Ignition’s Mission Statement

Ignition’s mission is to create profitable and sustainable businesses, while igniting a passion for entrepreneurship.


Who we are and what we do

Ignition was founded by entrepreneurs with the mission of helping entrepreneurs create and build profitable and sustainable businesses. We assist a range of startups across the country, from existing businesses looking to grow, to people who simply have an idea. We do not have a set program that everyone followed, because we recognize that each business model and founder is unique. This is why we set individual paths to success for all of our incubator and accelerator clients, and work closely with them to build an awesome and profitable business.We offer free co-working space for professionals and hopeful entrepreneurs, and tailored programs for dedicated entrepreneurs, with the necessary tools they need to win. We’re not in the business of renting space, we’re in the business of creating profitable businesses. Whether it is technology or product based, we have experience in a range of industries and offer services and investment to help you get where you need to be.We founded Ignition because we recognized that the Hampton Roads area needed a privately governed and financed organization that worked side by side with people to provide them with the experience, resources, and money to create great companies. We love the thrill of starting new ventures and have learned many lessons along the way, through our collective successes, and especially, our failures. This places us in a unique position to guide entrepreneurs to a successful path, while steering others away from common pitfalls.
Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes an acute mental focus and discipline. It also takes a team: no matter how great you are, you can’t do it alone. It’s not about working hard; it’s about working smart to solve the right problems, with the right solutions, surrounded by the right team. We’re not here to offer gimmicks or get rich quick plans. Entrepreneurship is a difficult and scary path, one not suited for the faint of heart. It’s a lifestyle and mindset. Entrepreneurs are not born, they are made. We hope to make some at Ignition.The Ignition Center hosts several startup events, education sessions, and competitions throughout the year to raise awareness and empower anyone with the desire to forge their own path through entrepreneurship. We may have started in September of 2016, but in the first six months of operation, seven of our new startup companies generated more than half a million in revenue, which resulted in the creation of 10 jobs.Whether you fail or succeed at Ignition, we hope you’ll be part of our startup community, and hold on to that passion to create, to learn, to challenge the status quo, and to become better while improving the world for the people around us.Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!Contact Us

Meet the Ignition team

Our team creates custom plans for each venture, and works closely with its founder to establish their company and take it to the next level. We serve as consultants; can provide a team of skilled and proven designers; web developers; marketing and advertising professionals; mobile application developers; and offer funding for qualified applicants. Our team has relevant and recent experience starting and launching successful businesses, so our members get experienced support from people who empathize with the struggles of starting a business and understand the challenges that startups face.

Lance Zaal

Ignition founder and board member, Lance started his first business in Williamsburg in 2011 while attending William and Mary. He has experience in software and mobile applications with itourmobile.com; eCommerce; and the tourism and travel markets with. His ventures do business with cities, the federal government, private entities, and consumers. See more at lancezaal.com


Lynn Meredith

Ms. Meredith joined the Ignition board in March 2019. She has over twenty years of experience in real estate asset management, operations, marketing and property management. Ms. Meredith currently serves as the General Manager at SIMON Properties Williamsburg Premium Outlets.  Prior to joining SIMON Property Group, Ms. Meredith served as the Executive Director of Operations and Marketing for New York based Olshan Properties where she made significant contributions to the company’s expansive real estate portfolio including resorts, hotels, residential, offices and shopping centers. Previous positions also included Vice President of Operations and Marketing for Prime Retail LP where she was responsible for the asset management of the companies highest net operating portfolio. Additionally, Ms. Meredith has served as the Senior General Manager for McArthur Glen and Horizon Group Properties as well as Marketing Director for Charter Oak Partners supporting real estate properties nationwide.Ms. Meredith graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelors of Arts degree and is a Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM) and Certified Marketing Director (CMD); designations accredited by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Elaine Horn-Ranney

Dr. Horn-Ranney is co-founder of Tympanogen, a healthcare startup founded in 2014. During this time, Tympanogen won multiple business plan competitions as well as federal and state grant funds. Elaine possesses a robust knowledge of biomaterials and is experienced in synthesizing materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications, with a specialized focus on translating laboratory research into clinical products. Dr. Horn-Ranney received both her BSE and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Biotechnology Association, and is an Adjunct Professor at Old Dominion University.

