In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the River District Association is excited to announce the continuation of the River District Association Dream Launch Boot Camp and Pitch Competition in 2021.

The RDA Dream Launch Boot Camp is for entrepreneurs who wish to learn how to open a business in the Dan River Region. It is also open to existing businesses who wish to hone their business knowledge. This will be the third RDA Dream Launch Boot Camp and Pitch Competition.

Since its start in 2019, over 150 individuals have participated in some or all of the bootcamp classes and 9 businesses were awarded a total of $140,000 in grant funding to start or expand a business in the River District.  

"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. “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 Boot Camp, an intensive workshop that will meet once per week for 8 weeks beginning in January. Through this program, we can provide start-ups the tools, information and assistance to give them the best possible opportunity for success." 

Once participants complete the eight-week Boot Camp, they have the opportunity to pitch their idea for funding to open or expand their brick and mortar business in the River District. 

Additionally, in 2021, entrepreneurs participating in the RDA Dream Launch Boot Camp,  who may wish to locate their brick and mortar business in Pittsylvania County or in Danville but outside of the River District, will have the opportunity to choose to instead pitch their idea at the Rev Up Danville Pittsylvania Pitch.

Eligible participants may only choose one pitch in which to participate. This year there will be $50,000 in cash and prizes available in each of the pitch competitions, for a total of $100,000 to support entrepreneurs locally.

RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp and both pitch competitions are also open to current businesses that would like to expand, as well as 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 bootcamp or pitch.

Registration for the program is now open at https://bit.ly/dreamlaunch2021 or can also be found at riverdistrictassociation.com.

Due to COVID-19, the Dream Launch Boot Camp will be held virtually in 2021. 

Funding for the RDA Dream Launch Boot Camp and Pitch Competition and Rev Up Danville Pittsylvania is made possible by the City of Danville Economic Development office, a grant from Danville Regional Foundation via the recently funded DRREE and other local partners including The Launch Place, the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce and Longwood SBDC.

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 Street in Danville.

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