Packers and Microsoft announce launch of TitletownTech partnership
GREEN BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) –The Green Bay Packers and Microsoft Corp. announced the launch of TitletownTech, a one-of-a kind partnership between the two organizations aimed at boosting economic expansion in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and beyond by bringing world-class digital innovations and expertise to Green Bay. Operating from a state-of-the-art work space in the Titletown development next to Lambeau Field, TitletownTech will help the region’s emerging and existing businesses define and build new digital products, transform their operations through technology, and, in some cases, provide capital to launch new ventures.
TitletownTech will initially focus on three areas:
TitletownTech Accelerator. The Accelerator will work with start-ups and young companies to incubate or accelerate and bring to market new digital technology products and services. The employees of participating companies will spend 18 weeks working at TitletownTech and with its advisors and mentors on technology and business development projects.
TitletownTech Venture Capital Fund. The Venture Capital Fund will invest in and provide capital to help launch new companies that participate in the TitletownTech Accelerator. The Packers and Microsoft are the first two entities to commit investments to this Fund, with an opportunity for participation by additional investors.
TitletownTech Labs. The Labs will enable established businesses to send employee teams to work at TitletownTech for 18 weeks to develop new digital technology products and services. These employee teams will also work with TitletownTech’s advisors and mentors. The Labs will create new opportunities for local firms involved in manufacturing, the paper industry, agriculture, sports, healthcare, insurance, and other parts of the regional economy to develop innovative technology solutions they can take back into their own enterprises.
“Titletown has gained a tremendously impactful partner in Microsoft,” said Mark Murphy, President and CEO 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.”
New digital technologies create significant opportunities for startups and young businesses, which according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison account for 50 percent of the job creation in the state. These younger businesses often need venture funding and additional technical and consulting support to establish themselves. Digital technology also creates significant opportunities for existing businesses in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare by reshaping how they engage with customers, enter new markets, empower employees and develop new products.
Microsoft and the Packers are each planning to commit $5 million in TitletownTech over the next five years and have pledged to donate all profits and capital returns from the Venture Capital Fund to philanthropy and economic development.
In addition, Microsoft is creating a new TitletownTech Mentorship Program which will enable its employees in the Seattle area and elsewhere to volunteer and serve as mentors working with the companies participating in the TitletownTech Accelerator and Labs programs. These mentors will include engineering and technical experts as well as employees from other business fields. They will work with the participating companies via high-speed video connections and can spend time volunteering in person at TitletownTech.
The new building that will house TitletownTech will open next fall. The Packers and Microsoft are collaborating on the design of the facility, bringing the latest advances in technology development facilities globally. The Titletown District is a major new development intended to spur additional regional economic growth and complement the Greater Green Bay area’s draw as a prime location to live and work.
Microsoft’s participation in TitletownTech is part of the company’s TechSpark program, which is developing new digital initiatives in six local U.S. communities outside major metropolitan cities to foster job creation and economic growth. Microsoft TechSpark Wisconsin is focused on northeastern Wisconsin and will be based at TitletownTech.