A minority-owned tech startup has been selected to open a new incubator on the campus of Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Tuesday.
Luma Lab, the education arm of the incubator, called Clearly Innovative, will support minority entrepreneurs and businesses that provide innovative products and services to disadvantaged communities, specifically the Shaw neighborhood in northwest D.C.
“Homegrown innovation in the District is expanding, and our tech sector is growing,” Bowser said in a statement. “I remain committed to supporting our entrepreneurs and startups so that every resident has a chance to benefit from the innovation economy. And I am confident that this partnership with Howard University and Luna Labs will keep DC on the cutting edge.”
The hub, which will be constructed over 8,000 sq. ft. in Howard’s Wonder Plaza retail center on the 2300 block of Georgia Avenue, will also offer affordable co-working space, networking events, monitorship and networking with Silicon Valley investors. Howard students and staff will be able to have direct access to the space.
“Howard’s partnership with the District and Luma Lab exemplifies the University’s longstanding commitment to innovation,” said Howard President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick. “This incubator will support our social mission by creating opportunities for the next generation of minority innovators at Howard University and beyond.”
The incubator, which was selected out of five other competitors, is slated to open in Fall 2016. Luma Lab CEO Aaron Saunders said the space will provide a new outlet for up-and-comers in Washington’s tech scene.
“It is both an honor and privilege to be selected to operate the tech incubator here in DC,” said Saunders. “Working closely with Howard University and Mayor Bowser’s office, we will improve the technology landscape in Washington, DC by providing the underserved community with the right tools and access to technology partners and a seat at the digital table as successful creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs.”