Refraction Launches Collaborative Space in Reston To Spur Innovation Among Tech Startups, Nonprofits and Artists

Share Article

By curating innovators and communities beyond the tech sector, Canvas’ Refraction Reston is unique from any other co-working space in region.

Refraction Logo

Northern Virginia’s vibrant technology, nonprofit and creative communities now have access to a pioneering 12,000 square foot co-working space with a 5,000 square foot growth annex in Reston Town Center that will empower collaboration and innovation among entrepreneurs and startups from diverse industries beyond technology.

Refraction was launched by Canvas, a venture-backed, Reston, Va.-based mobile startup, and created by James Quigley, Canvas CEO and co-founder and Rachael Stott, co-founder of The Dandelion Support Network and a former Canvas Ante Up award winner honoring not for profits. Quigley and the Canvas team have deep experience with co-working environments, as Canvas has been operating a co-working space in its previous Reston location that served as the launchpad for several successful area startups, including Speek, AppTapp and Intellinote. Canvas has moved its headquarters offices into the new Refraction space as the anchor tenant.

To celebrate the opening of this dynamic new co-working space, Refraction Reston will host a launch party on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm at its new space in the heart of Reston Town Center, 11911 Freedom Drive, Suite 850. Come eat, drink, mingle, and check out the coolest new space in Northern Virginia. RSVP to the launch party for free here –

Refraction Reston spans nearly 17,000 square feet, and expects to house 20-30 organizations. Several startups in Canvas’ previous co-working space – as well as new organizations – have moved to the new Refraction space as flagship tenants, including:

  •     Intellinote – founded by former Clarabridge executives, this cloud workforce management provider recently secured $4.3 million from Grotech and Boulder Ventures.
  •     Washington West Film Festival (WWFF) – Reflecting a commitment to spurring collaboration beyond technology startups, the Refraction space will be home to the Film Festival’s organizers, as well as host as needed a support staff of more than 50 volunteers that put on the annual Washington, DC film event.
  •     AppTapp – app discovering engine landed $4m in its most recent funding round, led by Syncom Venture Partners and with participation from existing investor, New Atlantic Ventures.
  •     TidWiT – an innovative leader in the social learning space that helps companies create, socialize, syndicate, and monetize their learning.
  •     Right Source Marketing – a strategic marketing consulting firm that supports a broad range of clients at all stages of development.

While Reston is the inaugural location for the Refraction initiative, Canvas’ goal is to “globalize the co-working model” and expand Refraction to other global markets and create a network of hubs for entrepreneurs and vanguards in business, tech, philanthropy and the arts. Each co-working location will focus on the four tenets of Refraction: collaboration, innovation, impact, and community.

Entrepreneurs and organizations interested in locating at Refraction can do so by securing offices and desks on an ongoing, monthly or daily basis. Refraction will focus on serving organizations and entrepreneurs with up to 5 employees in its primary space, and can also support organizations with 5-15 employees in its annex location.

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., President and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
“Co-working facilities make it easier for start-ups to have flexibility in spending their resource early on in their life cycle. Refraction affords start-ups and small companies to have that flexibility. We applaud Canvas program and wish them continued success in growing businesses in Fairfax County.”

James Quigley, co-founder, Refraction
“The Greater Washington region already boasts sufficient co-working locations for early-stage tech startups and young entrepreneurs looking to hatch ideas and companies. As evidenced by our diverse group of initial tenants, Refraction is focused on startups and organizations from the vibrant tech, nonprofit and artist communities in Northern Virginia that are past the ideation stage and looking to scale.”

Brad Russell, founder and president, Washington West Film Festival
“Canvas has been a staunch supporter of WWFF, and we have selected Refraction as our headquarters location because we also believe that creativity and innovation is sparked by connecting entrepreneurs from a broad range of industries and perspectives instead of traditional community silos. The uniqueness and prime location of the Refraction space will not only serve as our day-to-day offices, but also a venue to host new films for the local community.”

About Refraction
Refraction, a forward-thinking co-working space in the heart of Reston Town Center, empowers collaboration and innovation among entrepreneurs and startups from diverse industries beyond technology. Unlike traditional co-working spaces that are restricted to technology startups, Refraction was developed and designed to spur “experiments in collaboration” by focusing on startups and organizations across vibrant tech, nonprofit and artist communities that are past the ideation stage and looking to scale. To learn more about Refraction and joining our collaborative space, visit

About Canvas
Canvas is an easy, fast and economical way for businesses to find, customize and create mobile forms to replace paper forms. Canvas is a cloud-based software service that enables users to collect information using mobile devices, share that information and integrate with existing backend systems. Canvas also offers the first mobile business application store of its kind, allowing businesses from diverse industries to find mobile forms specific to their needs. To learn more, visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Brian Lustig
+1 (301) 775-6203
Email >
Visit website