Silicon Anchor News

Start Norfolk 3, We can control our our future!

Start Norfolk 3, We can control our our future. 

500 Startups

Partner, Paul Singh to Keynote: Start Norfolk 3. Paul is a Partner at 500 Startups — a “super angel” fund headquartered in Mountain View, CA and founded in July 2010. To date, 500 has invested in 450+ companies in 25+ countries. He is currently serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and DHS/USCIS. Prior to 500, Paul was the founder of a few of his own startups (two successful exits and a number of failures in between) and spent some time at PBworks, AOL and Symantec. He can be reached at

Building Our Future

Silicon Anchor News is excited to announce Start Norfolk 3, a weekend long event bringing together individuals of different mind and skill sets, entrepreneurs, engineers, developers, designers, business people and everything in-between, with the goal of building a viable startup over a weekend. Join us at the Innovation Research Park at Old Dominion University on March 22-24, 2013.

Pitching? Make it Good: Because you only have 60 seconds, no props, no slides, just a good ‘ole pitch.
Who are you?

What is the problem you are addressing?
How are you going to fix it?
What do you need?Not Pitching? No Problem! @StartNorfolk 3 You can pitch your business idea. Like what you heard? You can join a team of developers, designers, engineers, marketers, SEO Wizards and many more for the idea you liked best. You can also meet those in the local startup community, listen to 7 speakers, meet with over 30 mentors and have an awesome time, while learning how to improve your business or helping you get the confidence you need to start one.

Previous Start Norfolk companies have been featured in Tech CrunchForbesIncVentureBeat and DEMO.  So, what are you waiting for, pitch that idea.
Register Now!


With over 500 people attending the first two Start Norfolk’s, we are happy to bring you a bigger and better Start Norfolk this spring. Those who attended were highly enthusiastic about the outcome of the event, saying: “I felt like I was the the Woodstock of Technology, it was legendary,”  and Start Norfolk was a “Titanic event”.

Thanks to our partners! Arcphor StrategyxTupleNorfolk Fair Trade CompanySendGrid,CITSmartmouth BeerMidSouth AssuranceStartup Virginia and InMotion Hosting

Register today (3/5/13) for 15% off! Use coupon code “MailChimp”

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SiliconAnchorNews: Building a startup country one region at a time

Startup2013 at Whitehouse (20)

Executive White House Building





















Posted on by Zack Miller (my partner in crime). Wanted to share this information over on my blog also. Since I was a part of it and Zack did a wonderful job highlighting the 2 days in DC! Oh and he did use all my photos!

Like most folks, one of the first things I do in the morning is check my email. Typically, it’s the same stuff, sites I subscribe to, some business emails and the random spam email, however one morning last week, I received an email from the folks at Startup America Partnership, inviting myself and a few other Virginia champions to the White House to meet with the administration behind job growth in our country.


Like anyone else, I emailed back as quickly as I could. This was an opportunity I did not want to miss. Not because I’ve dreamed about visiting the White House or that I wanted to check it off my bucket list, but rather because I wanted to showcase the Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community. Something I cannot rave enough about.


For the past 2 plus years, my focus has been on creating and growing startups from the nations 36th largest media market. We’ve been very successful in my mind, but those in our immediate region and across the country are just now noticing.

Given a chance to tell our nations leaders and startup leaders across the country about how we created and grew our community was something I was beyond proud to represent.

Most know about Start Norfolk in our region and more recently the launch of Hatch, an early-stage accelerator program. But, many do not know about the countless hours put in to the vision behind such a community. When I first came up with the idea of the startup community here, many and I mean many told me I was crazy, that it wasn’t sustainable and that it would never work. But, with determination, and lots of execution, the startup community here is thriving. 549199_10151292586058995_1503742577_n

Since the first Start Norfolk back in November 2011, over 100 different startups have been pitched, over 100 different entrepreneur and innovative events have occurred connecting like minded business leaders, builders and creatives together. And just announced Drop Anchor, a conference connecting innovators, startup community leaders and entrepreneurs, with speakers from all across the country traveling to Norfolk, VA in April.

The Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community is my passion and starting and growing it to where it is now is so awesome.

We had a few calls with the Startup America folks to discuss logistics at the event and what to have prepared.

Keith Privette and I decided to go up the night before to meet up with some of the other regions. After tweeting to see who was in town(Keith loves him some twitter), we met with Indiana startup leaders(Mike Coffey and Matt Hunckler) and discussed how both communities have grown. Indiana and Virginia have similar stories and lots of drive from their entrepreneurs.

