Miller Fienne said the floor would provide a space in which young companies could “run away”. He said that the rent charged from big companies would also play an important role in maintaining the operation of the centre.
Miller Fienne said the delay in moving to larger companies was intentional: She said the nonprofit needed time to figure out what types of large, long-term tenants would be a good fit for the center.
“It’s the last piece of the puzzle … and the last piece has to fit right in,” said Miller Fienne. “We decided we didn’t want just one big tenant taking up the whole space – or even two.”
Miller Fienne also attributed the fifteen-month delay to the fact that larger tenants would be less inclined to move into the space before the completion of the Capital East District parking structure, which opened last December.
Even before StartingBlock opened, the roster of anchor tenants was in flux. In 2015, flagship Madison tech companies such as mobile game developer PerBlue and apartment rental website Abodo said they would be part of the mix. However, by the time StartBlock’s soft launch took place, those companies had grown too big for the space.
Perblu’s COO Forrest Woolworth said in a 2017 interview, “In my entrepreneurially optimistic thinking, I thought, ‘Oh, this building will take two years to be built… It would be great for PerBlue.”