The Microsoft Garage celebrates a new location at Microsoft’s Atlantic Yards campus to drive experimentation, innovation, and inspiration at Microsoft and in the vibrant city of Atlanta.
Atlanta’s skilled workforce is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, providing an ideal landscape for international and local enterprises to establish a presence and open business. Atlanta has the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States. Add to the mix an energetic academic community of world-renowned Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with gifted young professionals eager to make an impact, the region continues to draw companies courting top-notch talent.
The Garage Atlanta enables collaboration, creativity, and experimentation. Through engagement with local communities, The Garage Atlanta will create connections and inspire innovation for the Atlanta ecosystem to amplify their voice and their expression, especially historically underserved and vulnerable communities.
Microsoft has partnered closely with the city every step of the way to involve the city council and local organizations in planning the campus. The Garage is purpose-built to promote Microsoft’s mission to empower people to achieve more, including a community gathering space for workshops, talks, and meetups, and a maker space with the latest fabrication and prototyping equipment.
The Garage Azure Showcase provides a 24/7 snapshot of real-time azure data with a video wall that enables a comprehensive view of Azure, from internal processes to the customer experience: it’s designed as a space where engineering teams, large and small, can come together to utilize the data to increase efficiency, anticipate issues, and deliver on customer needs.
The Garage will also provide programming for the site’s One Mic recording and editing studio. Located next to The Garage, the studio is an experience to drive collaboration, creativity, and experimentation. Through video and music creation and editing, employees can express their authentic voice and creativity, teams can collaborate and experiment with their communication, and the Atlanta community can amplify and elevate their voice.
The Garage Atlanta officially opened its doors in May during a Microsoft Atlanta (ATL) launch event hosted in The Garage space, kicked off with a lively performance by the percussion section band from Clark Atlanta University (CAU). Hosted by Vince “The Voice” Bailey, with Microsoft Atlanta site leadership discussion panel featuring Terrell Cox, Billy Anders, Gayle Sheppard, and Michael Ford, and words from Keisha Ebbensen, Jeffrey Brown, and Reginald Shareef who spoke about the ATL employee experience and culture. A broad array of business groups across Microsoft came together for the grand opening of The Garage Atlanta including Engineering, Legal, HR, and Finance groups, illustrating an appetite to innovate, to foster a hack culture and a growth mindset across One Microsoft.
Clark Atlanta University percussion section band performance kicking off the ATL launch celebration
“The Garage Atlanta will be moving full STEAM ahead by partnering with Microsoft Philanthropies and our community engagement groups to support local Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics efforts.” LeAndra Jordan, Garage Atlanta Site Lead and Sr. Program Manager, is fully engaged and has already been connecting Microsoft to the local ecosystem. “We will continue to stoke creativity through different mediums of art including music and explore the intersectionality of aviation and hacking. We will offer opportunities for employee-led workshops to engage with each other but also the community.”
Located in Midtown Atlanta, The Garage is a tantalizing draw for new talent in tech and for Microsoft customers to experience what Microsoft’s culture is all about, how diversity in thought and curiosity to learn and collaborate can help create better products, more delightful experiences, and great innovations. Employees take principles practiced in The Garage back to their day jobs and while engaging customers – forming diverse teams and forging new relationships for better outcomes, valuing failure as essential to learning, putting the growth mindset into action with a bias for action, and understanding that good ideas can come from anywhere. Garage programs foster employee collaboration across the breadth of the company, breaking down silos and including varied perspectives.
The Garage Atlanta joins over a dozen Garages worldwide located in New England, New York, Bay Area, Vancouver, Kenya, Bengaluru, Dublin, Herzliya, Beijing and more.
Garage Programs include:
The Microsoft Global Hackathon, a company-wide, multi-day, global event produced by The Garage that brings employees and interns from all over the world together to create, innovate, and hack on ideas that inspire them.
New Employee Hacks, opportunities for new employees to be immersed in the Microsoft hack culture and learn The Garage approach to innovation.
Hack Advisors, a community for employees to put company cultural priorities into action by helping each other hack, gain feedback on products, and make connections across the company.
The Garage University Engagement creates career opportunities for underrepresented and underserved students.
Talks, Workshops, and Maker Kits are offerings for employees to exercise their curiosity and learn about topics and trends.
The Garage Growth Framework, a set of foundational methods to take your ideas from concept to sponsorship in the innovation lifecycle.
The Garage Experimental Outlet, where innovators at the company can put their ideas in the hands of real customers to get valuable feedback.
Wall display of Microsoft Global Hackathon visual elements and photos over the years
More about Microsoft Atlanta: