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StartWheel Newsletter


In this edition, read about local initiatives to kickstart entrepreneurship, find post-Covid resources for your small business, and plan for an upcoming educational event.

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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 with Cure Coffee's Chris Shelton

Leading a business is no easy task...especially during a pandemic. Hear how Chris Shelton empowers his employees at Cure Coffeehouse, and the lessons he's learned along the way.

Interested in learning more? Watch the full show as well as mini clips on our website or YouTube page.

Region Roundup

757 Angels Applications Are Open

Need capital to grow your business? Apply to one of the nation's most active angel networks. 757 Angels application deadline is January 13th.

Apply here
Co-working Space, Gather now Offering Daily and Weekly Private Office Rentals

Need to get out of the house for that big project?  Need a quiet space for the day to focus and get work done? Gather now offers daily and weekly office rentals where you can focus and be productive.

Read the full article
Isle of Wight Receives OBICI Healthcare Foundation Grant Funding to Establish Isle Recover Business Assistance Grant Program

The grant is one-time financial assistance for eligible, for-profit small businesses (50 or fewer employees) to reimburse the costs of business interruption related directly or indirectly to certain sections of Governor Northam’s Executive Orders 53 and/or Executive Order 55.

Read the full article
Norfolk Initiative Makes Resilience the City's Centerpiece

The ability of an individual, an organization or a metropolitan area to absorb a shock to its functioning and its structure, and then to recover from it, is essential in a world where threats to our economic, social and individual ways of life abound.

Read the full article
The Pandemic's Toll on Small Business Owners

In Virginia, there are over 745,000 small businesses which provide employment for over 47% of the population.

Read the full article
'Norfolk Innovation Corridor' Launches with Goal to make the Area Known as 'The Most Resilient Community in America'

A coordinated marketing effort by some of the city’s most visible institutions launched Thursday to rebrand a swath of mostly downtown waterfront property that had already been designated as a “technology zone.”

Read the full article
Techstars is Working with Hampton Roads to Boost the Area's Tech Scene

Ian Hathaway, senior director at Techstars, said the initiative is a one-year engagement with a three-fold objective: complete an assessment of the region, do discovery and engagement of the startup ecosystem and provide access to resources.

Read the full article
Answers to Rebuild! VA's 12 Most Frequently Asked Questions

Since the Rebuild! VA launch in September, the Rebuild Core Team has been in overdrive to reply the $100MM in available funds as quickly and effectively as possible. Here’s a list of the 12 most commonly asked questions, with answers!

Read the full article
Norfolk Startup Initiative Launches

The Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC), an initiative to attract and retain startups in the region, launched on Thursday, Old Dominion University announced.

Read the full article
757 Accelerate Moves Ahead with Multiple Projects Amid Pandemic

In addition to holding its entire 2020 program online, 757 Accelerate recently announced a grant-funded partnership to find and engage new entrepreneurs and is making progress toward establishing a permanent physical space in Norfolk.

Read the full article
Winners announced for Start Peninsula 2020

Pitches were five minutes with a three minute question-and-answer session with the judges. The final event included a keynote from Safety Nailer, who participated in Start Peninsula 2018 and was featured on Shark Tank earlier this year.

Read the full article
Other Must-Read Headlines You May Have Missed

Event Spotlight

December 3rd, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show

This week on the Fervent Four Show is Nicholas Shucet, Director of Operations of Romans Tide, a team of elite e-commerce entrepreneurs built a $3M amazon business with $20.

[FB Live]
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 

CDBG Business Grant (Williamsburg, York, Poquoson) 

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

Rebuild! VA 

Suffolk EDA Small Business Grants 

Suffolk Executive Offices Covid relief
The Red Backpack Fund for Female Entrepreneurs 

Virginia Beach Small Business Grant Program (new)
VA 30 Day Fund Forgivable Loans up to $3,000 

York County Grants

York CARES Grant

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:

Anthony Vittone, COO of DroneUp

Dawn Brotherton, Owner of Blue Dragon Publishing

Steve Waddell and Dave Scouler of Nasoni

Joel Ankney, Owner of Ankney Law

Blake Luse, Managing Director of Ferguson Ventures

Lee Sheridan, Owner of Two Maids & A Mop Virginia Beach

Xerxes Nabong, Financial Advisor and Owner of Escape Room Virginia Beach

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

December Virtual Events

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December 1st, 2020
4:00 - 7:00pm

Business Smart Start

Topics covered include deciding on a legal entity structure, basic accounting and tax issues, steps you need to take for permits and licensing, steps to writing a business plan and basics of marketing and market research.


December 2nd, 2020
9:00 - 10:00am

Intellectual Property 101

Unfamiliar with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets? Learn about intellectual property (IP) basics and potential ways to protect your innovations as you transition from idea to product.


December 2nd, 2020
9:00 - 10:00am

Dept. of Defense SBIR Proposal Prep Webinar

This three-hour webinar will present proposal preparation tips for those considering an SBIR/STTR submission to the DOD SBIR and STTR Broad Agency Announcements.


December 3rd, 2020
8:00 - 9:00am

Supplier Readiness Event: Dominion's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project

Learn more about business opportunities in offshore wind with the Hampton Roads Alliance and Dominion Energy.


December 3rd, 2020
8:30 - 11:00am

COVID-19 Comeback Convention

Williams Mullen will host the COVID-19 Comeback Convention, a virtual event comprised of brief presentations that will provide executives and leaders of in-house legal departments with a convenient and efficient way to gain a variety of new insights and ideas to help their business recover.


December 3rd, 2020
2:00 - 3:30pm

Forum on Cyber Security Compliance for Small Businesses

With Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) guidelines effective November 30, 2020, all contractors working directly (or indirectly) on Department of Defense (DOD) Contracts should prepare for obtaining some level of certification.


December 3rd, 2020
6:30 - 8:30pm

SCORE Richmond: How to Start Your Own Business Series

SCORE Workshop Series: SCORE Richmond is bringing back one of its most popular workshops in a new format for these pandemic times. Learn the basics of starting a business from local, experienced small business professionals.


December 4th, 2020
9:00 - 10:00am

Coffee with CIT GAP Funds

Join CIT GAP Funds and fellow entrepreneurs on Friday at 9AM for virtual coffee via Zoom to discuss growing your company and funding opportunities.


December 8th, 2020
9:00am - 12:00pm

NASA SBIR Proposal Prep Webinar

Almost $200M is available in this single NASA SBIR/STTR opportunity!


December 8th, 2020
5:30 - 7:00pm

The Business Case for Investing in Diverse Founders

Colin West presents the positive outcomes achieved by investing in diverse founders.


December 9th, 2020
9:00 - 10:00am

Patenting Apps and Software: U.S. Patent Practice

How does one protect an app or software in today’s environment? What form or forms of intellectual property are best used to protect the various aspect of an app or software and how to their work together to offer coverage?


December 9th, 2020
12:00 - 1:00pm

December Webinar Lunch & Learn: Fostering Innovation in the Workplace

In this brief session, learn the core of what innovation is, what makes it stick, and how to allow serious fun to be a natural driver of value for your organization.


December 10th, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show

Join Tim and Zack as they discuss hot topics with Tim Ritter, owner of Family Fun Xperience.

[FB Live]
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