The Green Bay Packers with Microsoft Corp. announced operational details Wednesday for TitletownTech, the joint venture between the two organizations that will spur economic expansion in Northeastern Wisconsin and beyond by bringing world-class digital innovations and expertise to Greater Green Bay. Momentum for the TitletownTech venture continues as Craig Dickman was named as managing director and it was announced the program and building are to open in early 2019.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, Packers Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Ed Policy and Microsoft President Brad Smith gave updates from inside the under-construction, state-of-the-art building in Titletown, the development immediately west of Lambeau Field.
Aimed at catalyzing the Northeastern Wisconsin economy through digital transformation of the region's business ecosystem, TitletownTech will serve as a creative center where digital solutions are developed for key market challenges. Through partnerships with companies, experts and technologists, TitletownTech will provide opportunities, guidance and a collaborative environment to help address challenges that impact the industries important to Wisconsin.
"We're excited to be setting into motion our vision for TitletownTech," said Mark Murphy. "It will dramatically change our local economy by providing the foundation for new high-growth, scalable ventures in our region. We're looking forward to the seeing the transformative impact TitletownTech will have on our community and economy."
Three components will drive TitletownTech:
- An innovation lab, focused on creating new ventures: where entrepreneurs and established regional businesses can engage to develop ideas, explore disruptive new business models and next-generation technology solutions;
- A venture studio, focused on building ventures: where new and emerging business models and scalable industry solutions are developed into stand-alone startup ventures;
- A venture fund, focused on funding and investing in high-growth startups aligned with industries in Northeastern Wisconsin that will bring opportunity to the region.
TitletownTech will be an integrated model that will build on sectors important to the regional economy with a focus on sports and entertainment; digital health; supply chain; agriculture, environment and water (AEW); and advanced manufacturing.
In announcing Dickman's role as managing director of TitletownTech, Ed Policy lauded Dickman's success as founder and chairman of Breakthrough Fuel, an industry-leading mobile energy and energy information management company that helps shippers around the world achieve transparency and remove distortion from their transportation supply chains.
"We're delighted to have Craig lead TitletownTech," said Policy. "I've known Craig for years and he is one of the best entrepreneurs this region has produced. Craig has a proven track record of creating exactly the type of scalable new business ventures that we intend to launch from TitletownTech."
An experienced entrepreneur who also founded StageThree and co-founded the N.E.W. Venture Foundry, Dickman is an inventor with multiple patents and a successful chief executive at Paper Transport and Master Fleet.
"Craig Dickman knows this region and has the entrepreneurial and technology know-how to help bring the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft's vision of TitletownTech to life," said Brad Smith. "We believe that TitletownTech can help advance digital transformation and competitiveness for all of Northeast Wisconsin."
"I am honored by the incredible community opportunity being created by the Packers and Microsoft," Dickman said. "We are excited by the challenge and confident that our region will create a new identity for venture creation, building and scaling."
Joining Dickman on TitletownTech's leadership team will be Jill Enos as director of the venture studio and Peter Romenesko as director of the innovation lab. Both have vast experience with venture development and innovation, with Enos' background including StageThree and the N.E.W. Venture Foundry and Romenesko's including StageThree and Breakthrough Fuel.
Microsoft will play a key role in the leadership team, with a team member serving as Technologist In Residence at TitletownTech, a position that will bring expertise from the global technology leader that will serve in a number of ways.
In addition to the Technologist In Residence, an Entrepreneur In Residence from UW-Green Bay also will serve on the leadership team, a position that was announced in July by the UW System and UW-Green Bay.
TitletownTech will have an advisory committee that will include Murphy, Smith and other investors and experts. Operations will be overseen by an executive board that includes Policy, Dickman and Kate Behncken, General Manager in Microsoft Philanthropies whose portfolio includes the TechSpark initiative.
Microsoft is basing its TechSpark manager, Michelle Schuler, as well as its TEALS program employees at TitletownTech.
Updates on the construction of the building were also given Wednesday. The two-story, 46,000-square-foot building will devote approximately 11,000 square feet to TitletownTech on the second floor. Also located on the second floor will be offices for the leadership team that manages Titletown operations, as well as Titletown Development, the real estate development arm of the Packers. The first floor features space for future commercial and entertainment establishments, with announcements on tenants coming in future months.
More information about TitletownTech is available online at titletowntech.com.
The Packers and Microsoft gave an update on TitletownTech Wednesday afternoon at the building currently under construction at Titletown.