Google Launches Network of Technology Hubs with Partners in 7 Cities

9/25/13Follow @MichaelXBD

Google’s outreach program for entrepreneurs is planting its flag in seven new outposts in the U.S. and Canada with new “tech hubs” that will offer technical and infrastructure support for fledgling tech startups, the company announced today.

The six U.S. cities are Denver, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, TN, and Durham, NC. The only Canadian city is Waterloo, Ontario.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has selected incubators in each city to partner with Google and host what the company is officially calling its “Tech Hub Network.” Google claims it is the first such network in the world, though in some ways it echoes Microsoft’s Bizspark program and similar startup outreach efforts at other big technology companies.

“We’re partnering to create a strong network, providing each hub with financial support alongside access to Google technology, platforms, and mentors, and ensuring that entrepreneurs at these hubs have access to an even larger network of startups,” John Lyman, Google for Entrepreneurs Head of Partnerships, said in a blog post announcing the program. “We’re excited to exchange ideas and connect hubs with each other and with Google to have an even bigger economic impact on local communities.”

The Denver hub will be at Galvanize, a year-old incubator that says it already is the home of more than 140 startups. A release from Galvanize said Google will participate in several events each year, facilitate quarterly conference calls, and help partners in the hub network trade lessons and best practices.

Google for Entrepreneurs was at Galvanize a few weeks ago to host a daylong event showing off products such as Google+ and Glass, giving an overview of its entrepreneurship programs, and offering one-on-one meetings between entrepreneurs and Google staff. A couple hundred people attended the event over the course of the day.

The Google for Entrepreneurs program is global, and the company works in more then 100 countries. The stated philosophy behind the effort is that while the barriers to launch a startup are lower than ever and great companies can emerge from unexpected places, entrepreneurs still benefit from good infrastructure and strong communities.

“Over the past few years, tech hubs have sprung up in cities across the globe, making it possible to start a high-growth company from almost anywhere, not just London or Silicon Valley,” Lyman wrote. “Tech hubs help make that happen—providing desks for entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams, mentorship and educational opportunities for talented developers, and a vibrant community for innovative startups.”

Grand Circus will host the hub in Detroit. The other hubs are 1871 (Chicago), American Underground (Durham), Coco (Minneapolis), Communitech (Waterloo), and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville).

Google is familiar with those hubs.

“We believe these hubs have pioneered a new approach to launching a business, and it’s our mission to help support them,” Lyman wrote.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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