Microsoft Ventures Coming to Downtown Detroit’s Madison Block

Posted on May 6, 2014

DETROIT, MI – Microsoft’s global entrepreneurial assistance program is coming to downtown Detroit’s technology epicenter, the Madison Block, Bedrock Real Estate Services announced Tuesday.

Microsoft Ventures will lease office space on the second floor of the Madison Building, located at 1555 Broadway St. The building is owned by Bedrock, which is the real estate arm of Dan Gilbert, the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans.

Microsoft Ventures works with start-ups throughout the world, providing seed funding, access to new technology and mentoring. It was launched in June. Rahul Sood, general manager of Microsoft Startups, described it in a company blog post as “a coordinated global effort that offers the tools, resources, expertise and routes to market by providing mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding, joint selling opportunities and other benefits.”

Last fall, Gilbert, Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), Mike Miller, head of Google Ann Arbor and Damien Rocchi, the co-founder and CEO of Grand Circus, also welcomed Google For Entrepreneurs to the newly christened Madison Block.

The Madison Block is the city block bordered by Woodward Avenue on the west, Broadway on the east, Witherell on the north, and John R. on the south. It’s a partnership between Detroit Venture Partners, Grand Circus, Bedrock Real Estate Services and Bizdom.

In the buildings on that block, there is Grand Circus, the new technology training institute launched in the Broderick Tower last fall. There is also Bizdom, the start-up incubator at 1528 Woodward. Sasche Construction, which built office space on the block, is also at 1528 Woodward. Detroit Labs, which began in Madison Building but expanded beyond its space there, now occupies the fifth and sixth floors of the building at 1520 Woodward. Avalon Films/Hudson Editorial is at 1500 Woodward. And architecture firm Neumann/Smith, which designed many of the spaces on the Madison Block, is at 1500 Woodward.

Other tech companies that are in the district are Twitter, Uber and UpTo.

“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,” John Fikany, vice president of Microsoft Corp. said in a statement. “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.”