Nicole's background is at the intersection of the innovation economy and the built environment. Her work centers around the powerful role that space plays in supporting and amplifying human and economic potential. She is the co-founder of FWD Partners, a consultancy and development firm with particular expertise in unconventional real estate that builds social fabric.
Nicole is currently working with Autodesk on the launch of the BUILD Space, a 35,000 SF facility dedicated to supporting innovation in the building industry. She was the founding General Manager of District Hall, a civic gathering space for innovators and the first building of its kind in the world. In that role, Nicole oversaw the launch and first three years of operations, working for the Venture Café Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building connections in the innovation community. While at Venture Café, Nicole was also a Co-Principal of the Roxbury Innovation Center, a new program in the heart of Dudley Square focused on providing space and programs to support local entrepreneurs and innovators.
Before joining the Venture Café team, Nicole was the Innovation District Manager for the City of Boston, managing the City's initiative to transform 1000 acres of underdeveloped land on the South Boston Waterfront into an urban environment that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration. Nicole also worked as a designer at Hacin + Associates, an award-winning boutique architecture and interior design firm in Boston's South End, where her work ranged from high end residential interiors, startup offices, mixed-use buildings, urban master plans, graphic design and styling. Nicole studied architecture at Northeastern University, and is fascinated by the connection between innovation and place.
In addition to her work in design and urban innovation, Nicole is a singer and songwriter. She ran a successful crowdfunding campaign in Fall 2015 to raise funds to record her debut studio album, "Awakeness", produced by Mike Davidson of Plaid Dog Recording and now available on iTunes and Spotify.
NEWS + EVENTS
- 2015 City of Boston ONEin3 Impact Award: Recognizing contributions of young civic leaders in Boston (under the age of 35)
- "How Singing in the Subway Helps Nicole Fichera Stay Sharp at District Hall": Profile in BostInno
- Cofounder: Committee on Resilient Environments (CoRE) at the Boston Society of Architects
- Became a Professional Affiliate of the Boston Society of Architects
- Popular Vote Winner in "Small" Division of 2015 Apartment Therapy Small Cool Contest, a global design competition for homes under 1000 SF
- Participant in "Innovation District No. 1", a "Solo Session" roundtable as part of Solo City 2015.
- Started original recording project with Plaid Dog Recording in Boston, working toward EP release in Spring 2015.
- Member, Programming Committee: The Record Company, a nonprofit mission-driving recording studio.
- Collaborator, "Boston Living With Water Competition: Bridging Culture", a collaboration with Mixed Paper.
- 2014 BostInno Alumni Impact Award: Awarded to young alumni of Boston-area schools who have had a substantial effect on where Boston is today, and where the city is headed in the future.
- Vice Chair for Encouraging Entrepreneurship on Mayor Walsh's Neighborhood Innovation District Advisory Committee.
- Moderator, "Urban Infrastructures for Public Health: A Conversation on Civic Technology": Microsoft + Venture Café Foundation, 12.3.14.
- "Roxbury Innovation Center Operator Selected": City of Boston press release, 12.29.14
- "Is This What 'Innovation' Looks Like?": CityLab, 12.12.14
- "Innovation Districts Are Catalysts for Urban Growth": National League of Cities CitiesSpeak.org, 10.31.14.
- "Boston's Tech Community Responds to Menino's Death": Boston Globe BetaBoston, 10.30.14
- "Innovation Districts Are a Clear Path Forward for Cities and Metros": The Brookings Institution, 6.9.14
- Panelist, "The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America": The Brookings Institution, 6.9.14
- Research Contributor, "The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America": Brookings Institution.
- Research Contributor, "Cities As A Lab: Designing the Innovation Economy"; American Institute of Architects,