Where and What is Medical Alley? It's the Silicon Valley for digital health and med-tech companies.

by | Oct 17, 2018

Where and what is Medical Alley?

An ode to Minnesota's unmatched healthcare innovation ecosystem.

Today, marks one week since Digital Health Today was able to attend the MANOVA Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A place some argue is colder than Siberia, yet, hotter than any other place on earth, in terms of digital health innovation!

Minneapolis and St. Paul, also known as the Twin Cities, which the locals have come to refer to as – Medical Alley, or the Startup Capital of the North. An amazing place for entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, techies, healthcare professionals – the birthplace of countless Digital Health StartUps. There was no question when the CEO of OneOme, Paul Owen, exclaimed: “You can't beat the ecosystem here!”

Home of Mayo Clinic (one of the best known medical organizations in the world) , UnitedHealth Group (the largest health insurer in the United States), Medtronic (a world leader in medical device innovations), University of Minnesota (an educational institution with Medical Degrees and Masters' programs in Public Health, Healthcare Management which rank Top in the United States and the World) among others. However, most important of all is that Minnesota now has 19 Fortune 500 companies! Why does that matter? CONVERGENCE.

Convergence was a key theme throughout the whole week and in each conference, there was dedicated time to discuss its implications for healthcare. Not only in the fact that there were multiple conferences – CONVENEMANOVATwin Cities StartUp WeekMedCity INVEST Twin Cities – focused on innovation and healthcare running simultaneously this past week. But convergence, in the sense of –  the future of health will no longer be created in silos! The future of health will no longer be dictated only by professionals in healthcare, rather, it will be dictated by people in technology, policy, finance, food and agriculture, retail and growingly will be shaped by non-traditional entrants. That was clearly represented through the variety of speakers from – Walmart (retail), Facebook (social media), Comcast NBCUniversal (telecom & entertainment), GE (conglomerate) among others.

I had the opportunity to chat with founders – Tony Miller, policymakers – Andy Slavitt, medical doctors – Archelle Georgiou and get an insight into what the future of health will look like from the people who are making it happen on the ground. Through their stories, you will get an insight into how crucial it is to partner with non-traditional entrants into the healthcare space in order to be a disruptor and to create what the future will look like. This goes perfectly with one of the quotes shared during the opening ceremony from Day 1: “Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change. That is inevitable.” – William Pollard

As for the role of Medical Alley in digital health – I envision, it will only continue to grow. I echo what Assi Gol, Advisory Board Member, Sight Diagnostics said – “Minneapolis stands out from London, Israel, and other innovation hubs around the World for its FOCUS on HEALTHCARE. It must continue to HARNESS this in the future!” I'm already looking forward to attending next year and hope many of you will join from all around the United States and the World. And hoping that there will be continued funding for the free fly-in program for TCSW and possibly for the rest.


Demi Radeva

Demi Radeva

Demi Radeva is a post-graduate candidate in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics. She has a passion for International Healthcare System improvement and Cross-Cultural Communication. She finds fulfillment in empowering others to become their best self through mentorship and is actively engaged in causes that support Economic Empowerment, Education, Diversity, and Inclusion. Demi holds a BSc from the University of Minnesota in International Business and Finance and has experience as a healthcare consultant at Fortune 500 organizations, government entities, and international organizations. Read more about Demi on her Ambassador page here.


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