Date: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Anthony D. Owens 202-870-9208; anthony.owens@howard.edu
Joaquin McPeek 202.445.9765; joaquin.mcpeek@dc.gov

Washington, D.C., (February 16, 2016)- Today, Howard University and Mayor Muriel Bowser selected Luma Lab to operate a new DC-based incubator on Howard’s campus. As the District’s first venture capital hub for start-ups and emerging companies, the incubator will support underrepresented entrepreneurs and businesses that provide innovative products and services to underserved communities.

“Homegrown innovation in the District is expanding, and our tech sector is growing,” said Mayor Bowser. “I remain committed to supporting our entrepreneurs and startups so that every resident has a chance to benefit from the innovation economy. And I am confident that this partnership with Howard University and Luna Labs will keep DC on the cutting edge.”

Luma Lab was chosen from an elite group of technology and entrepreneurship organizations to operate the innovation hub. This selection demonstrates the commitment by Mayor Bowser and Howard President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick’s to foster an inclusive technology and innovation industry in the District.

“Howard’s partnership with the District and Luma Lab exemplifies the University’s longstanding commitment to innovation,” said Howard President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick. “This incubator will support our social mission by creating opportunities for the next generation of minority innovators at Howard University and beyond.”

In addition to offering technology and entrepreneurship training, the hub will offer affordable co-working space, networking events, mentorship, and strategic connections to Silicon Valley, investors, and partners. The hub will also provide tiered services and programs to its member companies, Howard students, staff, and faculty, as well as the broader Shaw and DC communities.

The District contributed nearly $1 million in grant funds to construct over 8,000 square feet of cutting edge workspace within Howard’s Wonder Plaza retail center in the 2300 block of Georgia Avenue.

“It is both an honor and privilege to be selected to operate the tech incubator here in DC,” said Luma Lab CEO Aaron Saunders. “Working closely with Howard University and Mayor Bowser’s office, we will improve the technology landscape in Washington, DC by providing the underserved community with the right tools and access to technology partners and a seat at the digital table as successful creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs.”

The incubator is expected to launch in Fall 2016, with the possibility for early programming on Howard’s campus.

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.

About Luma Lab
Luma Lab is the tech education arm of minority owned Clearly Innovative, Inc. Luma Lab exposes students to the tech community through programming that engages and teaches an array of technical and entrepreneurial skills. Luma Lab provides education, mentorship and a positive learning environment for children, youth and adults. Our program exposes students to all facets of technology including lean startup principles, user experience, software development, and product management. Luma Lab is the first Washington DC recipient to be awarded the Chase Mission Street Grant for its dedication to nurturing the next generation of underserved coders, programmers, developers and tech gurus. For more information or sponsorship inquiries, please visit www.luma-lab.com/innovationhub or call 202-408-7514, or visit Luma Lab’s website at www.luma-lab.com.