Medical Alley Association

Creating the future of healthcare here in the global epicenter of health innovation and care




Located in Minnesota, the global epicenter of health innovation and care, the Medical Alley Association (MAA) supports and advances the global leadership of Medical Alley’s healthcare industry by connecting members with the services they need, advocating for necessary policy changes, and building an interconnected community of people passionate about transforming healthcare.


The association is the central nervous system of the most diverse and influential healthcare ecosystem in the world. We connect our community to key opinion leaders, educate officials on the changes coming to healthcare, and raise the voice and profile of a region that has revolutionized healthcare time and again.

Founded in 1984 by a group of leaders that understood healthcare’s future lay in collaborative efforts, the Medical Alley Association exists to ensure that Medical Alley is where healthcare leaders come to find the best in new technology, methods, and models. The region is home to the world’s top health technology innovation cluster, the world’s highestranked hospital, the world’s largest private health insurer, and the world’s Destination Medical Center. Over 1,000 health technology and care companies—employing more than 500,000 Minnesotans and millions more worldwide—are here, giving the region unparalleled access to talent and innovation.


The birthplace of implantable medical technology and innovative health plan models, Medical Alley was recognized as one of America’s great places of invention by the Smithsonian, the only place designated for healthcare invention and innovation. That legacy serves as a foundation for the future of healthcare: Value-based care, price transparency, and remote patient care are just some of the forces that will transform healthcare in the next few years, but they are all already changing lives here thanks to the visionary work that has been a hallmark of Medical Alley for more than a century.

The Future of Healthcare Happens Here

Since its founding, the Medical Alley Association has been a champion of Minnesota’s innovation community, elevating the people that are creating tomorrow’s treatments, cures, and models of care and helping to ensure there is a supportive community around them. MAA is creating an ecosystem where startups aren’t isolated from the rest of the community, but one where political leaders, established business executives, and eager entrepreneurs collaborate to transform healthcare.


This collaborative spirit and dedication to innovation support and sustain Minnesota’s entrepreneurial community. Projects such as the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars, the Mayo Clinicand University of Minnesota-backed Walleye Tank, and gener8tor’s gBETA Medtech — which counts UEL, Boston Scientific, Mayo Clinic, and the University of Minnesota among its backers — demonstrate the power of collaboration in Medical Alley. Each of these organizations has the resources to work alone, but they choose to partner together to maximize the good they can do for early stage companies.

This is why much of MAA’s work revolves around helping people make the connections they need to thrive. We connect elected officials at every level of government with industry leaders to help the policymakers better understand the on-the-ground impact of their work; we connect health technology veterans with early stage companies that can benefit from their hard-won expertise, and we connect companies on often-adversarial sides of healthcare so they can work through their differences to benefit patients and the system as a whole.


To turn these connections into action, MAA convened two working groups composed of engaged leaders from across the healthcare spectrum.

These groups were tasked to lead the development of a 10-year strategic plan for Minnesota to realize the vision of Medical Alley being recognized as the global epicenter of health innovation and care. The working groups were focused on two topics: one on how to keep Minnesota competitive with our peers and the other on how to strengthen the state’s early-stage ecosystem.

Remarkably, the two groups independently identified the same four action steps: Improve the state’s overall business climate, incrase state support of the entrepreneurial community, attract more talent and better prepare the state’s current workforce for the future, and increase awareness for the state’s activities among key opinion leaders. The final report published by the two groups, Realizing the Vision, delivered recommendations for both private and public sector organizations and continues to serve as a blueprint for policy and industry leaders to make this vision a reality.


The revolutionary Destination Medical Center (DMC) project in Rochester, Minnesota, is a step forward on several of those fronts. DMC is a publicprivate economic development partnership with more than $5 billion in projected private investments designed to position the city as the world’s premier destination for health and wellness. It is the largest economic development initiative ever in Minnesota and one of the largest in the United States, and is already delivering results less than five years into the project’s 20 year timeline: Companies like Google, Epic Systems, Boston Scientific, and Philips have already made commitments to set up offices in Rochester, with several other organizations planning moves to the city once more of the construction is completed.

But Medical Alley isn’t simply gathering leaders and innovators solely for the prestige of having them, it is because they carry with them the greatest possible resource an innovation center can have: a drive to change the world and the ability to do so. To harness their energy for the good of people all over the world, MAA created the Healthcare Transformation Initiative at Medical Alley (HTI–MA). The initiative was born out of the connections made by MAA board members and a belief that healthcare could only make the necessary transformations if there was collaboration and commitment from across the healthcare spectrum to make them happen.


The HTI–MA represents the commitment of the Medical Alley community to make the future demonstrably better than the present and to break down the silos that have traditionally held healthcare back. Actionable steps are already starting to emerge from phase one of the initiative and soon, with a demonstration facility already pledged to the HTI–MA, the results will speak for themselves.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care in large part because of the work done by healthcare pioneers of the previous generation who were determined to find new ways of treating people and restoring them to health. That dauntless spirit of innovation lives on today, bolstered by a community that believes in a collaborative future with limitless possibilities. The Medical Alley Association is proud to help foster those connections, advocate for supportive policies, and create the spaces necessary for growth to occur.

If you want to see what healthcare will look like tomorrow, come to Medical Alley today.


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