1717 Innovation Center
Situated near the James River in Richmond, Virginia, the 1717 Innovation Center is a contemporary reflection of its industrial neighborhood. Continuing the revitalization efforts in Richmond's downtown, the former tobacco warehouse features lofty ceilings and an open plan, resulting in a one-of-a-kind space that benefits the local community.
The 1717 Innovation Center is a multi-purpose space housing over 50 startup companies and a unique office for Capital One. As a new venture for the firm, Capital One sought to build a co-working space to support and encourage innovation. In addition to a consumer testing lab, the design brief stipulated open workshop space, as Capital One teams from the West Creek campus, near Richmond, would co-locate here to focus on specific projects. Due to the volume and diversity of activities, flexibility and ease of reconfiguration were important design drivers for Capital One.
The building’s other occupant is Startup Virginia (SVA), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and growing startup companies in the Richmond area. SVA complements its co-working space with an ongoing program of guest speakers, educational sessions, and business coaching from volunteer mentors. With a target of 50 companies and 75 mentors, SVA exceeded expectations, admitting 58 companies and over 100 mentors by the grand opening.
A Home for Innovation
The Innovation Center is currently exceeding initial goals of fostering a connection between Capital One and the growing startup community in Richmond. As one of the designers, Melinda Harvey of SMBW, noted, “Since the space has been open, SVA has been so incredibly gracious, and you can tell their relationship with Capital One has just deepened so much because there’s so much more cross-collaboration than we had ever anticipated. I think it’s just going to grow going forward.”