Business incubator nearing completion in the Bottom

innovation center roof

The roof will include an open-air patio and enclosed meeting space. (Mike Platania)

The future launch pad for a number of Richmond-area startups is coming right along in Shockoe Bottom.

Construction is wrapping up on Capital One’s 1717 Innovation Center, which is targeting an early 2018 opening. The 42,000-square-foot building will be the home of local nonprofit Startup Virginia and a starting point for the roughly 50 startups to which it provides mentorship.

Capital One purchased the building at 1717 E. Cary St. in March for $1.8 million from Brad Cummings and Will Loving, two local entrepreneurs who co-founded Startup Virginia with interim executive director Bryan Bostic.

The first three floors of the building will be dedicated office and coworking space for Startup Virginia. Capital One will occupy the fifth and sixth floors.

Bostic said the building was deliberately designed to create “collision points” – intersections in the building where startup founders are likely to meet and collaborate.

“Startups love to congregate together, bounce ideas off each other,” Bostic said.

Cummings, who serves on Startup Virginia’s board, said their startups range from single individuals to larger groups. Current members include Roundtrip, Dippy, Sabreez and Trilogy Mentors.

Rendering of Capital One’s 1717 Innovation Center building. (SMBW Architects)

Center director Rasheeda Creighton said Capital One will put in an experience design research lab and some conference and programming spaces. No offices will be in the space. Capital One will have less than 10 full-time employees at the center.

The building’s roof will be split between an open-air, outdoor patio area and an enclosed indoor multipurpose space.

Gilbane Building Co. is the builder on the project, and SMBW Architects is designing it.

Bostic said Startup Virginia aims to have about 50 startups use the center in its first year.

“I’m happy to say we’re doggone near full. The demand is there, we’re excited about that,” he said.

Relocating to 1717 will be a short move for Startup Virginia, which has previously been based at 27 N. 17th St. In October, Paul Keevil and Linda Lauby, who own Lulu’s and Millie’s Diner, purchased the property as part of a larger, $1.56 million deal.

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John Lindner
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This looks like it’s going to be amazing! Kudos to everyone involved.

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