By Tim Ryan

Innovate Hampton Roads recently had the privilege of engaging with the Hudgins Transitional Entrepreneurship Lab at Old Dominion University, a dynamic space where entrepreneurial dreams meet practical guidance. The Lab, made possible by the generous donation of Marsha Hudgins in 2019, stands as a testament to the power of community-focused innovation. Its core vision is to educate and empower individuals within the Hampton Roads community to initiate and nurture entrepreneurial ventures, particularly emphasizing underserved communities.

The Lab’s approach is multifaceted, combining the generation and dissemination of research with practical applications, such as connecting local entrepreneurial mentors with mentees. These efforts culminate in a series of community workshops, fostering an environment where ideas can blossom into viable business ventures. The Lab serves diverse stakeholders, including the local community, Old Dominion University students, the Hampton Roads Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, and academic scholars of entrepreneurship and social issues in management.

During the visit, Tim Ryan and James Doe from Innovate Hampton Roads experienced the lab’s vibrant ecosystem firsthand. They interacted with aspiring entrepreneurs, delving into both specific and general challenges faced by founders. This hands-on approach is critical in understanding the real-world obstacles and opportunities in the entrepreneurial journey. Such interactions are crucial for Innovate Hampton Roads, as they reflect our commitment to supporting entrepreneurial endeavors in the region.

Innovate Hampton Roads is more than an observer in this dynamic field; we actively participate in and support entrepreneurial events. Our presence at events like the one at Old Dominion University underscores our dedication to fostering a robust entrepreneurial culture in Hampton Roads. We believe in the power of collaboration and are always eager to engage with like-minded individuals and organizations who share our vision of nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

This visit to the Hudgins Transitional Entrepreneurship Lab is just one of many steps in our ongoing journey to support and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. Innovate Hampton Roads is committed to catalyzing this vibrant ecosystem, offering guidance, resources, and a platform for entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and grow. We look forward to attending more events like this, bringing together the brightest minds in our community to shape a more innovative and entrepreneurial future for Hampton Roads.