StartingBlock Madison Announces Significant Milestone

startingblock-logoAt a breakfast event attended by nearly 100 business and community leaders, including Toni Sikes, Mayor Paul Soglin, MGE CEO Gary J. Wolter and American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel, StartingBlock Madison announced more details of its plan to create a 50,000 square-foot entrepreneurial hub in the Capitol East District of downtown Madison.

Headlining the event was the announcement that American Family Insurance has pledged a major investment toward construction of the project, joining the City of Madison which has already committed $1.5 million in its 2015 budget. StartingBlock is now looking for additional private funding to match the $1.5 million contribution from the city, as well as $1.5 million for an operating reserve.

This represents a significant milestone for the StartingBlock Madison project, which has now been in the works for 2 years. The project is spearheaded by Capital Entrepreneurs, gener8tor, Sector67, as well as a group of business and community leaders. Pending additional funding from the private sector, construction of the building would begin in the fall of 2015, with an opening slated by the end of 2016.

“The potential of StartingBlock Madison to foster economic growth and job creation in our community is strong and definitely worth pursuing. It will not only help create our region’s next generation of companies, it will develop talented, motivated young people needed by existing employers to innovate in their marketplace.” – Jack Salzwedel, CEO of American Family Insurance

More information on the StartingBlock Madison project is available here, and more information on this most recent announcement is available here.

1 Million Cups Launches in Madison

1-million-cups-logoMadison soon will be the newest home of a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. 1 Million Cups based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee is a free, weekly gathering in which every Wednesday morning, one or two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

1 Million Cups began in 2012 at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo. More information on upcoming Madison sessions is here.