- July 8, 2022
- Posted by: Erik
- Category: Blog
Next week, I’m heading down to Danville, VA, where I’m leading an assessment of The Launch Place, a regional angel investment fund. If you don’t know the Danville story, you should—especially if you work in smaller communities or in places facing major economic shocks. Danville has been in the midst of a multi-decade effort to rebuild after losing its economic anchors in traditional manufacturing and tobacco. There are a lot of exciting developments in Danville, and their experience offers many useful lessons. Here’s my quick take on some of the most important elements of their success to date:
- The Power of Philanthropy: A strong community foundation, in this case, the Danville Regional Foundation, that invests in and champions a long-term vision.
- Embrace of Placemaking: Via major investments in revitalizing Danville’s downtown River District.
- Building Talent: Programs at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and the Danville Community College are pioneering new approaches to talent development. For example, check out IALR’s advanced manufacturing programs.
- Embracing Entrepreneurs: Thanks to programs like The Launch Place, Danville is thinking big about entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Patience: Economic revitalization takes time. Danville is doing well, but local leaders also recognize that they still face a long journey ahead.