Innovate Newport director Tuni Shartner at the new facility in the former Sheffield School in Newport, RI. (Photo provided by Tuni)

The following was submitted by Tuni Schartner, director of innovation and entrepreneurship for Innovate Newport.

Goodbye & Thank You ALL!

I have been thinking about what to write for the last couple of weeks…

I have enjoyed meeting so many of you and am so grateful, beyond all else, for the wonderful friendships that I’ve made here.  

As many of you know, I signed up to help get Innovate Newport open and to build the initial community here. I started August 1st of 2018 and after over 600 hard hat tours and 9 months of working with all of the amazing contractors, that literally ‘built’ Innovate Newport, we opened on May 1st. We welcomed our anchor tenants (on the main floor) throughout April, then officially opened to coworking members, meetings and events on May 1st. We hosted the Aquidneck Island teams for the Connect Greater Newport ‘Business Walk’ on May 7th then hosted our first BIG event with RI Inno, RI Innovators to Watch, on May 9th. The much anticipated move in of the INSPIRE Environmental team happened on May 31st, followed just a few days later by our official Ribbon Cutting on June 3rd.  

It is hard to believe that we’ve only been open for 8 months as we’ve built such a fantastic, and robust, community and culture here already and in addition to our amazing office tenants, we have signed up over 150 coworking members, as well as have hosted well over 150 meetings, trainings, pitch sessions and events. Hosting the RI Offshore Wind Energy Summit on July 18th with NECEC, the Business Network for Offshore Wind and Commerce RI was a fantastic experience, as was so many of the other events we hosted with our many strategic partner organizations like RI BioDESIGNxRISocial Enterprise GreenhouseNewport Interactive Marketing and many more. And the recent event officially announcing the 401 Tech Bridge with Polaris MEPNUWC and RIMTA was definitely another highlight of these past 18 months.

It is now time for me to hand the baton to the team that will lead the next phase of Innovate Newport’s development.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade!

Innovate Newport has been the hard work of so many…thank you to all that have made this important (and special) project come to fruition. I look forward to supporting Innovate Newport, as it is an important cog in the collective wheel that continues to diversify and strengthen this region’s economy and plays an important role in RI’s growing innovation ecosystem.

Here are some more videos (that some of you might be in)…

GoLocalProv with Josh Fenton

NBC10 Coffee Break

Newport Daily News Progress Report

2019 GrowSmart ‘Smart Growth Awards’



Editor’s Note – For those interested, the Greater Newport County Chamber of Commerce currently is currently accepting applications for the Innovate Newport Community Manager here.

Community Submission

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