Innovation is For Everyone: Community and Social Equity


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by Alison Foley
April 21, 2021
May 20, 2021 @ 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Join us on May 20 for a new installment of our series Innovation is for Everyone!

About this Event

Welcome to Venture Café Providence Thursday Gathering

10:30- 11:15 AM |Alternative Sources of Capital

The JOBS Act of 2012 created new ways for entrepreneurs and small business owners to raise the capital they need to fuel their businesses from the community. In fact, the SEC recently enhanced these programs just this past March! Learn how investment crowdfunding can serve as an innovative way to raise money for your startup or existing business. Learn the basics of these programs at this event!

John Panaccione, Managing Partner, Folla Capital

11:15- 11:30 AM | Startup Story: 25 Bough

Join us for a Startup Story featuring Lanre Ajakaiye of 25 Bough. Startup stories showcase local innovators, startups and small businesses with their own session dedicated to sharing what they’ve learned with the Venture Café Community.


25 Bough, a vacant building in the Olneyville section of Providence, Rhode Island, is being redeveloped from a blighted property to an in-demand public space enjoyed by and empowering the community with revenue generating uses compatible to current and future needs. The vision for the property includes: a multi-purpose function hall; youth and women’s empowerment programming; an athletic skills area; and an interactive heritage and cultural experience. This is the first project in New England to be approved by the FCC under Regulation CF.

​ Lanre Ajakaiye, Community Developer, Social Entrepreneur & Brand Architect 25 Bough

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM | Cultivating Innovation: Informal Conversations with RI’s Economic Gardener

Join us for an informal conversation, led by Tuni Schartner, Executive Director of District Hall & Venture Café Providence and RI’s Economic Gardener. Every week Tuni Schartner will lead the conversation with thought leaders from around Rhode Island touching on a number of topics important for innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in Rhode Island.

Tuni Schartner, Executive Director Venture Café Providence


12:00 – 1:00 PM Amplifying the Existing Community to Build a Better Neighborhood

Join us as we celebrate and explore how local developers and community development corporations are building stronger neighborhoods by working with the local community and supporting social equity, education, belonging, and self-determination. This conversation will be powered by Candace Harper, Deputy Director of West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation; Carla Destefano, Executive Director of SWAP; Kate Bramson, Director of Policy, Fundraising, and Communications of ONE Neighborhood Builders; and moderated by Stephanie Zurek of Union Studio Architects.


Moderator: Stephanie Zurek, Associate at Union Studio

Candace Harper, Deputy Director, West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation

Carla Destefano, Executive Director, SWAP

Kate Bramson, Director of Policy, Fundraising, and Communications ONE Neighborhood Builders



Hosted By Venture Café Providence

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 workspace where entrepreneurs can collaborate and work. In addition, we rent out event and meeting space.

Innovation Is For Everyone Fund

Our mission is to make Innovation a possibility for everyone by providing free, open, and inclusive programming. By investing in Innovation is for Everyone, you are investing in the future. Your support enables Innovation Studio to offer free mentoring, programs, training, resources, and space to entrepreneurs and innovation within our communities.

Support our mission by contributing to “Innovation is for Everyone” HERE

**Since Innovation Studio is a 501c3 non-profit organization, your gift is deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

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