New InnovationHQ open to students

InnovationHQ comprises five floors and serves as a hub for student entrepreneurship

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InnovationHQ, a new hub for student entrepreneurship, opened in E38 with over 25,000 square feet of meeting rooms and collaborative workspaces.
Cady Boronkay - THE TECH

MIT’s new InnovationHQ (iHQ) — five newly renovated floors in E38 (Site 4) — opened in early September. The space, encompassing over 25,000 square feet of space “for innovation and entrepreneurship activities,” incorporates elements of design from the renovated E40 Martin Trust Center space, the Innovation Initiative based in E70 at One Broadway, and other innovation spaces in the area, according to the iHQ website. The building is the latest renovation in the ongoing revamp of Kendall Square.

The headquarters’ primary function is to serve as a hub for students “at every stage of their entrepreneurial journeys, from undergraduates to PhDs,” according to MIT News.

The iHQ website also notes that the renovation emphasizes “large, open, collaborative spaces where serendipitous meetings might occur.” The space additionally houses new spaces for MIT Alumni programs; Music and the Arts at MIT; MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation; MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program; and several other innovation and entrepreneurship centers. It also includes offices for key innovation programs’ staff and researchers, conference rooms, teaching spaces, and meeting rooms. 

The iHQ website includes pertinent information for students who may wish to access the space under the “How to iHQ” section; photos and floorplans for individual floors and student spaces; a minute-long virtual tour of the space, consisting of photos from various working and social spaces. iHQ spans floors 3–7, with student-only spaces on the third and fourth floors. .

Floor three houses the Student Innovators Lounge, consisting of 6,500 square feet of “open modular coworking space,” seating for 80, and two reservable private meeting rooms; and the Voxel Lab, a music and arts innovation makerspace. The Voxel Lab “embodies the intersection of music, art, and technology,” and allows students access to recording/sound editing software, Arduino hardware/software, laser and water cutters, and 3D printers, to name a few. 

On floor four, the Student Venture Studio “builds community among the student organizations within MIT’s I&E ecosystem.” The studio is spread over approximately 3,000 feet of open space, and has a reservable meeting room, a kitchenette, projector, and retractable screen. The SVS website lists ten current member student organizations, such as the Black Business Students’ Association and the ClimateTech & Energy Prize @ MIT.

A 55-minute long virtual open house video—part of an effort by the MIT Alumni Association and MIT Sloan Alumni to open the doors of iHQ to alumni—is available to all on the iHQ website. The video features welcomes and comments by, and discussions with, prominent alumni and MIT Innovation Initiative affiliates.

Students may enter iHQ through the MIT Welcome Center main door and take the stairs or elevator to floor three and may use valid MIT ID to tap in. Students can request after-hours and weekend access to the space by filling out a form, and can expect a response within 48 hours.

Update 9/24/21: A previous version of this article stated that iHQ housed a space for MIT Music and Theater Arts. The article has been update to say that iHQ instead houses a space for Music and the Arts at MIT.