Muriel Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, has broken ground on a startup incubator at Howard University following the city providing approximately $1m in grants to the project, according to DC Inno.

The startup incubator is scheduled to open in September 2016 and will be run by technology education organisation Luma Lab.

The incubator will have a specific focus to support entrepreneurs emerging from Howard University with minority backgrounds.

The incubator was first announced by Bowser in March 2015 with a predicted opening date of later that year. At the time, it was expected to run at full capacity by the end of that year.

Joaquin McPeek, director of communications in the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, said: “It is about expanding the district’s technology ecosystem. And not only growing the district’s footprint but making sure we are addressing the needs entrepreneurs and startups that are underserved in the district.”

Howard Saunders, adjunct instructor for the Department of Computer Science at Howard University, said: “One of the biggest challenges for those entrepreneurs is they just do not know anyone in the [VC] space. They have not been to anyone there.

“We need to bring more diverse people to the innovation economy table.”

– This article first appeared on our sister site Global University Venturing.