On September 2, Mayor Paul Soglin released the City of Madison’s 2015 Executive Capital
Budget. The City’s proposed budget includes a commitment of $1.5 million for a new initiative
planned by StartingBlock Madison, Inc. to create an entrepreneurial hub and ecosystem to help
Madison’s entrepreneurs succeed.
Forrest Woolworth, co-founder of Capital Entrepreneurs and a founding partner of StartingBlock
Madison, commented on the Mayor’s announcement, “The City’s commitment recognizes that
harnessing and leveraging our region’s greatest growing asset–creative young talent–is our
economic future. An investment in StartingBlock Madison will create a potent economic catalyst
for more startups, more successful companies, better products, and a stronger community.”
StartingBlock Madison, Inc., plans to build a 50,000 square foot entrepreneurial hub in the heart
of Madison’s Capitol East District where entrepreneurs, investors, advisors, and community
members can connect, share innovative ideas, and create next-generation businesses.
At StartingBlock, Madison’s entrepreneurs will find the “starting blocks” needed for success:
– affordable, flexible office and co-working space
– peer networking and mentoring
– access to investors and professional services
– accelerator programs (e.g., gener8tor)
– collaboration, meeting and conference space
– educational programming, workshops, and community-building events
– Sector67 hackerspace
By growing a vibrant, interconnected entrepreneurial ecosystem from Madison’s existing
entrepreneurial community, StartingBlock Madison will be a place where entrepreneurs can:
– Turn innovative ideas into profitable businesses and accelerate job creation;
– Grow our innovation culture into a startup hub;
– Propel our technology, healthcare, and creative digital sectors;
– Spark our next generation of dreamers and inventors.
StartingBlock Madison has been identified as a priority by the Mayor, Capitol East Alders,
and the City’s economic development staff. The City’s economic research shows that the
entrepreneurial cluster working on the StartingBlock Madison project to be among the fastest-
growing, highest-paying clusters in Dane County. The City expects the StartingBlock project
will enhance Madison’s positions as a leading tech hub and a growing IT economy. City funding
will be supported by TID #36 cash or general obligation debt and is not expected to have an
impact on the City’s operating budget.
StartingBlock Madison is currently conducting site analyses and selection, as well as seeking
funding partners. Design will commence in 2014 with construction and occupancy of the facility
by the end of 2015. A majority of the funding for the project will come from private sources.