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Three local nonprofits selected for incubator program

The three organizations were selected from NPO Launchpad’s online pitch competition, which received 29 applicants. In addition to receiving hands-on mentorship from leaders in Richmond’s entrepreneurial, business and nonprofit communities, the cohort will utilize coworking space at VCU da Vinci Center.

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NPO Launchpad, the Richmond region’s first nonprofit incubator, has selected three organizations to participate in its inaugural Fall accelerator, kicking off in early September.  The Fall cohort includes:

  • Beyond Boundaries – offering individuals with disabilities the opportunity to experience outdoor activities in the surrounding community.
  • Shood – collecting gently used running shoes, reconditioning them and distributing them to those who are homeless or living in poverty in Richmond communities.
  • VET Fund – providing financial support to pet owners facing financial hardships, whose pets require life-saving veterinary treatment.

The three organizations were selected from NPO Launchpad’s online pitch competition, which received 29 applicants. In addition to receiving hands-on mentorship from leaders in Richmond’s entrepreneurial, business and nonprofit communities, the cohort will utilize coworking space at VCU da Vinci Center.

“These nonprofits each presented specific challenges for which NPO Launchpad believes can positively impact in a short period of time,” said Pat Hull, co-founder of NPO Launchpad and founder of The Hull Foundation, a leading contributor to NPO Launchpad. “Teaming up with VCU da Vinci Center will greatly benefit and enhance our program.”

In addition to coworking space, VCU da Vinci Center will provide NPO Launchpad with acceleration curriculum and graduate assistant support during the three-month accelerator. The center has previously hosted a cohort of Lighthouse Labs and currently hosts goHappy, a social communication platform, as its Startup in Residence.

“We see the VCU da Vinci Center’s collaboration with NPO Launchpad to be a significant catalyst for connecting our students to the growing number of nonprofits in the Richmond region,” said Garret Westlake, executive director, VCU da Vinci Center. “These fantastic nonprofit organizations will benefit from our curriculum and best practices while creating new opportunities for experiential learning and building greater connection between students and the community.”

Criteria for the accelerator included early-stage organizations with 501(c)(3) status; based in Richmond region; and under $100,000 revenues annually. Applicants for the Fall cohort were thoroughly reviewed and voted on by NPO Launchpad’s mentors and leadership.

“NPO Launchpad received an impressive response from local nonprofit startups,” said Jeff Palumbo, co-founder of NPO Launchpad. “All of the applicants were very worthy of our support. In furthering connections between Richmond’s for-profit and nonprofit communities, I hope that someday we will be able to accept more organizations into our programs.”

At the start of the three-month accelerator in September, the cohort will introduce and present their organizations to NPO Launchpad and participating mentors. They will be matched with mentors, who will meet periodically with the individual cohort members, refining their goals and developing solutions to challenges that their organizations are facing.

The accelerator will culminate with a launch party, hosted by NPO Launchpad, whereby the cohort members will showcase their success, growth, and progress while connecting with Richmond’s business and donor community.

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Arts & Entertainment

Axe-throwing chain set to open near The Circuit Arcade Bar in Scott’s Addition

The venue will open in the former Nicholson Sprinkler Corp. building at 3100 W. Leigh Street in the heart of the neighborhood.

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From Richmond BizSense:

After its first attempt to get into the Richmond market fell flat, a Canadian axe-throwing bar is back with a location coming to Scott’s Addition.

Bad Axe Throwing is preparing to open at 3100 W. Leigh St. in a 5,000-square-foot space in the old Nicholson Sprinkler Corp. building.

Based in Ontario, Bad Axe has nearly 50 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. In 2018, it began planning a Richmond location on West Broad Street, across from the forthcoming Whole Foods in Sauer Center.

But those plans fell through last spring. Bad Axe owner Mario Zelaya said there was an issue about the amount of parking available at that location, which caused them to scrap the plans.

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Business

Nine-acre Elks Lodge property near Innsbrook slated to be transformed into mixed use development

Highwoods Properties paid $3.3 million for the nine-acre Elks Lodge near Innsbrook After Hours and plans to mull over mixed-use, high density options for the site.

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From Richmond BizSense:

One of the biggest landlords in Innsbrook has amassed more land in the area, this time snagging a block of acreage next to the site where the Innsbrook After Hours concert series is held.

Highwoods Properties last month bought the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 45 property at 10022 Elks Pass Lane in Henrico. It paid $3.3 million for the 9-acre assemblage, which adds to another 12 adjacent and largely undeveloped acres the company already owns.

Jane DuFrane, Highwoods’ vice president and local market lead, said the company still is mulling options for the Elks land and adjacent sites, including developing a “walkable community with a mix of uses.”

“The Elks Lodge property’s contiguous proximity to our other land holdings and existing office buildings made it a natural fit for our portfolio,” DuFrane said in an email.

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Business

Container Store, Chase Bank taking over two adjacent properties at Short Pump Town Center

The former hhgregg appliances and electronics store and neighboring Matchbox restaurant are being transformed into two new-to-Richmond brands.

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Two neighboring properties at the entrance of Short Pump Town Center are set to be transformed into homes for two new-to-Richmond brands – both as reported by Richmond BizSense.

The former Matchbox Restaurant on W. Broad Street is currently being eyed for a new Chase Bank, BizSense says. Plans have been filed to transform the two-story building into a bank and drive-thru. Read more about the plans here.

Across the road, the former hhgregg appliance and electronics store – originally built as a Circuit City – is being rehabbed into a new location for The Container Store, which sells home organization and storage solutions. Check out progress of the transformation here.

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