2014

Strategic Marketing Company 'Rock Connections' Announces Move to Downtown Detroit - Company relocating 115 full-time team members to the city's growing tech hub with plans to hire many more -

DETROIT, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Another company is joining the ranks of those moving to the nation's fastest growing tech corridor in downtown Detroit. Rock Connections, a strategic marketing company, today announced the move of its 115 team members into the Chase Tower building, a 14-story high rise located at 611 Woodward, just steps from Campus Martius Park, in the city's Central Business District.

Rock Connections LLC provides intelligent marketing solutions by combining experienced communication specialists, robust analytics and targeted selling strategies to ensure their clients achieve significantly improved conversion rates and return on investment on their marketing dollars.  

The company, which launched in May 2012 with 13 team members in Southfield, Michigan, has grown its brain force six-fold in less than five months, and anticipates hiring approximately 20-25 team members per month.

Rock Connections' advanced technology, analytics, and reporting capabilities allow the company a big advantage versus its competitors, according to Victor You, President and CEO of the company.

"Rock Connections maximizes a company's advertising spend by providing highly trained and dynamic communications representatives who provide customized service, combined with valuable analytics, making it the most qualified contact center out there," said You, who before launching Rock Connections, was a mortgage banking team leader at Quicken Loans.

Rock Connections can serve as an extension of existing sales teams or as a stand-alone outbound sales group for companies desiring highly-trained specialists who reinforce their reputation and enhance their bottom line, said You.

Rock Connections is an affiliated company of Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Over the past 26 months, more than 60 companies have moved or started in one of the nine buildings Rock Ventures owns in downtown Detroit.

"The Woodward technology zone is the perfect location for Rock Connections to flourish because its community of companies are working hard, together, to build their businesses and Detroit 2.0. We are eager to move into the vibrant downtown Detroit environment that is teeming with energy and enthusiasm," said You.

"We are pleased to add Rock Connections to the list of companies moving into downtown Detroit's technology center near Campus Martius," said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.  "Rock Connections brings another 115 team members excited about creating and collaborating in the city's urban core."

For more information about Rock Connections, please visit www.rockconnections.com.

About Rock Connections:

Rock Connections is a strategic marketing company that helps companies maximize the value of their advertising and marketing spend. The company's intelligent marketing solutions combine experienced communications representatives, robust analytics and targeted selling strategies to ensure their clients achieve improved conversion rates and return on investment on their marketing dollars. Rock Connections provides superior blended inbound and outbound contact center solutions, while supporting and strengthening the reputation of its client companies. The firm was founded in May 2012 and is now based in Detroit, Michigan. For more information about Rock Connections, please visit www.rockconnections.com.

About Rock Ventures LLC:

Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures' flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home lender and fourth largest retail lender.

***Note to editors: Pasted below is Rock Ventures' Detroit 2.0 Chronology and the list of companies that have moved into Rock Ventures-owned buildings since late 2010.

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Detroit 2.0

Timeline

January 2007: Dan Gilbert founds Bizdom, a non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit.

January 2009: Gilbert and other business leaders invest in M-1 RAIL, a 6.8-mile light-rail system that will link key neighborhoods to Detroit's riverfront, the business district, and educational, cultural, entertainment and medical institutions along Woodward Avenue.

July 2009: Quicken Loans announces it will relocate its headquarters to the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit in 2010.

August 2010: Quicken Loans and five of its sister companies move 1,700 team members into the Compuware building in downtown Detroit.

November 2010: Gilbert, together with entrepreneurs Josh Linkner and Brian Hermelin, launch Detroit Venture Partners, a Detroit-based venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies to be located in the city.

January 2011: Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate purchases Detroit's historical Madison Theatre Building and begins transforming it into a collaborative tech hub to encourage partnership among local entrepreneurs.

April 2011: Rock Ventures acquires the 13-story Chase Tower located in Detroit's downtown central business district and immediately begins renovation to reflect Quicken Loans' culture.

April 2011: Rock Ventures buys Two Detroit Center, a 1,095-space parking garage located in the central business district.

May 2011: Skidmore Studio, a graphic design firm located in a nearby suburb, announces it will become the anchor tenant in the Madison Building when it opens in Fall 2011.

