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.

 

2023 Worlds Fair – Approved to Bid

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On 02/21/17 the Expo 2023 team announced that the US Federal Government had re-established its relationship with the International Bureau of International Expositions after withdrawing in the Bush Jr. era.   This is a positive step forward in US / International relationships and opens the door for Minnesota to bid to host the 2023 Worlds Fair.   The proposal is under development and will be submitted in an attempt to win the approval from the BIE in the coming year.   With 2023 rapidly approaching,  Minnesota will only have a limited window to ready itself to host the world.   Everything from basic infrastructure to developing new showcase assets to attract the worldMinnesotasota will need to be developed through vast amounts of participation of the private and public sector.    Stay tuned to this initiative as it leads the way for the USA to be one of the premier posters of World’s Fairs!
Photo Galleries:

Summary: International Conversations In Innovation

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The past year involved a great number of international conversations they were exploring investment and practices in innovation centers in the United States with the goal to integrate them to centers back in the country of investment origin.  Much of the drivers were to build a sustainable bridge of industry collaboration around innovation between the two countries and to integrate education offerings to develop new workforce skill sets.
Here is a quick list of international discussions covered in prior blogs:
Photo Galleries:
Explore the blog further to see national discussions across US cities and Government

2nd Investor Delegation from SE Asia

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Our Economic Development Team hosted the second delegation from SE Asia this month.   This group was based out of Seoul Korea and represented interests in S. Korea, Philippines, and Malaysia.    The core focus of this conversation focused on international exchange programs around both education and business services.
Business areas included:
  • Professional high-density courses for business professional looking for advanced degrees in various business disciplines.
  • Professional briefing in both industry overviews and global market trends.
  • Professional networking services between nations based on industry focus areas.
  • Professional Industry Immersion experiences.
  • Professional and Student based training in English (  note:  With world legislation around Patents and IP center on English is becoming a critical education path for many countries to support overall workforce development.
  • Student Industry Internships.
  • Student based training in business and vocational professions.
  • Professional and Student based orientation & long term stay services ( prior to many of the services list above )
Many of these services are being implemented in countries across SE Asia as both predatory for their business professionals and students.   The goal is to embed these services in all countries to facility easy exchange and support business activities.  Individual firms in the region have contracted over 14,000 instructors from countries all over the world.
Online services are also a key component of the discussion.    Many of these programs in SE Asia have already built extensive online solutions to support both global-scale through partnerships with large technology and communication vendors.   A key learning was that no vendor provided a comprehensive solution  especially in supporting the diversity of infrastructure found between the most advanced cities and the most remote rural locations.   In most cases best of breed solutions needed to be developed and constantly evolved.
There was really strong momentum around partnership opportunities with the US academic institutions and 3rd party businesses we are working with.    Future meetings are currently being planned to discuss implementation of these services across countries.

1st Investor Delegation from SE Asia

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Our Economic Development Team hosted a foreign delegation from Vietnam that represented a large investment hedge fund based in Singapore. This particular group was travelling to the United States representing a broad spectrum of business partnerships and evaluating investment opportunities.   Three major areas of focus included:
  1. Discussions around building new international services around Innovation, Education, and Exchange.   In particular, this group was interested in international exchange services that would facility business networking,  professional & student education, and potential for two-way access to start-ups and technology.
  2. Members of this effort also represented very large scale real estate develops in emerging countries that included both high rise living and resort properties.   They were looking for strategic partnerships to US suppliers and manufacturers in the construction of these large properties due to poor materials sourcing from China.
  3. This group is also supporting a new North American-based global financial platform and was talking with our business partners about integrating this platform under many of the large real estate / campus projects.   This platform supports a broad array of credit card and analytics features on an international scale differentiated from most of the largest platforms today.   It includes aspects of currency exchange and ability to transfer funds under a process model of governance of approvals for control and audibility.   As technology increases the ability to transfer and establish governance models at various levels of society it raises a larger global issue around the movement of capital across national boundaries.   The platforms will ultimately bring new regulation around global cooperation and security but could be certainly disruptive in the mean time.
Upon the delegation returning to Asia we have continued ongoing discussions around these opportunities.

1st Investor Conversation with Norway

B8BB1187-965D-4542-8DB6-5C84217803B5.jpgOur Economic Development Team met with investor reps from Norway.   We explored interest levels around investment in innovation, education, and exchange centers to facilitate stronger international business.  Norway has a very strong culture of innovation and education.   They were very open to looking at international partnerships.   Aspects of the discuss centered on the challenges they face in commercializing and large scale manufacturing of new innovations due to regional costs and the benefit of international partnerships to achieve those goals.   They also talked about investment criteria and key regions in the USA that they are targeting investments.   Their portfolio of interest is also a blend of short term and long term investment objectives which also dictate criteria for selection.