News & Events

Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Approves Economic Growth and Diversification Plan:

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board approved the Economic Growth and Diversification Plan at the Friday , August 25, 2017 meeting.  The plan was submitted to the State GO VA Board for final approval.  The Economic Growth an Diversification Plan can be viewed here.

GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced:

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Friday, August 25, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. will be held at the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce located at 21 Enterprise Pkwy Ste 100, Hampton, VA 23666. If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP.  The agenda for the Regional Council Board meeting can be found here.


GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: 

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Monday, August 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. will be held at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission located at 723 Woodlake Dr, Chesapeake, VA 23320 If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP.   The agenda for the Regional Council Board meeting can be found here.


GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: 

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Tuesday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of Williams Mullen. Williams Mullen is located in Virginia Beach Town Center 222 Central Park Avenue, Suite 1700, Virginia Beach 23462.  If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP.  The meeting agenda can be found here and the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting can be found here


GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: 

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Tuesday, June 28, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation (101 W. Main Street, Ste. 4500, Norfolk, VA 23510). The purpose of the meeting is to brief the consultant chosen through the RFP selection process to prepare the Economic Growth and Diversification Plan.  If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP. The PowerPoint presentation from the June 28th can be found here.


GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board and Executive Committee Meeting Announced: 

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board and Executive Committee will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.  The Executive Committee will meet from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the office Reinvent Hampton Roads (101 W. Main Street, Ste. 415, Norfolk, VA 23510). The Regional Council Board will meet from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the new Hilton hotel The MAIN (100 E Main St, Norfolk, VA 23510). Conference room “Granby A/B” located on the 3rd floor of the hotel. Parking is available at the Town Point parking garage located on Main Street. Please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP. The meeting agenda for the Regional Council Executive Committee meeting can be found here. The meeting agenda for the Regional Council Board meeting can be found here.

Notice of Invitation for GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Five 's Regional Growth and Economic Diversification Plan: 

Request for proposals for professional consulting services to prepare an Economic Growth and Diversification Plan for GO Virginia Region 5 (Hampton Roads, Virginia). Reinvent Hampton Roads, on behalf of the GO Virginia Regional Council, is requesting sealed proposals to establish a contract through competitive negotiation with a qualified source(s) to provide professional consulting services. The RFP with a complete set of specs and offeror qualifications can be viewed at: . The primary contact is Donna Morris (757)961-8181, .  The full RFP can be found here.


GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Executive Committee Meeting Announced: 

The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Executive Committee will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation located at 101 West Main Street, Suite 4500 in Norfolk.  Please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP.  The meeting agenda can be found here. Meeting minutes can be found here.


First GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Meeting Announced: 

The first meeting of the GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council is April 4, 2017 from 11 a.m. to noon at  The Port of Virginia boardroom, 101 West Main Street, Suite 600 in Norfolk.  Please contact Tiffany Brannon at to RSVP. Visitors must sign-in at reception.  The meeting agenda can be found here.


State GO Virginia Board Names Regional Council: 

GO Virginia, the state’s new economic development program to boost regional cooperation by dangling taxpayer grants for job creation, has its regional boards in place. The State GO Virginia Board certified the Region 5 Council, which will include South Hampton Roads, including the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, as well as the Eastern Shore and Peninsula.  Each region is eligible for up to $650,000 in state funding to review challenges in their region and to prioritize next steps. Learn more.


4th Annual Jacobs Technology Days in conjunction with the Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Opportunity Exchange

Come out to the Hampton Roads Convention Center on April 20th & 21st, 2017 for an event focused specifically on efforts to advance unmanned systems capabilities, technology commercialization, and regional economic growth.  This event is free and open to the public. It will feature unmanned systems panel discussions with a wide range of both research & development and technology affiliated organizations; exhibits from local and regional companies; and exceptional keynote speakers! Learn More.


Hampton Roads Economic Call to Action Presentation

The phenomenal success of the Hampton Roads Economic Call to Action event is a reflection of the ever-increasing dedication to expand the economic diversity and strength of the Hampton Roads economy. Reinvent Hampton Roads appreciates everyone’s time, energy and enthusiastic support. We would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt “Thank You!” to all the attendees. We look forward to working with you again soon.  You can view the presentation here.


12/13/16 - Hampton Roads Economic Call to Action

Reinvent Hampton Roads, invites you to attend a multipart presentation outlining a collaborative approach to advancing the region’s economic performance. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Ted Constant Center - Big Blue Room located at Old Dominion University and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the David Student Union Ballroom located at Christopher Newport University. Learn more.


Light Rail will Drive Economic Growth and Bring New Jobs to Virginia Beach

The light rail extension is projected to attract over $1 billion in business investment in the Town Center area adding 10,000 new jobs by 2035. This new investment will generate $165 million in expanded property tax revenues over 20 years, monies that can then be used to fund teacher salaries, build new schools or improve city infrastructure.  Learn more.


Port of Virginia Signs New Terminal Lease

The Port of Virginia has signed a new multibillion-dollar long term lease with Virginia International Gateway.  The new lease will take effect November 1, 2016 and will run through December 31, 2065.  Learn more.


