Through the partnership, called TitletownTech, Microsoft and the Packers will each contribute $5 million to the initiative to invest in Wisconsin startups, according to a statement from Microsoft on Thursday. The TitletownTech facility will be located next to the team's Lambeau Field, and the program will offer an 18-week accelerator for firms, a lab to help existing businesses develop new technology, and a venture capital fund to help launch new companies.
"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," Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a statement.
Microsoft and the Packers said they plan to seek more investors and donate all returns from the venture fund to economic development and charity. Additionally, Microsoft employees will volunteer at TitletownTech.
In recent months, tech giants and business behemoths have made a push to connect with areas outside of Silicon Valley and New York City. In August, Stanford University announced the winners of its first scholarship program that covers the tuition for students who have connections to the Midwest and vow to contribute to the area's economic development after graduation. Additionally, Amazon is searching for its new second headquarters across North America while Mark Zuckerberg just wrapped his tour of the 30 states he had never visited. Facebook's CEO and co-founder spoke with residents, heard their grievances, and vowed he has no plans to run for president.