Norfolk accelerator hatches first batch of winners
A program to help newborn companies spread their wings has chosen its inaugural group of participants. Hatch Norfolk will provide working capital, business mentoring and free office space for five local ventures this summer. They are VinylMint: a website that allows musicians to collaborate and record music in real time; TugCam: a wireless camera mounted on tugboats, tankers and other large vessels; PodiumPro, an iPad application for public speakers; Care Direct, an app for finding affordable medical services; and ZombieTag, a mobile GPS game.
The accelerator program, launched by Start Norfolk, begins June 25. For 11 weeks, participants will have their own offices at Hatch Norfolk's new digs at 111 Granby St. in Norfolk. Leasing the space for that period would normally cost about $15,000, said Zack Miller, Start Norfolk founder. The five companies will receive business counseling from mentors such as Brennan Dunn, founder of technology firm We Are Titans; Kristin Fitch, CEO of Ziggity Zoom, a web consulting company; and Marc Marling, an attorney specializing in maritime trade and transportation.
Local investors will provide the capital. They include Dominion Enterprises, Kaufman & Canoles, xTuple and General Ideas, said Miller, who noted that fundraising for the program is ongoing.
Hatch Norfolk will hold a launch party at 6 p.m. June 22 at Hell’s Kitchen, 124 Granby St. To attend, visit Hatch Norfolk’s Eventbrite page.