Project Seed: New Innovation Hub Coming to Farmville

In late 2021, more than $3.6 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants were awarded to support 13 projects focused on expanding workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, fostering business and improving infrastructure. Of those awards, $674,304 went towards the creation of an innovation hub in downtown Farmville that will connect the community to local and regional resources for business and social entrepreneurship development. The hub, which will be located in the currently vacant 10,000 square-foot community-facing building formerly occupied by Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Midtown Square (pictured above), will include a digital makerspace, a community co-working space, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office to accelerate business concepts and an educational outreach center to host youth entrepreneurship courses and educator professional development opportunities that help develop entrepreneurial education practice in the classroom.

“Region 3 Council went through an almost two-year process to develop a strategy to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Region 3. The strategy includes expansion of entrepreneurial programming and strategically connecting resources through current and future entrepreneurial centers located in Southern Virginia.”

Bryan David, Region 3 Program Director

Designated as Project Seed: The Innovation Hub at Midtown Square, key stakeholders, such as Longwood University, Hampden-Sydney College and Mid-Atlantic Broadband / SOVA Innovation Hub, have been working diligently to ensure the future hub serves diverse populations and elevates opportunities for local and regional users.

“Longwood University’s Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), including SBDC, is partnering with the SOVA Innovation Hub to implement portions of the plan, including adult and youth entrepreneurship courses and the extension of these course throughout the region. A key aspect is connecting resources through projects such as this innovation hub. We partnered with Mid-Atlantic Broadband to develop the strategy for Region 3 and partnered with SOVA Innovation Hub to implement portions of the strategy.”

Sheri McGuire, Executive Director, Longwood Small Business Development Center

“Currently, Longwood and Hampden-Sydney are working together on a jointly led innovation course for students in both institutions and will use the space to further this work. Local K-12 school systems have also been involved in planning how the space could be utilized for their classes.”

Sheri McGuire, Executive Director, Longwood Small Business Development Center

Click here to learn more about Project Seed: The Innovation Hub at Midtown Square!

Photo Credit (downtown Farmville): Town of Farmville