'Welcome to Miami:' Microsoft to open Innovation Center

The tech giant reaches out to academics, startups and Latin Americans

Microsoft will open an innovation center in Miami focused on providing students, startups, government organizations and the Latin American community access to technology and tools for job creation, the company said in a statement.

The Center, which will open later this spring, will be the flagship Center in a series of Microsoft Innovation Centers to be established in the US. In addition to job creation, Microsoft said the goal of the Centers is to increase the number of skilled technology specialists and to facilitate collaboration among diverse groups in the respective communities.

The Center will provide students with a space to learn about and receive technology training from skilled specialists. Faculty will receive guidance on curriculum development and research projects. Entrepreneurs and prospective startups will be given access to Microsoft tools, technology and hardware. They will also be granted access to technologists who can help resolve technical issues.

CityNext

The Miami Innovation Center has been established as part of the Microsoft CityNext initiative, a program which enables cities and counties to enter into long-term working relationships with Microsoft. Venture Hive, a Miami-based startup incubator, will host the Microsoft Innovation Center at its downtown Miami location.

Microsoft said it expects the Center to "serve as the gateway to the [Latin American] region." It is immediately unclear how Microsoft's Innovation Center will help to establish a working relationship with the Latin American community and region. A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is also unclear how much Microsoft has invested or how many people will be employed by the Center.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it will be donating $1 billion (£595 million, AU$1.08 billion) to a US school initiative to help provide low-cost devices to students.