Sunrise Social

I attended the summer sunrise social event hosted by the generations group.  The inspirational speaker was Andy Gatton who had survived the Minneapolis hwy35 bridge collapse.  His story and pictures were both amazing and inspiring.   It gave us a view inside the tragedy and heroism that played out during that day plus a survives new perspective on life.

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Finland / Minnesota Trade Event

IMG_3131.jpgI attended the Finish Ambassador’s presentation at the Gutherie Theatre that was hosted by several of the Euro-American Minnesota Chamber organizations and the Minnesota Trade department.  The event marked a 100-year celebration of Finland’s independence.  Ms. Kirsti Kauppi,  the Finish Ambassador talked about Finland’s history and their strong capabilities in innovation.   There are many similarities between Minnesota and Finland and many reasons to explore collaboration and trade.

 

See more photos of the event in the gallery

1st Sunrise Social

Sunrise SocialI attended my first sunrise social event hosted by the Generation Group.   The networking event brings together their clients and friends for a breakfast social that features inspirational features.   This event speaker was a dad whose life was transformed when one of his children need serious medical treatment.  His story was one of precedent-setting collaboration across medical practitioners and facilities.   While hospitals and care are actually competitive businesses.  Need and a higher calling can help resources align across boundaries to accomplish something that none of the separate parties could achieve by themselves.   The talked highlighted a number of key attributes that were required to make the collaboration possible.  They included: Why, Spirit, Cohesion, Taking care of each other, Trust, Shared commitment, Empathy, Listening, Win-win and Unconditional support.   The barriers from medical personnel they encountered initially were rooted in fear of change based.  Not the concept of change, but what would their place in the new order be.  How would their Positions and Titles be interpreted when collaborating across boundaries.  Over time these groups of people learned those considerations were not relevant in light of what they could achieve.

This real-life story was both inspirational and educational.   It calls for us all to question the value un-yielding competition vs. the power of collaboration across all aspects of business and society.   I look forward to future events!

 

 

NE, AZ, MT Increase State Innovation Budgets

United-States-Map-2State legislatures take proactive steps to spur innovation in their regions.   Governors lead the way in signing budgets that support a future vision of their state’s goals and building a foundation of assets for prosperity.

Nebraska: Governor Pete Ricketts

  • $2M for a small business investment microloans for small company growth and entrepreneurship.
  • The University of Nebraska budget of near $12K research.
  • $4M per year for grants up to $500,000 each to small businesses to drive the commercialization of new processes or products.

Arizona:  Governor Doug Ducey

  • $3M in new investments for high-speed internet to rural schools.
  • $200K for state-wide computer programing training.
  • $21.5M for the Arizona Commerce Authority

Montana: Steve Bullock

  •  $375K states matching funds program.
  • $200K to the Manufacturing Extension Center
  • $200K to Montana State University’s Northern Advanced Biofuel Center.
  • $56.1M to the Commissioner of Higher Education R&D agencies.
source: SSTI

 

 

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

 

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.