Incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces provide start-up firms and small businesses with an entrepreneurial environment, professional network, savvy mentors and critical resources to develop and grow successful businesses. They serve as a forum for entrepreneurial development, where new companies co-habitat in a physical space or join a virtual network to exchange ideas, access key business support services and test-drive their ideas. Business incubation has been adapted to meet a variety of needs, from fostering commercialization of technologies to increasing employment in economically disadvantaged communities. Read on to learn more about the types of incubators, shared workspaces and resources in the District to help you pursue your business dream.
Incubators and Accelerators
1776 is a hub for startups tackling challenges in education, energy, health care, government, and other critical industries. 1776 startups gain access to a global network of connections with established institutions and corporations, influencers, expert mentors, and investors. 1776 also has a seed fund where they make seed-stage investments in startups that combine a massive opportunity for financial success and the potential to transform the industries most important to lives as citizens.
WeWork Labs provides the community, education, connections, and mentorship to help anyone take the startup path and grow. Benefits include pitch nights, investor introductions, mentorship, and targeted workshops.
Social Impact Focused:
Global Development Incubator is focused initiatives that address urgent global problems. GDI launches start-ups focused on social impact, incubates partnerships to spark collective change, and helps lay the foundations for promising organizations to reach their potential. GDI works with partners over 2-3 years to support the achievement of critical step-changes needed to take their ideas, initiatives, and organizations to the next level.
Halcyon equips early-stage social entrepreneurs with the support they need to transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures, and change the world. During an 18-month fellowship, a diverse cohort of fellows receive free residency and workspace, mentorship and leadership, robust support from business consultants, and a living stipend to develop their entrepreneurial vision into a reality. Halcyon also offers a 14-day incubator program designed to turn a vision into a social enterprise.
Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) is the District’s first community space focused on inclusion, innovation and incubation. The incubator is committed to creating a collaborative environment where under-resourced members have access to the space and services needed to build or grow a successful business.
Peace Tech Accelerator is the first major international peacetech program powered by cloud innovation and dedicated to scaling start-ups around the world. The PeaceTech Accelerator provides the mentorship and training needed to scale both for-and not-for profit peacetech initiatives rapidly, securely, and cost effectively. The Accelerator is supported by C5 Capital Limited, Amazon Web Services, and PeaceTech Lab.
SEED SPOT is dedicated to supporting all social entrepreneurs creating a product, service, or technology that improves lives or makes the world a better place. They support entrepreneurs by surrounding them with the right access to resources, mentors, business fundamentals, community partners, capital sources, and anything they need to succeed. Seed Spot offers a variety of different programs including a 5-day bootcamp, evening program, and full-time program. All of their programs include access to training, mentorship, and a $10,000, 0% loan.
The Hatchery by AARP is an incubator/accelerator for companies working to enhance the quality of life for all as we age. The Hatchery builds their own startup ideas in-house as well as working in partnership with other organizations. The Hatchery provides access to experts, potential customers, and more.
5G First Responder Lab is a first-of-its-kind incubator giving leading first responder technology companies from around the globe access to 5G technology to develop, test and refine 5G solutions for public safety. The incubator program is sponsored by Verizon in partnership with Responder Corp, and is located in the 5G DC Lab at Alley.
CivStart is the only accelerator that focuses on the state and local government market. CivStart facilitates the adoption of cutting-edge technology solutions at the local level by connecting governments, startup companies, and corporate partners to steward good ideas and address the needs of local communities through a technology lens.
DCode42 is an accelerator program for technology programs looking to enter the federal government market. DCode42 works with companies in a variety of industries such as big data, cyber security, and health IT that have the power to change the way the government runs.
Fed Tech pairs entrepreneurs with inventions from over 17 federal labs to commercialize federally funded research and development projects. The Fed Tech program helps teams validate demands for the technology and build a basic business model within two months.
DC has 6 different culinary incubators focused on providing food entrepreneurs with the space and services they need to operate and grow their companies.
DC has a variety of spaces to support the local artisan and maker community.
Capitol One Maker Space @ Oxon Run is a makerspace free for Ward 8 residents. The space features a 3-D printing, a sewing/fabric center, and a space to make furniture.
Cultural DC has a variety of services to support local artists and makers. These services include subsidized studio space at the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market, a residency program through Flashpoint, professional development workshops, and a searchable database of arts venues and facilities in DC.
DC Fashion Incubator supports the local emerging fashion market by identifying and providing business mentoring, seminars and workshops as well as technical design support.
FabLab provides access to 3-D printers a nd hosts events and workshops for the community.
HacDC has meeting rooms and workshops that include soldering stations, electronic measurement and diagnostic tools, a laser engraver, 3D printers, a CNC mill, and a metal lathe.
MLK Library has 3-D printers for public use. MLK library is currently closed for modernization.
Union Market Lab 1270 supports emerging retailers, makers, creatives and members of the DC creative community in a lively retail, experience, and work space.
DC has over 70 different co-working spaces that provide flexible space and leasing arrangements for startup companies and freelancers. Some of these co-working spaces focus on specific businesses (ex. women-owned, social impact focused) while others are open to all types of individuals and businesses. See below for the list:
5- Points Business Incubator, AdvantEdge, Alley, Breather DC, Bond Collective, Canvas, Carr Workspaces, Cove, DC Workspaces, Dupont Business Incubator, Flex Office Space, Industrious, Locale, Logan Exchange, Make Offices, Metro Offices, Mindspace, OSI Offices, Premier Business Centers, Regus Offices, ServCorp, Source Office Suites, Spaces DC, The Hive 2.0, The Yard, WeWork
Center for Green Urbanism caters to entrepreneurs and companies that want to create green businesses.
Hera Hub is a female-focused co-working space where entrepreneurial women can create and collaborate in a professional, productive, spa-like environment.
Two Birds is a co-working space that provides premium licensed child care and a monthly training series on topics such as local pre-schools and sleep wellness.
Open Gov Hub is a co-working community and a network of organizations promoting transparency, accountability, and civic engagement around the world.
Writers Room is a space designed to provide a professional, respectful, and quiet environment that fosters literary success.
The Wing is a co-working and social club space exclusively for women located in Georgetown.
Workfrolic is a co-working space that offers child care, fitness, and family classes.