Chris Shelton :: ODU Innovation Center Norfolk :: 047


In this episode:

  • Creative ways to fill a co-working space
  • How to build a network to find new clients
  • How to create a sustainable business for an innovative space
  • Find your focus and own it
  • Eat your own dog food


Chris Shelton is the Managing Director of Old Dominion University’s Innovation Center in Norfolk, VA. Christopher Shelton is the Managing Director of the ODU Innovation Center. An alum of ODU (2007, BSBA, Finance/Economics), he started his career as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch where he spent over 5 years helping to support a $750+ million book of business. In 2010, he co-founded Cure Coffeehouse & Brasserie, a cafe located in the historic Freemason neighborhood of downtown Norfolk, in which he continues to be heavily involved.

Chris pivoted away from the suit-and-tie financial services lifestyle to pursue a less-structured yet perhaps more rewarding career in entrepreneurship. He received an Entrepreneurship MBA at the University of Louisville in 2015, a program which led him across the U.S. and Canada on “Shark Tank”-style business plan competitions, winning $42,000 in non-dilutive capital tech startup. It failed, and that’s okay.

Chris returned home after B-school committed to finding his niche in the developing Hampton Roads entrepreneurial ecosystem. As Managing Director of the ODU Innovation Center, he provides startup consulting services to scalable, high-growth, innovation-driven ventures based on lean startup best practices.

The ODU Innovation Center is the result of a partnership between the ODU Center for Enterprise Innovation (CEI) and the City of Norfolk. It is both a coworking space and a startup program designed to build and grow a community of high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurial businesses.




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