The Inclusive Innovation Incubator — billed by city officials as the nation’s first affordable co-working incubator to emphasize diversity and inclusion — celebrated its grand opening with a visit from Mayor Muriel Bowser on April 20.
Bowser’s administration granted $1 million to Howard University last year for creation of the incubator, nicknamed In3, as part of an initiative to expand the city’s technology sector opportunities.
At the incubator’s 2301 Georgia Ave. NW location within Howard University’s Wonder Plaza, entrepreneurs and businesses from underrepresented communities will focus on leveraging resources for venture capital firms to support medium- to late-stage technology and innovation startups, according to a news release.
“This initiative supports my Administration’s vision to make D.C. a more diverse and inclusive city as we expand our tech economy in ways that benefit every DC resident,” Bowser said in the release. “To address the lack of diversity in the tech industry and create inclusive prosperity in every Ward, we will continue to identify more opportunities like In3.”
With the help of operator Luma Lab, In3 will provide offerings such as networking events, strategic connections, membership plans, event space, office hours with industry professionals and private offices. The 8,000-square-foot incubator, designed by Wingate Hughes Architects PLLC, includes 60 workstations, 11 offices and five classrooms.
In3 rang in its first week with the mayor’s appearance, as well as workshops, trainings, black and Latino meetups, a pitch competition and other special events.
“This is a life-long dream come true to see a space created that will specifically serve D.C.’s underrepresented tech entrepreneurs and residents who are working tirelessly, but have not been exposed to the right opportunities to move their businesses forward,” Aaron Saunders — founder and CEO of In3, Clearly Innovative and Luma Lab — said in the release.