On the heels of announcing its partnership with Google to launch a Computer Science residency at the megacorps Silicon Valley headquarters, the Howard university is now constructing a state-of-the-art tech lab.

The Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) lab is set to open next Monday, April 17 with a Week of Welcome planned for opening festivities. Operated by Luma Lab the project, which is financially backed by the District of Columbia, the building will provide a space on campus to attract VC firms, minority entrepreneurs and those who aim to serve underrepresented communities. The goal is to create a space for investment in middle-to-late stage, D.C. based minority start-ups. With 10 private offices, four conference rooms, four private phone booths and over 50 open desks, the space located on Georgia Avenue offers three membership plans.

Photo: DCinfo

In an interview conducted at SXSW, D.C Deputy mayor Brian Kenner spoke about the importance of the project, given the tech industry’s well-publicized diversity problem. “…everyone—companies, cities—everybody was trying to figure out this inclusive innovation angle,” Kenner said. “Obviously, media was saying things about Google and other places that were struggling with this idea about the representation gap in Silicon Valley, generally…cities were also very much struggling with this idea.”

Photo: DC.gov

We are elated to see these dynamic partnerships and tangible first steps to help level the playing field in the tech space.