Microsoft has opened its second US-based innovation centre, which is located in the historic Flatiron building. The state-of-the-art facility offers a comprehensive set of technology, tools and resources to startups, government, students and faculty.
“We aim to foster innovation, collaboration and economic growth in local communities as an inherent piece of our culture and look forward to expanding our work in the Atlanta community,” says Judson Althoff, president of North America at Microsoft. “The Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) will allow us to provide training and resources to thousands of members of the technology, education and business communities; help hundreds of businesses grow; and host countless learning and networking events.”
The MIC is a result of the CityNext Digital Alliance between Microsoft and the city of Atlanta, which is part of Microsoft’s broader CityNext initiative. The alliance focuses on increasing access to Microsoft software and technology support for citizens – with an emphasis on education, student entrepreneurs, software startups and job seekers. It supports the local economy through increased digital literacy, career readiness and services for accelerating innovation.
The MIC reflects Atlanta’s growing high-tech community, from the booming startup market to the large number of educational institutions. As part of Mayor Kasim Reed’s initiative to provide space and resources for developers and entrepreneurs in Atlanta, the building also houses flexible co-working space, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute.
“The City of Atlanta is proud to be the home of the nation’s second MIC,” says Mayor Reed. “Ensuring that our entrepreneurs have the right tools and resources to start and grow their businesses is essential. The MIC will be a vital asset to our Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and will empower entrepreneurs to create well-paying jobs and strengthen our economy.”
“The new state-of-the-art MIC gives Atlanta a unique advantage that sets us apart from other tech hubs,” says Craig Richard, CEO and president of Invest Atlanta. “And our investment in the Center reinforces our commitment to make Atlanta the best city for established and emerging innovators.”
“We envision the MIC at Flatiron City becoming a destination for entrepreneurs, academia and corporations,” says Arun Nijhawan, managing principal at Lucror Resources. “A place for people with diverse backgrounds to meet, exchange ideas, leverage their respective strengths and truly innovate. We see each feature of the MIC, whether it be the HoloLens or cloud-based services, as assets for Atlanta’s vibrant entrepreneurial community, as well as for its established industry players.”
The MIC is part of Microsoft’s broader strategy to empower developers and entrepreneurs worldwide. Microsoft’s commitment to the developer community is broad, and extends far beyond Atlanta, from helping 100,000 startups and 1,500 partners from more than 100 countries through its BizSpark initiative to building seven accelerators throughout the world as part of Microsoft Ventures. Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help startups grow their business with a variety of technologies and services such as cloud computing, developer tools, software and open source technologies.
The opening of the Atlanta MIC will help to foster and grow a community of problem solvers and innovators to drive growth among the business, technology, education and commercial enterprise communities.
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