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Rhode Island Innovators,

In 2019, in collaboration with the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) and Wexford Science & Technology, Innovation Studio (fka, Venture Café Foundation) joined the Providence Innovation ecosystem as the manager and operator of Venture Café Providence and District Hall Providence.  Over the last two years, our dedicated team has led and hosted hundreds of events, welcomed over 4,000 lounge users, supported more than 1500 entrepreneurs and created and launched the RI Small Business Support Program helping over a thousand small local business owners through the pandemic. 

Our team has very much enjoyed two years of serving the entrepreneurial community of Rhode Island, however, moving forward we will no longer be doing so in the same capacity. Effective October 1, 2021, the operations of Venture Café Providence and District Hall Providence will transition from Innovation Studio to the Venture Café Global Institute and CIC Providence.

Innovation Studio will continue to support the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rhode Island, but will shift its focus to its principal mission of inclusionary innovation. We will continue to build programs that strengthen existing small businesses, as well as build programs that create opportunities where new and aspiring entrepreneurs can obtain the resources and skills they need. 

Given the nature of this shift, Tuni Schartner will be stepping down from her role as Executive Director for Venture Café Providence and District Hall Providence effective September 10, 2021. In the interim, I will assume leadership responsibilities for Providence while the realignment takes shape. 

Over the coming weeks, we will work in partnership with the leadership at Venture Café Global Institute and CIC Providence to ensure an uninterrupted transition of services. Please continue to work with the team at Innovation Studio to book pod rentals and events occurring prior to October 1st and join us throughout September for a final five Venture Café Thursday Gatherings. Please contact Ashley Medeiros with any questions.  Additional details about this transition can be found here.

We are looking forward to the future and the opportunity to continue working in partnership with Rhode Island’s entrepreneurial and innovation community. 

Daniel Enríquez Vidaña
President of Innovation Studio

Venture Café New England, now as Innovation Studio is an inclusive 501(c)(3) non-profit and the leader in offering free innovation services, through a constellation of virtual and physical community spaces. Over the years Innovation Studio has run 5,000+ program sessions, held 2800 office hour sessions, welcomed 250,000+ public lounge users and 265,000+ program attendees, and a social reach 67,000+.

District Hall Providence is activated by Innovation Studio.  We are a public home for innovators and entrepreneurs, bringing people together to collaborate through programs, spaces, and other resources.  We offer a free public work space where entrepreneurs can collaborate and work.  In addition, we rent out event and meeting space.  Like us on instagram, sign up for our newsletter, and check out our public events calendar.