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April 2021

Just by opening this email, it shows your commitment to the entrepreneurial community across #The757. Every day hundreds of founders are working tirelessly to change the world for the better and they need our support to be successful. Thank you for being part of the entrepreneurial community! 

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What is StartWheel?

StartWheel is your online source of information that’s solely focused on the entrepreneurial activities that are taking place across Hampton Roads, Virginia, also known as #The757. 
  • Consolidates all of the news and information that you need to know to start and grow a business. StartWheel also shares the information our community wants and needs to hear in order to advance our region forward.  
  • Coordinates all of the entrepreneurial events that are taking place either online or in person. We’ve eliminated the need to check multiple calendars, we have everything listed in one place for your convenience. 
  • Celebrates all of the entrepreneurial successes that are taking place around the region. We amplify your success to a broader audience.  

Fervent Four Show

#49: Navigating the Entrepreneurial Process

Joe Weaver and his company Ario placed 1st at the Verizon "Built on 5G" Challenge. Hear more about what that meant for Ario and the technology that made it possible.

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

#50: The Re-Opening of the Food Industry

What does the future hold for the food industry? How soon will people feel comfortable gathering in restaurants? Hear perspective from Chris Hill, a chef, entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker. 

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

Region Roundup

First Set of Tenants Move into Norfolk's 757 Startup Studios

757 Angels, the local investor group, and 757 Accelerate, the regional startup growing program, joined forces to create the studios and have offices in Assembly.

Read the full article
Things to Know About the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

There are a variety of tools and resources available to help potential SVOG applicants prepare.

Read the full article
Ario's Joe Weaver Featured on Automating the Chain Podcast

Automating the Chain’s Tee Ganbold sits down with Joe Weaver, Co-Founder and CEO at Ario, to talk about how augmented reality (AR) is being used in manufacturing to transfer knowledge and reduce human error in operations across the supply chain.

Read the full article
SVT Robotics Announced as a Finalist for 2021 MHI Innovation Awards

The winners of the 2021 MHI Innovation Awards will be announced during a ProMatDX keynote session at 11:00 AM CT on April 12 at

Read the full article
ivWatch Launches blox™, a High-Fidelity Mask Collection, and Exposes Product Performance Data with New vQuality™ Verification System

ivWatch’s blox face mask collection launches with blox98, a high-filtration mask that blocks out ≥98% of 0.1 micron aerosolized saline particles.

Read the full article

Newport News and Hampton offers Small Business Loans

The cities of Hampton and Newport News are working together to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Peninsula Cares Act Fund (PCAF) was created to provide direct loans in amounts not to exceed $375,000, with flexible rates and terms

Hampton Learn More
Newport News Learn More

Techstars' The Shipyard Launches Entrepreneur Slack Community

The Shipyard recently launched its Slack community to bring entrepreneurs closer together. The community offers a place to chat, ask for help, get intros, and share info.

Join the Slack Community

Need funding? Applications Due April 2nd.  

757 ANGELS APPLICATIONS DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, APRIL 2nd, AT MIDNIGHT! Don’t miss your chance to get the capital you need to grow your startup. APPLY TODAY:

Apply Here

Percolator and Bloom Joint Sessions 

PBJs are a wonderful opportunity to network with your peers and collect invaluable information and questions to help you grow your ideas.

Learn More

With Goal of Full Economic Revival, Hampton Roads Business Organizations Unveil Ambitious Recovery Plan

Leaders in the Hampton Roads business community have debuted a plan to not only lift the region out of the coronavirus pandemic but accomplish an even loftier goal — make it one of the most sought-after and fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country.

Read the full article

Discussing Opportunities for 757 Entrepreneurs

Check out Tim Ryan, Executive Director of StartWheel, on Tage Talks Business. Listen to host Tage Counts and guest Tim Ryan discuss Tim’s career with the entrepreneurial community, all things and future opportunities in the 757.

Listen to the podcast
Start Peninsula Brings Shark Tank to Hampton Roads

The organization has a panel of judges that hears pitches from local aspiring business owners, choosing finalists before eventually picking three winners.

Read the full article

Riverflow Growth Fund Closes Investment in First Portfolio Company

Riverflow, a new seed-stage venture fund based in Richmond, VA, has invested $250,000 from their first fund into DrugViu.

