Top 10 Strategies for Networking Your Way into Chesapeake's Tech Scene

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 6th 2024

Tech professionals networking at an event in Chesapeake, Virginia.

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Discover the top 10 strategies for integrating into Chesapeake's tech scene, including attending events by 757 Accelerate, joining meetups via Tech Talent South, participating in CodeVA workshops, engaging with CTBC, attending hackathons at ODU, and leveraging resources from Hatch Norfolk and HRIC. Volunteering at tech events, networking through LinkedIn, and joining CBALUG can bolster connections and career growth. These opportunities provide mentorship, industry insights, and valuable networking to enhance your tech career in Chesapeake.

757 Accelerate is this sick startup incubator in Chesapeake that's all about helping entrepreneurs crush it! They host a bunch of dope events where you can connect with mentors, investors, and other go-getters in the tech scene.

If you're just starting out, attending these events is a game-changer:

  • At their Startup Pitch Nights, you can pitch your brilliant idea to a panel of judges and get valuable feedback to level up your game.
  • The Founder Fireside Chats feature successful entrepreneurs sharing their epic journeys and dropping knowledge bombs on what it takes to succeed.
  • Their Networking Mixers are where the magic happens - you can mingle with startups, investors, and potential partners or customers to make those crucial connections.

Success stories like show how 757 Accelerate's events have helped startups secure funding, fine-tune their business models, and forge strategic partnerships.

Linda Smith, a first-timer, said, "The Pitch Night was an eye-opener. The judges' insights helped me identify gaps in my startup's value proposition, and I was able to pivot like a boss."

By getting involved in 757 Accelerate's thriving ecosystem, newbies can gain serious exposure, mentorship, and access to resources that'll supercharge their entrepreneurial ventures' growth.

Table of Contents

  • Join Meetups Organized by Tech Talent South
  • Participate in Workshops at CodeVA
  • Engage with Chesapeake Technology Business Consortium
  • Attend Hackathons at Old Dominion University
  • Join the Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative
  • Utilize Resources from Hatch Norfolk
  • Volunteer at Nonprofit Technology Events
  • Connect with Professionals via LinkedIn
  • Join Chesapeake Bay Area Linux Users Group
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Join Meetups Organized by Tech Talent South


Tech Talent & Strategy is an awesome organization that's really helping to grow the tech scene in Chesapeake.

They were founded a few years back with the goal of connecting people who want to break into tech with learning opportunities, mentors, and a cool community of like-minded folks.

If you're just starting out and trying to get your foot in the door, joining their meetups is a seriously valuable move.

They have all kinds of meetups for different interests and skill levels, like:

  • Coding Bootcamps: Intensive programs to help you level up your skills and get ready for jobs in web dev, data science, and more.
  • Tech Talks: Experts share the inside scoop on the latest trends, best practices, and what's happening in different areas of tech.
  • Hackathons: Team up with others, brainstorm ideas, build something cool, and present it - all in one awesome coding marathon.
  • Networking Events: Connect with industry pros, entrepreneurs, and others just getting started in tech.

One person who attended their meetups said,

"It opened my eyes to all the opportunities in Chesapeake's tech scene. I not only gained valuable skills but also built connections that helped me launch my career."

To really make the most of these meetups, you've got to dive in, engage with the speakers, and use those networking chances to build relationships with mentors and potential employers.

Check out their reviews - people seem to love the supportive community and comprehensive programs.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Participate in Workshops at CodeVA


Check this out! CodeVA is the real deal when it comes to getting your tech game on in Chesapeake. These peeps are all about bringing computer science education to everyone in Virginia, and their student programs are where it's at.

They've got classes and camps for all ages, from little kids to high schoolers, where you can learn everything from coding basics to robotics and data science.

And the best part? It's all hands-on and arts-integrated, which means you're not just staring at a screen all day. You're actually building and creating stuff, which is way more fun.

