The Technology Business Incubator and Accelerator Is Expected To Open in 2017

Construction of a new, exciting business hub in Newport, currently titled InnovateNewport, could start as soon as this spring.

The project which was announced in September 2014 entails the re-purposing and redevelopment of the Sheffield School, an idle City-owned public school property at 513 Broadway, as an innovative technology business incubator and accelerator. It’s a model of public/private sector collaboration and visionary community economic development.


The school will be repurposed as a technology business incubator and accelerator serving the marine, climate change, environmental, digital and defense industry clusters, and entrepreneurs throughout the area.

InnovateNewport will provide a wide range of modern high tech office suites, rooms and meeting spaces with the latest technology connections available.


The project will provide more than just newly developed office space. InnovateNewport will create opportunities for new and established companies.

The United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) has committed over $1.6 million towards the effort and will be matched with funds from the City of Newport Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) to fund the redevelopment of the school. Federal funds have also been included to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the facility.

The Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island submitted an application on November 25, 2015 for a $1.7 million RebuildRI tax credit. The tax credit is a critical component of the project’s capitalization. Combined with a $1.64 million grant from the United States Department of Commerce and a $1.6 million matching grant from the City of Newport, success in securing funding from the tax credit program will effectively result in fully funding the Project’s construction costs.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.