Venture Café Finds Permanent Space Amid Comings and Goings in Kendall Square
‘Tis the season for moving in and moving out for the startup community in Kendall Square. This morning, we heard some news from Tim Rowe, the CEO and co-founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), about a new permanent location for the Venture Café, a popular gathering place for the innovation community.
Venture Café “alpha” has been operating on Thursdays (since last March) as a happy-hour networking spot in the same building as the CIC—One Broadway—while Rowe and colleagues have worked on securing a permanent location for the establishment. Rowe said in a blog post that he has a signed letter of intent with landlord MIT (and is “most of the way through negotiating a lease”) to move the operation into a space on the ground floor of One Broadway, currently occupied by Domino’s Pizza. Later today, Venture Café will go before the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal to try to get changes made to allow it to operate in the space as a full-service restaurant. You can read more about the process in Mass High Tech, which first reported the news.
Kendall Square is certainly abuzz with entrepreneurs coming and going—more so than I can remember in the past 20 years. I first reported a couple weeks ago that Dogpatch Labs, the startup incubator run by Polaris Venture Partners, is moving out of its current space on Third Street into a spot closer to Kendall. We have since learned that both Dogpatch and TechStars Boston, the seed-stage startup mentoring program, are moving into a space occupied by Microsoft N.E.R.D. on the sixth floor of One Cambridge Center. (Let’s hope they get a relatively warm, un-snowy day to move—yeah, right.)
Meanwhile, more venture capitalists and angel investors have been moving into the Kendall Square area in recent months. Atlas Venture has a brand spanking new office on First Street, near the Galleria mall. And Lexington, MA-based CommonAngels now has space in the CIC. Just to name a couple. Throw in Voltage Coffee on Third Street, a popular new meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and we’re starting to have ourselves a real block party. Now let’s focus on building some companies…