Nonprofit wins bid to run Roxbury incubator

The incubator will exist on the second floor of the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Dudley Square.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File

The incubator will exist on the second floor of the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Dudley Square.

The city of Boston has selected a local nonprofit group to operate the Roxbury Innovation Center, a publicly funded business incubator set to open next year in Dudley Square.

The bid by the Venture Café Foundation , the nonprofit sister of the Cambridge Innovation Center, won in part because of the group’s experience and connections in the tech world. The foundation runs the “Innovation Visitors Bureau,” which organizes tours of local technology institutions, manages District Hall , a shared work and event space in the Innovation District, and organizes a long-running tech community meetup in Cambridge on Thursday nights.


“We’re looking forward to working with the community to create a space for experimentation and conversation that highlights all of the innovation and entrepreneurship happening locally, and connects to resources that make ideas and businesses grow faster,” the group’s executive director, Kevin Wiant, said in a statement.

The 3,000-square-foot Innovation Center will be located on the second floor of the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building. Formerly called the Ferdinand Building, it will also house the Boston School Department.

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An opening date for the innovation center has not been set. Other details, including which firms will be in the center, will be finalized in the coming weeks. The center is being funded by state and local money, including $150,000 from the private-public Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

The city also chose a Roxbury group, Skylab, to run community programming in the building. The pick was a nod to Dudley residents, who are wary of gentrification and have long insisted that any efforts to create a technology hub there should focus on nurturing local entrepreneurs. Skylab said it would host educational events for students at nearby schools, along with “hackathons,” technology competitions, and events with Boston teachers and parents.

Dan Adams can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @DanielAdams86.
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