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Twitter Opens Detroit Office In Rock Ventures’ Madison Building

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The fifth floor meeting area of downtown Detroit's Madison Building (PR photo)

The fifth floor meeting area of downtown Detroit’s Madison Building (PR photo)

DETROIT (WWJ) – The microblogging site Twitter is opening an advertising office in downtown Detroit’s M@dison Building, a tech company incubator owned by Rock Ventures LLC, entrepreneur Dan Gilbert’s holding company.

The company wouldn’t give a specific number of staff to be hired. Twitter spokesman Robert Weeks said that “a handful of Twitter employees at the Detroit office will work closely with automotive brands and advertising agencies.”

“Over the past year, several marketers from the Detroit area — including GM — have worked with Twitter on Promoted Products campaigns,” Weeks said. “Having a presence in downtown Detroit will make it even easier for us to work with these marketers face-to-face.”

Based in San Francisco, Twitter is a communication Web site that connects users and allows them to share ideas, opinions and news. Posts on Twitter, called tweets, are limited to 140 characters. There are no ads on the Twitter site, but commerical users can mount campaigns of sponsored tweets.

Twitter joins a host of other tech companies in the five-story Madison Building. A complete listing of tech companies recruited by Rock Ventures to the Madison and its other downtown Detroit properties is below.

Rock Ventures said its property management firm, Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, helped recruit Twitter and brokered the company’s lease.

“Twitter coming downtown is exactly the kind of innovative company Detroit needs to advance our vision of becoming one of the most exciting high-tech and web-centered corridors of growth and activity found anywhere,” said Gilbert, Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, and Majority Owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. “Twitter chose Detroit because of the city’s growing, young and energetic environment.  This is further proof that the country is starting to wake up and take notice — if you want to create a thriving, growing tech business, downtown Detroit is one of the best places to be.

Companies now located in the Madison building include:

* Are You a Human: The answer to frustrating CAPTCHA entries, Are You a Human uses fun games to verify the authenticity of people completing online forms
* Aria Ventures: A company specializing in developing and funding startup ventures
* Bizdom: A non-profit incubator program for budding entrepreneurs in Detroit and Cleveland (Bizdom was previously housed in Wayne State University’s Tech Town)
* Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
* Detroit Venture Partners:  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
* Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings
* Exxodus Pictures: A production company whose first feature film, Jinn, is now in post-production
* Facility Matrix Group:  The area’s pre-eminent provider of office furniture
* Flud: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they’re most interested in
* GumShoe: A game where players compete against friends and a community of sleuths to solve mysteries, and earn awards, social cred and the occasional real life cache along the way
* HiredMYway : A company disrupting the traditional “job board” concept that provides an exceptionally better value and experience for both job seekers and employers
* Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage venture capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
* Marxent Labs: Creator of ShopWith.It, a new app for social shoppers that makes it easy to take your Facebook friends shopping
* OWN Point of Sale: A complete platform to run your business smarter and build brand loyalty
* Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying an entire floor in the building
* Teach the World to Read: Evidence-based literacy instruction to assist learners of all ages in reaching their highest potential in reading
* TextFromLastNight (Detroit office): An accidental startup born out of a viral sensation, now one of the leading user-generated content sites for 20-somethings
* Thrillist Detroit: Free daily email that finds the best of what’s new in your neighborhood and on the Web
* UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
* Vineyard Capital: An investment firm for later-stage private companies, partnering with various groups throughout the Midwest
* 313 Ventures: Stock trader-turned-angel investor, partaking in the rebuild of Detroit, one deal at a time

Rock Ventures’ other downtown properties include the Dime Building, the Chase Tower (the former National Bank of Detroit headquarters) and the First National Building. Tenants there include:

Dime Building:
* Corby Energy: Providing construction, engineering and support services to utilities and related businesses
* Just Baked: Specialty cupcake shop and bakery
* Lawrence Technological University satellite classroom: The university’s College of Architecture and Design is offering a semester long urban design class in Detroit
* Metro Consulting: A full service civil engineering and land surveying consultancy
* Professional Movers.com: Moving company that specializes in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses
* Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services
* Reliance One: A full service staffing firm

Chase Tower:
* In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching Quicken Loans clients with pre-screened agents in their community
* One Reverse Mortgage: The largest reverse-only mortgage lender in America and second largest retail provider of reverse mortgage home loans
* Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender

First National Building:
 * Aerotek: A staffing agency that matches qualified candidates with top companies worldwide

Rock Ventures also leases four floors of the Compuware Corp. headquarters. Companies housed there include:
* Bedrock Real Estate Services: Rock Ventures’ full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space
* Fathead: The “Real.Big.” brand of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics products
* Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender
* Quizzle: A Web site that gives consumers a complete understanding of their credit so they can make better financial decisions
* Rockbridge Growth Equity: A Detroit-based private equity firm that invests in mid-stage financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media & entertainment industries
* Rock Ventures: An umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate

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