StartingBlock: Second Gear Event

sbm-second-gear-header-jan2016Capital Entrepreneurs is partnering with StartingBlock for an event on the evening of Thursday, January 28th. The event features guest speaker Robbie Bach (former Chief Xbox Officer at Microsoft), followed by a joint Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social at 7:30PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP here:

Full Event Details: StartingBlock is excited to announce its entrepreneurial conference series, StartingBlock: Second Gear. This inaugural event will feature keynote speaker, Robbie Bach, former Chief Xbox Officer at Microsoft, and will be produced by Madison Startup Grind. Following Bach’s presentation, Capital Entrepreneurs, VR Meetup and the Madison Game Alliance will each hold their monthly meetup. The event will start at 6 pm on January 28th at Central Library and the event is free.

The free evening program features our keynote speaker, Robbie Bach former President of Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft & author of Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal. Bach led the division that was responsible for Xbox, Xbox 360, Zune, Windows Games, Windows Mobile and Microsoft TV. He was the Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Office when it grew from 20% to 80% market share during his tenure.

Following the interview at approximately 7:30pm, three co-located monthly meetup groups will hold gatherings: Capital Entrepreneurs, VR Meetup, and the Madison Game Alliance.

  • Capital Entrepreneurs is a group dedicated to creating new connections and a community around the amazing startups in and around Madison.
  • Madison VR is a meetup group comprised of game developers, artists, students, and other members from the community that are interested in the future of virtual reality.
  • Madison Game Alliance is a network of video game industry enthusiasts set on growing the greater Madison region.

The event is free but RSVP is required:

StartingBlock Gains Donors and Executive Director

startingblock-logoWith donations from two more prominent foundations, StartingBlock Madison is gaining momentum. Following significant investments from American Family Insurance and the City of Madison, the most recent donations from the MG&E Foundation and Evjue Foundation come as StartingBlock recently named Scott Resnick as executive director of the future entrepreneurial hub in Madison.

“Our innovative enterprise businesses are sending a clear signal that they value entrepreneurship and view it as a vital piece of the success for our region in their support of StartingBlock. A key element in growing entrepreneurship is spaces that are conducive to the economic gardening necessary to grow an economy.”

– Zach Brandon, President, Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce

StartingBlock will provide emerging companies with workspace and resources that will give entrepreneurs the best chance of success and spur innovation.The many resources that will be offered at StartingBlock include coworking space, educational programming, and startup accelerators like gener8tor. In addition, Sector67 and Capital Entrepreneurs will both have new homes on the 50,000 square foot entrepreneurial hub.

Scott Resnick, COO of Hardin Design & Development and former Madison city alder, was part of the original planning group for StartingBlock and has been a passionate advocate for the concept. Resnick will serve as executive director supporting the StartingBlock board of directors during this formative period of fundraising, organizational and operations development.

StartingBlock plans to be part of a new building in the Capitol East district of downtown Madison. Construction is planned to begin in 2015 with occupants moving in at the end of 2016. For more information on StartingBlock, go here. If you are interested in contributing to the StartingBlock fundraising campaign, contact Scott.

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.

StartingBlock Madison Announced

startingblock-madison-buildingA startup hub in downtown Madison that will be anchored by Sector67 and gener8tor has just been announced. StartingBlock Madison’s goal is to create a centralized location for the Madison region’s entrepreneurial activities. The facility will provide Madison-based startups with affordable, flexible office and co-working space, accelerator support, peer and mentoring resources, education and training, and community building activities that will make the entrepreneurial community more accessible.

Leaders from the Capital Entrepreneurs community have been closely involved in shaping the project, and have also been working with leaders from the civic and broader business community. The project will create up to 90,000 sqft of space in the Capitol East District dedicated to early stage and growth companies. StartingBlock Madison’s facility will provide:

  • A permanent home for Sector67, Madison’s successful hackerspace/prototyping center for next-generation manufacturing technologies;
  • A location for gener8tor, a startup accelerator that provides expertise, mentorship, and capital through a 12-week intensive curriculum;
  • Subsidized office space with short-term leases and flexibility for young startups;
  • Quality at-market office space for high growth companies;
  • A healthcare IT incubator to support the growing number of healthcare IT startups;
  • Space for other entrepreneurial resources, such as funders, investors, law firms, and other professional service providers; and
  • Community and auditorium space for Capital Entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurial activities and events.

Based on a survey of Capital Entrepreneurs companies, Madison startups want to be co-located near other startups in the downtown area. They also value having an abundance of “third spaces” and people nearby beyond the walls of their office. The vibrant urban neighborhood around the StartingBlock site with its many restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and diverse housing options made it a great fit for this project. The surrounding area also holds a lot of growth potential to develop into a strong startup, tech, and creative district.

This project builds on the success of other business incubators already in the neighborhood, and took inspiration from other successful projects from around the country such as Chicago’s 1871. Check out articles on StartingBlock Madison in the Wisconsin State Journal, Isthmus, NBC15, and on Nibletz.