Newton-Needham Regional Chamber launches major effort to build and promote the N-Squared Innovation District

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Fundraising Campaign is One of a Number of Key Moves to Build and Promote the District

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber recently announced it has taken major steps toward building, establishing and promoting the N2 Innovation District. Six months after releasing a report detailing the viability of creating an innovation-driven economy in the area, the chamber is launching a fundraising effort, hiring a staff member dedicated to building the NInnovation District and launching programs aimed at driving innovation and attracting business to the region.

The fundraising effort aims to raise $325,000 from local sources to sustain the N2 Innovation District for the next two years. Those funds will go to several initiatives, including the hiring of a full-time district director, creating marketing materials, tours and campaigns and building a powerful digital presence. All this is to attract and retain innovation-driven business and employees in the area.

The campaign is kicking off with major donations from the developer of one of the district’s highest profile project and N2’s largest employer, Chamber President Greg Reibman announced.

Founders Park, a mixed-use, master planned development located in the heart of the Needham Crossing section of the district that is being developed by Normandy Real Estate Real Estate Partners, along with Westbrook Partners has pledged $50,000 to the campaign.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, which opened its state of the art global headquarters in the district in 2015, has pledged $25,000.  Mount Ida College, Wingate Companies and the Davis Companies have each offered to contribute $5,000 even before the campaign’s official launch.

“We are extremely grateful to Founders Park, TripAdvisor and our other early partners for their generous support and belief in our shared vision of a thriving innovation district in Boston’s inner suburbs,” Reibman said. “What we’re doing here is unique but we’ve already made tremendous progress. This campaign will allow us to move from vision to reality.”

“Founders Park was created to attract leading companies to an amenity-rich, walkable environment,” said Jamie Nicholson a Senior Vice President with Normandy Real Estate Partners.  “The community here extends beyond the boundaries of the Founders Park campus and we’re happy to support the N2 Innovation District in its efforts to develop a thriving innovation community within Needham and Newton,”

“We know that a vibrant innovation community helps drive the local economy, which is why we are pleased to make a contribution to the N2 Innovation District,” said Beth Grous, chief people officer, TripAdvisor. “We look forward to continuing to support our local community as we grow globally.”

The N2 Innovation District is already home to a number of businesses in the innovation sector, including PTC, CyberArk, Shark Ninja, Big Belly Solar, Building 36, Kaminario, Karyopharm and a long list of others.

Several construction projects in the area are already underway that promise to transform the region, bringing hundreds of thousands of square feet of walkable retail and hundreds of new units of housing. Millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure improvements in roads and transportation are either recently completed or   funded and slated for construction.

The N2 Innovation District has also just launched several networking initiatives  aimed at bringing together innovators and entrepreneurs in the area, including a networking lunch series and Know Your Neighbor,  an opportunity for employees in the district  to learn about projects and products being produced by other businesses in the N2 Innovation District   The first Know Your Neighbor program takes place on Jan. 23 at Building 36 in Needham.

 

About the N2 Innovation District

The N2 Innovation District (pronounced En-squared) is a 500-acre area along I-95 and the Charles River in Needham and Newton that is quickly becoming a destination for technology companies, start-ups and others in cutting edge industries. Companies calling the area home focus on concepts like the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, travel, media and pharmaceuticals, and include notable brands such as Big Belly Solar, PTC, TripAdvisor, Karyopharm, Shark Ninja, Turbine, CyberArk, Verastem and a long list of others that are innovating their way to success. More information at www.n2corridor.com.

 

About the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to championing economic and cultural vitality through advocacy, education, and networking. The chamber is not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or any other national organization. More information available at www.nnchamber.com.

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