Raleigh Startup TiO Lands $250K from The Launch Place to Expand its Market

Raleigh Startup TiO Lands $250K from The Launch Place to Expand its Market

The Virginia-based seed fund adds a new company to its investment portfolio: a startup making significant headway in the home automation industry.

The Launch Place, a nonprofit organization in Danville, Virginia, that provides support and funding for startups in the Dan River Region, recently announced it would be adding a new company to its portfolio. TiO, a home automation startup that has expanded to Raleigh from its headquarters in Florida, became The Launch Place’s thirteenth investment.

This $250,000 seed investment is the fund’s first partnership with a startup within the home automation industry, and it provides enough backing for TiO to expand operations in the Dan River Region (one requirement of The Launch Place investment) and bring at least five employees to the new office.

TiO, short for “Turn it On,” creates hardware and software products that allow for wireless control of the home through a single app on a homeowner’s phone or tablet.

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Kyocera breaks ground in ‘monumental milestone’ for Dan River Region

Kyocera breaks ground in ‘monumental milestone’ for Dan River Region

Local officials and Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC — which announced in September it was bringing 35 jobs and $9.5 million in investment to the Dan River Region — broke ground Monday morning for its planned facility at the Cyber Park.

Company President Jason Wells — speaking to attendees at the event — called the groundbreaking a “monumental milestone” and a representation of progress and opportunity for the region.

Business leaders, Kyocera representatives and elected officials from Danville and Pittsylvania County attended the ceremony across from the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

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Technology grows to help agriculture in Southern Virginia

Technology grows to help agriculture in Southern Virginia

Local farmers soon will see new technology specifically designed for agriculture, thanks to two separate entities.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension was granted $104,000 from the Tobacco Commission for a “SOVA Agribusiness Information Technology Program.” The program hopes to increase productivity on farms by incorporating information technology.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville is working with technology for agriculture, but its focus is more research-based.

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Blue Ridge Fiberboard to invest $2M in Danville plant

Blue Ridge Fiberboard to invest $2M in Danville plant

Blue Ridge Fiberboard plans to invest $2 million to improve efficiency at its Danville plant.

The Danville Office of Economic Development announced the investment Thursday at the former Masonite plant.

Blue Ridge Fiberboard employs 119 people at its plant at 250 Knight Celotex Way, the news release said. The company makes roofing, soundproofing and exterior sheathing products.

“The Tobacco Commission recently invested $75,000 in the form of a Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund grant to help with the current expansion,” Del. Danny Marshall said in a news release.

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A MILESTONE - With Berry Hill Industrial Park groundbreaking, hopes to attract thousands of jobs

A MILESTONE - With Berry Hill Industrial Park groundbreaking, hopes to attract thousands of jobs

After more than eight years of work by regional officials and years of wrangling with bureaucratic regulations, leaders finally broke ground at the 3,500-acre Berry Hill Industrial Park on Thursday afternoon.

The groundbreaking ceremony was for phase one development — grading — of a 133-acre site at the park.

For local, regional and state officials who attended the event in southwestern Pittsylvania County, the moment was a long time in the making, arriving after years of struggle against a “Catch-22” rule from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps would not issue a permit for the site if there were no committed industries, but the park could not attract committed companies unless it already was permitted and ready for development.

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Tunstall High named National Blue Ribbon School

Tunstall High School was named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School Sept. 28. by U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr.

Of the 329 public and private schools receiving the honor, only 54 were high schools, making the feat more impressive, said Tunstall High School Principal Brian Boles.

Seven schools were nominated in Virginia, and Tunstall was the only high school selected. The nominees were tapped in February and each had to fill out an extensive survey and application process.

According to Boles, qualifiers were not only about academic excellence, but also about connecting the school to the community. He said THS’ accomplishments were 16 pages long.

Boles said he is ”extremely proud of faculty and students,” saying the accomplishment is “a testament to their dedication. We set the bar pretty high and I’m confident we’ll meet or exceed our mark.”

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Economic director for Southern Virginia Regional Alliance named

The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance has named Linda Hutson Green as the new director of economic development.

