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StartWheel Newsletter


In this edition, learn about Hampton Roads' newest co-working spaces, find a small business grant, and get your business SWAM certified.

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What We Do is Hampton Roads' hub for news, events, and resources related to entrepreneurship and innovation. We partner with other organizations in effort to support and cultivate the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Are you a small business with a recent success story? Let us know!

There's lots going on in the HRVA entrepreneurship world! Make sure your email host doesn't clip our message short by clicking to view the entire message.

Fervent Four Show

Are you the Uber of __? The Power of Proper Analogies
Do you struggle to explain your business? Jaynee Sasso had to stop calling her business the "Uber of Senior Transportation" in order to more accurately explain her business capabilities. Watch the full show with Jaynee, as well as mini clips on our website or YouTube page.

Join us every Thursday 11:00am to Noon on our FB Live!

Region Roundup

National Small Business Week to Kick-off September 22-24

This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy.

Read the full article
Number of the Week in Hampton Roads Business: $64 Million

$64 million — That’s the amount 757 Angels has invested in 28 early-stage companies since the group’s launch in 2015, according to the group’s 2020 five-year impact report. And about 90% of the capital has been invested in Hampton Roads, its leaders say.

Read the full article
Tech Center 101

Did you know that Tech Center is a mixed used development in Newport News? Tech Center is a marketplace, venture apartments and a research park. The combination of these elements is known as an “entrepreneurial ecosystem”.

Read the full article
Apply now to pitch your business / business idea at Start Peninsula

12 entrepreneurs will walk away with seed funding. Applications are open to pitch (idea). The top 6 pitchers from Sep 22nd and Oct 13th micro pitch events will compete on Nov 6th for 1 of 3 $5,000 prizes. All events will be held on Zoom. 

Apply to pitch
Gather Virginia Beach is Official

Last month, we officially cut the ribbon at Gather Virginia Beach alongside Mayor Bobby Dyer and many of our biggest supporters. We enjoyed tasty samples from Town Center Cold Pressed and our favorite part of it all - bringing community together!

Learn more
IncuHub Celebrates its One Year Anniversary

Since opening doors on June 21, 2019, we've created a wonderful community that is now comprised of over 45 businesses!  Crazy. The IncuHub has become not only a place where people connect, but has also established itself as a platform for businesses to partner and support our community.  

Learn more
Array Digital Hosting Lunchtime Live Streams, Interviewing Industry Experts and Answering Viewer Questions

Hear from industry experts and get your questions answered about marketing, business development, customer relationships, and much more.

Learn more
Ferguson Ventures Announced as Norfolk State 3 Day Startup Sponsor

3 Day Startup is a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus program that teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.

Learn more
Other Must-Read Headlines You May Have Missed

Event Spotlight

September 22nd, 2020
6:00 - 8:00pm

Micro Pitch Competition

3 Minutes to pitch your business!

The top 5 pitchers in this event will qualify for our main Start Peninsula event on November 6th, which will award 3 finalists a $5,000 prize. All other finale participants will walk away with $500.

Learn more
Tell us your news!
StartWheel is your consolidated source for startup and early stage small business news!!!
We're looking for stories to share:
- Are you a new business?
- Are you are disrupting the status quo? 
- Did you just expand your business? 
- Share your press release with us so we can share it across the region! 

Email your Press Release here

Post COVID-19 Resources

We understand there is a TON of information flooding your inbox regarding COVID-19. In an effort minimize the information flow and standardize the information being shared, we have partnered with the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center (HRSBDC). We recommend following websites for the most current information.

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application 
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Information from SBA
Hampton Roads Chamber Recovery Resource Center
Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center Recovery Resources
IRS information for small business/self-employed/medium sized employers
Loan program overview
PPP Loan Forgiveness Overview
SBA webpage for the Paycheck Protection Program
Virginia Small Business Development Center Business Recovery Center
US Chamber Information
Virginia Small Business Development Center  

If you would like individual counseling or assistance for your business, please contact the HRSBDC at or call 757-664-2596 to schedule an appointment. 

Small Business Grant Opportunities

Many localities and organizations in Hampton Roads are offering grant opportunities for small businesses. All you have to do is apply! Click on a link to learn more details and eligibility requirements. An up to date list of grant opportunities is kept on the StartWheel website.