But it's not just about learning to code – CodeVA's workshops are like a whole networking scene too.

You get to meet other tech-savvy peeps who are just as pumped about coding as you are. Plus, there are opportunities to connect with industry pros and mentors who can give you the inside scoop on what it's really like to work in tech.

CodeVA has all these free resources and curriculums for teachers, so they're helping to spread the computer science love to classrooms across Virginia.

It's like a whole movement, and you can be part of it just by signing up for one of their programs.

So if you're looking to level up your coding skills, meet some cool people, and maybe even find your future career path, CodeVA is definitely worth checking out.

Just saying.

Engage with Chesapeake Technology Business Consortium


Let me give you the scoop on the Chesapeake Technology Business Consortium (CTBC). This crew is all about boosting the local tech scene and helping folks like us get connected.

Becoming a member of CTBC unlocks a treasure trove of perks, like exclusive events, workshops, and mentorship programs tailored to tech pros at every level.

Throughout the year, CTBC hosts a crazy amount of dope events and activities, from panel discussions and tech talks to coding workshops and startup pitch competitions.

These shindigs are the perfect chance to:

  • Gain knowledge from the big dogs in the industry.
  • Stay ahead of the curve with the latest trends and tech.
  • Collaborate with other like-minded techies.
  • Show off your skills and projects.

For newbies like us, these CTBC events are a goldmine for networking.

You'll get to rub elbows with seasoned pros, potential mentors, and maybe even your future employer. Just ask David Gonzalez, a recent grad and CTBC member, who said, "Attending CTBC events has been a game-changer.

Not only have I leveled up my knowledge, but I've also built a solid network of contacts in the local tech community."

Speaking of upcoming events, mark your calendars for the "Startup Showcase" on June 15th, where local tech startups will be pitching their ideas to investors.

There's also the "Women in Tech Summit" on July 20th, aimed at empowering and supporting the ladies in the tech game. These are prime opportunities for us beginners to dive headfirst into the Chesapeake tech scene and make some serious connections.

Joining CTBC is a breeze:

  1. Visit their website (
  2. Click on the "Membership" tab.
  3. Fill out the online registration form.
  4. Pay the annual membership fee (discounts available for students and recent grads).

By getting involved with CTBC, we can unlock a world of possibilities and kickstart our tech careers in the booming Chesapeake region.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Attend Hackathons at Old Dominion University


As a young techie tryna get your foot in the door, hitting up events at Old Dominion University is a total game-changer for networking.

ODU hosts these coding parties called hackathons where you team up with other techies to build awesome projects in like 24-48 hours. It's an insane rush, but also an epic chance to make connections and level up your skills.

You gotta keep an eye out for biggies like The Hackening in October - a free virtual hackathon focused on cybersecurity and data, with mentors from major companies.

Word is, they're giving out prizes like drones to the winners. Then there's HackODU in Feb, ODU's biggest student hack fest with over 300 participants annually.

You get to tackle challenges, attend workshops, and vibe with industry pros.

A senior, William Taylor, said the networking at these events is unreal.

He met folks from Microsoft, Visa, you name it - and even scored internships through those connections. A recent survey found 93% of ODU hackers felt way more prepped for their tech careers after attending.

Makes sense when you're coding alongside mentors, learning new tools and technologies on the fly.

It's an awesome way to get your hands dirty and show off your skills to potential employers or collaborators.

Just be sure to bring your A-game!

Join the Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative


The Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative (HRIC) is where it's at if you're trying to make moves in the tech game around here.

These guys are all about connecting entrepreneurs, investors, companies, and schools to create a kickass environment for startups and innovation to thrive. Their mission? Fostering a community for tech hustlers to collaborate, grow, and succeed.

If you're new to the Chesapeake tech scene, getting involved with HRIC is a no-brainer.

Their signature events like the Tech Expo and Regional Tech Awards are prime opportunities to network with seasoned pros, potential investors, and other ambitious minds.

