A City Aims to Create an Innovation Hub
Home to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is a young, diverse community with authentic small-town charm and a highly skilled workforce in a variety of industries. Its healthy economy is bolstered by its competitive export clusters that provide a foundation for a strong, diverse economic base.
Not content to rest on its known attributes, Charlottesville engaged Resonance to explore how the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can support wealth creation among diverse entrepreneurs. Additional priorities included evaluating workforce and talent pipelines to ensure skills training aligned with industry needs. The city also needed a way to leverage its leadership in life sciences and clean technology, as well as the advantages provided by the University of Virginia, to cultivate stronger community partnerships that could equally benefit the increasing economic development investment and activity in the area.
Resonance identified the competitive assets that the city boasted, which ranged from its highly-educated workforce to its integration and interdependence on local supply chains. We then moved on to identify the challenges, via qualitative local citizen stakeholder engagement, as well as gaps identified in our quantitative industry, workforce, and land-use research.
Local findings were then compared to both traditional and unforeseen competitive markets, regions and cities via our proprietary Competitive Benchmarking Assessment.
The data-based competitive landscape and asset audit has empowered the city with a foundation for upcoming investment-focused strategies and economic development initiatives to highlight and scale Charlottesville’s special blend of equitable entrepreneurship, innovative growth, and increasingly accessible pathways for opportunity. Our Real Estate & Land Use Review has mapped low-barrier creative placemaking opportunities that will further fortify the city as Virginia’s creative and cultural dynamo.