Best new development for startups

1717 Innovation Center

1717 E. Cary St.

If you follow the #GeekProm hashtag on social media, then you may have noticed recently that Richmond geeks can emerge from behind their computers and headphones and clean up quite nicely, thank you.

The previous sentence, by the way, was an ode to if-then structure, a cheers to a classic conditional expression used in computer programming.

But back to the prom. The annual Richmond Technology Awards, produced by RVAtech, highlights the surging tech culture all around us, a driver of startup life here. It even brought out Gov. Ralph Northam for a key address to the group.

We may not be called the Silicon by the James yet — and really, if we are, let’s hope we can be more creative — but startup life is the real deal here.

For a more visual sign (not Visual Basic, the legacy programming language, but visual, as in visible, tangible and concrete) check out the bricks and mortar of the new 1717 Innovation Center, which opened in March at 1717 E. Cary St.

You can see the strings of lights from the rooftop when you take the twisting interstate overpasses in the heart of Shockoe Bottom. And the hope is that ideas, inspiration and yes, profits, will flow from the startups working below, inside the incubator.

As a founding partner, Capital One’s pocketbook helped turn a century-old building into a place where the future is discussed, debated and analyzed for potential growth opportunities. There’s 42,000 square feet, six floors and room for as many as 50 startups.

To get in on the ground floor, you’ll want to get to know the folks at Startup Virginia. Save us some equity!


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