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Mayo Clinic policy change spurs entrepreneurship in Southeastern Minnesota

May 10, 2018

A change in policy at the Mayo Clinic has “single-handedly sprouted a startup ecosystem in Rochester, as med-tech startups, accelerators, co-working spaces and a venture capital ecosystem have flourished in the area over the last half decade” according to new research by Maddy Kennedy of the The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Prior to 2013, Mayo researchers were able to form companies and receive a portion of royalties, but they were not allowed to hold leadership positions. This offered little incentive for faculty and researchers to venture outside their labs.

Upon changing that policy, Mayo implemented new employee entrepreneurship programs and collaborated with the City of Rochester and the Rochester Area Economic Development Initiative (RAEDI) to develop the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator. About 20 startups are currently tenants in the space, which offers access to offices, mentorship, legal services and connections to capital. Nearly 60 companies have participated in the accelerator since it opened five years ago, creating 75 new jobs and attracting approximately $40 million in capital.