Google’s Tech Hub Network Includes Detroit’s Grand Circus


Of the seven new locations for Google’s Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network launched this week, three are in the Midwest — including Grand Circus, a recently opened technology-training institute in Downtown Detroit’s Broderick Tower.

The latest announcement from Google kicks off the first formal network of its kind in the world. And the fact that Grand Circus — which started its first classes earlier this week in the Broderick — gets to be part of that means great things for the city, says Damien Rocchi, CEO and co-founder of Grand Circus.

“The best possible outcome (of this network) is that we’ll create a lot of new businesses in the city,” Rocchi says. “At the end of the day, we’re just providing resources to help entrepreneurs be successful. That’s what this is all about.”

Through the alliance, Google will provide support to Detroit’s tech entrepreneurs through training and networking events, access to Google technology, and the opportunity to share ideas with the other hubs in the network.

The support will be available not only to the tenants in Grand Circus’ co-working space, but also to the rest of those working in the Madison Block, located near Grand Circus Park. Home to Grand Circus, it’s also where Detroit Labs and the Madison Theatre Building, which houses 24 tech start-up businesses, are located.

“(The partners in this network) are all top notch spaces fueling entrepreneurship,” said John Lyman, head of partnerships for Google for Entrpreneurs, in a blog posted Wedneday. “We believe these hubs have pioneered a new approach to launching a business, and it’s our mission to help support them.”

The other six hubs in the network include: CoCo in Minneapolis; 1871 in Chicago; Communitech in Waterloo, Ontario; Nashville Entrepreneur Center in Nashville; American Underground in Durham, N.C.; and Galvanize in Denver.

Rocchi says that he’s met a few of the people behind the hubs through network, “but this is the first time we’ve had any substantial interaction. And that’s going to increase over time. That’s one of the things about this network.

“There’s a lot of learning and a lot of experience, and we can kind of leverage that across the network.”

The Madison Block, touted as “ground zero for entrepreneurship in the region,” will be unveiled at a media event on Monday at the Grand Circus office.