DC’s Inclusive Innovation Incubator Encourages & Conveys Opportunity

DC’s Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) — the first incubator in the country focused intentionally on diversity and inclusion — officially opened its doors on April 20, 2017 with a grand opening mixer featuring remarks from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. The 8,500 SF incubator designed by Washington, DC architecture firm Wingate Hughes Architects sits on Howard’s campus on Georgia Ave. “Wingate Hughes’ vision for In3 was to create a space that not only inspires and encourages In3’s members but also lets people feel a sense of relaxation — a juxtaposition to hectic campus life and the busy streets outside In3’s storefront,” said Gavin Hughes Daniels, Wingate Hughes’ co-founding principal. “It was also crucial to balance their look toward the future with timelessness. In3 will be here changing lives for a very long time.”

inclusive innovation incubator grand opening on howard campus with gavin bowie and mayor muriel bowser. In3 is designed by wingate hughes architects
Gavin Wingate Bowie, co-founding principal of Wingate Hughes, with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser at In3’s opening

This one-of-a-kind public, private, and academic partnership between the DC Office of the Mayor, Howard University, and Luma Lab shares a vision of true inclusive entrepreneurship and also represents a positive shift in DC toward making the city truly inclusive with a pathway for African American prosperity. “We can be the inclusive innovation capital for tech, and that is exactly what we are setting out to do,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Aaron Saunders, CEO of In3 and Luma Lab, can be found at In3 daily steering the incubator’s programming and encouraging students. At In3’s grand opening, Saunders told the crowd, “We are only successful if the entrepreneurs that come through this space are successful, if the students that take the programming here are successful.” Saunders’ dedication and passion to this pledge is the force behind In3’s mission dedicated to inclusion, innovation & incubation. He himself was motivated by a mentor at age 12 to learn about computers. He experienced encouragement firsthand and knows that this simple act can change everything for a kid or a budding entrepreneur in untapped and underserved communities.

“Wingate Hughes is honored to be the architecture firm who designed the space behind DC’s groundbreaking initiative toward inclusive innovation opportunities,” said Gavin Wingate Bowie, Wingate Hughes’ co-founding principle. “In3 is a starting point for success, opens doors for startups, and provides a place for our city’s entrepreneurs to grow.”

Step inside the revolutionary incubator In3 …

wingate hughes dc photography In3

Photo courtesy of Hoachlander Davis Photography

In3’s reception area opens to the convertible events space and lounge. The reception desk includes a fridge and plenty of storage for In3 swag. Flexible, movable furniture in this room allows for multiple configurations and scenarios depending on the number of members using the open work space and events on their daily calendar. The stairwells, loft rails, and classroom and office feature walls feature Luma Lab’s color palette.

inclusive innovation incubator on howard campus designed by wingate hughes architects

Photo courtesy of Hoachlander Davis Photography

The open working environment provides ample space to collaborate and interact among the 50+ available desks. Additional small, large and expandable (Skyfold) private offices are available on the first and second floors. Offices include 13 shared four-person offices, one large six-person office that divides into two smaller three-person offices, two 10-person classrooms, and one large 20-person classroom that divides into two 10-person classrooms.

inclusive innovation incubator on howard campus designed by wingate hughes architects

Photo courtesy of Hoachlander Davis Photography

Two open-space, innovation roof lofts above the first floor’s offices give In3’s members a private space to reflect and recharge. Sylawn artificial turf grass carpets the lounges for a more relaxed vibe. Custom metal ship ladders are a fun way to access the elevated lofts. Intermittent acoustic sound baffles are suspended from the main room’s 22-ft industrial warehouse ceilings to soften background noise. Waldmann LED Architectural Tubular Lighting and T-Bar LED Smartlights are sleek, environmentally friendly, and illuminate the large space.

inclusive innovation incubator on howard campus designed by wingate hughes architects

Photo courtesy of Hoachlander Davis Photography

Three custom color-changing LED columns can be programmed for sequence, speed, and various Pantone color. Pattern and color-scheme typically reflect the type of events being held that day.

inclusive innovation incubator on howard campus designed by wingate hughes architects

Photo courtesy of Hoachlander Davis Photography

The lofted reflection areas give a unique aerial view into In3’s busy thoroughfare, work, lounge and events space. Four private phone booths are positioned in the hallway behind the main stairwell for privacy. The back of house also includes a pantry and coffee bar.

For more information on In3 visit the following stories and sites:

Email communications@wingatehughes.com for additional information.