Creating a PLACE for innovation.
With the opportunity to convert a former elementary school, the Sheffield School, into a facility to support entrepreneurs in the region, the Newport Chamber of Commerce hired Camoin Associates, and our partner Innovation Policyworks, to conduct a feasibility study and business plan. Our team conducted market research, which included interviews, data collection and analysis, and financial feasibility testing to support the development of a business plan. The final business plan made recommendations around funding and membership models, how best to position the facility in the market, and what types of services and amenities to offer. It was used to successfully acquire funding necessary to build the innovation center.
Our analysis found that there is a vibrant entrepreneurial community of professionals in the Newport area to support a hybrid facility that could act as a collaboration and community center for innovators. Our research and analysis found that the best way to attract users to the facility would be to design it with high-speed internet access, flexible space, and services designed to help user grow their businesses. The state-of-the-art facility will be designed to meet LEED standards and will support defense, marine, climate change, environmental and digital industry clusters and entrepreneurs.
- Stakeholder interviews
- Market data collection and analysis
- Real estate market research
- Financial feasibility modeling
- Business plan
In 2014, the City of Newport received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to build an accelerator on the site. See the funding announcement>>
In 2016, a coalition of Newport, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island received a $2 million in state historic renovation tax credits to create an innovation center. Read the article>>
More at the Innovate Newport website: www.innovatenewport.com.