billion USD) for investments to accelerate infrastructure projects at universities and colleges and affiliated institutions through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
  • $340 million CAD ($253.9 million USD) in planned support for equipment and facilities for post-secondary institutions, research hospitals, and other not-for-profit institutions.
  • $158 million CAD ($118 million USD) for several of the country’s public-private partnerships such as Mitacs, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Stem Cell Network, the Institute for Quantum Computing, Brain Canada and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Proposed Workforce efforts include:
  • $454.4 million CAD ($339.3 million USD) over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $46.3 million CAD ($34.6 million USD) per year thereafter, to help Canada’s middle-class workers find and keep good jobs.
  • $225 million CAD ($168 million USD) over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $75 million CAD ($65 million USD) per year thereafter, to establish a new organization to support skills development and measurement in Canada.
  • $221 million CAD ($165 million USD) over five years to fund up to 10,000 work-integrated learning placements for post-secondary students and graduates each year.
  • $186 million CAD ($138.9 million USD) would be provided to support other, unspecified research and development and related scientific activities in the higher education sector.
  • $7.8 million over two years to implement a new visa program that would allow certain skilled workers to obtain a work permit.
  • $50 million CAD ($37.4 million USD) for a new initiative – Coding Kids. The new two-year initiative would help teach Canadian children how to code to help prepare them for future IT-related careers.

 

See images of the announcement in the international gallery

Stay tuned to follow the progress of this initiative and more to come on cluster development and supercluster integration.

 

ACG: Crowdsource Investment Event

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I attended the April ACG event hosted at the Windows over Minnesota dining rooms on the 50th floor of the IDS tower.  The event began with open networking with about ~130 in attendance and then transitioned into a served lunch for a panel discussion.  The event was focused on the investment ecosystem of Minnesota.  A panel of investment bankers, securities attorneys, and entrepreneurs spoke on the many steps Minnesota is taking to improve our investment and startup ecosystem.   I’ve attached the event agenda to this post to highlight the various speakers.    The discussion began with an overview of general investment levels in Minnesota and the initiative to pass new legislation around the rules of accredited investing. Several panelists had co-authored the Minnesota’s intrastate crowdfunding law(MNvest). The goal would be to redefine who can be considered an accredited investor and open the doors for individuals to invest in start-ups.   The crowd source funding movement has began to transform how investment capital can be raised.   Historically,  it has been about 3% of the overall population that has been wealthy enough to be the primary investors in new ventures and of that group only about 10% are heavily involved leaving in excess of 97% of the population out of the process.  New legislation and crowd funding are creating new opportunities for ordinary individuals to invest in entrepreneurial ventures.  This movement began in the Obama administration, with the passing of the 2012 Jobs Act,
which opened the door to restructuring the investment landscape.  Many US states are moving forward with legislation and MN had the benefit to review and incorporate the best ideas that preceded out own legislation.  This is an evolving landscape and it will be interesting to see how other states evolve and respond.  Other panelists included innovators who are creating 3 portals that are state approved sites for investment and connecting to opportunities.
See more images in the events gallery
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2017 CornerHouse Breakfast / Fundraiser

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I attended CornerHouse breakfast as a part of their 4th annual fundraiser in support of abused children and their families.
The event was well attended with ~300 guests of the non-profit.   The event started with open networking as guests arrived followed by a sit-down breakfast as the keynote began.   I’ve attached the event agenda to this post to highlight the fantastic speakers that presented.  The subject of child abuse is quite a difficult topic.  Several facts were quite shocking including that only 20% of abuse cases are reported and it is mainly by someone the child knows.   Our speakers were very generous to share their stories of working in this field and specific cases they had involvement in.   It was a tough and emotional hour for everyone.  I really have to give credit to the presenters who had to struggle through some pretty personal emotions at the podium for the sake of the cause.   At the conclusion of the fundraiser, I had the chance to get introduced to many people at the CornerHouse organization.   What a great team that is supporting and extremely important cause.
Learn more and get involved: CornerHouse
More images at the Cheval gallery
Event Agenda:
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PDMA Event @ Whiteboard

