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In late September, The Virginia Economic Developers Association (VDA) held their annual conference in downtown Norfolk.  VEDA was established in 1998 to “increase the effectiveness of individuals involved in the practice of economic development in Virginia by encouraging cooperation, exchange of information, and professional development activities.” 

Members representing economic development organizations from all over the Commonwealth began gathering mid-week for workshops and networking with Norfolk and regional businesses, along with other economic development professionals.  There were tours of Norfolk’s waterfront, from an “on-the-water” perspective, and a walking tour of the Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC)

Linda Peck, Executive Director of NIC, lead the walking tour and presentation to a group of economic development professionals from across Virginia. The tour began at Slover Library with a presentation from Bob Sharak, Sr. Business Development Manager for Norfolk’s Economic Development Department and member of the NIC board. Sharak shared the many assets, businesses, and new incentives available for new and expanding technology companies moving to and growing in the NIC.

The tour also included a stop by Old Dominion University’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, a walk by Norfolk Economic Development’s Norfolk Works initiative, and a presentation at Norfolk State University’s Innovation Center. The tour concluded on Assembly’s rooftop after great presentations from Grow, 757 Accelerate, and 757 Startup Studios.

Conference attendees also found time to enjoy the many offerings of Downtown Norfolk and other Hampton Roads communities.

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