DETROIT  – Microsoft will lease office space in Detroit.

The Redmond, Washington-based company announced Tuesday that business experts from Microsoft Ventures will work in downtown Detroit’s M@dison Building to engage with the neighborhood’s startup community and develop business partnerships in the region.

Microsoft describes Microsoft Ventures as a program designed to support founders at every stage of the startup life-cycle. Through key partnerships with tech hubs, like the M@dison Block —  a growing tech neighborhood known for its open and collaborative work environment  — Microsoft Ventures will work to provide entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to be successful and build world-class companies, the company said, in a media release.

“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.”

Other companies already working in the M@dison Block include Google, Twitter, Uber, Detroit Labs, and UpTo.

“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, which  secured the partnership with Microsoft Ventures. “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 M@dison Block began to take shape in September 2013 after several tech startups inside the M@dison Building grew out of their co-working space and expanded into other buildings on the same block. The neighborhood, anchored by the M@dison Building and adjacent to Grand Circus Park, is bordered by Woodward Avenue to the west, Broadway Street to the east, Witherell Street to the north, and John R. Street to the south.


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