Two years after the opening of the Newton Innovation Center, the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber is joining an effort to expand the NIC’s operation, with a goal of eventually finding a larger location for the startup-friendly collaborative workspace.
Located at the former Newton Corner library, the NIC has supported 150 entrepreneurs and 40 startups across a range of industries since it was opened in 2016 by then-Mayor Setti Warren, John Harthorne of MassChallenge and Tim Rowe of the CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center).
The chamber is now partnering with the City of Newton and the CIC to operate the NIC. MassChallenge will no longer be involved in daily operations but will continue to promote NIC as a resource and destination for its alumni and the greater entrepreneurial community.
“Partnering with the City of Newton and Newton-Needham Regional Chamber will help us continue to build on this success,” said Mark Moreau, the Strategic Operations Director - North America at CIC. “Together, we aim to open a new building that can accommodate additional growth and provide a new location that can locally support even more innovators. We're looking forward to next steps and what these partnerships will bring for Newton.”
Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said the NIC plays an important role fostering and expanding innovation in Newton and stressed the value of having the CIC -- which houses more than one thousand companies throughout its Greater Boston area locations -- active in Newton.
“Our region is known to have some of the most creative, innovative and connected people in the world,” Fuller said. “We’re grateful to MassChallenge for the expertise they’ve provided and we’re excited about continuing with the CIC to explore even greater opportunities to expand the program’s reach with help from the chamber,” Fuller said.
Chamber President Greg Reibman said the chamber is eager to connect the NIC community with the professional resources and funding that thrive in Boston’s inner suburbs.
“The CIC provides more opportunities for startups than anywhere on the planet. We’re so fortunate to be able to partner with Mark Moreau and his team in Newton as we look to deepen our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re also very fortunate to have a mayor who recognizes the need to provide a collaborative environment where innovators can develop their businesses,” Reibman said.
He said he’s looking forward to working with Mayor Fuller, the CIC, Newton property owners, developers and business leaders to bring more coworking space to Newton and to find a new home - with improved access to parking, mass transit, coffee shops and restaurants -- for the NIC.
“If anyone has a great location for a new home for the NIC and is willing to be a partner in the operation, we’d be interested in talking to them,” Reibman added.
In the interim, the NIC will continue to operate at 124 Vernon Street at Newton Corner. Coworking memberships are now available for $175 per person, per month through the CIC. For membership information or to schedule a tour of the NIC contact Debbie Raisner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be found at NewtonInnovationCenter.com.