Entrepreneurs in Hampton Roads Need Access to Talented Workers

The Virginia Velocity Tour stopped in Hampton Roads this week where local entrepreneurs highlighted cutting-edge technology in the field of health and biotechnology.   Jeff Johnson, director of the Tech Center research park in Newport News, asked local entrepreneurs what was needed from Hampton Roads for businesses to thrive in the health and biotechnology fields.  The majority say they need access to employees with the right skills, education and talent.  Learn more.



Entrepreneur from Norfolk Wins $25,000 in Richmond Region of the Velocity Tour Business Pitch Competition

The Virginia Velocity Tour in Richmond highlighted the city strengths in products, manufacturing, arts, and design.   An entrepreneur from Norfolk who sells designer travel bags made from recycled plastic bottles won $25,000 in the business pitch competition held in Richmond on Tuesday night. Hamilton Perkins, founder and president of Hamilton Perkins Collection, obtains plastic bottles from Haiti and, through a contract manufacturer in Portland, Ore., recycles the material into fashionable bags that he sells online. Learn more.



17th Annual State of the Region Address

Join more than 900 of your fellow business, community, and government leaders from across Hampton Roads for the premier annual discussion of our region’s economic future!   Learn more.


Virginia Velocity Tour Coming to Hampton Roads

The Virginia Velocity Tour, a statewide startup initiative for entrepreneurs will make a stop in Hampton Roads on September 21st. The tour will highlight the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Hampton Roads. A full day of events includes an invitation-only breakfast, a presentation at ODU's Strome Entrepreneurial Center that will focus on marketing and branding of products and services, followed by a pitch competition at the Virginia Beach Aquarium. The six finalists selected for the pitch competition will have an opportunity to win $25,000.   Learn more.


Williamsburg Business Accelerator to Receive Award

A Williamsburg business accelerator, AccelerateHER is among 68 companies in the nation that will receive a $50,000 cash award from the Small Business Administration. AccelerateHER's co-founders stated the organization was started to "help change the statistic that 75 percent of female business owners do not manage to grow their businesses past the micro-enterprise level". In return for accepting the award, AccelerateHER will commit to quarterly reporting for one year of their metrics for jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This data will help the SBA measure the impact of accelerator in a region. Learn more.


The Promise of Go Virginia: Virginian-Pilot Editorial

Read the Virginian-Pilot's editorial regarding the Go Virginia initiative. Learn more.


Reinvent Hampton Roads Selects ODU's Strome College of Business to Manage New REAP Initiative

The Regional Export Acceleration Project (REAP) is a new initiative geared towards increasing the amount of exported goods and services from Hampton Roads. REAP provides seminars and workshops focusing on strategies and skills for growth in export development. Learn more.


Virginia Velocity Tour Competition

Village Capital and the Commonwealth of Virginia will host the Virginia Velocity Tour during the week of September 19-23, 2016. The tour will make stops in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Charlottesville, Northern Virginia and Roanoke.  Entrepreneurs can pitch their business ideas for a $25,000 equity-free grant prize. There will be five prizes awarded for a total of $125,000. The funding is for startups in the biotechnology, health, energy, agriculture and security fields. Entrepreneurs and businesses are encourages to submitted applications to participate. Learn more.


Reinvent Hampton Roads' Industry Cluster Analysis Event Highlighted

Inside Business recently attended Reinvent Hampton Roads’ Industry Cluster Analysis on June 23rd at Virginia Wesleyan College. Read what he learned from the event that focused on the future regional economic growth of Hampton Roads. Learn more.


Progress Report on Industry Cluster Analysis

Reinvent Hampton Roads held a briefing and discussion on a regional industry cluster analysis on June 23rd at Virginia Wesleyan College.  We would like to encourage all to review the presentation and provide any feedback you may have. Learn more.


Global Shapers Norfolk to Launch Social Media Campaign

Global Shapers Norfolk is launching a social media campaign on June 23rd. The campaign will highlight the millennial generation's contributions to the region in addition to sharing millennials' interest in issues impacting the region's future. To share your point of view on how to make Hampton Roads‬ a better place to live, work, and play, join the conversation on one of the following social media sites, Facebook (, Instagram (@globalshapersnorfolk) and Twitter (@norfolkshapers). Learn more.


Virginia's Unemployment Rate Drops

According to the Virginia Employment Commission the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Virginia fell 0.1 percent in May to 3.8 percent, making it the lowest in eight years. Virginia’s unemployment rate has steadly remained below the national average. The seasonally adjusted rate accounts for fluctuations in the job market each year. Learn more.


Richmond Biotech Company Moving to Virginia Beach

Sanyal Biotechnology, a biotech company based out of Richmond, will relocate its headquarters to Virginia Beach in July. The company plans to take over space at Tidewater Community College’s Wet Lab, pending approval Tuesday from the Virginia Beach Development Authority. Learn more.


Reinvent Hampton Roads to Offer Update on Regional Economic Growth

Reinvent Hampton Roads is holding a briefing and discussion on a regional industry cluster analysis on June 23rd from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Boyd Dining Center at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk. People interested in attending are asked to confirm their participation by contacting Tiffany Brannon at 757-961-8181 or Learn more.


