[ skip to content ]

Old Dominion Signs MOU with Percolator to Support Local Startups

By Noell Saunders

Old Dominion University and Percolator, a co-working space in downtown Norfolk, are collaborating to offer entrepreneurial resources for startup companies in Hampton Roads.

On June 27, Morris Foster, vice president for Old Dominion University's Office of Research, and Bobby Wright, developer and owner of Percolator, signed an agreement to solidify the partnership between the organizations.

"The University will deliver programs, some of which are federally funded, to a diverse list of startup companies in the Percolator building," Foster said. "It's part of our larger mission to help build the regional economy."

The 35,000-square-foot Percolator is designed to support entrepreneurs in the region through co-working space, networking and unique programming. It has two spaces, one on Granby Street and the other on Monticello Avenue. The company houses about 70 businesses.

"This is our first memorandum of understanding with any higher education institution," Wright said. "Our goal is to try to connect not only to startups, new research and ideas but also to universities, military alliances, cities and states. We are thrilled to work with ODU."

This year, ODU established the Entrepreneurship and Economic Development division, bringing together resources and centers to simplify communication and enhance the ability to connect with and support entrepreneurs from the University and the community.

"We are excited to partner with Percolator since we share a common vision as leaders to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads," said Nancy Grden, executive director of ODU's Strome Entrepreneurial Center. "Innovation thrives when organizations such as ours and others collaborate in support of this larger mission."

Larry Filer, associate vice president of ODU's Economic Development and Entrepreneurship group, said the collaboration is a perfect way to match ready-to-grow companies with programs that can help them thrive.

"What we are able to do that the private sector can't often do is bring these large federally funded grant programs to private co-working space," Filer said. "We can make a much richer ecosystem across the region."

Related News Stories


New ODU/TCC Agreement Bridges the Gap Between Work Experience and College Degrees

The agreement aims to address the growing needs of local business and industry partners by providing college credit to skilled workers who often need formal education to advance their careers (More)

ODU Port of VA MOU Signing

ODU and Port of Virginia Sign Agreement to Offer Software Classes for Students

The Port of Virginia and the Maritime and Supply Chain Management Program at Old Dominion University are collaborating to offer courses that integrate cutting-edge technology to enhance students’ data analytics skills. (More)

ODU Signature Logo 2 color

ODU and the City of Norfolk Join Forces to Improve Powhatan Fields

The University will pay half the cost for new turf on the popular fields, which are used primarily by Norfolk Public School athletic teams. (More)

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

First Fridays

Get an inside look into your major of interest when you speak to professors and current students at our monthly First Friday events.

Freshman Orientation

Welcome to the Monarch Nation! Orientation will be hosted on-campus. Events include course selection and registration, an overview of resources and a preview of campus life.