A digital technology center, 1313 Innovation, has opened in Hercules building at 1313 Market St. in downtown Wilmington.
Founders and partners in the new venture are Paul McConnell and Scott Johnson, principals in McConnell Johnson Real Estate, and Kjell Hegstad, chief innovation Viking at Digital Vikings He is the former head of mobile and innovation at INGDirect, now Capital One bank.
“1313 Innovation is the logical next step in refocusing the Hercules building as the office building of the future. We believe in making the best use of technology, and in promoting progress by creating a space where our best young thinkers can meet to develop fresh product ideas,: McConnell said. “Our tenants are looking for resources at their fingertips, and we believe 1313 Innovation will be the catalyst.”
“We’re investing in this center because we want to make Wilmington the center for creativity and innovation connecting education and economic development around mobile technology,” Johnson said.
Digital Vikings, which builds mobile apps for businesses, will be the primary tenant at 1313 Innovation.
“I’m thrilled that we finally are getting an innovation center in Wilmington,” Hegstad said. The center, is being used for rapid prototyping, human centric design, ideation and hackathon sessions as part of its mobile and digital business focus.
“With the great partnership and support of Scott Johnson and Paul McConnell, we are already looking at expanding both space and focus to include education and mentoring,” Hegstad said. “We believe in community and lean-startup methodology and both the 1313 Innovation furnishings and focus reflect that.”
Innovation is not just about mobile, but also the intersection of physical products & technology and wearable tech, Hegstad said, citing the development of Apple’s line of i-products, the Nike fuel band, the Nest thermostat, Google glasses and smart watches. Planning is underway to open a public 3D printing lab at 1313 Innovation,. That technology that could spur more creative firsts in Wilmington, Hegstad said.
The center will start out with 2,000 square feet of space.