June 2011: Quicken Loans hires 200 interns to work in the Detroit office to expose students to the city and help end Detroit's "brain drain."

July 2011: Earvin "Magic" Johnson joins Detroit Venture Partners to help fund start-up tech companies.

July 2011: Quicken Loans and four other downtown Detroit companies unveil the "Live Downtown" program, which offers financial incentives to team members who live in the city.

July 2011: Quicken Loans sponsors the debut of Somerset Collection's CityLoft, a pop-up shop open the last weekend of each month in downtown Detroit with mini-versions of upscale stores, to bring retail back to downtown Detroit.

August 2011: Rock Ventures purchases Detroit's First National Building to house more team members as well as other businesses.

August 2011: Rock Ventures acquires its fourth building, the 101-year-old Dime Building located in downtown Detroit, and the Financial District Garage, a 983-space parking structure adjacent to the Dime Building.

August 2011: Rock Ventures purchases the Madison Parking Lot on Broadway, adjacent to the Madison Theatre Building.

September 2011: Quicken Loans hosts a job fair to fill 500 positions in Detroit within the Family of Companies, 2,500 line up around the building to apply.

October 2011: An additional 2,000 Quicken Loans team members move into the newly renovated Chase Tower.

December 2011: Rock Ventures completes the acquisition of three additional properties in Downtown Detroit – the historic Wright-Kay brownstone, the Lane Bryant and the Arts League of Michigan Buildings.

January 2012: Rock Ventures adds two more buildings to its real estate portfolio - the Historic Federal Reserve Building, and 1550 Woodward Avenue, a one-story building to be utilized for retail or commercial use.

February 2012: To encourage Detroit's "brain gain," the Quicken Loans Family of Companies announces it will hire 600 paid interns - 500 to work in Detroit to discover all the great things the City has to offer.

April 2012: The Quicken Loans Family of Companies begins a recruiting campaign to hire more than 1,400 team members, and launches Valley to Detroit, a campaign aimed to bring laid off Yahoo technology professionals to Detroit from Silicon Valley.

April 2012: Rock Ventures and Chrysler hold a press conference to announce that Chrysler will lease the top two floors of Rock Ventures' Dime Building and rename the building Chrysler House.

June 2012: Quicken Loans partners with other Detroit businesses to create "IT in the D," a program to give local university students real-world experience to prepare them for tech jobs in Detroit.

July 2012: Title Source, the largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation, begins move of 1,500 team members to downtown Detroit's First National Building.

October 2012: Rock Connections, a strategic marketing company that provides experienced communications specialists, robust analytics, and targeted selling strategies, moves 115 team members into the Chase Tower Building in downtown Detroit's growing tech hub.

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Companies that have joined Rock Ventures in Downtown Detroit since August 2010

Over the past 26 months, more than 60 companies have moved to downtown Detroit in the following Rock Ventures buildings:

M@dison Building (50,000 sq. feet; 100 percent occupied):