Plus, according to their reports, these events helped facilitate over 1,200 fresh connections and attracted a whopping $3.2 million in investments for local startups last year alone!

But HRIC isn't just about the events.

As a member, you get access to a whole suite of game-changing benefits:

  • Mentorship programs and biz advisory services to level up your skills
  • Exclusive discounts on coworking spaces and biz services to save some cash
  • Priority registration for HRIC's workshops and pitch competitions to stay ahead of the game
  • Eligibility for HRIC's startup funding and grants to fuel your hustle

"HRIC has been a gamechanger for my startup journey. Their supportive community and resources have been invaluable for growing my business."

- Lisa Davis, the founder of HackerNest Virginia

With a stacked calendar of networking events, workshops, and pitch competitions on the horizon, HRIC is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Chesapeake's buzzing tech scene.

Don't sleep on the chance to build meaningful connections and accelerate your professional growth!

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Utilize Resources from Hatch Norfolk


When it comes to getting your tech hustle on in Chesapeake, Hatch Norfolk is where it's at.

This place is like a gym for entrepreneurs, giving you all the tools and support you need to crush your startup goals. Whether you're a total newbie or have already got some experience under your belt, Hatch has your back.

First off, they've got this accelerator program that's modeled after the best practices from around the world, but tailored to the unique vibe of the local entrepreneurial scene.

They'll hook you up with hands-on workshops led by entrepreneurs who've been there and done that, giving you the inside scoop on what it really takes to make it big.

But Hatch is more than just a place to learn the ropes. It's a full-blown community of like-minded hustlers who are all about supporting each other's dreams. You can access their online platform to rewatch workshop recordings whenever you need a refresher, and they've got an awesome support network that'll have your back every step of the way. Plus, they've helped launch some seriously impressive success stories like 80/20 Software, CookieText, and Port Technology Services.

If you're thinking about joining an accelerator, Hatch is a solid choice.

Just make sure you're ready to work your butt off and that their goals align with yours. They'll give you the tools, but you've gotta bring the hustle. With over two decades of experience in the startup game, these folks know what it takes to build a winning brand, attract customers, and keep your business operations running smoothly.

Volunteer at Nonprofit Technology Events


If you're trying to get your foot in the door of Chesapeake's tech scene, volunteering at nonprofit events is the move. There are so many amazing opportunities popping off all year round.

For instance, you could link up with FIRST Chesapeake for one of their robotics competitions or kick it with Tidewater Healthcare Expo in May.

And don't sleep on Chesapeake Guys for Good - they're always looking for volunteers to help with their charity initiatives.

Volunteering lets you flex your skills while learning new ones from the OGs in the game.

Plus, you'll be networking like crazy, making connections that could lead to amazing job opportunities down the line. Trust me, employers love seeing that volunteer experience on your resume.

It shows you're passionate about the community and willing to put in hard work.

To find volunteer gigs, hit up sites like,, or and search for tech-related openings in the 757.

You can also check out nonprofit websites and socials for the latest volunteer needs. Once you're in, you could be doing anything from coding websites to managing social media to teaching tech skills to the community.

At the end of the day, volunteering is a win-win.

You get to give back while leveling up your skills and making connections that could take your career to new heights. So stop waiting and get out there - the tech scene in Chesapeake is incredible, and volunteering is your golden ticket to be a part of it.

Connect with Professionals via LinkedIn


Alright, let's talk about networking in the tech scene here in Chesapeake. In this digital age, having a solid online presence is crucial, especially on platforms like LinkedIn.

According to the folks at TopResume, a whopping 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to scope out potential candidates, so you can't afford to sleep on optimizing your profile.

To make your LinkedIn profile really pop, here's what you need to do:

  1. Headline and Summary: Craft a headline and summary that showcases your skills, passion, and career goals in a way that grabs attention.
  2. Professional Photo: A clean, professional headshot goes a long way in establishing credibility and making a solid first impression.
  3. Skills and Endorsements: List out all your relevant tech skills, and don't be shy about asking connections to endorse those skills and validate your expertise.
  4. Recommendations: Getting recommendations from mentors, professors, or colleagues you've worked with can seriously boost your profile's credibility.

