In 2019, Innovation Studio opened its weekly Venture Café gathering and District Hall space in Providence’s Jewelry District.  These programs operate out of the new Innovation Center, developed by Wexford.  Venture Café partnered with Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to activate the building as CIC operates a co-working business in the building.  We work with the other building tenants: Brown University, Johnson and Johnson and RI Hub to make it a true hub of startup, innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Venture Café will continue to use its weekly programming platform approach for building out a startup ecosystem for the region.  Additionally, District Hall presents niche programming specifically designed to tend to the needs of Rhode Island’s entrepreneurial community.

Innovation Studio  is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to broaden, connect, and support the innovation community through a public network of spaces and programs to give anyone with an idea the opportunity to succeed.  We have been helping people to start and grow businesses since 2010 by operating Venture Café Cambridge (Boston’s largest weekly innovation gathering), District Hall (the world’s first civic innovation center) and Roxbury Innovation Center (the first urban innovation center).

District Hall Providence is the result of a collaborative public-private partnership. When the State of Rhode Island announced the vision for the Innovation and Design District, Wexford Science and Technology responded with a plan to develop a multi building innovation campus. Out of that plan emerged a desire to create a gathering space for innovators to get together, and share ideas.

The Point 225 Building at 225 Dyer Street was publicly funded by the State of Rhode Island and built by Wexford. The State and Wexford asked the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to create an innovation hub within the building. CIC helped to establish this hub, provided the initial design, and oversaw construction.  CIC acts as the property manager for the building.  CIC worked with Rhode Island officials to develop funding programs for District Hall Providence and holds the lease for the space.  Innovation Studio, formally known as  Venture Café Foundation, was also involved in the District Hall space design and now manages the space.


Tuni Schartner, Executive Director – tuni.schartner@innovationstudio.org


Impact Reports

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