The city is getting creative in its efforts to turn Charlotte’s old downtown office park into a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Charlotte City Council is taking a step toward creating a new business incubator called Innovate Charlotte that aims to encourage young entrepreneurs to create their own businesses in Charlotte.
The city and Charlotte-Mecklenburg-Greensboro Economic Development Corporation (CME) announced Thursday the new initiative, which aims to create jobs, generate new economic activity and generate new ideas.
The initiative will include training and support for businesses and small businesses, and a $10,000 award for an individual who creates a new small business, a $1,000 for a partnership with a local company and $5,000 to a small business that creates a $5 million or more business.CME has been working to create a hub where entrepreneurs can grow their businesses since 2015.
The council and the council member for Charlotte-Guns Hill are collaborating on the initiative.
Charlotte’s downtown office district was once the hub for downtown Charlotte, where businesses thrived and residents lived and worked.
The area was closed in 2016 due to Hurricane Matthew.
It’s now a neighborhood of housing, restaurants, shops, bars and a growing number of commercial office spaces.
The council will work with the CME to create the Innovate Downtown office park, which will be open to all businesses in the new facility.
The Innovate office park will be designed by Raleigh-based design firm Bocadero Design.
The design will be overseen by the Design Group of Charlotte.
The new project will focus on developing and supporting local small businesses.
The initiative will also work to encourage more entrepreneurs to launch their own small businesses in a way that helps create jobs and growth.
The project will include a $25,000 grant to an individual to create an innovative new business.
The $1 million grant will go to a partnership between a local business and a business in the Innovation Hub.
The CME and the city will match the $5.5 million award with a $20,000 corporate sponsorship, according to the announcement.
“I think that this is really the beginning of a new beginning, a new partnership that will help us create new opportunities for Charlotte businesses to thrive and grow,” said City Council member Jodi Whitehead.
“This is the kind of partnership that helps us take a step forward in creating the economic infrastructure that will enable us to grow.”
The Innovatown initiative will be the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina.
The state has not had an Innovation Hub since its inception in 2009, when the City Council created a special program to support new businesses.