On behalf of the City of Danville, the River District Association was presented this week with a Virginia Main Street Merit Award for Best Downtown Public Improvement Project at the Virginia Main Street Downtown Intersections Conference in Staunton.
This award is given to the municipality or Main Street organization that has designed and implemented attractive and sympathetic improvements to improve the built environment within a Virginia Main Street Program area.
“Our Virginia Main Street communities are truly making a difference in our beautiful downtown districts,” said DHCD Director Bill Shelton. ”In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $159 million in private investment in their districts, and as a result, there has been a net collective gain of 4,400 jobs across our Main Street downtown districts.”
Since 2010, the city of Danville has strategically worked to engage public-private partnerships, resulting in more than $100 million in downtown investment. In May of 2015, the city celebrated these efforts and revealed the downtown community’s new branding and tagline, “River District: Reimagine That.” Throughout the past year, the city lived up to the new brand, completing five notable public improvement projects in downtown Danville, prompting the River District Association’s nomination:
1. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bridge Multiuse Trail Extension (Public Works Department, City of Danville); 2. Public restrooms and multi-level water fountain at Main Street Plaza (Public Works Department, City of Danville); 3. Bridge Street Electric Substation fencing [and lighting] (Danville Utilities, City of Danville); 4. Bicycle Fix Station and multi-level water fountain at The Crossing at the Dan (Parks and Recreation, City of Danville); and 5. HOME sign refurbishment and installation as public art in the heart of the River District (City of Danville in collaboration with the Danville Historical Society, History United and the River District Association).
Ernecia Coles, Executive Director of the River District Association, said, “The City of Danville’s Public Works, Utilities, and Parks and Recreation Departments are filled with hardworking, creative thinkers who not only see a void, but work to meet the need in ways that make the River District, and Danville as a whole, an appealing place for businesses, residents and visitors. The River District Association is pleased that the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes their efforts, and to accept this award on their behalf.”
In addition to Danville, Virginia Main Street recognized the following communities for excellence: Altavista for Volunteer of the Year; Gloucester for Best Downtown Retail Event; Harrisonburg for Outstanding Business; and Luray for Outstanding Fundraising Effort.
Currently, there are 29 designated Virginia Main Street communities including: Abingdon, Altavista, Ashland, Bedford, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Danville, Farmville, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Lexington, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Saint Paul, South Boston, Staunton, Warrenton, Waynesboro, Winchester and Wytheville.
The Virginia Main Street program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes. The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns.
For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, call (804) 371-7030 or visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov/MainStreet.
The Launch Place invests an additional $200,000 in Roobrik, developer of online decision tools for older adults and caregivers
DANVILLE, Va. (May 23, 2016) – The Launch Place announced today that it is investing $200,000 in Roobrik Inc., to expand Roobrik’s capabilities and reach in serving the senior care market. The $200,000 investment follows a $75,000 investment The Launch Place made in September of last year. The original investment in Roobrik was from The Launch Place Pre-Seed Investment Program. This investment program was established to help early stage companies to further their market and product validation and/or business model refinement.
Roobrik works with senior care organizations who are interested in helping older adults and their families make more informed care decisions. These organizations use Roobrik tools on their websites to reach families who are uncertain about their care needs and options. The Launch Place Pre-Seed Investment enabled Roobrik to launch pilot tests with three senior care providers, all of whom have remained customers following the pilot period.
“This is exactly what the Pre-Seed program is designed to do; support further testing and customer validation of the product, and refinement of the company’s business model to prepare these entrepreneurs to raise more substantial funding through either The Launch Place Seed Fund, angels, venture funds or some combination thereof,” said Eva Doss, The Launch Place President & CEO. “Roobrik is the first company that has started in the Pre-Seed program, met all the milestones established for investment, and more than doubled their customer base in less than 6 months.”
“We are enormously pleased with the support we’ve received through our partnership with The Launch Place. In addition to the Pre-Seed funds, The Launch Place Team has helped us refine our business model, generate substantial PR, win new business, and reach additional funding partners,” said Nate O’Keefe, Roobrik’s CEO. “We’ve really been able to focus on what’s most important: developing new and better tools to help families with these really hard decisions, and getting them out in front of wider audiences through our partners.”
Roobrik has earmarked the Seed Fund investment for product and market development for senior care providers. This includes supporting several new hires for new positions, office expansion, and entry into new markets. “Right now we know what’s working. We just have to build the team and technology to support more customers,” said O’Keefe.
The Pre-Seed Investment program was established in August 2014 and thus far three companies have been funded through the Launch Place Pre-Seed Fund. Between seed and pre-seed funds, the Launch Place has received over 280 applications.
About The Launch Place The Launch Place, from a $10 million grant received from the Danville Regional Foundation in 2012, assists with entrepreneurship and business development, and job creation and retention through its business consulting, mentoring and training, residential and office subsidies, and two seed investment funds in the Dan River region of Virginia. Website: www.thelaunchplace.org
About Roobrik Roobrik builds online tools designed to help older adults and their families make informed long‐term care decisions around issues like driving, home safety, and dementia. Their innovative platform combines medical decision science with new models for digital engagement to help families get answers throughout the continuum of care. Roobrik works with healthcare and long‐term care product and service providers who are committed to informed decision‐making for its potential to improve health, emotional, and financial outcomes. Roobrik currently maintains offices in Greensboro, North Carolina. Website: www.roobrik.com