- July 8, 2022
- Posted by: Erik
- Category: Blog
Next week, Iâ€™m heading down to Danville, VA, where Iâ€™m leading an assessment of The Launch Place, a regional angel investment fund. If you donâ€™t know the Danville story, you shouldâ€”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. Hereâ€™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 Danvilleâ€™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 IALRâ€™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.