More than 40 community leaders gathered Thursday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception for the official unveiling of Old Dominion University’s new Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE).
The IIE, which is located at 112 Bank Street, offers space to train, conduct workshops and meetings. It’s also a one-stop shop for the community, students, faculty, staff and alumni seeking resources and services for innovation, entrepreneurship and new enterprises and programs.
ODU President John R. Broderick noted that the university established the IIE in January 2018. The goal was to put all of the university’s small-business assistance programs and entrepreneurial initiatives “under one umbrella.”
“I must say over the past 18 months this has really flourished,” Broderick said. “The institute has held numerous innovation events on campus. And more importantly, across the region. In addition, it has been working actively to create a strong partnership between ODU’s research faculty and the business community. Today’s opening represents the next phase of Old Dominion’s commitment to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads.”
Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander was also in attendance. He said the institute is a much-needed resource and noted that the city’s Department of Development has already reached out to ODU to begin exploring joint programming and opportunities.
“We are excited to have Old Dominion University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the heart of downtown,” the mayor said.
The Institute contains the Strome Entrepreneurial Center (SEC), Innovation Center Norfolk, Tempo, the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Affiliated centers are funded through a mix of federal grant programs, below-market-rate fees and private philanthropy to keep nearly all the programming affordable and, in many cases, free of charge for participants.
IIE is also launching a new program called the Open Seas Innovation Hub, which will serve as a catalyst and convener for discovering, developing and deploying innovative concepts related to all aspects of living and working on and near the water.
Read more about Open Seas here.
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