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Cambridge Innovation Center plans to expand this year, with new Hub Boston office for mission-driven entrepreneurs

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 18, 2013 07:30 AM

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The Cambridge Innovation Center, which leases space in Kendall Square to hundreds of startups and tech biggies like Amazon, is looking for a site in Cambridge to launch a new group workspace called The Hub Boston. CIC executive Geoff Mamlet is running the initiative, which would target "mission-driven" entrepreneurs working on for-profit and not-for-profit ventures. It'll be part of a global network of more than 30 similar centers.

Mamlet, right, wasn't ready to say much about the endeavor, but he did tell me it will likely be in or near Kendall Square, though no lease has been signed. "Boston has a really large community of people for whom the idea of making the next Facebook just doesn't make them excited," he said. "What they want to do instead is make the world a better place. Their goals are centered around doing good. It's a big, underserved population that we think is really important to serve well." That population could include someone designing a new kind of wind turbine, or starting a non-profit to promote music education.

Hub Boston will be a co-working space, which means that it'll offer lots of flexibility: individuals and teams can pay to use as much space as they need, on a month-to-month basis. It seems like it could be fairly similar to the NonProfit Center, on South Street in Boston, and Space With A Soul, on Summer Street in Fort Point. Both are operating at or near capacity.

"Space for non-profits is very badly needed," says Space With A Soul founder Stas Gayshan. "We're pretty jammed, and looking to grow." He said he views Hub Boston as a welcome addition to the local ecosystem.

Hub Boston could open as soon as this spring. Stay tuned...

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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