When visiting Minneapolis for the Design of Medical Devices conference, I saw how much the innovation cycle is at work in the medical device / medtech industry. I interviewed the lab supervisor from the Medical Devices Center along with several students as part of the student design showcase that took place there. I’ve got several events coming up soon and for the details, visit our home base here.
This conference was an overview of what’s happening in the world of medical devices in the Mid West. University of Minnesota is a key player in feeding the innovation cycle. If you go back and listen to my podcast with Dr. Art Erdman, you’ll find that University of Minnesota has quite the impressive Medical Devices Center in which the university hosts a unique fellowship program comprising of Ph.D’s, M.Ds, engineers, and MBA’s to move medical innovation forward. The center takes on 9-12 teams each year to work on projects and push them towards commercialization.
The most impressive part of the conference, in my opinion, was how many student teams were participating in the student design showcase. Teams representing universities from all around the country were presenting posters of work they had done as part of their senior year design class. This is where biomedical engineering students come together and work on a product in conjunction with the university. Often the projects are spun out or worked on by several student teams.
While in my opinion, there’s more entrepreneurship on the West Coast, these students were very impressive and they knew their stuff. Most of them have aspirations of working for a large medical device company, those of which anchor the Mid West region, particularly in Minneapolis, so this is a well thought out next step. The most entrepreneurial students I met were from University of Iowa which is in line with research that Des Moines has risen as a hub for entrepreneurship lately.