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Innovation Center in Downtown Norfolk Dedicated

The Norfolk State University Innovation Center On the Main in downtown Norfolk was dedicated on March 11. The center is designed to support an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads through collaboration with the city of Norfolk and other cities in Hampton Roads, the Small Business Association and other entrepreneurial related organizations.

Partnerships and collaboration are the core of the center’s approach to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. The center’s immediate purpose will be to serve as a business incubator to develop business competitiveness, jobs creation, investment opportunities, infrastructural improvements, global inclusion and participation within the Hampton Roads community.

“We are delighted to bring Norfolk State to the downtown business community,” said NSU Interim President Dr. Melvin T. Stith Sr. “Together, we are reimagining what is possible in Norfolk.” Stith said that the Innovation Center is another milestone in Norfolk State’s history of growth, opportunity and progress.

Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander who attended the dedication, said that the city of Norfolk has made innovation and entrepreneurship a top priority and that the center was the next step. “This Innovation Center in the heart of downtown is a symbol of the city’s growing partnership with Norfolk State,” said Alexander. The mayor said that the center is a much needed resource and will work well with business and entrepreneurship initiatives that the city is leading.  “Our small businesses initiative in the Department of Development has already reached out to Norfolk State University by exploring joint programming opportunities and leveraging city and university assets and capabilities.”

The NSU Innovation Center will offer events and business forums, a co-working platform, startup training and partnerships and collaboration. It will serve as an incubator and accelerator and connect startups with other entrepreneurs, resources, learning and networking events in Norfolk. It is expected to bring in speakers on a periodic basis to present to current clients and the startup community.

“This facility” said NSU Board of Visitors Rector Joan G. Wilmer, “will directly support the needs of our students and provide NSU with a forum to build value-added partnerships and to create synergies that spark innovation that will change the world.”