When you can get 15 minutes or longer from a business investor over coffee to talk about your cool business idea its a good thing. Dudley Square Roxbury, Ma has a place for you to meet that investor. Named the Roxbury Innovation Center (RIC) located inside the Bruce Bolling Municipal Building where the Boston Public School Department has its headquarters, the RIC is open for business. It seeks to attract residents of Roxbury who have business ideas which if they launch and reach escape velocity, you could be the employer that hires more Roxbury residents, and the mayor’s office really wants you to do that.
Surely you don’t have to be a Roxbury resident to participate there because after all, it was built with public funds, however, if you are a member of the minority community of Roxbury the unit was put there thinking of you. The Seaport has their innovation district, now why not Roxbury, Upram’s Corner and the Fairmont District. The ultimate goal of the innovation district in Roxbury is to create companies that become big enough to hire neighbors.
But don’t look for investors to come running at you, standing in line and so on. Naw, you gotta earn that kind of reputation, then they will.
The Venture Cafe is the unit at the RIC programming the entrepreneurial stuff.
“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,” said Kevin Wiant, Executive Director of the Venture Café.
Wiant and partner have the 5-year contract to operate the Roxbury Innovation Center in Dudley Square They’ve been around the wheel doing it before. Near South Station on Boston Harbor he manages the District Hall building which is home and host to a number of innovation networking and workshop events including Boston’s first Quantified Self Summit sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank and others.
So how important is 15 minutes? An appearance on the network show Shark Tank last about that long and winners take away hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Practice that elevator pitch and see what happens when you meet your first investor!
Read more about the Roxbury Innovation Center Here