UEL still finding its feet

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 23, 2011 - 4:55 PM

The St. Paul facility is having trouble with its identity amid a recession and a diluted relationship with the U.

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markkallJun. 14, 09 6:35 PM

What amazes me is that supposedly bright people buy into such nonproductive nonsense. The incubater never had the talent or money to incubate, ab initio. Any idiot can construct a building. So, now the venture is remodeled as a real estate venture. This fiasco should be allowed to fail and the morons would invested in the debt securing the property should own it. What a waste of resources.

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killermebeJun. 15, 09 1:08 AM

"the building's attractive design impresses companies and investors" "UEL has been wildly successful." "the building still hosts student clubs, and some of the tenants have hired students as part-time workers"

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karendavid816Jun. 15, 09 6:54 AM

A promising start up is developing a vaccine for bubonic plague? I seem to recall getting such a vaccine about 40 years ago. At times it seems the U is more about pleasing the building trades unions than it is about educating anyone.

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wbgleasonJun. 15, 09 7:52 AM

How can it be that UEL is "widely successful" and while "not stimulating the bioscience industry in the way we had hoped." How can it be that the location is a problem according to Bianco and ideal according to Elde? Donations account for sixty percent of revenue? Perhaps this situation has implications for the University's spending $233 million for Discovery Square? The lesson here clearly seems to be that: " the experience of University Enterprise Laboratories offer a cautionary tale that buildings alone can't create companies and industries." Let's hope that our leaders at the U of M soon learn this lesson.

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marcuskelleyJun. 15, 09 7:59 AM

I would have liked to have moved the biosciences start-up I am involved in into UEL when it opened. However, we were/are in an older Ex-General Mills Research building approximately 5 miles to the east of UEL at about 1/10 the cost/sq.ft. It does not have a fancy conference room or a receptionist but as a business decision, it has what we need to set up our lab. It was simple decision. Today, we remain a debt-free, (slightly) profitable business because we chose the cheaper space.

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karendavid816Jun. 15, 09 8:38 AM

If constructing a building was the main solution to creating economic development opportunities, let us look no further than St. Paul's World Trade Center now filled with govt offices, or the U's super computer center, of the City of Minneapolis' "High tech corridor". No, if you want business you have to offer a tax incentive to get them to move from the neighboring community which had earlier given them tax incentives.

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jan5432Jun. 15, 09 2:29 PM

Does the lack of commercialization success surprise anyone familiar with the U of M's record on technology transfer...or lack thereof?

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Joanna6659Jun. 15, 09 3:01 PM

This article has no resemblence to reality and really don't appreciate the negative attitude set forth by the article. I work at the UEL and in fact am a founder of a small company at the UEL. The idea of the UEL is to give start-up companies a place to incubate. It is a great environment and a lovely building and a great place to show to customers and potential investors. Employees also love working in such a nice envirnoment. Yes, we could have rented space somewhere less expensive, but the location is ideal for the college students that work for me no matter which campus they are on for classes and for others who live in either Minneapolis or St. Paul areas. Next time someone writes an articvle, they should come and talk to enough people to get a better picture of reality.

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minnovateJun. 16, 09 2:11 PM

Before drive by media, blogging, and online forums, there were well thought out arguments. They delivered messages of action—not a rebukes backed by soundbite sources and fragmented facts. Authors of those works understood the environment their pen was observing, and created theories based on sound investigation. As Citizens of this Republic, it's easy to be the critic. There are plenty ready to hurl stones and retreat when real work is asked. Constructing a building is not enough? Duh! Recognizing an obvious shortage is not a solution. It is just obvious. At the top levels we need doers, not afraid to make a long-term investment. With that we need a community tolerant of short-term losses. Overall, we need a State---not a loose connection of individuals, towns, cities, districts, and counties—that is willing to collaborate as a unit, and invest—even disproportionately—where it must to succeed. Mr. Bianco forgot one more big difference between Silicon Valley and Minnesota. In Minnesota, there are some people that will be satisfied with complaints. In the Valley, they are too busy doing to listen.

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