Innovation black box
Innovation Infrastructure Graphic


In 2014, SP@CE was created with one mission: build a large-scale innovation hub in Charlottesville, VA.

Over the next 2 years the company developed a proposal for an “Innovation District” in Charlottesville, consolidated an executable plan to build a series of “innovation hubs” in the Downtown area, and began actively looking for real estate to build the facility.

In 2017, it was announced that SP@CE’s plan to develop the Main Street Arena site into a 140,000 sq.ft. innovation hub would move forward.

SP@CE further helped to facilitate a public-private dialogue between the institutional stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem.

Innovation District Model

An innovation district begins as a large “innovation hub” or closely connected series of hubs that allow for the co-location of people and resources from all parts of the stakeholder network.

SP@CE also develops best-practices around a series of prototype incubator and accelerator programs whose missions will be to systematically manufacture high-impact and high-reward startups and projects. Initial prototypes will focus on data science, bio-tech, and social innovation.


Additional reading: The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation.

Homepage header image from, a working prototype for Charlottesville’s innovation atlas.

Innovation district model image by Ghazal Abbasy.