Before you could read this on your phone,
shop with bitcoin, or ride in a self-driving car, even before Y2K, Cambridge Innovation Center opened as a home for innovators who would contribute to these technological changes.
In 1999, “coworking” wasn’t a household term, let alone a standard office option. That year, CIC became the first provider of shared office space in Cambridge’s Kendall Square (now known as the most innovative square mile on the planet) and one of the original players in the market for shared office space anywhere.
The mission was the same then as it is now: to support entrepreneurs in fixing the world through innovation.
As of 2018, over 5,000 companies had chosen CIC as their platform for growth — some proliferating products and staff at lightning speed, others moving slowly and steadily with the care that their particular work requires. And we’ve grown along the way, too. Since 2014, we have expanded to six cities with several more campuses under development. Whether looking at our own growth or that of our clients, we find it most meaningful to examine the bigger picture: how our work improves our communities.
CONNECT 2018, our first global impact report, provides an in-depth look at the powerful networks that CIC builds and the people they serve.
The network effect at work.
You can build a conventional space and fill it with people. Or you can bring people together and tailor-make a space that will help them flourish. We opt for the latter.
Each new CIC site is preceded by thoughtful partnerships with local organizations, allowing us to create facilities and programming that compliment the unique strengths and needs of that city. The result? Deeply connected local networks that connect across industries and geographical borders into an ever-growing global community.
As CIC expands, so does the ecosystem our clients have access to. Our members regularly cite the strength of our network as a significant factor in their decision to work from CIC. Thirty percent of CIC client companies double in size during their tenure with us.
Venture Café, CIC’s primary community engagement partner, operated in seven cities across three continents in 2018, nearly all of these locations sharing space with CIC sites. Collectively these Venture Café locations offered more than 10,400 free educational sessions.
CIC and its partners together represent a robust suite of resources that fuel entrepreneurial growth.
Our report highlights some of these key resources in 2018, including:
Over 3,500 events hosted in CIC spaces attended by approximately 300K guests: workshops, hackathons, pitch competitions, lectures, and more
In-kind donations of event space and sponsored offices totaling more than $1.75M
Shared wet lab facilities in three cities and digital fabrication equipment at two sites, allowing companies large and small to access crucial tools
Concierge ecosystem connections through market-specific programs such as CIC Japan Desk and Captains of Innovation
These resources provide educational and infrastructural building blocks that propel companies at every stage of their growth. With business services and networking opportunities drawn into the blueprints of CIC spaces, we encourage a more inclusive, equitable entrepreneurial community.
Diverse industries, common ethos.
CIC maintains a present client and alumni base of over 59K individual members and 5,000 companies. These companies represent nearly every imaginable industry, with almost half of current clients working in the science and technology sectors.
Our report spotlights the stories of five CIC-based organizations that are making waves in their fields and whose founders exemplify the CIC spirit of entrepreneurialism and purpose:
Converge, a women-led venture capital firm in Cambridge specializing in early stage investments for B2B tech companies
Epharmix, a digital healthcare company in St. Louis whose automated patient-provider communication tool aims to decrease hospitalization and mortality rates
Resilient Coders, a Boston nonprofit building tech talent pipelines in traditionally under-resourced communities
SkyEcho, whose weather surveillance technology allows municipalities to make smarter decisions based on hyper-local data
The proof is in the funding.
Countless innovations developed at CIC simultaneously solve problems, improve lives, and hold significant economic value. In 2018 alone, CIC client companies attracted a cumulative $1.3B in venture capital investment. Meanwhile, firms located within CIC buildings currently manage over $8.3B in VC funds.
Our 20 years of experience building the shared office model have demonstrated the power of concentrated communities of innovators. CIC acts as a center of gravity for innovation activity, bringing together entrepreneurs, startups, investors, forward-thinking corporations, nonprofits, and service providers. Together with our partners, our spaces and events create collisions that naturally accelerate the exchange of information and spark greater collaboration.
Since our origins as a single shared office facility in a not-yet-hip Cambridge neighborhood, CIC has expanded its footprint fiftyfold. Rather than a monument to itself, this growth is a testament to our belief that innovation can — and should — make the world a better place.