Now well acquainted with the academic community here in the District, local startup incubator platform 1776 has begun to forge new relationships with institutions in and around the area. During the month of November, the space known for harboring some of the hottest startups in D.C. announced a partnership with three of American University’s schools and Thursday 1776 made public yet another collaboration – this time with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

The partnership, as explained in a press release, will provide Darden students and alumni full access to 1776 as a student rate in order to offer the Charlottesville clan a chance to learn from well-established entrepreneurs and get a feel for the whole startup scene here in D.C. 1776 will also collaborate with Darden on collective programming, which will include mentoring and lunch-and-learn sessions as well as workshops.

UVa is known for grooming impressive founders like Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, so it makes sense that the school fully supportive of innovation would want to take advantage of a relationship with such an invaluable resource in the District.

“1776 helps us with our commitment to promoting the notion of an ‘entrepreneurial mindset,’” said UVa’s Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Philippe L. Sommer. “Darden fosters the concept that to grow a business or repurpose assets the expert entrepreneur can teach us a great deal about making small bets, failing fast and making the ‘affordable loss’ small in order to be able to iterate and constantly try new solutions.”

As for 1776, Co-Founder Donna Harris says this partnership is worthwhile for the thriving startup platform too. “It is important for students to have the skills they need to enter a constantly evolving job market where they may have 2, 3 or even 4 jobs in the first decade of their career,” she said. “Partnering with universities with a commitment to expanding beyond traditional teaching and fostering applied learning, like the Darden School of Business, helps 1776 to expand its platform of equipping citizens with the tools for innovation to students.”


Image via tldagny/Flickr