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

Each finalist will receive a $500 prize and allowed to participate in the Wednesday, November 3 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

Free assistance from William & Mary Business School Students

Do you need assistance with your business? You may qualify for two MBA students from William & Mary to help you along your journey. This is made possible through a partnership with the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center. 

Get Connected

DroneUp Acquires Web Teks

Web Teks, a pioneer in enterprise software solutions unique to the UAS industry, designed and developed all of DroneUp’s patented and proprietary platforms.

Read the full article
Start Peninsula Winner Muddy Marley's Moves to Williamsburg Crossing Shopping Center

Inside the dog wash is a row of 3-foot high fiberglass bathtubs which are accessible from almost every angle. Each tub is equipped with a showerhead, 7 different shampoos, and other items needed bathing a dog.

Read the full article
Norfolk Based, Amplified IT acquired by CDW

Ultimately, this acquisition will extend Amplified IT’s mission and create an even more meaningful impact at a pivotal time in education technology history.

Read the full article
Get the whole rundown of what's happening in and around NFK

Want to learn everything that is happening in the NFK area? Subscribe to Currents, a weekly newsletter that breaks everything down: Community, Culture, Commerce, Crowds, and Chow.   

Rip it
Other Must-Read Headlines You May Have Missed

Event Spotlight

Micro Pitch Competition
April 18, 6:00-8:00pm
Pitch your business idea for a chance at $5,000 in seed funding

Hampton Roads, VA! Are you interested in pitching your startup? Have a great idea that needs to be heard? Apply to pitch in our Micro Pitch Competition!


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

COVID-19 Grants

We understand there is a TON of information flooding your inbox regarding COVID-19. In an effort to 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.

Head to our website for the most current list of grant opportunities or click here

If you would like individual counseling or assistance for your business, please contact the HRSBDC at or call 757-664-2595 to schedule an appointment. 

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:

#50: Chris Hill, Entrepreneur, Chef, and Author

#49: Joe Weaver, Founder of Ario

#48: Cassidy Lewis, CMO of Cooper Hurley

#47: Alexis Perkins, founder of Chair One Fitness

#46: Chris Tillet of Tillet Advisors LLC

#45: Misty Leinberger, CPA and Owner of Pixel Financial Group

#44: Lauren WilsonLead Marketing Coordinator at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning,
Apply to be a guest on the Fervent Four Show

April Virtual Events

View All Events

April 1st, 2021
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show #51 with Aaz Mickens-Dessaso from Techstars

Tim and Zack will discuss how to build an entrepreneurial community across the 757. 

[StartWheel Live]

April 2nd, 2021
9:00 - 10:00am

Coffee with CIT Gap Funds

Dive deeper into closing customers with:
Jessica Crytzer, Chief Revenue Officer of HyperQube
Ed Barrientos, CEO of Brazen
Alexander Olesen, CEO and Founder of Babylon
Gigi Schumm, SVP, World Wide Sales of ThreatQ
Amir Zonozi, Co-Founder and President of Zoomph


April 5th, 2021
1:00 - 2:00pm

Amazon Small Business Academy Presents Keyword Optimization

Learn how make the most of your keywords in listings and advertising options


April 6th, 2021
9:00 - 10:15am, 10:30 - 11:45am

Swam Certification Info Session with the City of Virginia Beach

State (SWaM) Certification is one of the most powerful business tools you can use to grow your sales among state agencies, public colleges and universities, local municipalities, and private sector firms that utilize the SWaM database.


April 7th, 2021
8:30am - 5:00pm

Setting the Pace: Learning through Innovation

With a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education and Technology in Education, Dr. Helen Crompton focuses her research on technology integration and learning with technologies, such as mobile devices, artificial intelligence, virtual/mixed/augmented reality.


April 8th, 2021
10:00 - 11:00am

Webinar: Selling to the Commonwealth - State Gov't Contracting Overview

This free workshop is designed to educate small, woman, and/or minority business owners about opportunities to sell their goods and services to the Commonwealth of Virginia and many local governments.


April 8th, 2021
11:00am - 12:00pm

The Fervent Four Show #52

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

[StartWheel Live]

April 13th, 2021
12:00 - 1:00pm

HRIC Tech Tuesday - OpenSeas Technology Innovation Hub

Located in Hampton Roads Virginia, OpenSeas is a globally engaged and recognized innovation hub focused on maritime and coastal issues.


April 14th, 2021
12:00 - 1:00pm

2021 Home-Based Business Lunch & Learn Series

Host: York County Economic Development

View All Events

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