One of Rochester, MN's defining characteristics is its strong history of innovation, past and present. Catch a glimpse of--and be impressed by--seven of Rochester's top innovations from home-grown businesses, from up-and-coming startups to high-tech successes.   

Mill Creek Life Sciences -- Regenerative cell therapy
One of two Rochester-based companies with strong showings at the 2018 Minnesota Cup (the nation’s largest statewide startup competition), Mill Creek Life Sciences has one focus—to get cell-based, regenerative therapies to patients. Named after a southern Minnesota trout stream, Mill Creek Life Sciences was co-founded by a former Mayo DNA researcher and continues to work closely with the clinic (Mayo is one of its largest shareholders). Two of their products—PLTMax and PLTGold—have been used to grow stem cells for hundreds of patients.  

Thaddeus Medical Systems - Keeping medical specimens cool 
The other top Rochester finisher at the 2018 Minnesota Cup, Thaddeus Medical Systems keeps temperature-sensitive medical specimens—like tissues, blood, organs, and vaccines—cool during transport. Their IQler packaging combines hardware and software to wirelessly control temps and track shipments in real time using embedded sensors. Thaddeus Medical Systems' goal is simple: saving lives and improving patient outcomes by revolutionizing the cold supply chain.

Trailtopia - Portable meals to take on an adventure
It started out with a few resealable bags of dried fruit, then progressed to homemade desserts from a family recipe, then to hot lunches and dinners. Trailtopia founder Vince Robichaud simply wanted to make nutritious, convenient, and easy-to-carry meals for his regular outdoor adventures. When he started sharing those meals with his fellow adventurers, Trailtopia Adventure Food was born. Today, the easy-prep, no-clean-up meals—like Bent Paddle Beer-Braised Chicken Stew and Sweet Potato Chili Mac With Hemp Seed Protein—are still prepared from scratch in their Rochester kitchen.

Vyriad - Virus-based cancer cures
Vyriad’s mission? A single shot to cure cancer. Vyriad’s novel approach relies on viruses (developed in labs in the Mayo Clinic and Miami) that are engineered to destroy cancer cells directly while kick-starting and assisting our body’s natural tumor-killing immune response. Their research with the measles virus and the VSV virus (which affects cattle in Central America) has led to numerous clinical trials (including at Mayo Clinic). 

The Yard - Specialized sports training facility
Started by three Rochester dads tired of driving their kids to the Twin Cities for specialized sports training, The Yard is a 7,500-square-foot facility  in northwest Rochester that features everything from a large sheet of synthetic ice to the Rapsodo pitching analysis system for softball and baseball (which measures the pitch’s velocity, spin rate, and spin axis to give you real-time metrics). Designed for athletes looking to improve in baseball, softball, hockey, lacrosse and more, The Yard offers top training aids and high-tech insight. 

GoRout - High-tech football practice methods
Founded in 2013 (in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator) GoRout takes football technology to the next level, with wearable technology—a display screen attached to a cushioned belt—that allows coaches to instantly send plays (including digital diagrams of each assignment) directly to team members, eliminating time-consuming huddles during practice. With accolades like “one of the 10 most innovative game-changing products for 2017” (by the website Coach&A.D.) and awards like the NFL’s $50,000 “1st and Future” prize, GoRout is revolutionizing practice methods. 

Resoundant - Revolutionary imaging tool
Founded by Mayo Clinic, Resoundant’s clinic-based doctors and researchers focus on Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE), a “revolutionary imaging tool that quantitatively depicts the mechanical properties of tissue almost anywhere in the body.” With liver diseases, for example, the noninvasive MRE scan can be a cheaper and safer alternative than a liver biopsy. When Image result for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) manufacturers hesitated at embracing the new scanning technology, Mayo created Resoundant, which partners with MRI makers to install the MRE components on existing units. In 2018, Resoundant celebrated the its 1,000th MRE unit to be installed in a hospital. 

Find out more about Rochester, MN's leadership in innovation!