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ODU Company Expo to Showcase Student Innovation

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Old Dominion's student business owners have scored many successes since the University launched its entrepreneurial initiative in 2014. When they all gather in one location, however, the impact of student entrepreneurship on the Old Dominion campus is striking.

The third ODU Company Expo will be held April 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Strome Entrepreneurial Center.

Student-run companies providing student services, fashion accessories, food and other products will be represented. They won't be alone.

"This year, the center's student organizers for the Expo decided to expand to any ODU-affiliated new company, given its success in the past two semesters," said Nancy Grden, executive director of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center. "It is a great opportunity to see ODU entrepreneurship in action."

The ODU Company Expo also represents the culmination of the #ODUINNOVATE campaign - designed to showcase the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that has developed since the University received an $11 million gift from alumnus Mark Strome '78 to create a center and programming for student entrepreneurs.

The #ODUINNOVATE campaign was created to use platforms such as social media to highlight the innovation flourishing at Old Dominion University.

Through interactive features, Facebook Live interviews and other social media programming, #ODUINNOVATE sought to create excitement around the startup culture brewing in Norfolk, as well as ODU's dedication to innovation.

The month-long campaign has features such entrepreneurs as student Sophia O'Neal, founder of the sustainable fashion accessories company Two Pink Peas, and Kevin O'Connor, an ODU alumnus and founder of O'Connor Brewing Co., a Norfolk microbrewery.

The #ODUINNOVATE campaign can be found at http://odu.edu/innovators and can be followed through the hashtag #ODUInnovate.

People who want to attend the ODU Company Expo are urged to RSVP online.

With the Strome Entrepreneurial Center as the pivot, Old Dominion has empowered students to create and expand a diverse array of businesses, ranging from 3-D printing to online retailing to gourmet bacon.

More information about Old Dominion University's Strome Entrepreneurial Center is available online.

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