Brandon Nice

Like his father David, Brandon grew up in the construction Industry, having worked in many different aspects of the trade. He brings more than 18+ years of experience with a heavy focus on Civil and Commercial Construction. He currently oversees the entire commercial and civil divisions as well as select national retail accounts with his team to provide the safe and successful completion of projects on time and within budget. Read more on Brandon here.

Bill Woodward

Bill is the Senior Sourcing manager for Ferguson Enterprises, the world’s largest plumbing/building products distributor. Bill's focus is in smarthome technologies, having met with Nest/Google, Amazon, and numerous smarthome startups across the nation. He also has experience in merchandising agreements for products with locations like Lowes and Home Depot.

Tour the Ignition facility

Ignition Business Building
Fubar Business Logo


We helped FUBAR cards, a military compatible version of Cards Against Humanity based out of Seattle, shortly after they launched their Kickstarter campaign. We created the branding, logo, packaging design, advertising campaign, and built a mobile application for them. The Kickstarter campaign raised more than $70K, was featured in Military Times, and several other publications. FUBAR was eventually partially acquired by another company, and achieved great success in its first year. FUBAR has sold thousands of decks and is a great example of what a dedicated and disciplined team of entrepreneurs can do with little time.

Drink Williamsburg Business Logo

Drink Williamsburg

Drink Williamsburg opened for business in October 2016, but it took months of work to get there, and Ignition navigated the regulations, set pricing strategy, branding, and designed and developed an ecommerce website. Within four months since conception, the company had met all regulatory requirements, acquired a bus, had online presence, and earned its first customers. This fun company now serves busloads of fun loving guests every week.

Jaust Business Logo


Jaunt is a mobile application and software platform that allows for the creation of virtual adventures that can be taken on location with a smartphone or smartwatch. It uses technology to transform tourist locations into fun, interactive games where the players can compete against their friends in a race across the city to solve mysteries and earn points.

Jaunt is currently a rebranding, redevelopment, and redesign with new features of a three-year old tech startup formerly known as itourmobile. Jaunt doubled in size in the first six months with Ignition, serving business clients in five states in the private sector, federal government, and local government; in addition to acquiring a US based subscriber base.


Ignition is the only privately funded program dedicated to the incubation of startups and support of entrepreneurs in Hampton Roads. As such, we depend on contributions from the public. We invite any interested individuals and organizations to join the cause. Please read our sponsorship document here for more information.

EMBER $500
  • 2 tickets to VA Shark Tank
  • 1 annual subscription of Mandela Coffee
  • Logo in promotional emails
  • Logo on the website sponsors page
  • Tax deductible contribution
IGNITE $2,000
  • 2 hours Ignition consulting
  • Host an event at Ignition Center
  • OccasionGenius lunch and learn
  • 5 tickets to VA Shark Tank
  • 1 annual subscription of Mandela Coffee
  • Logo in event program flyer
  • Logo in promotional emails
  • Logo on the website sponsors page
  • Tax deductible contribution
BLAZE $25,000
  • Entrepreneurship class for your organization: One 60-minute session per week for six weeks of a program centered around case studies and the current marketplace tailored for your organization-
  • First access to investment opportunities
  • Host an event at Ignition Center
  • OccasionGenius Expo at your business
  • 25 tickets to VA Shark Tank
  • 2 annual subscriptions of Mandela Coffee
  • Logo in event program flyer
  • Company mention at events
  • Logo in email newsletter
  • Logo on website sponsors page
  • Tax deductible contribution
INFERNO $50,000
  • Access to the startups and founders developing products
  • Entrepreneurship class for your organization: Two 90-minute sessions per week for six weeks on program centered around case studies and the current marketplace tailored for your organization
  • First access to investment opportunities
  • Host an event at Ignition Center
  • OccasionGenius Expo at your business
  • 50 tickets to VA Shark Tank
  • 4 annual subscriptions of Mandela Coffee
  • Logo in promotional emails
  • Company name/logo listed on Ignition Center website
  • Logo on the website sponsors page
  • Tax deductible contribution

Ignition’s Governing Documents