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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Student Entrepreneurial Expo at Strome Center Nov. 17

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Old Dominion's entrepreneurial initiative has taken full flight since 2014, powered by the gift of $11 million from the Strome Family Foundation, led by alumnus Mark Strome '78.

The beating heart of this initative is located at the Strome Entrepreneurial Center (SEC) on Kaufman Mall, where dozens of students have created or grown businesses selling clothing and crafts and introduced new technologies.

In March, the first Old Dominion University Student Company Expo attracted more than 20 student-run businesses and hundreds of interested students. The second Student Company Expo will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 in the Strome Center, as part of Old Dominion's National Entrepreneurship Month events.

"The Student Company Expo is a great opportunity for ODU's student entrepreneurs to showcase their ventures and identify resources," said Nancy Grden, executive director of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center. "It was such a success last semester; thanks to the student leaders for holding it again."

Max Hall, co-creator of CampusWise, an online textbook and student services marketplace, is one of the Old Dominion students leading the entrepreneurial movement. A senior marketing major, Hall said he appreciates working in such close proximity to so many passionate, talented entrepreneurs.

"The SEC Expo gives student companies a huge opportunity to get their companies out in front of the ODU community," Hall said. "We were so amazed that something that started out as a random thought typed in an email last January with the subject "Crazy Idea?" turned out to be such a huge success, and knew that we just had to bring it back again."

Hall speaks from experience about how student entrepreneurs can be spread thin working on businesses while balancing school and a social life.

"An event like the expo, which can help students find potential interns for their start-ups, solves this problem, while also offering an amazing opportunity for internship-seeking students to manage major roles in businesses that they might not typically get in a traditional internship," Hall said.

For more information about the Old Dominion University Student Company Expo, see the Strome Entrepreneurial Center page on Facebook.

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