On Thursday in Berlin, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joined Christian P. Illek, chairman of Microsoft Germany’s managing board, in opening a new facility in the heart of Germany.
Some 3,000 square meters of the historic building “Unter den Linden 17” have been converted into a tech hub aimed at promoting networking and dialog between customers, business partners, the media, startups and the wider community.
Within the facility, the “Digital Eatery” consumer lounge on the first floor invites visitors to try Microsoft products. An adjacent event area with capacity for 400 guests will house meetings with partners and business customers. Directly above are offices for Microsoft staff, and above that the entire top floor is reserved for supporting entrepreneurs.
“We’ve always believed that technology creates opportunities for people and organizations to achieve their dreams,” Ballmer said. “Right now, we are incredibly passionate about delivering the next generation of high value activities through devices and services that people love and organizations need all over the world. The Microsoft Berlin Innovation Center provides a unique environment to foster innovation, forge new partnerships with entrepreneurs and exchange ideas with our customers.”
According to Klaus Wowereit, governing mayor of Berlin, “Berlin is way ahead of Europe’s other digital metropolises. We work with many startups to continue and reinforce this successful trend in future. We are delighted if ‘Microsoft Berlin’ contributes to expanding Berlin’s startup scene as a hotspot for international guests to our city.”
Ballmer, together with Rahul Sood and Stephan Jacquemot, general manager and regional director of the Microsoft Ventures program, announced nine startups to join the first class of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Berlin.
“There is no other city like Berlin where the spirit of pioneering and innovation is so strong,” said Illek. “We aim to support the growing network of entrepreneurs, startups and investors by providing access to our know-how and partners. If we succeed in implementing the ideas of startups into successful business models, Berlin will become Europe’s Silicon Valley.”
For more on the opening of the facility and the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Berlin, read the German language press release.
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Microsoft News Center Staff