We called it a night and woke up all jazzed for the jam packed day.

I dressed up, not a common theme.

The day was filled with a breakfast with Steve Case and the Case Foundation, to the Kaufman Foundations State of Entrepreneurship, the White House visit and then the kickoff of 1776, a new space in DC that will host the top entrepreneurs in the DC region.

IMG_0838I truly believe that the key to any startup community is awareness. If people don’t know what’s going on, how can they build kick ass startups?

On the bus ride to the White House I met Erik Mitisek, who along with Brad Feld and Jan Horsfall are leading the way for entrepreneurs in Colorado. While talking with Erik, I told him some of the shenanigans  we were whipping up in Norfolk-Virginia Beach and said we were looking at doing a Norfolk Entrepreneurship Week. Erik goes on to tell me that he helped organize Denver Startup Week and it was a huge success.

This is why I go to these events, because you meet your counter parts in other cities across the country and they don’t try to sway you off your ideas, rather help you in any way they can to help you succeed.{Insert USA chant here}

IMG_0839After going through two security check points, we were in. We walked up four flights of a crazy awesome spiral staircase and made our way into the Indian Treaty Room. Found a electrical socket, charged my phone and grabbed a quick pic with the Startup Virginia folks.

Things got kicked off with a few introductions from Jean Case and Scott Case(still not related to Steve). 11 regions were in attendance along with several administration officials to discuss the importance of fostering vibrant startup communities throughout the US. Representatives were from the Small Business Administration, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Commerce.

Hearing stories of action from the 11 different states that attended was beautiful. About 50 folks from across the country attend from Arizona, Colorado, Washington DC, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. All telling their journeys and how they will create the next mecca. But, instead of working individually, cities within each state and ultimately each state with each other, are working together to create our country as the leading startup community.

Each discussed their Big Idea, from Creating Things that Matter(Indiana), to Solving Real Problems(Nebraska and my personal favorite Big Idea) and Connecting the Commonwealth(Virginia).

We together are building the greatest country in the world, because 50 states is much better than just 1 city.

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It’s a jam-packed winter in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community

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Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community with conferences, meetups and lots of new companies Hatching!

Big Events

Start Norfolk

When: March 22-24
Where: Innovation Research Park at ODU, 4211 Monarch Way Norfolk, VA
About: Start Norfolk is a weekend long event bringing together individuals
of different mind and skill sets— join over 400 entrepreneurs, engineers, developers,
designers, and business people—with the goal of building a viable startup over a weekend.
Drop Anchor

When: April 18-19
Where: Roper Theater, 340 Granby Street Norfolk, VA
About: Drop Anchor is a 2 day conference with over 600 attendees in
Norfolk-Virginia Beach, VA and will explore innovation, entrepreneurship
and startup community building with
featured speakers Jesse DraperErika NapoletanoThor Muller and Scott Case.

Upcoming Meetups

.Net User Group

When: February 12 6-9 PM
Where: InfoTec 100 Constitution Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23462
About: The Hampton Roads .NET Users Group is a group of developers in
the area who are dedicated to expanding their knowledge of technology.
When: February 12 4-6 PM
Where: 4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA

Drinks Downtown Smartmouth Brewery

When: February 13 6-9 PM
Where: Smartmouth Brewery 1309 Raleigh Ave, Norfolk, Virginia 23507
About: We’re are just a bunch of local creatives making connections, sharing
ideas, and actively changing the way we see life downtown.
When: February 21 6-8 PM
Where: Hatch, 111 Granby Street Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: Join the 2,500+ member strong New Tech Meetup Norfolk-Virginia Beach,
started in Feb ’10. Meet other entrepreneurs, investors and tech enthusiasts
who come together to network and watch demos of hot new local technologies.
We meet once a month, the schedule goes like this.
When: February 22-24
Where: Hatch, 111 Granby Street Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: Start Academy is a 48-hour event that allows students across
the campus to collaborate to build their own entrepreneurial ideas or
join in public open data projects that will be facilitated during a single weekend.
Rails Bridge

When: February 22-23 6 PM
Where: 757 Creative Space, 111 Granby Street Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: A free two day Ruby on Rails workshop for women and their friends.

UX Norfolk

When: February 28 6-8 PM
Where: Hatch, 111 Granby Street Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: The purpose of this group is to provide a social platforms for
professionals in Norfolk area to engage in the field of User Experience.
These include topics in design, human factors, human-computer
interaction, information science, web development, informatics,
and marketing.
Ruby User Group
When: February 21 5-8 PM
Where: Jack Quinn’s, 241 Granby Street Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: Software Engineers and Leaders from Amazon Web Services
EC2 team will be at Jack Quinn’s in Norfolk on February 21st, from
5-8pm, for a happy hour. I’d like to invite you to come and meet
the team. This is a great opportunity to learn more about
Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) and to meet other great engineers.

