American Family Insurance opens Spark, new building dedicated to innovation, entrepreneurs

A new office building opened Wednesday dedicated to innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship in Madison, according to a release.

The state-of-the-art Spark building represents American Family Insurances’ investment in the city of Madison and will serve as home for the company’s digital transformation, venture capital and community investment efforts, AmFam officials said.

Spark will also be the headquarters of the new part of the company that will use entrepreneurial thinking, processes and partnerships to address social issues, according ot the release.

“We’re launching The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact to strengthen our company while tackling some profound social issues facing our communities, schools and governments,” Jack Salzwedel, American Family Insurance chair and CEO, said in the release. “In so many ways, our brand, our mission and our work directly intersect with building stronger communities. The Institute is one more way to grow our company and make a positive community impact.”

The institute will build on the company’s commitment to engage with communities to solve some of society’s challenges through public and private partnerships, officials said. It will help the formation and growth of social and classic entrepreneurs who create living-wage jobs and positively contribute to society.

The institute will focus on entrepreneurs of color and female business owners, and will also support entrepreneurship by youth and young adults, according to the release. The institute will have three focus areas, including K-12 education; how individuals, communities, businesses and systems within a city survive, adapt and grow; and economic opportunity for all.

Spark is already home to DreamBank and StartingBlock Madison, according to the release. Some American Family employees will relocate to Spark over the next couple of months.