We’ve been seeing some pretty cool tech and co-working spaces springing up around Buffalo, but nothing as dynamic and awesome as M&T Bank’s new collaborative workspace inside the Tech Hub at Seneca One.
M&T Bank has announcing the official unveiling of this imaginative, 330,000-square foot workspace that is not only playful, it’s designed to attract and retain some of the best and brightest young technologists regionally, and internationally. Before the day is done, M&T’s plan is to create over 1,000 jobs at the Tech Hub, which, is projected to cost upwards of $58 million to build out. That hiring spree will take place over the next three to five years.
“The Tech Hub will be a catalyst for our emerging tech ecosystem,” said René Jones, M&T Bank Chairman and CEO. “This investment will help us attract talent – not only to M&T Bank, but to all companies – and to make our region a magnet for people who want to solve problems and develop solutions that make a difference in people’s lives. It will unleash talent to create positive change that emphasizes opportunities for all, spark entrepreneurial activity that lifts our economy and grow an inclusive ecosystem that extends into our community and region.”
M&T’s goal is to “develop, improve and deploy financial technology solutions.” To that end, 120+ recent college graduates in STEM-related fields have been hired, along with 400+ experienced technology professionals.
“The Tech Hub at Seneca One is transforming Buffalo by creating technology jobs, encouraging tech firms to locate here and developing tech training programs for our community. It’s an exciting, tech-driven path to inclusive growth,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “The potential of the Tech Hub is boundless, but it will require community collaboration and innovative policymaking to fully achieve it. That’s why we launched Buffalo’s Race for Place, a public-private partnership that supports talent attraction by creating innovative, engaging environments through placemaking, infrastructure improvements and business development.”
Douglas Development’s ability to renovate Seneca One at a rapid clip was largely based on attracting M&T as an anchor tenant in the building. The building now boasts brand new illuminated M&T signage at the top of the tower, which is considered a rallying flag for the entire development, as well as for the city of Buffalo. M&T’s Tech hub joins a series of other developments throughout the building, along with additional talent, startups, and tech firms including Odoo, Serendipity Labs, Lighthouse Technology Services, AML RightSource, as well as startup competition and accelerator 43North and dozens of its portfolio companies have signed leases and moved into Seneca One.
“The Tech Hub expands the resources available to local startups and creates added momentum for our city’s tech ecosystem,” said 43North President Colleen Heidinger. “The co-location of startups and technology firms at the Tech Hub brings visionaries, innovators, and change agents together in shared spaces, creating a density that leads to collisions of talented people who are ready to collaborate in ways that lift our community. This is more than a vision, it’s more than talk of supporting startups – it’s another tangible and integral part of a collective movement to build an ecosystem that celebrates and drives entrepreneurism.”
As a way to attract top regional talents to the Tech Hub, M&T has been rolling out a series of talent development initiatives including a Technology Development Program and the Z Development Program Mainframe Apprenticeship.
“In today’s economy, the success of cities hinges on its talent. Working with companies like M&T Bank, our partners in the public sector and our peers in education, we continue to develop a talented workforce with the knowledge, skills and innovative spirit to compete successfully in our global economy,” said Satish K. Tripathi, president of the University at Buffalo. “Beyond traditional university settings, our collective work focuses on building community-based talent pipelines for local students to study tech and start careers in Buffalo.”
The Tech Hub has also launched its “Tech Academy,” which is now available to 3000 people, who are interested in acquiring free skills training via the WNY Tech Skills Initiative. General Assembly (GA) – a globally known pioneer in career transformation and development – has been retained as the bank’s educational partner. The goals of the program are twofold: to provide continuous learning for local technologists, and to create pathways for the community to access the skills and training to be a part of the city’s tech industry.
“As a lifelong resident of Western New York who witnessed the industrial decline of my community, Buffalo’s emergence as a thriving tech hub in this magnificent space is a huge source of pride for me,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “As we celebrate this milestone made possible by M&T Bank and Douglas Development, this more inclusive and innovative ecosystem that creates the workspace and jobs of tomorrow telegraphs to the world that Buffalo’s future has arrived.”
All of this has been made possible thanks to Douglas Development’s commitment to gutting and restoring Seneca One’s 1.2 million+ square feet of space. The development team also built a series of new additions surrounding the ground level of the complex. Many of those “ground floor” additions will ultimately help to create a more “welcoming” approach to the tower – in the past, the “tower” has been a place of isolation, instead of a seamless downtown component.
Things are certainly ‘looking up’ at the tower.