Crazy about craft beers – her current favorite is Copper Kettle’s Mexican Chocolate Stout.
Crazy about pickles – the best homemade pickles are at Garnett’s.
And of course, she’s crazy about co-working and entrepreneurship in Richmond.
“Richmond is evolving and we’re seeing a creative class of people designing things they’re passionate about that also have a social impact,” Larkin said.
To foster growth within this “creative class”, 804RVA is rolling out a series of mentor programs for start-ups and developing new collaboration methods for the 804RVA community.
- Start-upConcierge pairs high growth start-ups with mentors who are specifically interested in helping start-ups develop and grow.
- Lighthouse Labs Accelerator is a 15 week intensive program that teaches start-ups the skills to build and connect with mentors, investors and clients.
- Community Office Hours provides members with the chance to connect with other members and businesses during their open hours.
“I’ve always loved technology and wanted to be around creative people,” Larkin said, describing her reason for founding 804RVA.
She continues, “We’ve grown to 65 members in 14 months, and within five years, I’d like to see a community of 300 members creating products and technologies that have a significant impact.”
And true to form, Larkin is focused on developing a solution to house her dream. She’s currently working to raise funds for a 30,000 square foot Innovation Hub located at the RVA Power Plant.
Similar to innovation hubs in Portland, Atlanta and other U.S. cities, the RVA Power Plant is meant to engage and retain Richmond’s creative class.
“We’ve had so many entrepreneurs move to other cities because they couldn’t find the resources here,” Larkin explained. “I want the RVA Power Plant to provide education and tools to help support start-ups through their early stages.”
What exactly motivates Larkin to work so hard building the start-up community in Richmond?
“Maybe it’s genetics,” Larkin laughed. “But I’ve been raised with the mentality of ‘if you believe it you can do it’. If I’m not creating something I’m bored.”
Even on the weekends, Larkin is creating.
CityScrapbook, Larkin’s Pinterest for neighborhoods, will let users build Instagram scrapbooks of their favorite neighborhood photos.
“When people talk about their neighborhood, there’s a big sense of connectedness,” Larkin explained.
“People see their neighborhood in a different light and with CityScrapbook they’ll be able to share what’s unique about their neighborhood. Eventually I’d like to overlay real estate searches into the app.”
If you’re lucky enough to catch Larkin during the day, you’ll probably find her holding a meeting at Lamplighter, setting up an 804RVA Meetup, or hosting a business happy hour at The Camel.
But regardless of where Larkin is, she’s always focused on her number one mission: building a stronger community for coworkers, start-ups, and Richmond’s creative class.
As Larkin says, “Together, we can be actively involved in a community with people doing good things to make a difference.”
- For learning how to connect & lead people: Community Builder Masterclass
- For the best business profiles & lists: Fortune Magazine
- For delicious New Zealand-style savory pies: Proper Pie
- For a great startup blog: Brad Feld
Connect with Larkin on Twitter @804RVA and @iamLarkin, or meet Larkin in person.