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Microsoft Innovation Centers
Like many European cities, Brussels underwent extensive modernization and rebuilding after the Second World War. Since then, the capital of Belgium has been a major center for international politics and is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts many principal EU Institutions. NATO is also headquartered in Brussels.
Located in one of the most urbanized regions of Europe, Brussels is one of the most green European capitals. The city has recently experienced a large increase in population, with a younger populace than the rest of the country, and people of foreign origin making up nearly 70% of the population. As the population continues to grow in this way, Brussels is becoming increasingly multilingual, though French and Dutch are the dominant languages.
Close collaboration between universities and industry, as well as support from Regional authorities has allowed Brussels to flourish in the area of health care and pharmaceuticals, including support for pioneering research in biotechnology. The health sector employs 70,000 people in 30,000 companies.
The Microsoft Innovation Center in Brussels (MIC Brussels) was established in 2011 as a public and private partnership between Microsoft and the Brussels Region to develop the IT sector. MIC Brussels is hosted in the Brussels Microsoft Executive Briefing Center.
Since its launch, MIC Brussels has welcomed thousands of people in training, networking, and coaching activities that help startups and entrepreneurs start their own businesses. Through the Boostcamp and MIC acceleration programs, hundreds of jobs have been created. MIC Brussels organizes free preparation courses for certifications as well as coaching of IT students and job seekers in partnership with its local partners.
For first-time entrepreneurs: MIC Boostcamp. MIC Brussels Boostcamp is a complete program for first-time entrepreneurs. It aims to help entrepreneurs from the ICT sector accelerate the start of their business. MIC Brussels organizes two Boostcamps a year specifically targeting the IT sector.
MIC Brussels offers developers a range of “hands-on” sessions to support them in learning to develop on Windows Azure, HTML5, or developing applications for Windows Phone and Windows 10. Since its launch, MIC Brussels has hosted a large number of developers at sessions covering the latest Microsoft technological developments, such as Windos Azure, Windows Phone, and Windows 10. MIC Brussels has also partnered to support women’s initiatives in ICT, promoting and encouraging female hackathons and coding among women.
MIC Brussels operates an internship program for .NET students. These students have the opportunity to participate in an internship at a SME or startup from the MIC network as well as receive extra technical coaching and guidance from MIC Brussels. Two-thirds of these students find a job during the program or right after completion. Students coming out of the program have strong C# knowledge and attractive professional profiles in the job market. Students also work on building prototypes for MIC startups taking part in the MIC Acceleration Program.
In March 2014, MIC Brussels launched discovery sessions on Kodu for Primary School children from the Brussels region.
These sessions are very successful. Discovering Kodu is an opportunity for kids to use their creativity, invent some games, and discover the fun of coding.
Rue Montoyer 51,
Microsoft Innovation Centers embody partnership with local government, university, and industry partners.
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