Norfolk State University has partnered with the city of Norfolk, Virginia, to establish the Norfolk State University Innovation Center (NSUIC). The goal of the new center is to enable the historically Black university to create a presence in the city’s main business corridor and to develop and promote educational and employment opportunities for university students and the Norfolk community.
The NSUIC will host traditional business classes, seminars, forums, and a speaking series. The center will also partner with businesses in the downtown area to provide internship, apprenticeship, and employment opportunities for university students. Additionally, it includes many open office and conference spaces that can be used by students or community members.
“Since becoming mayor, I have been trying to get NSU to have a better presence downtown,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth C. Alexander. “This center will provide opportunities for NSU graduates and grad students. We want the school to engage the business, banking, legal, retail, and community downtown to illustrate its track record of producing talent and what NSU has to offer.”
Mayor Alexander also hopes that the center will help to expand the number of small, women, and minority-owned and operated firms in the downtown and surrounding Norfolk area. One of the NSUIC’s first projects will be to conduct a survey to determine the problems facing local entrepreneurs and to then figure out solutions to those issues.