Hatch will work to promote, market, mentor and prepare young companies to achieve their business goals.
This summer, the streets of Downtown Norfolk will be filled with shoppers, tourists and those relaxing at the new Plot park.
And across the street from Plot, eight companies will be hard at work accelerating their startup company.
The eight companies have yet to be announced, but will experience an accelerated program called Hatch to launch their startup. Hatch is somewhat similar to the weekend-long event that took place last November and this April called Start Norfolk. Hatch will mentor and prepare eight companies and give them seed capital to fund their startup. Organic growth area business is very important. In Virginia approximately 70% of jobs are created by startups and small business, whereas only 55% of jobs are created by startups and small businesses nationally.
Hatch will work to promote, market, mentor and prepare young companies to achieve their business goals. The idea of Hatch came from the first Start Norfolk, in November 2011, when Joel Nied, an attorney for startup companies at LeClair Ryan, and I were talking about how could we could take the ideas, teams and energy at Start Norfolk and fully mentor the companies through a longer period of time to produce stronger products and companies. An accelerator program idea was quickly “hatched.”
Hatch is different from typical “incubator” concepts. It has specific requirements and goals that each company must meet within a very short period of time. Nied and I spoke with various accelerator programs including Durham Stampede and StartMate in Australia, giving us insights as to what works and what doesn’t work for this type of program.
In January 2012, Nied and I met with City Manager Marcus Jones to introduce the Hatch concept. Marcus was immediately interested and granted us the office space across from Plot for the Hatch program. Hatch will be a three month long program taking place downtown in a street level office space with floor to ceiling windows.
Nied and I want to continue the growth of the entrepreneurial/startup culture here in Norfolk, and being able to walk by and see eight companies grow over just a few months will be an incredible opportunity for this area.
Interested in accelerating your business? Apply by May 31st at hatchnorfolk.com.
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