245 Main: CIC’s Newest Cambridge Launchpad for Exceptional Entrepreneurs

When CIC opened its doors in 1999, our founders wanted to create a place for entrepreneurs to fix the world by innovating better and faster.

As MIT graduates, they took to their institutional backyard of Kendall Square to build a novel office environment: one where proximity encourages collaboration, where shared resources spark the sharing of knowledge to propel businesses forward even without the direct investment of capital.

Since then CIC has attracted thousands of startups, corporations, investors, accelerators, and nonprofits to Kendall Square, helping to transform the Cambridge, MA, neighborhood into an internationally renowned innovation district.

This fall we celebrate the 20-year legacy of our flagship location with CIC’s newest facility opening at 245 Main in the heart of Kendall Square. The third building in our Cambridge campus, 245 Main features 90,000 square feet of creative office and event space for innovators of all stripes to work, collide, and connect on the most startup-dense block in the world.

CIC President Brian Dacey calls the new innovation space “a unique opportunity to expand our Kendall Square campus to one of the area’s premier buildings.”

Dacey credits building owner Boston Properties for their support and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority for ensuring that space for startups and entrepreneurs remains available in the ever-evolving and developing neighborhood.

“Innovation is at the heart of Kendall Square’s success, and CIC and our clients continue to thrive in the center of it,” says Dacey.

Infrastructure for collaboration

As a destination for organizations looking to plug into the innovation ecosystem, Kendall Square provides the ideal backdrop for some of CIC’s most exciting new initiatives.

Among its five floors of workspace, 245 Main will be home to the recently launched AGENCY: The CIC Global Longevity Collective.

With a growing list of sponsors including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Sompo Japan, AGENCY aims to foster an age-friendly world by facilitating innovation and collaboration among professionals, communities, and institutions. In addition to high-touch programming and resource connectivity via CIC’s international innovation hubs, AGENCY welcomes entrepreneurs, enterprises, and elders to work side-by-side in an eldertech and aging-focused coworking space.

AGENCY cofounder Danielle Duplin says the program’s global footprint means that “residents and strategic partners can leverage emerging trends and best practices across cultures and markets.”

“We welcome innovators in all disciplines to cowork at AGENCY and help forge a collegial environment where research, ideas, strategies, and networks can be amplified, remixed, and scaled across global markets,” says Duplin.

Meanwhile, multinational pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson unveils JPOD @ Boston, a healthtech industry hub at 245 Main. The goal of JPOD @ Boston is to connect select local healthcare entrepreneurs with Johnson & Johnson’s innovation community, supporting promising startups working in therapeutics, medical devices, and consumer and digital health solutions.

Over nearly two decades, the successes of CIC clients have validated our founders’ belief in putting innovators in proximity to one another with access to resources. On the 12th floor at 245 Main, we apply this strategy to the bridging of Massachusetts and China’s innovation communities with the CIC China Hub.

In partnership with the China US Business Innovation Center, which provides cross-border services and investment opportunities to early stage startups, this unique floor features workspace with built-in organic networking and resource mapping that facilitate smoother access between US and Chinese markets.

Placemaking by design

Stepping into the lobby of 245 Main, you’ll encounter a space that straddles the boundary between indoor and outdoor. CIC Design Lead Gabe Tomasulo explains that the material elements of the lobby intentionally mimic those of Kendall Square: brick, granite, concrete, reclaimed wood, and factory windows.

“The lobby expresses the continuity between CIC and Kendall Square, which is particularly appropriate given our upcoming 20th anniversary at the intersection of Broadway, Main, and Third Streets,” he says.

Tomasulo’s team designed each floor to feel distinct, both in terms of materials used (fabric-heavy versus metallic, for example) as well as the layout of corridors and rooms. This gives users a novel experience as they navigate different areas of the space.

“We wanted to take advantage of the building’s amazing views and prominent location by placing public amenities in dramatic spots,” says Tomasulo. “Our kitchens and lounges are the social heart of CIC.”

In addition, 245 Main is the first CIC location to welcome canine members.  

Part of something bigger

Just steps away from the Kendall/MIT stop on the Red Line, 245 Main joins CIC’s Cambridge campus that currently houses over 700 companies and $7 billion in venture capital. Between this triangle of buildings, CIC hosts an average of over 100 events each month, ranging from hackathons and pitch competitions to technical workshops and wellness seminars.

CIC Cambridge is also home at 1 Broadway to Venture Café Kendall, our nonprofit sister organization best known for its weekly Thursday Gathering of hundreds of innovators.

Growing our existing infrastructure not only means that residents have access to the many meeting spaces and amenities of two additional buildings within walking distance. Members also become part of a locally rooted community with almost 20 years of history and experience—as well as CIC’s expanding global network of members and partners.

“Our vision is that the new technologies being born daily in Kendall Square and similar innovation districts around the world represent humanity’s best hope for overcoming the substantial challenges we face today,” says CIC founder and CEO Tim Rowe.

“In our experience, nothing can match the power for positive change represented by bringing leading innovators together. We are excited to make more of this possible at 245 Main.”

Featured Post From CIC Cambridge