By Samantha Letizia
The City of Newton, MassChallenge, and CIC have partnered to open Newton Innovation Center, a startup-friendly collaborative workspace. NIC is a resource open to local entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to make an impact locally and globally, with programming aimed towards giving young people access to the innovation economy. It is open to CIC clients and MassChallenge 2015 alums.
Last week, Boston-area innovators, entrepreneurs, and community members gathered at Social Restaurant & Bar in the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Newton to celebrate the site’s grand opening. Speakers included Setti Warren, the mayor of Newton; John Harthorne, the CEO of MassChallenge; Tim Rowe, the CEO of CIC; and Holly Flesh, the Chief of Operations at CIC. Tim spoke about how proximity greatly increases the likelihood of collaboration, and how CIC is helping to design spaces such as NIC, which are geared towards building innovation communities.
The reception was followed by tours of NIC. The 5,000-square-foot center is housed in the former Newton Corner Library building at 124 Vernon Street. The space is primarily used for coworking and includes some services CICers will recognize, such as a stocked kitchenette, conference rooms, and phone booths. The day-to-day operations of NIC are primarily managed by MassChallenge, a non-profit that accepts 128 startups into its global accelerator program each year.