Get an Update on the Startup Community

Dominion Enterprises will sponsor the inaugural State of the Startup Community address from 5 to 8 p.m. at the new Slover Memorial Library in Norfolk on January 22. Learn more and buy tickets. Learn more.


Region Has Lots of Potential

Hampton Roads has lots of potential for unleashing the power of its economy, Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. Technology Chief, said during a December 10 talk to the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Learn more.


Entrepreneurship Featured on Radio Show

Hampton Roads’ burgeoning entrepreneurial efforts were featured on the December 8, 2014 WHRV’s HearSay show hosted by Cathy Lewis. Listen to the podcast.


Reinvent Hampton Roads Highlighted

The need to implement Reinvent Hampton Roads was the focus of the quarterly Cox Business Executive Discussion Series breakfast on December 9 at The Westin in Virginia Beach. The program, which was co-sponsored by Inside Business, highlighted Reinvent Hampton Roads study group findings and explored next steps. Learn more.


SkillsOnline Gives New Option for Training

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe traveled to Newport News on December 5 to celebrate a partnership between WHRO and three community colleges. They are creating SkillsOnline to provide low-cost courses and training for area students and workers. Learn more.


Sweathogs Founder Wins Start! Peninsula

Will Jenkins, a Williamsburg health physics technician won the November 2014 Start! Peninsula competition for his Sweathogs idea. His disposable sweat absorption band would help prevent contamination for workers in healthcare and nuclear fields who wear jumpsuits. Jenkins won $5,000, mentoring and other resources designed to help launch a new business in Hampton Roads.  Learn more


Navy Consolidation to Bring 500 Jobs

The Navy will bring 500 jobs to Norfolk in the next few years as it consolidates the headquarters of Military Sealift Command. The headquarters is currently split between Norfolk and Washington, D.C. A statement issued jointly on November 6 by four Virginia congressmen called the consolidation "welcome news for Hampton Roads."  Learn more


Business Leaders Propose Regional Governor's School

This fall area public school officials are expected to analyze a proposal from area business leaders to start a regional Governor's School for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A proposal for the high school came from a group of area business leaders who want to develop our region's future workforce. This would be the first school of this type in Virginia. Learn more


Hampton Roads Economy Is at a Standstill

The creeping economic recovery in Hampton Roads has come to a standstill, frozen by defense cuts and anemic job growth, an Old Dominion University economist told 800 people attending an October 7 LEAD Hampton Roads State of the Region breakfast in downtown Norfolk. If the federal government had not awarded two major contracts to Newport News Shipbuilding – $2.6 billion to overhaul the Abraham Lincoln and $1.3 billion to help build the John F. Kennedy – “I am almost certain that we would be in a recession at this very moment,” Gary Wagner, a professor of economics at Old Dominion University said. Learn more | Click here to download the 2014 report


$50,000 Federal Grant To Help Entrepreneurs

The Peninsula Technology Incubator was awarded a $50,000 grant in September 2014 from the federal Small Business Administration to help create the E64 Project, which will connect entrepreneurs to business incubators in Hampton Roads. The E-64 Project grew out of the Reinvent Hampton Roads’ entrepreneurship study group. The Peninsula Technology incubator is a subsidiary of the National Institute of Aerospace. Learn more


Norfolk Forum Focuses On Being Entrepreneurial

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, The Norfolk Forum’s first speaker of the year, inspired area attorney Charles McPhillips to challenge Hampton Roads to nurture its own entrepreneurial pioneers. McPhillips, president of The Norfolk Forum board and a member of Kaufman & Canoles, is a member of Reinvent Hampton Roads’ Workforce Development Study Group. "You and I love this place," he told a sold-out Norfolk Forum audience on October 14. "We would never leave this place, but in a region where the lion's share of the jobs are either provided or funded by government, where our rate of starting up new businesses, especially high-tech businesses, lags far behind other regions," economic diversity is a necessity. Learn more


Venture Capitalist To Speak in February

On February 18 Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist and author of 10 books on entrepreneurship, will be the featured speaker at the Economics of Hampton Roads luncheon in Norfolk. His talk at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel is sponsored by the Strome Entrepreneurial Center, Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University and the Hampton Roads Community Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Learn more


Regional Economy Remains Sluggish

Hampton Roads’ real regional gross domestic product, which is adjusted for inflation, shows little change since 2007, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures released in September 2014. Following a 0.6 percent dip from 2007 to 2008, the region's largest growth was 1.6 percent from 2011 to 2012. In 2013 Hampton Roads' economy only grew by 0.2 percent. One main cause was a 2 percent drop in government spending . Learn more


Virginia Beach Entrepreneur Wins Start Norfolk

Nisha Witt, founder of Virginia Beach’s Aesop Technologies, won first place in the Start Norfolk entrepreneur competition in September 2014. Her winning idea involved a solar-powered rechargeable cell phone charging station. This was the fifth round for Start Norfolk, which was helped at Old Dominion University. Learn more


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