Small business startups finding success in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Small business startups finding success in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) --  Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. held its annual meeting Thursday. It was all about the future of Rochester.

"Growing the companies that are from here and want to stay here, you have the opportunity to create a new legacy," said Peter Barth, a keynote speaker at the meeting.

This meeting was about the small businesses that will grow along with Destination Medical Center, specifically those in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator at 221 1st Avenue S.W.

Peter Barth is CEO of The Iron Yard, a similar startup resource in Greenville, South Carolina.

"I think they're key to keeping your brightest young people in your community and growing local companies," he said.

In just one year, the accelerator has grown from nine tenants to 21. The business accelerator opens its doors to new startups, in the hope that one day, these businesses will open up the doors to their own offices.

The first business to do that is Imanis Life Sciences.

"I think it's probably true for many of the companies up there, we quickly outgrew the accelerator," said Imanis Life Sciences CEO Dr. Stephen Russell.

They've moved to a bigger office, where they're building their own wet lab and, like others in the accelerator, boosting their business in Rochester and beyond.

"I think it's an integral part of DMC. I'm not quite sure I know how all the dots connect, I just know there's a great deal of excitement," Dr. Russell said.

It's bringing excitement and a lot of chance.

"I think it's going to be a really positive change. Rochester, until now, has been dominated by a single industry or maybe two. And I think having these small satellite industries build up around Mayo Clinic will be really healthy," Dr. Russell said.

It's giving more opportunities for local growth, and allowing companies to reap the benefits of not being in a big city.

Barth said of being in a larger city, "The likelihood of you walking into the hospital system and selling your piece of software, is just much less likely than in a place like Rochester."

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