working at the intersection of science, healthcare & entrepreneurship


Innovation Scholars teams analyze exciting, emerging technologies in development at Mayo Clinic and biomedical companies affiliated with Medical Alley and provide recommendations that shape the next steps in the technology transfer process.

Mayo Clinic Logo

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice of medicine in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, holding fast to the founders’ philosophy, “the needs of the patient come first.”

More than one million patients from all walks of life are cared for by Mayo Clinic annually. More than 58,000 staff, including 3,800 physicians, work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona; and in Mayo Clinic Health System, which has community-based providers in more than 70 locations.

Throughout Mayo Clinic, physicians, scientists and educators are deeply engaged in medical science and innovative discovery. They persistently ask the questions that drive change: What is best for patients? What would make today’s healthcare better, faster, improve quality and safety plus enhance patient care? They are finding the answers every day at Mayo Clinic.

Minnesota’s Medical Alley stretches from Rochester to Duluth and is an incubator for technological innovation considered “The Global Epicenter of Health Innovation and Care.”

Medical Alley is home to the greatest concentration of health technology companies including leaders in the medical device, biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and digital health industry arena. It is also the place where the medical technology industry intersects with health care providers, insurance companies and research organizations to improve patient access to innovation and help lower health care costs.

The Medical Alley Association is a catalyst and leader – bringing various players from across the healthcare spectrum together in new and unique ways to engineer solutions that become models for other states.


B. Vell, Inc.

Celista Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Cryosa, Inc.

Cytotheryx, Inc.


Egg Medical, Inc.

Hinckley Medical, LLC

InterShunt Technologies, Inc.

Isola Therapeutics, Inc.

MarPam Pharma, LLC



Neurotype, Inc.

Newronika, S.p.A.

NPX Medical, Inc.

Stimdia Medical, Inc.

VentureMed Group, Inc.

Visana Health, Inc.


Technology transfer refers to the complex process of moving research to application through the development of new products, processes, applications, and services. The process encompasses a circular and iterative process from research and discovery through commercialization and revenue generation that then feeds further research and discovery.

Innovation Scholars projects engage student teams in the entire technology transfer process, with projects that are at different stages of development.

Innovation Scholars | MAYO CLINIC

Mayo Clinic projects tend to be closer to the idea-generation stage where evaluation and exploration of product development, potential applications, and commercialization options are front of mind. These projects may or may not have patents associated with them yet.

Innovation Scholars | MEDICAL ALLEY

Medical Alley company projects have typically moved beyond initial product development stages into considerations of commercialization. Company leaders focused on bringing new technologies to market involve teams in a host of entrepreneurial issues and commercialization strategies.

With the diversity of project partners, teams engage in various stages of the processes of moving ideas ‘from the bench to the bedside’ with similar outcomes: enhanced capacity for teamwork, cross-disciplinary learning, ability to deal with ambiguity, professional presentation skills, and leadership development.

In the words of Geoffrey Nicholson, father of the Post-It note,
“Money transforms research into knowledge. Tech transfer transforms knowledge into money.”

“I like that the teams come in with fresh eyes and sometimes show us development angles and market opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Third party review and evaluation of technology has provided valuable insight into commercialization strategies.”