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NSUIC Economic Partnership

by Yasmeen Freightman -

photo from the NSU Innovation centerThe NSU Innovation Center is proud to announce that the center, and the entrepreneurs from around the Hampton Roads area who graduated from its signature incubation program, have raised more than $1 million in funding, which has been circulated back into the local and national economy.​

Through the NSUIC Innovative Entrepreneur Incubator Program, several entrepreneurs around Hampton Roads learned how to secure endowments, as well as investor and seed funding to develop their companies. This is one of a few key incubator programs at the center that teaches NSU students and alumni, as well as aspiring and established entrepreneurs in the community,fundamental startup methodology to help business owners successfully launch and scale their enterprises, pinpoint and attract their target customer base, track their growth, and draw up business plans, financial projections, blueprints, and investor packages.

Despite the fact that Black entrepreneurs and innovators receive less than 1% of venture capital money, Black-owned businesses that were consulted and mentored by the NSUIC – like Precise Portions, Kysomat, and NSU-student-founded startup Chmpxionship – have made strides in this area. Additional innovators that obtained funding through the center’s educational resources and programming are Alt-Bionics, Chair One Fitness, Liin Technologies Inc. (LTI), and Your Wellness Inc. 

NSU Innovation Center Program Director Akosua Acheamponmaa underscored the instrumental role that NSU’s brand and position in the community played in reaching this milestone. This achievement is a win not just for the incubation program, but for all of Norfolk State University.

"The NSU brand has enabled us to attract the resources and market services that our community needs,” Acheamponmaa said. “By working with our partners, particularly our consultants and investors, we have been able to make the impossible attainable for our clients. Since establishing our incubator program, we've been able to channel $1M+ into the economy through NSU Research Foundation funding, donations, and investment funds obtained by the clients stated above. It's been a solid start, and the future is promising.”

NSUIC Executive Adviser Dr. Rhonda Alexander highlighted the value of local incubation programs and their capacity to help regional economies retain the services and fiscal contributions of local businesses. 

After all, local businesses are the backbone of local economies.

“Research says that entrepreneurs are more likely to remain in the cities where they are founded when they receive local support. Experientially, at the NSU Innovation center, we have found that to be true – the firms that have found support here have become contributors to the local economy, and they have served as mentors and sources of knowledge for other entrepreneurs in Hampton Roads,” Dr. Alexander explained.

For more information about the NSU Innovation Center and how you can get involved in their incubator programs, visit their website. The NSUIC also hosts free monthly events that provide up-to-date information on all things business for entrepreneurs. Check out upcoming events here.You can visit the center in downtown Norfolk at 520 E. Main Street to learn more about its programming.