Microsoft, Packers team up to support innovation with Titletown Tech

Innovation Trends

Once complete, Titletown Tech will provide support and resources for both new and established innovative businesses in northeastern Wisconsin.

In October 2017, in what some would consider an unlikely partnership, the Green Bay Packers and Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. officially announced plans for Titletown Tech, a tech incubator space designed to boost the economy in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and beyond by bringing world-class digital innovations, connectivity and tech expertise to rural areas of the state.

The new building will be located just west of Lambeau Field, and will include space for a startup accelerator, a venture capital fund and lab space and resources for businesses.

Once complete, Titletown Tech will provide support and resources for both new and established innovative businesses in northeastern Wisconsin.

The Packers expect to break ground on the project this spring, and the building is expected to be open by the fall.

“The building plans are near completion, and although construction has not yet begun, the land located in the area just west of Lambeau Field was prepared so that we are able to break ground as soon as the design is finalized,” said Aaron Popkey, a spokesman for the Packers.

Although both organizations are providing input on each aspect of the Titletown Tech planning, Microsoft has taken the lead on programming.

According to Microsoft, its team is already working on program development and securing partners, as well as investors. Details of those potential partnerships are not yet official, but Microsoft has indicated many organizations have already expressed interest in supporting the Titletown Tech effort.

The Titletown Tech accelerator will help startups and early-stage companies reach the next stage of development over an 18-week period.

TitletownTech Labs is also an 18-week program that will be open to employee teams from established businesses seeking to create new digital technology products and services in the manufacturing, paper, agriculture, sports, health care and insurance industries.

Companies will also have access to launch capital from the TitletownTech Venture Capital Fund. The Packers and Microsoft have each committed $5 million over the next five years to the fund, but hope to attract additional investors, as well.

In addition, Microsoft TechSpark Wisconsin will be based at TitletownTech and focused on northeastern Wisconsin. Microsoft TechSpark seeks to develop new digital initiatives in six U.S. communities outside major cities.

“The latest digital tools, technology expertise and capital are critical to starting and running a successful business in the 21st century,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “By combining the Green Bay Packers’ deep engagement in this community and our expertise in helping businesses digitally transform, we believe TitletownTech will be a valuable resource for Wisconsin and a model for fostering economic development in other parts of the country.”

TitletownTech is Phase II of the Titletown District’s overall development plan, along with the introduction of residential and additional office buildings.

Phase I included a Bellin Health Sports Medicine & Orthopedics center, the Lodge Kohler hotel, Hinterland Brewery and a large public park featuring a football field, a snow tubing hill and an ice skating rink.

“The community has really embraced the changes we are making to the area,” Popkey said. “They are just as excited as we are with the advancements that are being made in Titletown and are looking forward to what is still to come, including Titletown Tech.”

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