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

ODU Center for Enterprise Innovation Recognizes Two Hampton Roads Organizations with Grants

Old Dominion University is taking more steps to drive innovation, economic development and millennial retention for the region.

The University has awarded a $3,000 grant to the Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative (HRIC) to help advance the HRIC's mission of expanding innovation, business success and regional economic competitiveness.

In addition, Old Dominion provided a $1,000 grant to Global Shapers Norfolk to help the millennial leadership group fund innovative projects in our region.

Marty Kaszubowski, executive director of Old Dominion's Center for Enterprise Innovation (CEI), said Old Dominion is dedicated to helping spur creative ideas to help diversify the region's economy and encourage economic growth.

"HRIC's new leadership, new ideas and actionable programs are all intended to optimize area business success and job creation," he said. "Also, attracting and retaining millennials to combat brain drain in our region is a challenge. We believe that Global Shapers Norfolk is a millennial organization focused on taking action through leading projects, and we are proud to support their efforts."

Dan Bell, president of HRIC, said his organization is eager to collaborate with Old Dominion. "We have worked together on cybersecurity and are launching a Women's Forum of Coastal Virginia with ODU's Women's Business Center. We are also working on a new co-branded series of technology forecasting to commercialization programs intended to start in early 2017."

The Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative has also invested in Global Shapers Norfolk by serving as a program host for the organization.

"We promote innovation of all forms, including social entrepreneurialism, within our region while building regional economic strength," Bell said. "We welcome and are honored to provide program hosting support for Global Shapers Norfolk. This group of millennial leaders is a tremendous addition to our regional fabric."

Global Shapers curator Claire Winiarek said she is grateful for the support of ODU's CEI and the HRIC. "We believe in the tremendous potential of our region as a whole and that it is essential for millennial leaders to step up to help shape our future," she said.

The Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative is the former Technology Council, a nonprofit formed in the late 1990s to support technology advancement in the region. HRIC was an early developer of business incubation programs, annual Tech Night awards to honor best practices in the region, and Critical Mass, a periodic gathering of tech companies to share ideas and network. Learn more about HRIC at: http://hrinnovationcollaborative.com.

Global Shapers Norfolk, which was established in 2015 by millennials ages 20 to 29, is dedicated to leading projects to drive creative change in Hampton Roads. The Hub's first project, the #WeAre757Millennials social media campaign, led to a report detailing the diverse perspectives of millennials and ways to attract and retain them in our region.

The Global Shapers community is a network of hubs supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF). More than 400 cities around the world have hubs; Norfolk's is the first in Virginia. Learn more about Global Shapers Norfolk at: http://www.norfolkglobalshapers.com.

Recognizing the HRIC and Global Shapers Norfolk is one of many initiatives Old Dominion University is undertaking to promote entrepreneurship. The University's Center for Enterprise Innovation offers resources to help local businesses grow, and the new ODU Innovation Center - Norfolk acts as an incubator to expand the downtown startup community. On campus, the Strome Entrepreneurial Center guides students, faculty, staff and alumni as they launch and grow businesses.

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