Virginia Beach Economic Development has created a partnership with 1701, Virginia Beach's first collaborative coworking space located in the ViBe Creative District. With this sponsorship, the department will create synergy with 1701 and encourage more entrepreneurial growth in the city through the launch of a new Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at 1701.
1701, located at 1701 Baltic Avenue, is home to entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, artists and remote employees from Fortune 100 companies. Many previously worked from home, coffee shops, libraries and parking lots. 1701 is equipped to support members of its business community with office space, networking and social events, educational programs and mentoring services.
"Small business is a major component of our business community and a major strategy for our growth and success," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "We have an abundance of resources and programs designed to help businesses get off the ground and grow. This partnership with 1701 is designed to encourage entrepreneurs to come to Virginia Beach to grow in a supportive and enriching environment. The location in the ViBe Creative District is an added benefit for creativity and technology."
Information about 1701's Entrepreneur-in-Residence program can be found on its website. Applications will be open in mid-October, and entrepreneurs will be accepted on a rolling three-month basis. Accepted applicants earn three months of fully sponsored workspace.
"As we launch this Entrepreneur-in-Residence program in partnership with the City, we are aiming to stimulate even more growth and stability in the ViBe Creative District and all of Virginia Beach," said 1701 co-founder Lisa DeNoia. "We think Virginia Beach is the perfect place to launch a business, and we want to increase the number of scalable companies who start, stay and grow right here in our city."
1701 offers memberships based on individual needs. Members receive benefits such as office or desk space, high-speed internet, IT support, conference rooms, meeting space, networking events, discounts to classes and workshops, free parking, beach cruisers, an abundance of coffee and much more.
1701's goal is to stimulate the growth of startups and new businesses in Virginia Beach. Since its inception in 2016, 1701 has provided support and resources to more than 350 entrepreneurs in the region through coworking, mentorship and various events. 1701 estimates more than 65 new business licenses have been acquired by its members over the last two years. Fifteen companies have successfully graduated out of the shared workspace and have leased commercial space in Virginia Beach or the region.
In addition to this new partnership, Virginia Beach Economic Development's small business resources include workshops and networking opportunities, business mentoring, outreach events, procurement training, 1 Million Cups entrepreneurial engagement program, resource connections, site selection assistance, market research and business license assistance. A few key statistics on the importance of small business growth include:
- 95% of Virginia Beach businesses have 50 or fewer employees
- SWaM-certified companies are twice as likely to receive grant funding
- 33% of all startups in the region are located in Virginia Beach
Additionally, Virginia Beach has an online Small Business Toolbox to navigate the way. Virginia Beach Economic Development has also organized the Small Business Forum on Oct. 23, a free event to introduce strategic business partners in the arts and entertainment industries.
The ViBe Creative District was established to attract creative industries to a section of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront that was identified for revitalization. It was once an incubator for small and emerging businesses. In 2015, the City of Virginia Beach established the boundary of the District by ordinance and declared it "an arts and cultural district and technology zone" with incentives established by the Virginia General Assembly. The ViBe Creative District's purpose is to serve as a vibrant center for the arts, culture and technology.
The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2016 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. Virginia Beach was named America's #1 best big city to live in by wallethub.com. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.