History

1907-2005

The MinnWest Technology Campus has a proud history as one of Minnesota’s oldest, state-owned and operated healthcare facilities. Originally constructed in 1907, the charming, stucco and hipped-roof buildings display architectural details in the Spanish Colonial and Renaissance styles, which were popular at the time.

At the height of its operations, this historic healthcare facility provided hundreds of jobs, cared for hundreds of patients and created a strong foundation for our local economy. But in 2004, the state began implementing changes to its healthcare delivery system that would eventually relocate or cut most of those jobs, leaving many of the buildings on campus empty and idle. Soon, the once-bustling campus was vacant and its future uncertain. While this change signaled a step forward in healthcare, it was clearly a step backward in the economic stability of our area.

In 2005, as many were still grieving the loss of jobs and apparent waste of a once-flourishing facility, creative minds were at work. Behind the scenes, local business owners and economic development leaders were busy discussing one of the most innovative, yet risky projects ever undertaken in our area’s business history. They began asking questions like…

Could this campus be given new life as a hub for business innovation?

Could the history of these majestic buildings be preserved and protected?

Could the cornerstone of our area’s economic stability be restored?

The answers?

YES, YES and YES.

In 2006, the 100-acre property, which is now called the MinnWest Technology Campus, was purchased from the state of Minnesota by a family of private technology and bioscience businesses in Willmar. The transaction was made possible by a groundbreaking collaboration between city, county and state government entities. In fact, some have said that the re-purposing of this immense property from a state-owned facility to a privately owned business community is one of our region’s largest and most successful “green” initiatives.

Historic Photo
Main Building Constructed: 1907
Architecture
Architectural Style: Spanish Colonial

Phase I: Investing in the Future

2006-2008

In Phase One, the MinnWest Technology Campus invested over $6.25 million in massive remodeling and renovation projects that transitioned this beautiful, historic facility into a high-tech, high-functioning home for its key “anchor companies.” A small business hub was also established in the Multi-tech building. Our work gained the attention and respect of our Governor, the University of Minnesota, and others interested in advancing Minnesota’s bioscience and technology communities.

Phase One Highlights:

  • Infrastructure Investment:

    $6.25 Million
  • Added Amenities:

    Data Center & Cafeteria
  • Growth:

    12 Business Tenants, 200 Full-Time Employees
  • Partners:

    2 Visits From Governor, Started Talks With U Of M

Phase II: Building on Success

2009-2011

In 2009, the MinnWest Technology Campus began building on the success of their existing tenants to attract new companies, establish a reputation among industry bioscience/technology professionals and seek out key partnerships with city and state entities. Phase II growth surpassed all projections, bringing total business tenants to 28 and full-time employees to 328. Phase II investments in campus buildings, amenities and infrastructure topped $4 million by the end of 2011.

Phase Two Highlights:

  • Infrastructure Investment:

    $4 Million
  • Added Amenities:

    On-Campus Daycare
  • Growth:

    28 Business Tenants, 328 Full-Time Employees
  • Featured New Tenants:

    Cargill, Inc.

Phase III: Realizing a Vision

2012-2014

By the end of 2014, the MinnWest Technology Campus hopes to achieve global recognition as a place where bioscience, technology and related companies can innovate, collaborate and succeed. To realize this vision, Phase III efforts will be focused on nurturing the collaborative potential of our campus community, recruiting bioscience/technology companies that are poised for new growth, and making further investments that will enhance our facilities and reputation.

Phase Three Highlights:

  • Infrastructure Investment:

    $5 Million
  • Amenity Enhancements:

    Auditorium, Cafeteria, Meeting Spaces
  • Growth:

    35 Business Tenants, 450 Full-Time Employees
  • Visit From:

    Governor Dayton

Phase IV: Making an Impact

2015-2017

After eight years of growth, investment, and expansion, the MinnWest Technology Campus has entered a new phase in our journey. We’re making an impact – a significant, lasting, and far-reaching one. It is our campus companies who are driving Phase Four, which is all about the collective results of our innovation and collaboration on our community, our region and our world.

A local, regional & global headquarters:

Many of our Campus tenants are a corporate headquarters for their own network of companies and facilities. Several are even global leaders in their respective industries. Here are a few highlights:

Life Science Innovations administrates a network of affiliate companies throughout Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and China.


Prinsco’s corporate office manages 11 manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Serving customers around the world:

The products, technologies and services provided by our Campus companies impact thousands of customers all over the world. Here are a few highlights:

Nova-Tech Engineering supports more than 130 companies in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.


Willmar Poultry is the largest supplier of turkey poults in the world, producing 45 million eggs and poults annually.

Leading their industries with innovation:

Many of our Campus companies are industry leaders in the area of innovation. Here are a few examples:

Epitopix has 30 US and 77 International patents in the areas of animal vaccines, many of which have vastly improved the health of our world’s food supply.


Feedlogic has developed patented hardware and software for intelligent farm systems that have improved livestock monitoring, nutrition management and data management for farmers throughout the country.