Green Bay-area innovators will get a boost from a new $10 million development by the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft Corp., the companies announced today.
[caption id="attachment_332234" align="alignright" width="495"] A rendering of the TitletownTech development.[/caption]
Their partnership, dubbed TitletownTech, will include a business accelerator, venture capital fund and lab space based out of a new building in the Titletown District that the Packers are developing next to Lambeau Field. The goal is to help both new and established companies in the Fox River Valley create new digital products, infuse their efforts with technology and, for some, gain funding to start a business.
The 18-week TitletownTech Accelerator is aimed at startups and early-stage businesses. It will serve as an incubator for the innovation of digital technology products and services, with access to mentorship and advisors.
TitletownTech Labs is also an 18-week program, open to employee teams from established businesses seeking to create new digital technology products and services. The labs are targeted mainly to the manufacturing, paper, agriculture, sports, health care and insurance industries.
After they have completed the accelerator, companies will have access to launch capital from the TitletownTech Venture Capital Fund. The Packers and Microsoft have each contributed to the fund, and hope to attract additional investors, but the fund size has not been disclosed.
The Packers and Microsoft are each contributing $5 million to TitletownTech over the next five years. Microsoft’s portion is part of its TechSpark program to develop new digital initiatives in six U.S. communities outside major cities. Microsoft TechSpark Wisconsin will be based at TitletownTech and focused on northeastern Wisconsin.
The companies plan to donate any profits or capital returns to charitable causes and economic development.
The new building housing TitletownTech is expected to open in fall 2018. The companies are working together on the design.
“Titletown has gained a tremendously impactful partner in Microsoft,” said Mark Murphy, president and chief executive officer of the Packers. “Economic development is the key to our region’s future, and Microsoft, with its array of tools and expertise, will help grow new businesses as well as assist our existing companies to use technology to realize greater success.
“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.”