By: Tim Ryan

It’s not news that we have had a growing and thriving startup community for several years. Even longer, our region has struggled to come up with a name to market ourselves by. We’ve all heard the narrative time and time again. Where is Hampton Roads? What does Hampton Roads even mean? The locals understand the naming convention, yet, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to have a clue. As the world becomes “smaller” and more competitive, we need to become more coordinated to even be in contention to expand our entrepreneurial footprint.

Disclaimer: We are not trying to introduce a new brand or solve the region’s branding identity.

First take: Let’s focus on what we are known for. Three primary segments fuel our region’s economy:

  • Military
  • Shipping industry
  • Tourism

What do all three of these have in common? WATER.

To expand on this a bit further, we are home to one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Our region’s history was built on shipbuilding. We are home to the world’s largest Navy base. With the deepest ports in the world, we can support the largest cargo ships in existence. Tourists enjoy 26 miles of beaches and coastline in our area, and in 2025, we will be home to a year-round cruise industry.

What is synonymous with water? Anchors

Second take: We’ve all heard of Silicon Valley. What started in the early 1900s stemming from a Navy research and technology site, Stanford University, then further developed the talent needed to grow the area into what it has become today.

Several technology regions use “Silicon” in their name today.

Silicon Alley: New York

Silicon Basin: Columbus, Ohio

Silicon Bayou: New Orleans, Louisiana

Silicon Beach: Los Angeles, California

Silicon Desert: Chandler, Arizona

Silicon Harbor: Charleston, South Carolina

Silicon Hill: Washington DC

Silicon Hills: Austin, Texas

Silicon Hollar: Boone, North Carolina

Silicon Forest: Oregon

Silicon Mountain: Colorado

Silicon Peach: Atlanta, Georgia

Silicon Prairie: Dallas Metro, Texas

Silicon Slopes: Salt Lake City, Utah

Silicon Speedway: Indianapolis, Indiana

Silicon Valley: San Jose, California

Third take: Our startups, founders, and entrepreneurial community are more robust together rather than trying to compete alone. A community is needed to put ourselves on the map. Founders, service providers, investors, consumers, media, and the act of attracting and retaining talent will benefit from dropping their anchors as part of something bigger than themselves.

By taking the existing and accepted “Silicon” and adding something symbolic to water and our region, “Anchor.” We welcome you to Silicon Anchor.

Silicon Anchor, Anchor

This is an open invitation to you all. Everyone is included, and we encourage you to embrace being part of the Silicon Anchor region. The future of our region depends on you.