1717 Innovation Center starts engines in the Bottom

1717 building

The six-floor building can house up to 50 local startups. (John Romeo & Associates)

A Capital One-funded startup hub is up and running in Shockoe Bottom.

The credit card giant’s 1717 Innovation Center at 1717 E. Cary St. opened to tenants earlier this month and was unveiled with a grand opening celebration Monday.

The six-story, 42,000-square-foot building houses startup incubator Startup Virginia, a nonprofit, on the first three stories. Capital One uses the upper levels for conference rooms and a research center.

The celebratory opening of the center comes one year after Capital One purchased the building from Startup Virginia co-founders Brad Cummings and Will Loving for $1.8 million.

Capital One redeveloped the building through its Future Edge program, a campaign to invest $150 million on community grants aiding small business development. The total cost of the 1717 project has not been disclosed.

Gilbane Building Co. and SMBW Architects were the builder and architect on the project, respectively.

The former tobacco warehouse could house up to 50 startups. Startup Virginia’s members can use the building and get access to mentorship, investors and events. Current members include DineGigs, ReRunner and Seasonal Roots. About 40 startups are signed on to be in the building, and they take month-to-month leases for different spaces, similar to how coworking spaces operate.

The center has been designed with open floor plans to encourage collaboration among startups and Capital One employees. Capital One will have fewer than 10 full-time workers there.

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