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January 13, 2017 Likes Comments

N-Squared Innovation District fundraising effort builds momentum

Latest Organizations to join the effort include the City of Newton, Boston Realty Advisors and William James College

The fundraising effort to brand the N2 Innovation District is already gaining momentum with significant contributions from the City of Newton, Boston Realty Advisors and William James College.

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber, launched the program earlier this week as it moves to promote the N2 Innovation District. A report completed in 2016 details the viability of creating an innovation-driven economy of the area and laid out several steps that the region needs to take to turn the idea into a reality.

The City of Newton pledged $24,000 over two years for the effort.

“I am very proud of Newton’s continued investment in the N2 Innovation District,” Said Newton Mayor Setti Warren. “Our community assets – access to great schools, a talented workforce, and livable communities – and the strong partnership among the City of Newton, the Town of Needham, and the Newton-Needham Chamber make the N2 Innovation District a great destination for innovative companies, small business, and startups in our region. We look forward to continued collaboration as we seek to grow the innovation economy here in the inner suburbs.”

“It was Mayor Warren who originally brought the idea of creating an innovation district to the chamber and our partners at the Town of Needham four years ago,” said Newton-Needham Regional Chamber President Greg Reibman, “I am extremely grateful to the mayor for his vision and to the city for playing a pivotal role in the public-private partnership,”

Reibman noted that the funds Newton is contributing will help leverage nearly $300,000 in private support, which in turn would help bring well-paying jobs and new tax revenue to the city.

Needham’s Board of Selectmen are also reviewing a request from the chamber for financial support which Reibman hoped would go before Needham Town Meeting for approval this spring.

Both Boston Realty Advisors and William James College supported the effort at the Partner level. They join on with previously named organizations including TripAdvisor Normandy Real Estate Partners, Wingate Partners, the Davis Companies and Mount Ida College. 

Creating a Two-Year Campaign

The fundraising effort aims to raise $325,000 from local sources to sustain the N2 Innovation District for the next two years. Those funds will go to several initiatives, including the hiring of a full-time district director, creating marketing materials, tours and campaigns and building a powerful digital presence. All this is to attract and retain innovation-driven business and employees in the area.

In addition to working with corporate partners, the program is also accepting funds from small businesses and individuals.

The N2 Innovation District is already home to a number of businesses in the innovation sector, including PTC, CyberArk, Shark Ninja, Big Belly Solar, Building 36, Kaminario, Karyopharm and a long list of others.

Several construction projects in the area are already underway that promise to transform the region, bringing hundreds of thousands of square feet of walkable retail and hundreds of new units of housing. Millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure improvements in roads and transportation are either recently completed or funded and slated for construction.

The N2 Innovation District has also just launched several networking initiatives aimed at bringing together innovators and entrepreneurs in the area, including a networking lunch series and Know Your Neighbor, an opportunity for employees in the district to learn about projects and products being produced by other businesses in the N2 Innovation District The first Know Your Neighbor program takes place on Jan. 23 at Building 36 in Needham.



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