Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 ---9:45pm
A long-vacant Madison building could soon become a hub for local entrepreneurs.
The former Kleuter Building, on the 900 block of East Washington, would house StartingBlock Madison, a unique center for techies. The new space would also give local entrepreneurs a centralized location to meet.
The Kleuter Building was last used, as a warehouse, eleven years ago. Supporters say the plan would not only bring an old building back to life, but also bring new life to the local entrepreneurial scene.
The major tenant of the building will be Sector 67, a center that's been around for a few years now; it allows folks to come in and knit, weld, work on cars, or even use a 3D printer.
Sector 67 is just one part of StartingBlock Madison, but the center's founder is excited about the possibility to expand his techie vision.
“Originally we started at 1000 square feet and now we're at 8 and a half times that size. That's amazing! That's a really great achievement” says Sector 67 Founder Chris Meyer
StartingBlock would also give start-up companies an affordable place to gather ideas, access mentors and get a chance to take part in a unique generator program.
“If it's for a young company, it basically gives a 6 to 8 weeks crash course intro entrepreneurship; teach you about financing, teach you about how to incorporate a business, exit strategies...” says City of Madison Alder Scott Resnick (District 8).
There are still a few roadblocks ahead for the project. Planners are still trying to figure out if the building on East Washington will indeed be the new location. From there, planners would go through the general permit process, then finally worry about fundraising.