Roundup: U-M, Grand Circus, Quicken Loans, MI Science Center & More

Here’s a look at news from around Michigan’s innovation hubs:

—The Zell Family Foundation announced this week that it has pledged another $60 million to the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business. The money will provide endowed funding for the institute and its programs for students and alumni, including $10 million toward a new fund to support student-led ventures. “Our goal is to accelerate the learning curve and the opportunities for budding entrepreneurs,” said Sam Zell in a statement. “Entrepreneurs have always been a primary driver of growth for this country. I believe that fostering entrepreneurial education is an investment in the future.” The Zell Lurie Institute, whose graduate program in entrepreneurship is ranked one of the best in the nation, was first established with a $10 million gift in 1999.

—This week, more than 15 builders from around the globe will converge on the Michigan Science Center in Detroit in an attempt to create the Guinness World Record for the largest chain reaction machine. The Rube Goldberg device will incorporate more than a half-million objects, including about 200,000 dominoes, across 5,000 square feet. It’s expected to take 30 minutes to complete and will kick off at 3 pm on July 18; the event will be filmed in front of a live audience for a future episode of Daily Planet, a show that airs on the Discovery Channel. (For tickets and details, click here.)

—There’s a new co-working space in Royal Oak. The Office Coffee Shop, on the corner of Lafayette and Fourth, combines a coffee shop environment with co-working amenities. The space includes three private offices available for rent by the hour, a training and event space with audio/video equipment that can accommodate about 20 people, a printing center, storage lockers, and a common area with individual workspaces and electrical outlets. Though not required, many services are available as part of a monthly membership; check the website for information on pricing and more.

The Madison Building, the Dan Gilbert-owned office space in downtown Detroit that serves as a hub for more many local tech startups, has won the Outstanding Building of the Year award from the Building Owners and Managers Association. The Madison Building beat out eight regional winners from the U.S., Australia, and Canada, and received high marks for its security, tenant relations programs, community involvement, and environmental stewardship. Constructed in 1917, the Madison Building was the first major movie theater in Detroit but had long been abandoned by the time Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services renovated it in 2011. In less than five years, Bedrock has invested $1.8 billion in more than 75 properties in downtown Detroit, which is now home to more than 60 tech companies.

Quicken Loans unveiled its new 66,000-square-foot technology center in Detroit earlier this month. Located at 1401 Rosa Parks Blvd. in the rapidly growing Corktown neighborhood, the new facility houses two 10,000-square-foot server rooms as well as training and office space. One unique aspect of the building: Everything in the center—from the electrical systems to the fit and finish of the server cabinets—was custom designed or selected by Quicken’s IT team.

Grand Circus, which holds computer and coding classes in downtown Detroit, is now offering a deferred payment option through its new funding partner, LendLayer, for its upcoming Front-End Development Bootcamp. There are roughly 700 job openings in metro Detroit for developers skilled in JavaScript, and Grand Circus says bootcamp participants will be well-equipped to apply for these jobs once they finish the 10-week program. (For more information about scholarships and financing, click here.)

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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