River District Association announces RDA 2024 Dream Launch Bootcamp

By: Kirsten Aherron

Now Open for Registration

$100K available in area pitch competitions open to local entrepreneurs that complete the Dream Launch Bootcamp

DANVILLE VA – The River District Association (RDA) is excited to announce that registration has opened for the sixth cohort of the River District Association Dream Launch Bootcamp. Since the start of the program in 2019, nearly 600 individuals have registered for the Bootcamp classes. Additionally, 209 Dream Launch Bootcamp Certificates have been earned by individuals completing all 6 classes.

The RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp is for anyone who wishes to learn more about opening, owning, and operating a business in the Dan River Region; the Bootcamp is 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. Classes will be held via Zoom beginning in mid-January with one class in-person in Danville.

Entrepreneurs and new or existing businesses who complete all six Bootcamp sessions and plan to open or expand a brick-and-mortar location in the Downtown River District may apply to compete in the RDA IGNITE Business Pitch Competition (Formerly the RDA Dream Launch Pitch Competition) for awards and incentives totaling $50,000. Additionally, RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp participants who wish to open a business outside of the River District are eligible to compete in the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce Rev Up Pitch.  Rev Up will have $50,000 available in awards and incentives. Lastly, individuals who have completed all six Bootcamp sessions in years past and have a Certificate of Completion are also eligible to apply for the Ignite Business Pitch or Rev Up Pitch, without needing to retake the Bootcamp classes.

This year, RDA will again offer an additional educational resource for food related businesses in the region.  The Food and Beverage Workshop will be optional for all Dream Launch Bootcamp participants but required for those wishing to pitch specifically to open a food and beverage business.  Panelists from Virginia ABC, Health Dept, and Planning and Zoning will be on-hand to provide information needed for business owners in this industry.  Local entrepreneurs with an interest in learning more about opening a food and beverage business are also welcome to attend; this workshop is free but requires separate registration.

"We are thrilled to be moving into the sixth year of the program, and it cannot be stressed enough how grateful we are to all of the partners that have been involved with the program all these years,” said Diana Schwartz, CEO of the River District Association. "It takes collaboration to make programs like this happen.  Nearly 500 people have now taken classes through the Dream Launch Bootcamp in our region, positioning many people in our community to open their own business and create their own wealth-building opportunities".

Registration for the 2024 RDA Dream Launch program is now open at https://bit.ly/2024RDADreamLaunch and can also be found at www.riverdistrictassociation.com or on the RDA social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)

If you’d like to know more, you can register to attend an information session being held on December 12th, from 6pm-7pm.  Sign up at: https://bit.ly/RDADreamLaunchInfoSession

Funding for the RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp, IGNITE Business Pitch and Rev Up Danville Pittsylvania Pitch is made possible by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County.


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 208 N Union Street, Danville VA.

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce accelerates business growth by connecting its members to dynamic resources and networks. The Chamber’s number one goal is to help area businesses of all sizes to grow and prosper.