Heard on the Street: High tech show-and-tell coming to Rochester

A high-tech show-and-tell is coming to Rochester soon.

A MinneDemo event, which has been a mainstay among the technology business crowd in the Twin Cities for years, is slated for Oct. 11 at the Minnesota Biobusiness Center at 221 First Ave. S.W. in downtown Rochester.

This is one of the first MinneDemo events, which are the creation of the nonprofit organization called Minne*, to take place outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The overall goal is "to promote connections that help communities learn from each other, build their businesses and bridge the gap between software developers, designers, entrepreneurs and investors."

The rules for MinneDemo are simple. Local businesses, developers or garage tinkerers have a few minutes on the center stage to show off a "working" technology product. No PowerPoints are allowed.

Six demonstrations are on the agenda so far. Most are software or phone apps, but devices or gadgets are also fair game.


Time for business networking with snacks and drinks is scheduled before and after the demonstrations. There is no cost to attend, however seating is limited, so people should register before the event.

The Med City MinneDemo is being sponsored by a collection of Rochester and state business groups, including Rochester Area Economic Development Inc., DoApp, Marco, MentoMate, W3i and Granite Equity.

While a number of people have worked toward making this happen, Rochester software developer Leo Letourneaut spearheaded the drive to bring MinneDemo here.

"Rochester is a little separated from the huge tech start-up community in Minneapolis. I wanted to bridge that gap," he says. "People should know that there are cool things happening in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota."

What is the purpose of MinneDemo?

"The whole point is to showcase technology in Minnesota. Some people use to it attract investors. Some use it get their name out there. Some use it meet others interested in technology to collaborate with," Letourneaut says.

RAEDI President Gary Smith will help run the event, and Bucky Beeman of Realty Growth Inc. is helping organize it.

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