Accomack County Grants for Small Businesses
Accomack Watermen Relief Funds 

Chesapeake Small Business Covid-19 Recovery Grant (NEW)

CDBG Business Grant (Williamsburg, York, Poquoson) (NEW)

FedEx Support Small Grants

For Hispanic and Latino Businesses 

For workers in the food and beverage industry who are in a crisis of any kind 

Hello Alice Small Business Grants 

LISC (Local Initiative Support Coalition of Hampton Roads) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants 

Norfolk VA Grant (NEW)

Rebuild! VA (NEW)

Suffolk EDA Small Business Grants 

Suffolk Executive Offices Covid relief
The Red Backpack Fund for Female Entrepreneurs 
VA 30 Day Fund Forgivable Loans up to $3,000 

York County Grants

York CARES Grant (NEW)

The Fervent Four Show

Did you know that only 4% of businesses ever exceed $1 million in annual revenue? The Fervent Four Show is designed to give you the tools and information you need to become part of the 4%.

Tune in to the Fervent Four Show every Thursday from 11:00am - 12:00pm on the StartWheel Facebook page. The Fervent Four Show is brought to you by StartWheel and the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center. 

The past few weeks, we've chatted with:

Jaynee Sasso, Founder of SeniorRuns

Gary Plaag, Founder of Couragio Consulting

Candice Gallmeyer, Director of Business Operations at Escape Room Virginia

Savannah Bolin, Regional Director of Gather

Tiffanie Rosier, Founder of Allstar Photobooth

Nate Tschohl, Founder of SWIMNERD

Dennis Gray, Founder of Accurid Pest Solutions

Want to be a guest on the Fervent Four show? Apply here

September Virtual Events

View All Events

September 16th, 2020
10:00am - 12:00pm

SWAM Certification Information Workshop (Webinar)

Becoming SWaM certified is just the first step in doing business with the Commonwealth. Each year the state buys goods and services totaling more than $8 billion.


September 17th-18th, 2020
8:00am - 3:30pm

Boots to Business

Participants are introduced to a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial business concepts and the resources available to access start-up capital, technical assistance, contracting opportunities, and more.


September 17th, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show

Hosts Tim and Zack are joined by Meghan Timlin from the Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Kempsville High School. Meghan is an expert in teaching entrepreneurship and will share how entrepreneurship is now being taught virtually.

[FB Live]

September 19th, 2020
11:00am - 3:00pm

WordCamp Virginia Beach 2020 - Online Event!

Join us for a great online event featuring WordPress! Our keynote speaker is the fantastic Abha Thakor from WordPress whose is on the release team for version 5.6 and is a regular marketing leader for the online teams.


September 23rd, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm 

BizTools Online Workshop - Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels

Want to get your business in front of a whole new audience on Instagram? Instagram Reels are a brand-new feature rolled out to Instagram users in early August that offer brands an opportunity to leverage Instagram’s existing reach and organically grow their following.


September 24th, 2020
11:00am - 12:30pm

SBIR Commercialization Essentials for Phase I & Phase II - Webinar

This webinar includes tips on developing the components of a credible commercialization plan from demonstrating market opportunity, knowing your competition, product/technology consideration, developing a business strategy and building your team. 


September 24th, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show

Hosts Tim and Zack are joined by Dr. Joe Bucci from Regent University, who is a leader in helping businesses assess their environments to make a plan going forward - even in the midst of a pandemic.

[FB Live]

September 26th, 2020
2:00 - 4:00pm

GitHub Basics: Contributing to Open Source Projects - StartWheel

Learn the basics of GitHub and how to best contribute and learn from open source projects.


September 28th, 2020
6:00 - 8:00pm

Norfolk.js - Lightning Talks

It’s our spring-time meet-up! We’ll have lightning talks and food/drinks to enjoy.


September 30th, 2020
5:30 - 7:30pm

BizConnect Online Cooking & Connecting

Happy hour will start at 5:30 pm with introductions from attendees. At 6:00 pm, Chef Nate will join the call and walk you through cooking the menu while everyone cooks together in their own kitchen. After the meal is cooked, we will all dine together and continue the conversation. 

Hosting an event? 
You can upload your events to our calendar for the region to see! 
Don't forget to include all the details: 
Graphic or an image 
How to attend or get tickets

Questions? Ask here
View All Events

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