Startup Resource Guide

Launching a business by yourself can be a challenge.
Here's where to find help.

small-business-resources
We are here to help

Finding help is easier than you think.

It’s one thing to have a great idea for a business. It’s another thing entirely to actually put that idea into marketable use. The process can be overwhelming and there will be times when you pull out your hair (or what’s left of it) wondering why you started down this path in the first place.

With the amount of information out there, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. That’s why we’ve combed through the internet and found some helpful startup resources for getting your business dreams off the ground.

FEDERAL RESOURCES

American FactFinder

Census information on the demographics of your community including population, housing and the economy

USA.gov

A centralized, one-stop platform for businesses to access services to grow and hire

Federal Business Opportunities

Database of federal government contracting opportunities

IRS Small Business Portal

Answers to small business tax questions, plus access to forms and publications, a video library, an event calendar and other online tools and products

Minority Business Development Agency

Supports businesses in minority communities by providing grant and loan information, business opportunities and business certification resources

National Association for the Self-Employed

Nonprofit membership association representing the small business community

National Business Association

Group buying association provides its members with support programs, useful products and services and business-building resource materials

National Federation of Independent Businesses

Nonprofit association representing small and independent businesses

National Women’s Business Council

Provides independent advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the US Small Business Administration on economic issues important to female business owners

SCORE

Helps small business owners through on-on-one counseling, business tools and training programs

Small Business Administration

District offices in all 50 states provide resources, training and specialists to help start and grow businesses

Small Business Development Centers

Resources vary by location, but typically include things like assistance with business planning, access to financing, counseling services and classes

Small Business Legislative Council

A coalition of trade and professional associations

US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Nation

Membership is dominated by small businesses with 100 employees or less. The Chamber’s website has resources, toolkits on a variety of business topics and information on how you can get your voice heard in Washington, DC.

US Department of Commerce Department

Comprised of 12 different agencies, the Department promotes job creation and economic growth and works to strengthen America’s position in the global marketplace

US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information on U.S. working conditions, labor market activity, and price changes in the economy

US Export Assistance Center

Information about export assistance programs and services

US Patent and Trademark Office

Grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks

Women’s Business Centers

Education centers for women business owners

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Provides assistance and education to certified women's business enterprises and government entities

 

NORTH CAROLINA RESOURCES

NC Rural Center

Supports the development of micro, small and medium-size enterprises in rural North Carolina

Small Business and Technology Development Center

Offers entrepreneur-focused programs and online training resources

Council for Entrepreneurial Development

Identifies, enables and promotes high-growth, high-impact companies to accelerate the entrepreneurial culture of the Research Triangle and North Carolina

EntreDot

Help for entrepreneurs to create, launch and operate their businesses by providing professional mentoring and business education programs that maximize the opportunity for success

 

 

VIRGINIA RESOURCES

Startwheel

An entrepreneurial network where talent, resource information, and leadership come together

757 Accelerate

A non-profit startup accelerator program

The Arsenal

For new ventures and companies that want to grow fast

START! Peninsula

A multi-city competition that starts as entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to judges on Friday night

Launchpad - Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator

Provides entrepreneurs and startups with the amenities, counseling, and services

Reaktor Business Technology Innovation Center

An environment full of energy and outcome-centric goals intended to inspire and motivate its members

Hampton University Business Incubator

Provides space and nurturing services to new and small businesses during their critical early existence

PROPEL Mentor – Protégé Programs

Seven-week business boot camp where participants attend half-day training programs to refresh their business knowledge

Franklin Business Center & Incubator

Assists businesses during their first few years of operation and also provides hands-on management assistance, access to equipment and exposure to critical business and technical support services

Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center

Educates, inspires, and supports William & Mary students in developing the skills and mindset of an entrepreneur

Hampton Roads SCORE

Mentors provide free face-to-face meetings and low-cost workshops and events designed to enable entrepreneurs succeed and thrive in today’s challenging business climate

Portsmouth Partnership Starting Block

Provides incubation space for young companies

757 Makerspace

Community workshop and prototyping center that serves entrepreneurs and creators in need of 3D printing, laser cutters/engravers/cutters, CNC’s, welding and related equipment & services

1000 Four

The combination of real interactions with other entrepreneurs and an on-demand ready-to-use educational library gives entrepreneurs actionable solutions to their growth problems

Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative

Helps organize a regional entrepreneurial and innovation-based support ecosystem. Delivers mentoring, experience learning sessions, growth modeling and access to capital 

Ignition Center

Business accelerator by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY RESOURCES

Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

A business-friendly entry point to engage the intellectual capital, innovative technologies and world-class infrastructure of Old Dominion University

Strome Entrepreneurial Center

Helps students, faculty and staff collaborate to develop innovative and creative thinking to launch ideas and businesses

ODU Innovation Center

Provides space and programming to startups and service providers within the Hampton Roads ecosystem

TempO

Provides Business Creation, Incubation & Acceleration services. Your business idea lives or dies by your ability to get to market

HRPAC

Assists area businesses in establishing themselves to bid competitively on federal, state, and local government contracts

TAC

Provides engineering and technical expertise to local businesses and organizations who seek to innovate, grow, and achieve performance excellence

VBOC

Designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business

Women’s Business Center

Helps elevate women to business success through education, counseling, networking resources and entrepreneurial training.

