The new M@dison Block hopes to attract more businesses to Detroit

Google announced as a new partner

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - Will having Google on the block help attract start-up companies to Detroit? 

That's what Dan Gilbert and the rest of the Detroit Venture Partners hope after they announced a new partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs.   Detroit has been chosen as only one of seven hubs for Google for Entrepreneurs across the country.

When Travis Johnson started his company four months ago, Detroit is one of the last places he thought he would end up. 

"It has been a better place than I ever could have imagined," said Johnson, Co-Founder & Executive Chef with

Johnson moved from Chicago to base his online ordering company here in the motor city in a building on the newly coined M@dison Block.

"It's been an amazing boon to the business," said Johnson.

The M@dison Block is an entire block of buildings by grand circus park that make up a hub for technology based start-ups like Johnson's company.

"The PR that I've been getting has been great, the people I've been talking to has been great.  And the customers have been wonderful and the restaurants I have worked with have been great," said Johnson.

Johnson got recruited by Dan Gilbert's company Bizdom who is involved on the block.  Bizdom provides start ups with the resources said Bizdom Executive Director Ross Sanders.

"They get an investment of up to $125,000 dollars  to get their business off the ground.  We give them three months of full time mentorship and training to assist with the business.  We provide them with three month of collaborative workspace.   And we provide them with the opportunity for follow-up funding," said Sanders.

Bizdom receives an eight percent share of ownership in the business in exchange for the services and funding with the positive catch being that they are a non-profit.

"Any proceeds we get from these businesses.  Get channeled into future businesses get channeled into future businesses born out of Bizdom," said Sanders.

"It's been amazing," said Johnson.

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