Green has an extensive career in the public and private sectors focused on economic development throughout Southern Virginia. She currently serves as Congressman Robert Hurt's District Director.

In her new role, Green will be responsible for the development and execution of a comprehensive regional economic development strategy for both the alliance and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The alliance serves the economic development departments of the Counties of Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Halifax, along with the city of Danville and the Institute.

"For the last three decades I have worked with businesses and localities to improve the opportunities and development, inclusive of federal and state resources and policies. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to put this into action in support of job creation for our region," Green said.

"On behalf of SVRA and IALR, Linda is a welcome addition to the current regional efforts and progress. Her familiarity with and past contributions to regional economic development initiatives will be great attributes for the work of SVRA and IALR," said Jerry L. Gwaltney, IALR Executive Director.

Green will begin her work Oct. 3.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 22 New Jobs in Henry County

Solid Stone Fabrics to invest $1.5 million to expand textile manufacturing operation

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Solid Stone Fabrics, a textile manufacturer and distributor of stretch fabrics, will invest $1.5 million to expand its operation in Henry County. The expansion will accommodate new equipment and include building improvements to the existing facility. Virginia successfully competed against California, Florida and New Jersey for the project, which will create 22 new jobs.

"Textile manufacturing is an intricate part of Southside's economy and I applaud Henry County for their business-friendly initiatives and workforce development that attracts high-caliber companies like Solid Stone Fabrics," said Governor McAuliffe. "Solid Stone Fabrics, which started out as a one-man shop 13 years ago and has grown to over a 60-person operation, is a testament to the importance and support of small-businesses here in the Commonwealth. I congratulate Solid Stone on their expansion and will continue our efforts to diversify and build a new Virginia economy."

"Small business success stories like Solid Stone Fabric are a testament to Virginia's business climate and the hardworking citizens across the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "Business expansion is the best way to grow Virginia's economy, and I congratulate Solid Stone on this exciting announcement.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 41 New Jobs in City of Danville

Overfinch to invest $1.82 million to establish manufacturing operation

FARNBOROUGH – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Overfinch, the world's leading creator of bespoke Range Rover vehicles, will invest $1.82 million to establish a manufacturing operation in the City of Danville. The company plans to upfit Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, which will be sold to customers across the U.S. The investment includes an assembly and conversion workshop, vehicle servicing, diagnostics, and parts warehouse. Virginia successfully competed against California for the project, which will create 41 new jobs.

"I am pleased to congratulate Overfinch for their expansion and applaud their decision to establish their new manufacturing operation in the City of Danville," said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the announcement. "As Virginia expands our global partnerships, this deal exemplifies our advantages as highly skilled, workforce-ready state and speaks to the competitive business advantages of the Southside Virginia region. As a well-regarded international automotive company, Overfinch will be a great corporate partner in our continuing efforts to diversify and build a new Virginia economy."

"Overfinch's operation is an exciting addition to the City of Danville and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I want to thank the many partners involved in this win," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "Advanced manufacturing is a critical sector and essential for the Commonwealth's ongoing success. Danville's robust business environment and talented workforce makes it an ideal home for Overfinch."

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Pittsylvania County Named Virginia’s Third Certified Work Ready Community

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Pittsylvania County has been designated as a Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC). The nationally recognized designation by the Commonwealth and American College Testing (ACT) will help Pittsylvania County attract new businesses and jobs as it signifies job ready skill sets of the county's high school students, job seekers, and incumbent workforce.

Speaking about the announcement, Governor Terry McAuliffe said, "Developing core workforce development skills is an essential component to building a world-class economy. I applaud Pittsylvania County for its leadership and continued efforts to prepare local workers for innovative, high-tech jobs. This certification is the foundation to attracting private sector investments that contribute to our efforts to build a new Virginia economy in every corner of the Commonwealth."

"Communities that prioritize the workforce readiness of their residents position themselves for economic growth," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "I congratulate Pittsylvania County on their achievement, and I look forward to working with the county to promote their new certification.

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