StartingBlock raises $3 million, hits donation goal

By Judy Newman,

StartingBlock MadisonStartingBlock, the proposed entrepreneurial hub planned for the Near East Side, has raised the $3 million it needs to move forward, supporters said Wednesday.

“It’s time to get this building built,” said Scott Resnick, StartingBlock executive director.

Envisioned by a group of entrepreneurs and community leaders in 2012, StartingBlock has gone through numerous development concepts, site possibilities, and occupant prospects over the past few years.

The final plan will make it part of “The Spark,” an eight-story building that American Family Insurance Group will build in the 800 block of East Washington Avenue.

American Family is investing in the project by providing StartingBlock with 50,000 square feet of space on the lower floors of the building.

“We have embraced StartingBlock as part of a spirit of innovation for our customers,” Jack Salzwedel, American Family chairman, CEO and president said in a news release.

The city of Madison has allocated $1.5 million for the project. Other contributors include Madison Gas & Electric; a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; and about 80 foundations and organizations from around the state, Resnick said. Read more …

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