Building Innovation Spaces


How do you build spaces for innovation to thrive? Learn from incubators, accelerators, and innovation labs on how they use physical spaces, technology and cultural initiatives to enable a culture of innovation.



Booz Allen Hamilton

Jinnyn is a connector of people and ideas. For over a decade her focus has been building diverse innovation ecosystems where all stakeholders (especially those at the margins) are inspired to share and actualize their ideas. She has been an Innovation Strategist at Booz Allen Hamilton since 2011 and opened Booz Allen’s Innovation Center in April of 2016, where she is constantly finding new ways to work, connect, and collaborate through innovations in space, culture, technology and productivity. She is currently leads Booz Allen’s Innovation Hub Network, where she combines physical and virtual spaces around the country to build connections between Booz Allen, the local innovation community, government, academia, and the private sector to solve the problems of today and the future.

Previously, she started her own leadership development company; created cultures of engagement for women as a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey; championed the agenda of the world’s female heads of state at the Council of Women World Leaders; co-created a social enterprise benefiting underserved female populations in Mexico; and built an academic that resulted in the first student political network in Qatar. Jinnyn is a certified RIVA Facilitator, Change Management Practitioner, and Gallup Strengths Coach. She holds Bachelor of Science from Georgetown, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard.



Jason directs the i.Lab Incubator program while also leading the mentor community and other i.Lab initiatives. He is a CodeX Fellow for the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and the co-founder of FairDocument, which provides solutions for virtualizing legal teams and tracking client activity.

Jason’s background includes executive roles at a series of software development and interactive design firms, with clients including National Geographic, BellSouth, MTV, Harley Davidson and the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy). Oh yeah, we do science fiction at the i.Lab! Jason earned a B.A. from Austin College and an M.S. in management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


ALLEY Powered By Verizon

Dominic is the General Manager of Alley Powered by Verizon, a membership-only workspace for entrepreneurs and innovators here in our nation’s capital. In his role, Dominic oversees Alley’s operations in Washington, DC and manages collaboration between Alley and their partners at Verizon to help the community build next-level ecosystems for entrepreneurs. His experience spans from non-profits and associations, to software companies and higher education, but Dominic specializes in workplace strategy and business operations.

Prior to Alley, he worked for the Entertainment Software Association planning events and programs for their Government Relations team. Before that, he led the design and buildout of a new graduate school in DC specializing in Intelligence and Defense Studies. Dominic is also the co-founder of Mappy Hour DC, a community of outdoor enthusiasts that meet monthly here in the District. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America.



C’pher Gresham, a District of Columbia Native, is passionate about helping others globally and breaking down barriers to increase diversity in entrepreneurship. As the Vice President of Communities at SEED SPOT, C’pher leads the charge in bringing SEED SPOT’s impact to communities across the US. In this role, he works with city and state governments, family offices, and venture firms, to increase the startup activity and economic growth in their respective communities. He previously served as the National Director of Expansion and Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives where he designed and ran all accelerator programming and aided companies in raising capital. C’pher focuses on entrepreneurs developing sustainable solutions to the worlds most pressing problems.

C’pher is a co-founder of Swillings Coffee, an impact-driven Colombian coffee company. Swillings Coffee works directly with small family owned farms in rural Colombia to improve the quality of their harvest using sustainable growing techniques, roasts at origin to employ women in the local growing community, and distributes to high-end restaurants, coffee houses, and direct-to-consumers in the USA.

Over his career, C’pher has consulted with non-governmental organizations and institutional investors. He has worked with the alternative investment arm of the Arizona State Retirement System, the African Development Bank and Non-Governmental Organizations in Tunisia, and a Biotech Hedge Fund in San Francisco. C’pher was an early employee at, a crowdfunding platform for nonprofits and socially minded causes.

C’pher has received the Mandela-Washington Fellowship funded by the US Department of State, lived on a 135′ tall ship in the Caribbean studying oceanography and worked internationally in Benin, Colombia, Thailand, Tunisia, and Nepal. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland teaching social enterprise and social innovation. He graduated with a B.A. from The George Washington University in Psychology with a Pre-Medicine concentration and an MBA Summa Cum Laude from the Thunderbird School of Global Management with a concentration in early-stage financing for growth companies.


C5 Capital Peace Tech Accelerator

Dimitra manages external relations for C5 Accelerate at the PeaceTech Accelerator in Washington, D.C. She joined C5 to launch the PeaceTech Accelerator in April 2017 inside the United States Institute of Peace building, adding an innovative twist to the public private partnership model. In her role, she leads the Accelerator’s outreach to prospective participants, partners, and investors, and runs the Accelerator’s communications arm. She spends most her days working with innovative startups at the intersection of entrepreneurship and peacebuilding.

Prior to joining C5, Dimitra worked at the United States Institute of Peace on special events and press. Dimitra also served as the digital communications lead for the Embassy of Greece in D.C. and worked in public relations at the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Her love for entrepreneurship began in college, where she spent a year helping launch and scale a startup across North Carolina (she was the very first hire).

Dimitra earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Global Studies, Political Science and Business. She also holds an M.A. in Global Communication from George Washington University.