ST. LOUIS – The Microsoft Technology Center took a step forward in putting the Show-Me State on track for the future with the opening of a St. Louis location.
On Wednesday afternoon, MTC celebrated the grand opening of its newest location with Gov. Mike Parson and City of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. They were joined by Jennifer Byrne, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft US; Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft US Enterprise Commercial Business; Dana Barnes, Vice President of Microsoft’s U.S. State and Local Government; and Dennis Lower, President and CEO of Cortex.
MTC in St. Louis is one of 50 Microsoft Technology Centers around the world and it is officially the newest.
“Welcome to our facility and welcome to our grand opening,” said Merrill Schebaum, MTC Director. “It is a very big moment for us here in the Cortex and we’re glad to celebrate our grand opening with everyone who joined us here.”
Each guest was asked to speak a few words about the new facility and what it will bring to St. Louis before the ribbon cutting.
“One of the privileges of this role is to lead the MTC’s in the US,” said Byrne. “I couldn’t be more excited to be here today to do my part in welcoming you to this new facility.”
Byrne said that they believe that the Microsoft Technology Centers embody the Microsoft Mission, which is to empower every organization and every person on the planet to achieve more.
“We do that through a combination of immersive technology experiences with hands-on demos and experts in technology and industry that serve as your guides while you’re here,” said Byrne. “We design these spaces to be open and collaborative and allow access to the advanced technology that we have to offer.”
Byrne said that the purpose of MTC being in St. Louis is to help local institutions, whether they are companies or public institutions, discover for themselves how to be digital innovators.
Sorgen said that this is a huge opportunity for companies and organizations in St. Louis because everyone is trying to explore on how they can capitalize new technologies. He said that Microsoft is a place where individuals can go explore and do the ideation in order to really identify the art of what is possible.
“We look forward to being that partner that can help organizations with their digital transformation,” said Sorgen. “There’s so much opportunity out there right now and literally just your imagination is the only limit to what we can accomplish.”
Sorgen explained that MTC is designed for one-on-one sessions where people can deep on one thing, programmed events where groups can learn and even a hackathon that allows developers to identify the impact that they can make.
“Cortex is an amazing innovation that brings an opportunity to create innovation,” said Sorgen. “Microsoft’s invested heavily in our own innovation, but we’re equally excited to be a partner in innovation. And that’s innovation developing right here in St. Louis with the great educational institutions that can feed that innovation pipeline as well as our partners.”
Krewson noted that in today’s age of technology, most cannot survive without our computers, phones, tablets, or Microsoft products.
“Microsoft has been in St. Louis for a while,” said Krewson. “But this is a major, major step up in their presence in St. Louis.”
Krewson said that this facility will also become a major opportunity and step up for the people and companies in the region, those who have the ability “to come here and explore their dreams and what their ideas are.”
“I can promise you,” said Krewson. “Having been the mayor for about 16 months, we certainly have ideation to explore in the government roles. Government has always been behind the private sector when you talk about technology.”
Krewson said that she looks forward to the opportunity to work with Microsoft and make “real progress” on important subjects. She noted that this is a $50 million investment and that the opening of this facility will bring in a lot of local jobs.
Being part of Cortex is important for Microsoft. Cortex is one of the biggest innovation districts in the country. With Cortex and Microsoft both setting up in Missouri, it will make more people aware of the opportunities provided and allow Missouri to make that next step forward.
“When you look at a company like Microsoft or Cortex,” said Parson. “You see them getting better and better and better. And I want to be part of that. I want Missouri to get better and better for the future.”
Parson said investing in the young men and women and children of the state is the way forward for Missouri.
“This is the first step. I think there are more days like this to come,” said Parson. “You’re going to see more companies like Microsoft expanding and doing a better job in the future. We have to do our part as Missourians to make sure that that workforce is available to meet the demands.”