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I attended the March 22 PDMA event hosted at Whiteboard this month.   The guest speaker was Bill Farmer who spoke about the history of management paradigms of Taylorism vs. Demming models.  He brought both into today’s challenges of innovation and product development.  The talk began with the history of both approaches and how the United States became entrenched in the Fredrick Taylor model of hierarchal business management through a scientific method approach.  Taylorism focuses on breaking work down into repetitive processes and steps so they can be taught, managed and evaluated.  The primary goal is efficiency.  Many of the early driving forces initially came from labor-intensive industries of agricultural and manufacturing.  Eventually, the scale of the industrial revolution spread this management approach.    The world wars also played a large role due to their scale and broad application of the hierarchical command and control needs of the military across all the industries that supported the effort.  The end result of over ~150 years of the implementation of Taylorism resulted in it becoming institutionalized across business, education, and generations of people in the United States.   The Taylor method is attributed to the rise and building of America’s success in the 20th century.   In the aftermath of World War II,  many of the industrial bases of other countries were decimated.  Japan, in particular, was rebuilt directly by the United States and led by the efforts of Edward Demming.   He was able to implement a different methodology based on his work that sought engage works in the development of higher quality and methods of production.  This leveraged the experience and insights that the workforce had and empowered them to improve the overall system.   The Demming model is attributed to the rise of post-war Japan into a manufacturing super power.  Management experts, like Peter Drucker, grew up and studied in the Taylor model of America and were huge proponents of its approach in success.   Later in his career Drucker experienced the rise of the digital technology, the internet, and the knowledge worker.   All of which was transforming industry and challenging the management paradigm of Taylorism because skills, roles, and work where becoming very dynamic vs. pure repetition.   In today’s innovation economy the knowledge worker’s role is both creative and increasingly dynamic in terms of skils and multitude of roles they play within organizations.  Though Drucker felt that the America had been built with Taylorism in the 20th century,  it would not work in the 21st century.   The Demming model was more applicable to constant improvement and change.   The talk also included examples of both models in operations and the cultural challenges inherint.   It also had audience members participating in role playing excersizes to demonstrate principles more experiencially.

Event Description
20th Century Process-Thinking limitations are being overcome by a management shift to Systems-Thinking. The holistic considerations of Systems-Thinking provide operational flexibility, feedback and learning as key parts of development, and a superior environment for knowledge work success in the fast-paced Information Age. This brief presentation, that kicks off our networking mixer, will make the distinction between the two approaches clear and inform you why and how to evolve your team towards Systems-Thinking.

Key Takeaways
Add Value Through a Systems-based Approach:
Productivity and Employee Engagement
Responsiveness to External Change
Sustaining Improvements
Improvements Generated at All Organizational Levels
Introduction to a Tool that Accelerates the Shift to a Systems Approach
Demonstration of an Exercise to Provoke Collaborative Imagination

See more images at the Cheval Innovation Gallery

 

 

2017 ACG Bold Awards

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The annual Alliance of Corporate Growth (ACG) Bold Awards was hosted at the Metropolitan Ballroom on the evening of February 28th.
The formal event was very well attended and kicked off with a large food and networking session.   Teams from the event sponsors attended and enjoyed reserved seating for the awards.   The award ceremony was kicked off by ACG personnel and some key sponsors.  Multiple Bold awards were given across several categories with the following nominees:
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One of the many highlights of the evening is to hear the success stories of these finalists and learn about their approach to growth.   Many are also making an impact on the community as well through their work.   This year a special recognition award was given out to the US Bank team for their work on the new US Bank Stadium.   The evening concluded with issuing of the Bold of the Bold award selected from the winners of all the categories.   For this selection,  each attendee was able to vote, via a cell phone app, for the final award winner.  Here are the category winners:

Non-Profit
Banyon Community

Early Stage
Calyxt

Corporate Small
Medicom Health

Corporate Middle Market
Innovative Office Solutions

Corporate Large
Deluxe

Special Recognition
US Bank Stadium

BOLDEST OF THE BOLD
Innovative Office Solutions

See more event images in the Gallery
Learn more about ACG

Intersection of Product Mgmt, Prod Dev, and Data Analytics

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I attended the February PDMA event hosted at Optum.   The Minneapolis chapter had arranged both a tour of the Optum facility and a panel discussion on the intersection of Product Management, Product Development, and Data Analytics.   The event started with a networking session while tours were conducted.   The tour featured several customer showcase areas.  The first was visiting a large digital analytics command room that was several stories tall and covered in monitors with real-time information showing a vast amount of healthcare related actives across the united states.  This room could be used to monitor the outbreaks and spreading of disease and the activities of the healthcare providers.   It allows Optum to actively support the healthcare system with early identification of trends and coordination of activities.  We headed into a detailed analytics room that featured individual station with large interactive touch screens.  Our tour guides took use through numerous analytics scenarios with real-time drill down into trends,  treatments, and member services that were possible with the depth of data they have been able to integrate and create the capabilities to explore and interact with data.   This section of the tour concluded in a large surround screen video experience around the future of healthcare.
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The event continued with the panel discussion featuring 6 panelists ranging from corporate to consultants with various backgrounds in the product and analytics spaces.   With an audience size around 100 people, they did some polling and it saw a split between attendees being more on the product side vs. pure data scientists.    The panel also talked briefly about the 5 eras of product development that was broken out accordingly:
  1. Create a product in isolation and push it out through advertising
  2. Customer focus groups
  3. Lean / Design Thinking / Customer Discovery
  4. Data Science
  5. Now we need to integrate 3 & 4
It was highly stressed that many data projects fail and the root cause is the lack of defining what value you want to get out of the data up front.  Meaning you have to define the questions you are trying to answer before getting lost in analysis.   While data analysis can also discover anomalies and trends along the way,  that should be secondary to understanding what you are trying to learn from it.  The questions also help define the “right” data you want vs. getting overwhelmed with studying “all” the data.   In the end, your looking for the problem that your product/service can solve,  not the offering itself in the data.
I look forward to attending more events and more networking!
Learn more about PDMA (http://www.pdma.org/minnesota)
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