Cambridge Innovation Center

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Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)
Industry“Innovation space,” “co-working”
Founded1999; 22 years ago (1999)
FoundersTimothy Rowe
Andrew Olmsted
HeadquartersCambridge, ,
Number of locations
9 cities
Key people
Timothy Rowe, CEO; Geoff Mamlet, Managing Director
Products“Innovation space”
ServicesShared workspace for entrepreneurs
Number of employees

Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is an American real estate services company which bills itself as a "community of entrepreneurs".[1] The company was founded in 1999 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates Timothy Rowe and Andrew Olmsted. HB Reavis, headquartered in Luxembourg, has given funding of $58 million to Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to expand its coworking spaces globally. CIC campuses are essentially a mix of startups, “corporate innovation spin-outs,” and VC funds, with tenants given access to desks, meeting rooms, labs, and more.

"CIC also houses innovation globalization programs for more than a dozen governments including Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands"[2]


CIC was founded in 1999 in 2,700 square feet (250 m2) at 238 Main St in Kendall Square (also the home of the MIT Treasurer's office). In April 2001 it grew to 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) across the street at One Broadway. An unusual office design garnered its new office the Honor Award for Design Excellence from the Boston Society of Architects for 2000.[3] It continued to grow, doubling in size twice by 2004, reaching 71,000 square feet (6,600 m2) and 75 companies.[4]

In December 2006, a major transformer fire in an NSTAR electrical vault in the basement of One Broadway led to the building and the CIC being closed for 5 weeks. The 150 companies located in the building at that time, including Google, had to be relocated on an emergency basis in space provided by MIT.[5]

In August 2008, CIC housed 170 companies, and was recognized as a phenomenon of sorts in a Boston Globe feature article. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited Cambridge Innovation Center in January 2009.[6] As of July 2013, CIC had grown to over 500 companies.[7]

In May 2013, CIC announced its first expansion outside of Massachusetts. CIC St. Louis anticipates being able to house up to 100 companies when fully occupied.[8]

CIC is the first innovation center to have opened. Since its creation, private companies and local governments are promoting the creation of their own version of an innovation center. Innovation centers can be local development strategies through public-private partnerships for cities to foster innovation district.[9][10]

In February 2018, the CIC signed a lease for 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) in the heart of Kendall Square at the corner of Broadway and Main. The lease comes with a large street facing video screen and the location is a short distance from the Kendall/MIT station Red Line subway.[11]

In 2020 they founded a subsidiary, CIC Health, to manage COVID-19 testing sites. In 2021, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts contracted CIC Health to run mass vaccination centers at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park, which was later moved to Hynes Convention Center.[12] CIC Health manages the scheduling and logistics for its testing and vaccines sites, while actual procedures are performed by contracted physicians and hospital workers.

Famous companies based at CIC[edit]

  • Google set up its New England headquarters in CIC in 2005. The first person to move in was Android co-founder Rich Miner. It grew there until, at approximately 175 people and no longer able to fit, it relocated a block away.[13]
  • Maven Technologies, the company that became a Yahoo subsidiary and the kernel of its operations in Cambridge, also began at CIC.
  • Great Point Energy,[14] while based at Cambridge Innovation Center in 2007, raised $103M for its coal gasification technology in what was at the time one of the largest investments in the history of cleantech.[15]
  • HubSpot was a tenant of CIC from 2006 to 2010.[16]


In 2008, Cambridge Innovation Center operated one of the first bikeshare programs in the Boston area.[17]


  1. ^ "Cambridge Innovation Center Expands to the Netherlands". Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Warsaw". CIC. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "ArchitectureWeek Image - The Buzz at Build Boston 2000". Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  4. ^ "Cambridge incubator celebrates doubling in size". Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  5. ^ "After fire, 150 Cambridge startups scramble". Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "Patrick aims for technology in Kendall Square visit - Cambridge, Massachusetts - Cambridge Chronicle & Tab". Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "CIC Residents". Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  8. ^ "CIC : Wexford Science + Technology : Cambridge Innovation Center Announces CIC St. Louis, First Expansion Outside of Massachusetts" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Pathirage, C.; Kulatunga, U.; Ji, Y.; Gameson, R. N.; Udeaja, C. E.; Trillo, C.; Takhtravanchi, M.; Allali, B. (October 4, 2017). Pathirage, C.; Kulatunga, U.; Ji, Y.; Gameson, R. N.; Udeaja, C. E.; Trillo, C.; Takhtravanchi, M.; Allali, B. (eds.). "13th International Postgraduate Research Conference 2017 : conference proceedings". University of Salford – via
  10. ^ Morisson, Arnault (September 12, 2017). "Public-Private Partnerships for the Knowledge Economy: The Case of Innovation Centers". SSRN 3046174 – via Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Logan, Tim (February 1, 2018). "CIC secures spot in heart of Kendall Square". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Gardizy, Anissa. "Seven months ago CIC Health didn't exist. Today it's running the state's mass vaccination effort - The Boston Globe". Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  13. ^ Weisman, Robert (May 14, 2008). "Mass. figures large in Google's game plan". The Boston Globe.
  14. ^ "GreatPoint Energy". GreatPoint Energy. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "Great Point Energy : Before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts : House Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  16. ^ Vaughan, Pamela. "HubSpot Says Thank You & Goodbye to the Cambridge Innovation Center".
  17. ^ Pazzanese, Christina (January 13, 2008). "For some Cantabrigians, a free ride for the fun of it". The Boston Globe.

External links[edit]

Official website