  • Twitter: A real-time information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news
  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying 9,780 square feet of space
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP):  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
  • Stik.com: A website that brings the word-of-mouth referral process online
  • Chez Zara: A full-service espresso bar that specializes in exceptional espresso drinks and organic teas
  • Bizdom: A non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit and Cleveland (Bizdom Detroit was previously housed in Wayne State University's Tech Town)
  • Are You a Human: The answer to frustrating CAPTCHA entries, Are You a Human uses fun games to verify the authenticity of people completing online forms
  • Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings
  • hiredMYway : A company disrupting the traditional "job board" concept that provides an exceptionally better value and experience for both job seekers and employers
  • TextsFromLastNight (Detroit office): An accidental startup born out of a viral sensation, now one of the leading user-generated content sites for 20-somethings
  • FLUD: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they're most interested in
  • Marxent Labs: Creator of ShopWith.It, a new app for social shoppers that makes it easy to take your Facebook friends shopping
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage venture capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
  • Aria Ventures: A company specializing in developing and funding startup ventures
  • 313 Ventures: Stock trader-turned-angel investor, partaking in the rebuild of Detroit, one deal at a time
  • Vineyard Capital: An investment firm for later-stage private companies, partnering with various groups throughout the Midwest
  • Roqbot: A social jukebox app that lets you be the DJ at your favorite bars, restaurants, gyms, and stores
  • Savorfull: Monthly samples of allergy free, nutrient dense foods, delivered right to your doorstep
  • EBLI: A proprietary system that teaches people of any age and skill level to read to their highest potential
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company whose first feature film, Jinn, is now in post-production
  • GreenLancer: Web-based company that provides businesses a model for cutting development and engineering costs in clean energy projects
  • GumShoe: A game where players compete against friends and a community of sleuths to solve mysteries, and earn awards, social cred and the occasional real life cache along the way
  • Quikkly: Short-term deals exclusively for college students
  • Wedit: A fun, easy, and affordable way to capture, edit, and share wedding memories through the use of HD Flip cameras
  • Tapjoy:  A mobile ad network that lets you discover apps and get in-app rewards when you engage with ads
  • Thrillist Detroit: Free weekly email that finds the best of what's new in your neighborhood and on the web
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG):  The area's pre-eminent provider of office furniture

Chase Tower (505,000 sq. feet; 100 percent occupied):

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching clients with pre-screened real estate agents in their local community across the country
  • Rock Connections:  A strategic marketing company that provides experienced communications specialists, robust analytics, and targeted selling strategies

First National Building (800,000 sq. feet; 93 percent occupied):

  • Title Source: The largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation
  • Aerotek: A leading staffing agency that matches qualified candidates with top companies worldwide
  • Roasting Plant:  New York-based coffee company with unique Javabot roasting technology (opening in December 2012)

Chrysler House (Former Dime Building; 320,000 sq. feet; 92 percent occupied):

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Chrysler Group LLC: Automotive company that produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products
  • Just Baked: Specialty cupcake shop and bakery
  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services
  • Allied Printing Company: Provides printing, information management, and warehouse & fulfillment services
  • Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello PLC: Provides world-class legal service
  • Professional Movers.com: Moving company that specializes in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses
  • Elite Fire Safety: A one-stop-shop for fire safety needs
  • EverStaff: Recruits the most skilled and qualified professionals for organizations of all sizes
  • FNC Holding Company: Provides insight into the property backing a loan with its data and analytic solutions
  • GSI: A company specializing in security, network and system integration
  • Metro Consulting:  A full service civil engineering and land surveying consultancy
  • Reliance One: A full service staffing firm
  • SCI Marketview: A lead management company for automotive dealers
  • Corby Energy: Providing construction, engineering and support services to utilities and related businesses
  • Campus Commandos: Connects clients with the college demographic through the use of student brand ambassadors
  • Core Merchant: Easy and convenient credit payment solutions for businesses

1528 Woodward (45, 146 sq. feet; former Arts League Building):

  • Sachse Construction: Offering premium commercial construction services nationwide

Rock Ventures companies also lease space in the following downtown Detroit buildings:

Compuware (1, 088,000 sq. feet; Rock Ventures leases four floors; 100 percent occupied):

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Rock Ventures: An umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate
  • Fathead: The Real.Big. brand of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics products
  • Bedrock Real Estate Services: Rock Ventures' full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space
  • Rockbridge Growth Equity: A Detroit-based private equity firm that invests in mid-stage financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media & entertainment industries
  • Rock Gaming: A gaming partnership formed with an initial focus to develop full-service casinos in two of Ohio's largest cities, as well as to explore other potential gaming opportunities elsewhere
  • Rock Companies: A real estate investment, development, construction and management company focusing on commercial, residential single and multi-family investments in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio
  • Quizzle: Website that gives consumers a complete understanding of their credit so they can make better financial decisions
  • Cup of Zup: Uniquely amusing pop-culture e-newsletter and website
  • Picket Report: An online neighborhood research tool

One Detroit Center (957,355 sq. feet; Rock Ventures leases three floors):

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The largest reverse-only mortgage lender in America and second largest retail provider of reverse mortgage home loans

SOURCE Rock Ventures LLC



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http://www.rockconnections.com

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