Once your profile is looking sharp, it's time to leverage LinkedIn's networking capabilities to connect with Chesapeake's tech professionals.

Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Join Relevant Groups: Find and join groups related to your areas of interest, participate in discussions, and engage with like-minded individuals. Groups are a great way to build your network.
  • Connect Strategically: Reach out to professionals in your desired industry or role, highlighting shared interests or experiences to start building those connections.
  • Attend Virtual Events: Keep an eye out for online events hosted by local tech organizations like 757 Network, and participate to expand your network and gain industry insights.

According to a survey by the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, over 65% of tech professionals in Chesapeake credit their career growth to effective networking.

By leveraging LinkedIn's networking potential, beginners can not only gain invaluable industry connections but also unlock mentorship opportunities, stay updated on job openings, and ultimately accelerate their career trajectory within Chesapeake's vibrant tech community.

Join Chesapeake Bay Area Linux Users Group


If you're into tech and living in the Chesapeake area, you gotta join the Chesapeake Bay Area Linux Users Group (CBALUG). This crew has been around since 2001, and they're all about that open-source life, especially when it comes to Linux and related tech.

By getting involved with CBALUG, you'll link up with a community of tech-savvy folks who are just as stoked about learning and growing as you are.

One of the biggest perks of rolling with CBALUG is the regular meetups and activities they've got going on.

Check out their events page – you can expect monthly in-person meetups with expert speakers, hands-on workshops, and coding sessions where you can collaborate with others.

They've also got virtual meetups and webinars, so you can tune in from wherever you're at. And let's not forget the annual conferences and hackathons – perfect for flexing your skills and networking with like-minded peeps.

If you're just starting out in the tech scene, CBALUG is the spot to kick things off.

You'll find a supportive crew that's down to help you develop new skills, get mentorship, and make connections that'll take you places. As Sarah Johnson, a long-time CBALUG member, puts it, "CBALUG has been a game-changer for my professional growth.

The community's willingness to share knowledge and guide newbies like me has been invaluable."

Ready to join the squad? Head over to their website and fill out the membership form.

Membership is free and open to everyone, no matter your experience level or background. By becoming a part of this vibrant community, you'll unlock a treasure trove of resources, networking opportunities, and the chance to contribute to the open-source movement.

It's a no-brainer if you're serious about leveling up your tech game.

Frequently Asked Questions


What types of events does 757 Accelerate offer for networking?

757 Accelerate hosts a variety of networking events including Pitch Nights, Founder Fireside Chats, and Networking Mixers, where participants can connect with mentors, investors, and other key players in Chesapeake's tech scene.

How can Tech Talent South meetups benefit someone new to the tech scene in Chesapeake?

Tech Talent South meetups are excellent for beginners offering coding bootcamps, tech talks, hackathons, and networking events. These meetups provide valuable learning opportunities, connections with industry professionals, and community support.

What are the benefits of joining the Chesapeake Technology Business Consortium (CTBC)?

Joining CTBC offers access to exclusive events, workshops, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities with seasoned tech professionals. It's an ideal way to gain industry insights, collaborate on projects, and connect with potential mentors and employers.

What opportunities do Old Dominion University hackathons provide?

Old Dominion University hosts hackathons that allow participants to collaborate on projects, attend workshops, and network with industry professionals. These events are excellent for skill development and making connections that could lead to internships and job opportunities.

Why is it important to use LinkedIn for networking in Chesapeake’s tech scene?

Having a strong LinkedIn profile is crucial as 94% of recruiters use the platform to find candidates. It allows you to join relevant groups, connect with industry professionals, and participate in virtual events, enhancing your visibility and networking opportunities in Chesapeake's tech community.

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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.