16 Tech Community Corp. in Indianapolis has selected Starla Hart as director of community initiatives. In her new role, Hart will work with various neighborhoods in Indianapolis and help 16 Tech launch the new 16 Tech Community Investment Fund.
Hart previously served as a program officer for Local Initiatives Support Corp. in Indianapolis, focusing on the Great Places 2020 initiative. She also served as director of community initiatives with the Marion County Commission on Youth.
The 16 Tech Community Investment fund aims to provide support to communities near the 60-acre innovation district. It will be seeded with funds from the city of Indianapolis and sustained perpetually through a $0.20-per-square-foot assessment on space occupied by 16 Tech tenants.
In addition to the fund, 16 Tech Community Corp. also announced the 10-member advisory committee for the fund. The organization says, under Hart’s guidance, the committee will develop strategic goals, funding guidelines and priorities ahead of the fund’s first round of grants in 2019.
The committee is comprised of "five neighborhood leaders who have held or currently hold leadership positions in neighborhoods around 16 Tech and have been active in creating programs and initiatives that support their communities." It will also include leaders of organizations such as EmployIndy, LISC, and Global Preparatory Academy. 16 Tech Chief Executive Officer Bob Coy and Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Angela Smith Jones are also on the committee.
"As one of the region’s largest projects to attract, retain and develop talent, 16 Tech is committed to ensuring the benefits of economic growth, new investment and job creation in the 16 Tech district extend to nearby neighborhoods as well as the city, the region and the state,” Smith Jones said in a news release. "The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund is community-focused and community-directed with those who live and provide services in the neighborhoods helping to guide how investments are made for maximum impact."
In addition to her new role with 16 Tech, Hart serves as a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Investment Advisory Council.