EVENTS & NETWORKING

1 Million Cups - Virginia Beach & 1 Million Cups - Williamsburg

1 Million Cups is a free, weekly program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs.

Biz Connect Hampton Roads

Dedicated to helping small businesses grow, increase presence in the community and build revenue by offering the resources and tools necessary to succeed

Global Shapers Norfolk

The Global Shapers Community is a network of hubs developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities

Marketers Anonymous

Marketers Anonymous is a monthly meet-up run by marketers for marketers. Hear success stories first-hand, learn cutting-edge marketing tactics, discover the latest industry research and insights, and get to know others in the local marketing community.

Marketers Anonymous

 

 

BUSINESS EVENTS CALENDARS

Currituck Chamber of Commerce Events

Full calendar of regular and special events

Hampton Roads Chamber Events

Full calendar of regular and special events

CoVaBiz Events Calendar

Calendar of events from CoVaBiz magazine

Inside Business Calendar

Updated weekly with a list of networking and professional development events. Includes a form for submitting events

Startwheel Events Page

Nice collection of local business and startup events

Eventful

Search for “Hampton Roads Business Events”

Eventbrite: Networking Events

Search results for “Currituck Networking Events”

Eventbrite: Business Events

Search results for “Currituck Business Events”

Meetup

Sign up for a free account and search.

pexels-photo-1080865

 

 

BUSINESS WEBSITES

AllBusiness

Up-to-date information from the ever-changing world of business

Bloomberg Business

Quick and accurate business information from across the globe

Forbes

One of the most trusted names in business

SmallBizDaily

A dedicated, daily news source for entrepreneurs

Small Business Trends

The latest business trends and advice

Startup Nation

A news source and entrepreneur community

Wall Street Journal: Small Business

All the latest news from the business world

BUSINESS BLOGS

Inc. Start-Up

Resources on how to write business plans, start a franchise, build a home-based business, and so much more

OnStartups

Run by HubSpot cofounder Dharmesh Shah. This blog offers advice for budding entrepreneurs

For Entrepreneurs

A blog ran by David Skok, offering in-depth and tactical entrepreneurial advice

Startup Lawyer

A breakdown of the legal issues associated with starting a business

Mashable on Small Business

Expert advice for starting and growing a business

About.com for Entrepreneurs

Guides on how to get past the idea stage and start doing

Mixergy

Interviews with successful CEOs who share their secrets

AllTopStartups

A comprehensive guide to starting and growing your business

NYT Small Business

Breaking news on everything business related including the stock market, company research, and earnings reports

Quora (Startup Founders and Entrepreneurs page)

Ask a question, get an answer

Wall Street Journal’s Small Business How To Guide

WSJ’s small business guide covering how to start, fund, run and manage your small business

Forbes on Entrepreneurs

Posts from fellow entrepreneurs and advice from the most successful ones

First Round Review

Case studies on individual entrepreneurs and companies. See how they did it

The Funded

An online community of entrepreneurs who share experiences and advice

Big Think

Articles, videos, and blogs from the world’s top minds

PSFK

A source for creative ideas and possible solutions

The Startup Toolkit

An essential guide to starting a business

ONLINE TOOLS & APPS

Upwork

Connect with freelancers to help grow your brand

Fiverr

Freelance services starting at $5

CustomerSure

Customer feedback software

Crowdvi.be

Ask a question, get an answer... great for market research

AYTM (Ask Your Target Market)

Another market research resource

Feedbackify

Private website feedback

Appfigures

Mobile analytics and sales data

UserTesting.com

Website usability testing

Prezi

Presentation editor

Startup Weekend

Get your business started in a weekend with the help of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors

LiquidSpace

Airbnb for workspaces

LegalZoom

File all the legal documents required when starting a business with this easy app

 

Businesswoman touching application from hologram touchscreen menu

 

 

FINANCING TOOLS & APPS

Term Sheet Generator

Create venture financing term sheets.

AngelList

Find investors and employees.

CircleUp

Like AngelList, but uses more crowd-sourcing.

CapLinked

Making private investment easy, safe, and secure.

Grow VC

Find investors.

Appbackr

Crowd-funding resource.

VCgate

Venture capital firms, angel investors and private equity firms directory.

Envestors

Investor network.

Prosper

Seed funding for online businesses

DEVELOPMENT APPS

Ooomf

Create beautiful iPhone app landing pages.

Appcelerator

Android, iOS, and mobile web app platform.

GameSalad Creator

Create, test, and publish your own game.

Parse

Add a powerful and scalable backend to your app in minutes.

Mobile Roadie

Full CMS, no coding app builder for iOS and Android.

Proto.io

Mobile prototyping.

Kendo UI Mobile

Build HTML5 apps for every mobile device.

UXPin

User experience design tools for professionals

Chupa

Marketplace for buying/selling mobile app components

Distimo

Providing valuable insight into the app store marketplace

App Annie

App store analytics and market intelligence

Applingua

iOS app localization (translation) service

Flurry

Analytics, traffic acquisition and monetization

PhoneGap

Easily create apps using well known web technologies

KickoffLabs

Create a landing page in less than a minute

LaunchRock

Setup a launch page for your website

Unbounce

Easy landing page creator

Mobile Roadie

Create apps for iOS and Android, even if you have no coding experience

Midsection of businessman texting on cellphone while standing at creative office

 

 

FRANCHISING

International Franchise Association

A top resource for franchise opportunities

The Franchise King

Expert advice for franchisees

Franchising.com

A complete guide to buying a franchise

FranChoice

Advice and mentoring for franchisees

FranNet

Learn how franchise ownership can mitigate the risk of starting your own business and help you succeed faster