To say the Hampton Roads entrepreneurial community is picking up steam would be an understatement. For those thinking about starting a business, are in the process of starting a business or are growing a business of their own, there are more resources available now than ever before. To take this one step further, many of the names listed as this year’s 2020 Inside Business power list make a direct impact on our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Let’s take a look at some of the familiar faces that were recognized by Inside Business.
Monique Adams, Executive Director of 757 Angels and StartWheel Board of Directors
As executive director of 757 Angels, Monique Adams has guided more than 100 Hampton Roads leaders who advise and mentor startup and early-stage companies. More than $60 million has been invested in regional and state businesses since the nonprofit’s inception in 2015. Its biggest year was in 2019, with $15 million invested in 11 companies. Not only has Adams’ leadership resulted in similar organizations in the community, it has also created jobs and inspired diversity on several levels.
Paul O. Hirschbiel Jr., Chairman, StartWheel
Paul Hirschbiel founded one of the first professionally managed private equity firms in Hampton Roads. With good instincts, he realized decades ago that health care services were a growth industry and is now vice chairman of a company he originally invested in, The Memory Center in Virginia Beach. Serving on multiple boards for startup businesses, children and disadvantaged families, he has received the Darden Award for Regional Leadership, recognition from the Virginia General Assembly, an honorary doctorate from Old Dominion University and membership in the Strome Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame, among other honors.
Zack Miller, The Anomaly
The author of “Anomaly: How to Finally Stand Out from the Crowd,” Zack Miller has helped entrepreneurs with dependable data and lessons learned from experts in the field since 2010. It began with Start Norfolk, an event he hosted for people with new business ideas, which led to developing his company, Hatch, to provide the support that startups need. Originally for locals only, it now has a national platform with members from across the country.
Drew Ungvarsky, StartWheel Board of Directors
The founder, CEO and executive creative director of Grow, a digital branding company, Drew Ungvarsky built up his Norfolk business by never saying no and always keeping his promises. He and his team have illustrated their talent, winning an international award and being recognized by Entrepreneur and Fortune magazines. Clients have included Spotify, Google, Pinterest and Adidas.
Congratulations to everyone that was recognized! We will update this post once the next set of names is announced. Here’s the link to the current list. It takes everyone’s effort to move the entrepreneurial needle, step up and get involved, you will be amazed.
Not sure how to get involved? Contact StartWheel, we’ll show you the way. In the meantime, go out support the local business community!
Tim Ryan, @ryantnt