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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: November 22, 2019

River District Association resumes Dream Launch

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In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the River District Association announces the continuation of the River District Association Dream Launch entrepreneurship program in 2020.

The program consists of two portions; the boot camp is for entrepreneurs that wish to obtain an education in preparation to open a business anywhere, and a pitch competition for those seeking to open brick and mortar businesses in the River District in 2020.

"The River District Association is thrilled to offer this opportunity once again to serious entrepreneurs that have dreamed of opening their own business,” said Diana Schwartz, Executive Director of the River District Association (RDA). “The program goes a step beyond incentivizing good ideas. Those that register for the program with the intent to pitch will be required to attend all sessions of our ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamp,’ an intensive workshop that will meet once per week for eight weeks beginning in January to teach participants a full slate of skills and information that business owners need. Through this program, we can provide start-ups the tools, information, and assistance to give them the best possible opportunity for success.”

 RDA held the first Dream Launch Bootcamp and Pitch Competition in Spring 2019; over 75 individuals participated in some or all of the boot camp classes, with 9 completing all the requirements to take part in the pitch competition and 4 ultimately being awarded funding to expand or open their new businesses:  KG Graphics, Firefly Studios, Grizzly’s Hatchet House and River City Escapes.  

 Participants that complete all classes in the boot camp will be invited to pitch to receive a portion of the $70,000 in funding and prizes that are available; also, participants that completed all classes in the 2019 boot camp will be invited to register to pitch.  Once the pitch is complete, entrepreneurs that successfully present the most viable and sustainable plans, including capital investment and job creation, will be awarded funding

to assist in opening their business. RDA will stay involved with the selected businesses, assist with summer grand openings, and match them with mentors in the community.

 River District Association Dream Launch participants are not required to be Danville residents. The program is also open to current businesses that would like to expand, as well as non-profit ventures or those that would like to audit the courses to prepare for potentially opening a business in the future.

There is no cost to participate in the boot camp or pitch.

Registration for the program will open shortly and will be available at www.riverdistrictassociation.com and via social media channels. For more information, you may contact us at 434-791-0210.

 Funding for the RDA Dream Launch 2020 is made possible by the City of Danville Economic Development office, a grant from Danville Regional Foundation via the recently funded Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, and other local partners.

 The River District Association was organized in 1999 as the Downtown Danville Association. In May 2015, the organization was renamed the River District Association to complement the city’s River District brand and is an accredited Virginia and National Main Street Community. The office is currently located at 527 Bridge St.

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