First US-based Microsoft Innovation Center to Launch in Miami
Microsoft has recently announced plans on Friday morning that it would be opening its first U.S.-based Microsoft Innovation Center in downtown Miami’s Venture Hive during June.
The Microsoft Innovation center shall offer technology, tools and services to startups, governments, students, faculty and the greater Miami community in order to foster innovation, collaboration and economic growth, said vice president of develop and platform evanglism of Microsoft, Sanket Akerkar. It will join up with a startup accelerator, incubator and educational program already located within Venture Hive.
Microsoft has more than 100 innovation centers around the world, including places like, Uganda, India, and Singapore, Akerkar said. The tech giant plant to open other innovation centers across the United States after the Miami facility has been launched.
Developed and operated in partnership with Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and Venture Hive, the Miami center will be utilized to host technological training and workshops, provide entrepreneurs, technologist and government access to networking opportunities and potential talent for possible job opportunities. Miami-Dade Country Mayer Carlos Gimenez, Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive , were expected to join Microsoft during the making of this announcement.
Akerkar say’s that the reason Miami was chose is due to, “There’s a great commitment to the local economy in Miami, and it’s a vibrant community. We also see a lot of alignment with the universities there,” said Akerkar. “It’s also a great hub and launching off point for Latin America from a business-building standpoint.”
The Microsoft Innovation center shall be made up of about 5,000 square feet, with options for expansion, and will contain tools and technology for individuals as well as physical space for training and collaborations work. It will be opened for everyone, not only the 29 companies housed within Venture Hive, stated Akerkar. The innovation center has previously been in discussion with Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami, Nova Southeaster and Miami Dade Collage about collaboration, Akerkar further elaborated.
Said Amat, “The MIC will be a central gathering place for the tech and business community — with classes, mentoring and a full support ecosystem for both beginning developers and later stage technologists. We will have hardware for testing applications, a training area, and room for startups and support” that will enhance Venture Hive’s mission of entrepreneurship education.
One of the firs projects, which is still in its planning stages, could be a summer program to teach over 200 Miami-Dade County teachers about developing application so they can take said knowledge back to their students, Akerkar said. People using the innovation center shall also gain access to Microsoft’s BizSpark Program, which offers a free software and other tools to startups as well as access to mentors from the local community and worldwide.
Microsoft is no stranger to the South Florida area, it has had a Latin American headquarters there for the past two decades. From its offices in Fort Lauderdale currently employs over 400 people, Micrsoft oversee operations within 46 countries and territories in Laten America and the Caribbean, where it employs a total of 2,000 people in factories, research, sales and other operations.
Microsoft’s business based in Laten America and the Caribbeans tops $1 billion per year, and the region has been ranked as the fastest growth area for Microsoft worldwide in recent years, Microsoft Latin America President Hernan Rincon commented during an interview with various reporters.