About the Innovation District

The Innovation District is a comprehensive ecosystem of places, programs, and people all working together to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning.

The Innovation District brings together bright minds from every discipline across campus. It is designed to take on challenges from multiple angles, shape discoveries into marketable solutions, provide customizable problem-solving, and educate tomorrow’s creators to be skilled, experienced, and versatile. Through this, it will drive economic development with novel solutions shared with the world.

It’s about collaboration. It’s about finding solutions.  It’s about innovation that changes lives.

Where is the Innovation District?

The heart of the Innovation District is developing along the interface of UGA’s North Campus and downtown Athens where the district can grow alongside the Classic City’s vibrant art, music, and food scenes.  

This area includes Studio 225, the new home for UGA’s booming Student Center for Entrepreneurship, as well as the Spring Street Building, which is currently under renovation to expand faculty entrepreneurship and industry engagement. 

However, the Innovation District is more than a physical footprint or set of buildings.  It’s a comprehensive ecosystem connecting programs and people across campus and town to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning.

Framework Plan

A long-term framework plan was developed to imagine the potential growth of UGA’s Innovation District over time.  The red structures are conceptual buildings that could accommodate any number of users and uses, including:

  • Office and lab space, including step-out and traditional leasable space.
  • Entrepreneur-in-residence offices, information center, and other centralized Innovation District resources.
  • Shared equipment and common collaboration and meeting spaces.
  • Areas for industry partners to embed in the Innovation District.
  • Multi-use innovation plaza/green space for outdoor events and activities.

Studio 225

Studio 225 is the first stage of the Innovation District, the home of UGA’s booming Student Center for Entrepreneurship.

Opening in the spring of 2019 in a renovated warehouse on West Broad Street, Studio 225 connects students of all majors to programs, spaces, and mentors to foster innovation. Studio 225 includes:

  • National Pitch Competitions
  • Next Top Entrepreneur
  • Collegiate Great Brands Competition

Spring Street Building

The Spring Street Building renovation will expand space for project-based learning, start-up initiatives, and industry collaboration.

This renovation will provide a creative space at the heart of North Campus and downtown Athens, where faculty, students, community members and industry partners can collaborate and innovate. The Spring Street Building will host:

  • The UGA Startup Program
  • Faculty, student, and alumni startup space
  • I-Corps

Jackson Street Building

The Jackson Street Building is serving as a temporary space for Innovation District programming while the Spring Street Building undergoes renovation. Programs that take place in this space include:

  • NSF I-CORP
  • UGA Startup 101
  • Innovation District Seminar Series
  • Innovation Bootcamp
Red structures are concepts for future development.

Goals of the District

The vision of the Innovation District is to become a leading driver of economic development and community impact through innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning. 

The Innovation District is being developed to achieve five long-range goals:

  • Accelerating research commercialization to enable our ideas and inventions to make the greatest impact on society.
  • Increasing experiential learning opportunities to develop our students into versatile problem solvers who are ready for the jobs and challenges of the knowledge economy.
  • Expanding university-industry collaboration to leverage the strengths of academia and business for developing creative solutions.
  • Elevating public and private investment to provide our entrepreneurs with funding and mentorship to turn their ideas and inventions into successful ventures.
  • Connecting campus and community entrepreneurs and innovators to strengthen the creative culture and technology-based economy of our community.