Mayor Kasim Reed Celebrates Opening of Microsoft Innovation Center

Mayor Kasim Reed is flanked by Microsoft executives and local dignitaries. (Photos by Terry Shropshire for Atlanta Daily World and Real Times Media).
Mayor Kasim Reed is flanked by Microsoft executives and local dignitaries. (Photos by Terry Shropshire for Atlanta Daily World and Real Times Media).

ATLANTA – It is quite apropos for intercontinental computer software titan Microsoft to take occupation of the oldest skyscraper in downtown Atlanta, a perfect confluence of the old and the very modern that promises to create future technological magic.
Mayor Kasim Reed joined Microsoft North America President Judson Althoff on Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the City of Atlanta’s first Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC). The MIC will be housed exclusively in the historic Flatiron building, and will work with the City’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) to provide development software, coaching and grants to selected women entrepreneurs.
“The City of Atlanta is proud to be the home of the nation’s second Microsoft Innovation Center,” said Mayor Reed. “Ensuring that our entrepreneurs have the right tools and resources to start and grow their businesses is essential. The Microsoft Innovation Center 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 MIC is a result of the CityNext Digital Alliance between Microsoft Corp. and the City of Atlanta, which is part of Microsoft’s broader CityNext initative. The alliance focuses on increasing access to Microsoft software and technology support for citizens—with an emphasis on K–20 education, student entrepreneurs, software startups and job seekers. It supports the local economy through increased digital literacy, career readiness and services for accelerating innovation.
“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,” said Judson Althoff, president of North America at Microsoft. “The 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.”
“We envision the MIC at FlatrionCity becoming a destination for entrepreneurs, academia and corporations,” said Arun Nijhawan, Managing Principal for 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, which is a key commitment for the company. Microsoft’s commitment to the developer community 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 able to help startups scale their business with a variety of technologies and services like cloud computing, developer tools, software and open source technologies.
Earlier this year, Mayor Reed launched the WEI initiative. The WEI will serve as an incubator for women entrepreneurs and will provide resources and support to accelerate business growth, expand community outreach, offer educational workshops and mentorship engagement, provide legal advice and assist with marketing efforts. Through a competitive selection process, a maximum of 15 women entrepreneurs will be selected to incubate their business at the WEI.
In partnership with Invest Atlanta, the Reed Administration secured funding and office space to maximize the success of the WEI’s entry into Atlanta’s growing entrepreneurial community. The WEI is a result of the city’s ongoing efforts to harness the power of women-owned businesses and emerging entrepreneurs for the socio-economic advancement of Atlanta.
“The new state-of-the-art Microsoft Innovation Center gives Atlanta a unique advantage that sets us apart from other tech hubs,” said 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.”
For more information on the Microsoft Innovation Center and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative visit


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