About Us

Penn West is where changemakers come together to innovate for a more sustainable and equitable future.

Where we are

At the Center of It All

Situated in the nation's capital, Penn West is a part of a close-knit community that is committed to leveraging technology and creative urban planning to chart the future of the American downtown.

With access to low-cost, highly flexible workspace; proximity to diverse tech talent, including local students from GW and seven satellite universities from across the nation; and connections to government and policy makers, Penn West offers an inclusive and accessible location for all innovators.


Our Vision

We aim to become the world’s premier destination for uniting technology with public policy, equity, and social impact.


Equity based


Located in one of the DMV region’s densest job centers, Penn West is dedicated to making innovation and prosperity available to everyone, with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Fresh ideas emerge when everyone participates.


Innovation, Right Here

DC is home to the brightest minds and most passionate changemakers in the world – and was recently named the #4 tech market in North America by CBRE (with the highest percentage of female tech workers). By prioritizing future-forward industries unique to DC and serving as a destination for national and international commercial innovators, we are amplifying the sectors that already have a strong presence in our backyard: health, government, education, and finance.

Global collaboration

Global Collaboration

Penn West is home to global partnerships. From Federal government agencies and the White House, to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Finance Corporation, and the European Union Delegation to the USA – the equity and innovation district leverages the unique presence of nearby international development organizations to build a better future.

Who we are


Our community of changemakers is trailblazing the future of the Penn West Equity and Innovation District.

CEO Ximena Changemaker portrait
Ximena Hartsock Gates,
Co-Founder & CEO

Ximena Hartsock Gates

Ximena unleashes the potential of talent with modern apprenticeships and meaningful jobs.

BuildWithin is headquartered in Penn West. The workforce development program offers apprenticeships to train DC residents for their career potential, and helps employers meet their talent needs.


Jim Chung Changemaker portrait
Jim Chung,
Associate Vice President, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The George Washington University

Jim Chung

Jim educates tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and startups by directing cutting-edge programs that foster innovation and connections.

The George Washington University is a founding partner and serves as an anchor institution of the Penn West Equity and Innovation District.

Cenk Sidar,
Co-founder & CEO
Enquire AI

Cenk Sidar

Cenk leverages AI to grow a global network of experts who rapidly inform critical business decisions.

“Transforming the knowledge industry, growing networks, and connecting those with shared interests is the keystone of both Enquire AI and the Penn West Equity and Innovation District.”