Drupal User Group

When: March 6 8:30-9:30 AM
Where: ArtSmith Media, 101 West Plume Street Suite 600 Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: March 2013 Monthly Drupal Meetup

Code For America: Code across the Silicon Anchor

When: February 22-24 7 PM
Where: Hatch, 111 and 259 Granby Street Norfolk, Virginia 23510
About: Connect in Norfolk with citizens regionally and throughout
the country who are passionate about technology and their communities.
Together, with our friends, colleagues, and neighbors, we’ll
Code for America in service where we live.

Start Coffee (bi-weekly)

When: February 22, 8:30am to 10am
Where: Bean There, 1860 Laskin Road Virginia Beach, VA
About: Being that the Norfolk Virginia Beach Area (#orfvb) has so much energy around the startup, business creation and technology initiatives we wanted to host an event that allows for conversations and meeting people to happen.

AIGA Student Social

When: February 22 7-9 PM
Where: AJ Gators, Second Floor 244 Granby St Norfolk, VA
About: If you’ve been looking for creative inspiration at the
bottom of a cup of noodles, under your pillow, or behind a
dartboard, we’re here to tell you that you are not alone. A
lso, those dark days are over.


Recent Local Articles

Rojo Word

Building a startup country

Stumbling into a new market

Hook Hunt

Dress Pal

Hope Floats

Podium Pro named to Forbes Best Of List

Grow Interactive: Google Creative Sandbox


Want to get invoked in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community? Check out the GoTo Guide.

Thanks to our partners! 

Arcphor Strategy 


Norfolk Fair Trade Company


Smartmouth Beer

MidSouth Assurance

Startup Virginia


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Do you want to invest in Hatch? Its an incubator ya know

I went back to my northern roots on that title hey!  Wanted to share an email I received from Zack Miller of We are Titans about the incubator for startups he has created called Hatch! There is a deadline for applications coming up fast. So make it a point to check it out and if you are serious about your idea for a business, well then what are you waiting for?

Now that is one side of the equation the other side is investing.  If you are wanting to invest some serious money in some businesses that are not yet supported and are in your own backyard.  Well here is your chance.  To start investing today reach out to Zack Miller at [zack dot miller at wearetitans dot net ] about the details about how being on the ground floor in your community with investing is the new black!

+++++++++ Below is Zack’s Email to the Community ++++++++++


A lot of people talk about generating new high-tech jobs in the region and attracting fast-growing startups to downtown Norfolk and other parts of the region.

We’re done talking.  This summer, we take action.

On June 15, the visionaries who created Start Norfolk and brought TechCrunch to Granby Street are launching Hatch, an 11-week long startup accelerator.  Hatch will put a handful of teams from around the Mid-Atlantic region through the crucible and create new companies.

We know this will work because we’ve already done it.  The two weekend long startup marathons known a Start Norfolk resulted in the formation of 19 companies.  Many of them have already launched their products.   And that was just two weekends.

Imagine what we can accomplish with 11 weeks.  This time, however, we can’t do it alone.  The startup companies can’t quit their jobs or put them on hold for 11 weeks and still eat and pay rent.  That’s why we’re raising $25,000 for each team.  As a result, we need $200,000. 


If you invest $10,000?  A cornucopia of payback.  First, publicity.  Hatch will be a very public event.  The City of Norfolk has contributed the Design Center, a retail space near the corner of Main and Granby Streets (directly across the street from the new urban park, The Plot).  People walking and driving by will see the companies working around the clock (and your logo on the storefront window).  The center, which has great meeting space, will become a hub and hangout for area entrepreneurs and their service providers all summer.  Also, we’re great at getting press coverage.  Here’s what we got for a couple of weekends and the TechCrunch event.  Imagine what we’ll get for an 11-week event.


Next, you’ll also get equity.  We’re forming a fund that will get equity in each of the teams that is accepted into Hatch and receives a $25,000 stipend.

Finally, you’ll get satisfaction.  You’ll be part of the solution to making Norfolk an even more vibrant downtown community, a magnet for technology startups, and a regional job-creator.  Plus, you’ll be the part of the first and only angel investor fund in the area.


Hatch is coming.  Become a part of it today.


Zack Miller

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