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Resources for Entrepreneurs

In 2013, Norfolk was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top 5 City for Entrepreneurs. In 2014, USA Today named Norfolk a Millennial Magnet based upon the population of 20-29 year olds being greater than the teen population. We were 3rd in Virginia. There are a host of other accolades including the designation of downtown zip code 23510 as the third best Hipster neighborhood in the nation by RealtyTrac.

ODU Innovation Center - Norfolk ODU's Center for Enterprise Innovation has partnered with the City of Norfolk to open the new ODU Innovation Center - Norfolk at 501B Boush Street. The new center is both a collaboration space and a program designed to build and grow a community of scalable entrepreneurial businesses. The center delivers professionally managed incubation and acceleration assistance along with co-working space for freelancers, creatives, telecommuters, and anyone seeking to join and contribute to the downtown startup community.  For more information visit their website or contact them at (757) 683-7600, or .

The Strome Entrepreneur Center opened with much fanfare at ODU in the fall of 2014. The Strome Entrepreneurial Center hosts an aggressive regimen of events and workshops as it creates an entrepreneurial culture, including social entrepreneurship.

The ODU Business Gateway is a unique resource which includes several tentacles reaching out to various resources for businesses, industry and entrepreneurs. Fields include the Technology Applications Center, Launch Hampton Roads, The Veteran’s Business Outreach Center, Women’s Business center and the Hampton Roads Procurement Assistance Center.

Hatch, Norfolk's accelerator, is a mentor-based startup accelerator program for technology and design entrepreneurs who are ready to build a product and launch a company.

Start Norfolk is an annual weekend long event that matches brains and creativity, bringing together individuals of different mind and skill sets - entrepreneurs, engineers, developers, designers, and business people - with the goal of building a viable startup over a weekend.

Launch Hampton Roads is provided by Opportunity Inc. through a grant to provide entrepreneurship training under the U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation Fund, part of a three region Virginia consortium that includes organizations in Northern Virginia and Richmond. In Hampton Roads, the program will provide 250 adult and dislocated workers eligible for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services with comprehensive entrepreneurship training and technical assistance. All clients will receive customized training in a core curriculum that includes: business planning, accounding, finance and credit, and sales and marketing. The educational component will be enriched with services that include entrepreneurship mentoring, networking and special events, and specialized training in areas like federal contracting.

Norfolk Department of Economic Development Mission

Generate wealth for the City of Norfolk through business expansion, enhancement, and new business development complementary to our neighborhoods.

Contact Info

(757) 664-4338
999 Waterside Drive
Suite 2430
Norfolk, VA 23510

Staff Details

George Homewood, FAICP,CFM
Interim Economic Development Director 

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