Bringing together attendees from more than 20 countries and a dozen states, the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) held their 33rd Annual Meeting in Minnesota this year, highlighting the state’s rapidly growing tech startup industry. InBIA is an international association for incubators, accelerators, and other organizations that support innovation ecosystems; they bring people from academia, government, and the private sector together to exchange knowledge, best practices, and build stronger global networks.
2019 was the first time they hosted the event in Minnesota, and heath tech companies were – as expected – well-represented.
It should come as no surprise that MAA members were more than willing to share the lessons they have learned as part of one of the world’s best healthcare ecosystems. 3M and University Enterprise Laboratories hosted “innovation tours” that brought attendees from the conference to their sites to see innovation work in action and Melissa Kjolsing, CEO of Medical Alley digital health company Recovree, provided an opening keynote detailing her diverse experience as a startup founder and as the co-founder of Lunar Startups, a St. Paul-based accelerator for entrepreneurs from traditionally underrepresented groups.
Later in the week, Medical Alley Association’s Frank Jaskulke moderated a panel discussing challenges and opportunities in building a healthcare ecosystem. He was joined by Gopher Angels’ Sara Russick, University Enterprise Laboratories’ Diane Rucker, gener8tor’s Adam Choe, and Chris Schad of the Destination Medical Center and Mayo Clinic. One of the key takeaways from this lively group was that, thanks to decreasing barriers to entry, many communities see strong growth potential in health technology ecosystems — even within communities that have traditionally been thought of as resource-constrained. Everyone in the Medical Alley community should be proud to hear that Minnesota’s healthcare scene was consistently raised as a model of what a vibrant community looks like.
Thank you to everyone who participated and shared the story of Medical Alley! The 2020 InBIA annual meeting is already being planned; to learn more about the conference and InBIA’s work, visit https://inbia.org/