WHO WE ARE

District Hall is the world’s first free-standing public innovation center. We are the living room of Boston’s innovation community: a place where people can work, exchange knowledge, build meaningful relationships, and make their ideas happen.

Our Mission

 We are fostering a strong, supportive, and accessible innovation community in Greater Boston. We build, strengthen, and connect individuals and communities of innovators while expanding access to resources, programming, and networks.

Our Values

We believe that innovation is for everyone and that anyone with an idea is an innovator.
Innovation is present everywhere: in entrepreneurship, but also in the social sector + public service, in the creative economy, within larger corporations, and in the very fabric of human interaction.

Venture Café Foundation

We are a program of the Venture Café Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Our mission is to broaden, connect, and support the innovation community through a public network of spaces and programs to help anyone with an idea succeed. To learn more about our other programs, please visit vencaf.org.

What We Do

EventS

District Hall offers versatile event spaces designed to inspire creativity, foster collaboration, and make great ideas come to life. From conferences to hackathons to brainstorming sessions and workshops, District Hall is a place to create connections and bring innovation to life. Learn more about hosting an event at District Hall.

FREE, Public WORKSPACE

Innovation spaces exist all over the city, but they are often out of the public eye: behind security guards and up elevators, often requiring membership. Our public lounge is a free, public work and meeting space, equipped with free WiFi, integrated power tables, and writeable walls. Learn more about our public lounge.

ProgramS + Resources

District Hall is a platform for the innovation community to do things that have never been done before. Our programs and resources are designed to bring together diverse perspectives, build deep and meaningful connections, and develop effective and insightful solutions. Learn more about our programs + resources.

OUR IMPACT AT A Glance

District Hall’s unique model allows us to reinvest revenue from site fees back into the community through free, public workspace and discounted event space.

870+

events + meetings in 2016

“District Hall is a public, ground-level, accessible space – it’s truly a physical representation of how we best interact with people. We want to foster a creative, inclusive outlet to approach problem solving, and District Hall is the perfect place to do that…The ethos of this space really captures the philosophy of being a public innovation space.”

Cathy Wissink

Senior Director, Technology & Civic Engagement, Microsoft New England

$1 Million

invested into the community in sponsored event space in 2016

“District Hall’s story is one that highlights that power of what we’re able to achieve when we collaborate. It’s about people coming together to make something for the community at large.”

Intelligent.ly

Read the full 2016 impact report here.

75,000+

visitors in 2016

“As a first time entrepreneur, starting a business can be an intimidating process, but having a welcoming, free co-working space that is open to the public helps to remove a huge barrier. This has enabled me to make helpful connections and learn a ton from other entrepreneurs at various stages of their businesses.”

Natasha Kayulu

Founder, Pitpatters

OUR TEAM

Becky Donner

Becky Donner

Director

Becky is dedicated to fostering community engagement and creative communities — both physical and digital — for positive social change. As Director of District Hall, she oversees all aspects of the organization and focuses on executing the core mission of serving as an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive platform to help others achieve their ideas. She’s excited to be working in Boston’s innovation community because it’s arguably the best place to start a business in the world — home to cutting-edge technology, industry leaders, and an incredible support network of resources — and is incredibly creative to boot. A graduate of Skidmore college with a B.A. in sociology and psychology, Becky is an amateur metalsmith, public art enthusiast, self-proclaimed “dog-person”, and a staunch, unwavering advocate for oxford commas.

My definition of innovation: “My favorite way to define innovation is as applied creativity, and it’s important that innovation remain an inclusive concept — really, anyone with a new idea to an existing problem is an innovator.”

Sarah Desimas

Sarah Desimas

Program Manager

Sarah is passionate about social entrepreneurship and exploring new perspectives through community engagement and travel. In her spare time, you can find her photographing Boston and investigating the beautiful green spaces downtown. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Graphic Design from Northeastern University.

Alyssa Rubin

Alyssa Rubin

Community Engagement Coordinator

As District Hall’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Alyssa manages District Hall’s digital presence and builds programming with and for the innovation community. As a longtime writer and theatre artist, she is excited by the intersection of entrepreneurship, art, and socioeconomic justice in the innovation community. Alyssa recently graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, political science, and social entrepreneurship. When she’s not at District Hall, you can find Alyssa biking around Jamaica Plain, volunteering, and traveling to places where there’s no Wi-Fi.

My definition of innovation: “Innovation is new, impactful, sustainable, and equitable solutions to old problems.”
Helen Petty

Helen Petty

Events Coordinator

Helen is passionate about connecting the diverse sectors within the innovation community to inspire greater impact. Outside of District Hall she can be found practicing yoga, enjoying the outdoors, and traveling (when time permits). Helen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Analysis & Policy and International Relations from Boston University.

OUR SPONSORS

Operating our space and fulfilling our mission would not be possible without our generous sponsors and community partners. Interested in supporting our work? Get in touch here!

FOUNDING TEAM

Founding Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

In-kind Sponsors