First Week and Students are Getting Down to Business


Hannah Smith

The Engineering Systems Building at Old Dominion University. An important building for students in engineering.

By Hannah Smith, Technology Editor

Originally published September 6, 2021.


On August 30, students at Old Dominion University began the fall semester of 2021. Specifically, a small mixed bunch of undergraduate and graduate students were unaware of the surprise opportunity set before them in their entrepreneurship and strategic communication classes. Professor Brendan O’Hallarn leads the class and has prepared a partnership with small local start-up companies.

The group of students will meet their partners for the semester on September 7 at an off-site location called Assembly, a renovated creative office space in downtown Norfolk. The students will be paired up with their entrepreneur based off of similar interests and what the student can bring to help that company specifically.

Throughout the semester, collaborations will take place over zoom to maintain minimal in person interactions for the sake of each party’s safety. At the conclusion of the semester, there will be a final presentation to the business partners for the work completed by the students. Examples of work that will be done for the small businesses include creating social media campaigns, increasing advertisements for key stakeholders, and updating websites for the intended audience of the company.

The list of the participating start-up companies is as follows:


Zilper Trenchless

Senior Runs



AGED Diagnostics