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StartWheel Newsletter


In this edition, learn what VCs are looking for in founders, RSVP for Start Peninsula's Pitch Competition Finale, and find an event to sharpen your entrepreneurship skills.

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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: Ferguson Ventures

Ever wonder what VC's are really looking for in founders? Hear Blake Luse, Managing Director of Ferguson Ventures, share his perspective on the Fervent Four Show. Watch the full show 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

Start Peninsula's Top 10 Finalists

Start Peninsula held their final Micro Pitch Competition on Oct 13th and the final field of 10 is set. The final competition will be held on November 4th @ 5:30pm and the top 3 pitchers will each win $5,000. Get your free tickets 
ivWatch Appoints Jaclyn Lautz to Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Lautz previously lead the company’s research and development division and will now expand her role to also include manufacturing, human resources and operations.

Read the full article
Governor Northam Invites Small Businesses and Nonprofits to Apply for up to $100,000 from Rebuild VA Grant Fund

Rebuild VA launched in August with $70 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Governor Northam is directing an additional $30 million to support the expansion of the program.

Read the full article
Techstars Brings Startup Ecosystem Development Program to Hampton Roads, VA

GoVirginia, 757 Accelerate and 757 Angels announced plans to partner with Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, on a one-year program to further develop the Hampton Roads entrepreneurial community.

Read the full article
Ingredients to Jumpstart the Planning Process

Taking on any large project can be manageable when you have a reliable process in place. When deciding to exit your business, for example, you will need a proven process in place to ensure you have covered all the bases.

Read the full article
Isle of Wight County Announces #IsleShopSmall Gift Certificate Program with $100K of CARES ACT Funding

The #IsleShopSmall program will build an online shop at where Gift Certificates to local businesses will be sold from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10th.

Read the full article
Collaboration Preps the Way for Regional Business Resiliency | Expert Column

“The Long and Winding Road” — The title of this song written by Paul McCartney in 1968 is an apt metaphor that describes the challenges facing the region and its small businesses as we start to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article
Second Set of Finalists from Start Peninsula Micro Pitch Announced

Finalists will receive a cash prize and are allowed to participate in the Wednesday, Nov. 4 main pitch event where they will have a chance to win $5,000 to support their business growth and they will also have free access to local resources.

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

Event Spotlight

November 4th, 2020
5:30 - 9:00pm

Start Peninsula Finale

Watch 10 Hampton Roads entrepreneurs pitch their businesses in a Shark Tank style competition for a chance to win $5,000.

Learn more

November 5th, 2020
5:30 - 7:30pm

757 Accelerate Annual Community Pitch Event

Listen and learn as the five startups in the 757 2020 cohort showcase their businesses and answer your questions. 

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:

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

Joe Bucci, Entrepreneurship Professor at Regent University

The Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Kempsville High School

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

November Virtual Events

View All Events

November 4th, 2020
12:00 - 1:00pm

November Webinar Lunch & Learn: Fundraising in Times of Uncertainty

Now is exactly the right time to outline your action plan (complete with contingencies and scenario planning), so your organization can be prepared for a successful year. 


November 5th, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show

Join Tim and Zack as they discuss hot topics with entrepreneurs across the Peninsula.

[FB Live]

November 5th, 2020
2:30 - 3:30pm

Hosting Virtual F&B Events - Producers

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to create and deliver successful virtual F&B events that connect you with your customers. Topic areas include choosing the right event structure, attracting an audience, and managing communications.


November 5th, 2020
5:00 - 6:00pm

The Art vs. Science of Investing

In this session a panel of investors will discuss how they make investment decisions – both the more scientific factors like market data and metrics, but also the “art” of investing and how they rely on less quantitative information to make successful investment decisions.


November 5th, 2020
5:00 - 6:00pm

Happy Hour: Vibrant Shore Brewery

Sometimes after a long day, you just need a drink and a way to forget the to-do lists, quarterly goals, and never-ending inbox list.


November 6th, 2020
By appointment

Free Small Business Meetings

Free small business counseling meetings for any and all Hampton Roads small businesses. Sponsored by the Hampton Roads SBDC.


November 9th, 2020
9:00 - 10:00am

Hosting Virtual F&B Events - Restaurants and Retailers

This session is for food & beverage retailers such as restaurants, bars, restaurants, wine shops, and coffee shops. Are you a food and beverage producer?


November 11th, 2020
12:00 - 1:00pm

Taking the Leap from Home-Based to Brick & Mortar

RSVP for this now virtual event hosted by Debra Farley.


November 11th, 2020
7:00 - 9:00pm

The Effects of AI on Society

Artificial intelligence has become commonplace – personal assistants help us face the day, ranking algorithms sort our interests, and language processors write our emails. But what powers these systems and where are we headed?


November 12th, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show

Join Tim and Zack as they discuss hot topics with entrepreneurs across the Peninsula.

[FB Live]

November 13th, 2020
10:00am - 11:00am

Ask A bookkeeper

These services are available to any and all small businesses in and around the ViBe. All meetings will be held at 1701 Coworking with all social distancing requirements respected.

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
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