Detroit’s growing tech market has pulled in one of the icons of the industry. Microsoft has announced it will move some operations to the tech neighborhood M@dison Block in hopes of making connections within the burgeoning community.
Microsoft Ventures will take root in the Motor City. The goal of this arm of the company is to aid with startups. The program makes partners with tech hubs in the area and helps them throughout the lifecycle of the project. The entrepreneurs are nurtured by providing tools and resources that they may need.
“This partnership is an extension of Microsoft’s commitment to the Detroit community and to the state of Michigan, which aims to provide people with the technology and training skills needed for the growing economy,” said John Fikany, vice president, Microsoft Corp. “In addition, it is important for us to participate and contribute to the growing technology hub downtown where startups and established companies are collaborating on driving innovation and growth. There is a ton of energy going on in Detroit, and we are excited to continue to be a part of it.”
M@dison Block was brought Microsoft Ventures by Detroit’s tech training institute, Grand Circus. Microsoft will be providing a wide range of help for those starting out, including technology, mentors and networking opportunities.
Of course, Microsoft isn’t the only company taking up residence in M@dison Block. It will join other big guns like Google, Twitter, Uber, Detroit Labs, and many others. It is just the newest kid in town.
“It is a great indicator for our community that Microsoft sees the value in the excitement, creativity and talent that is radiating out of the M@dison Block,” said Damien Rocchi, CEO of Grand Circus. “This partnership further cements the opportunities that exist for the tech industry in downtown Detroit and will continue to advance our tech hub. Tech companies of all shapes and sizes, from big-name brands to new start-ups, can be found writing code and doing business along Woodward Avenue.”
The origins of M@dison block date back to September 2013, when it just started to come together. A cluster of startups all taking residence in a co-working space in the M@dison started to expand, and were soon taking up other buildings on the block. The M@dison Building still acts as the base for the community, which adjacent to Grand Circus Park and has Woodward Ave. to the west, Broadway St. to the east, Witherall St. to the north, and John R. St. to the south, acting as its border.
An office space on the second floor of the M@dison Building will be headquarters for Microsoft, which was recruited by Bedrock Real Estate for the lease.
This is just one of the 100 tenants Bedrock Real Estate has brought to downtown Detroit since 2011. It has also invested $1.3 billion in real estate, created 6,500 jobs and either owns, manages or controls more than 8 million sq. ft. in more than 40 downtown properties.