Innovation Trends: StartingBlock Madison aims to foster collaboration

Nathan Thorin of StartingBlock tenant Holos uses a virtual reality program. Holos, a virtual and augmented reality company founded in 2016, allows people to compute spatially, and aims to make it easier for developers to create in the space.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:03 pm

StartingBlock Madison opened last year at 821 E. Washington Ave., near the state Capitol. The three-floor entrepreneurial hub, six years and $10 million in the making, is part of American Family Insurance’s Spark Building.

Six months in, about 37 early-stage companies with 159 total full-time and 79 part-time employees are now working out of the StartingBlock space. Community partners, including venture funds, also have offices in StartingBlock.

From breakout spaces for after-5 meetups to huddle rooms to phone booths, StartingBlock aims to foster collaboration among its users. Chandra Miller Fienen is the executive director.

One area includes pods of cubes for month-to-month renters, while offices around the edges of the space are for more established startups. There are also a number of open tables and huddle spots around the space.

“One of the pieces we focus on, certain centers will cluster around a certain type of technology. Madison, just given its size and density, we don’t have that competitive advantage, but we try to build a more holistic place around entrepreneurship where any company regardless of their business model or discipline can find this as a home,” said Scott Resnick, entrepreneur-in-residence at StartingBlock.

StartingBlock companies

  • Arch Virtual
  • bluDiagnostics
  • Blueprint for Education
  • BRIO
  • Bump Studios
  • Carepool Inc.
  • Changing the Face of Politics
  • Chefs for Seniors
  • Coach Catalyst
  • Co-D Therapeutics Inc.
  • Digsite
  • ESM
  • FactoryFix
  • Feelings at Work
  • GrocerKey
  • Hankr
  • Highly
  • Holos
  • Hemp for the Future
  • LUM
  • Murfie Inc.
  • OmniValley
  • PayCove
  • Polco
  • Politiscope
  • Rebate Bus
  • RehabPath
  • Soha Diamonds
  • Stratus Silver Lining
  • XSELL Health

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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