Walleye fish swimming Walleye Tank: A cutting-edge Minnesota life science competition

The CCaTS Office of Entrepreneurship offers medical innovators a range of resources. A highlight is participation in Walleye Tank, a semiannual competition for entrepreneurs.

The Office of Entrepreneurship in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) offers and assists in the development of several resources to educate entrepreneurial-minded Mayo Clinic staff members and students and connect them to the larger entrepreneurial community. Available resources include:

  • Grant facilitation. The office facilitates application and execution of National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants to assist the translation of technology that improves health care.

  • Consultation services. The office's consultants work to build an entrepreneurial mindset at Mayo Clinic and instill knowledge of commercial pathways for innovation. Consultations help entrepreneurs improve their understanding of customer segments and a minimal viable product to create improved intellectual property.

  • Case Studies in Entrepreneurship course. The CCaTS Office of Entrepreneurship offers a unique education opportunity to use case-method, small-group and experiential learning approaches to teach entrepreneurship. The curriculum includes exemplary scenarios, immersion experiences and team-based business development. The course culminates with student teams delivering two-minute business pitches to qualify for Walleye Tank. Students and staff can enroll directly into Walleye Tank by contacting the Office of Entrepreneurship program director, Rena F. Hale, Ph.D., at

  • Walleye Tank. This biannual pitch competition fosters growth and connection throughout Minnesota's life science entrepreneurial community. The event engages a spectrum of entrepreneurs across the entire entrepreneurial path — from early entrepreneurs to venture capitalists — and provides valuable feedback on product pitch and fundamentals of startups.

    Walleye Tank is so popular that it spawned a spinoff Alligator Tank competition in 2017 at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, with hopes of expansion of the program in the future to Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

    Visit the Walleye Tank website to learn more.

  • Byolincs. A community group in Rochester, Minnesota, Byolincs is dedicated to enabling and training entrepreneurial scientists and medical professionals.