These are the questions that drive us:

 

How can we facilitate place-based revitalization without causing gentrification?

What do we need to put in place to appropriately respond to climate change?

How should we be preparing ourselves and the next generation to lead?

Why do resources continue to be directed to ineffective strategies?

How can new pathways be created that correct systemic injustices to support all people to develop and contribute to their full potential?

What are the design principles for being in right relationship with self, community, place, and planet?

How can this work be fun instead of a struggle?

 
 
 

RD86 is our attempt to transcend the complex problems facing us today and compounding for tomorrow.

Our work is a mash up of:

  • business development group in the food & hospitality space

  • startup studio & business incubator

  • leadership development / business school

  • workforce development agency

  • creative agency & organizational development consultancy

We start and run businesses in order to have an applied learning platform that activates people as leaders and entrepreneurs.

We work in depressed places so that these activities catalyze healthy redevelopment efforts guided by the goals of:

  • lifting low-income people up to become the change agents AND beneficiaries of the redevelopment processes

  • democratizing genuine wealth creation

  • enhancing the unique character of the place

We ground this work with “main street” business development (restaurants, event spaces, airbnb hospitality, etc.) to generate sustainable revenue streams so the impact-based work supports itself without needing grants and donations.

We have chosen New London, CT as our home base because the conditions are perfect for testing this proof of concept as a scalable model.

We are off to a good start with a restaurant operation in the center of downtown which started earlier this year. We have grossed over $300,000, currently employ 10 people, and have a 5 star rating on yelp with 22 reviews.

This is an invite-only crowdfunding campaign to take RD86 to the next level.

 

Why New London?

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This place has everything it needs and more to be vibrantly successful. It is incredibly asset rich - deep water port, transportation hub with commercial and commuter rail, ferry system, I95 corridor, 4 higher educational institutions, and prime location roughly 2 hours in between Boston and NY.

And yet it is depressed instead of buzzing with energy.

This means that real estate is incredibly affordable compared to the rest of the shoreline. The average home price is $158,000 and you can still find ones under $100k that are not fixer uppers.

There are many vacancies in the downtown business district.

All of this creates tremendous opportunity but it is not being

The City and Town of Groton across the Thames River is home to one of the world’s largest nuclear submarine bases in the world.

 

Why Connecticut?

land of steady habits.jpg
 
 

It all started when…

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Healthy Monetization

 
 

business model / ecosystem

We start and run businesses that make money in the food, hospitality, and entertainment spaces.

We offer organizational development counseling.

going to seed

Our model is to generate a pathway for low-income people to achieve equity ownership by “growing” them into responsible leaders and owner-operators of businesses financed through equity crowdfunding. By building broader community ownership we can democratize wealth creation in operations that are place-based and impact-driven. Scroll down to learn more about how our approach sets a different course than business-as-usual gentrification.

 

Strategy

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developing across the talent spectrum

Decades of disinvestment, poverty, and economic stagnation creates a cost. Such a high proportion of people living on the edge, in desperate states results in underdeveloped people with problems.

We aim for our ultimate “product” to be people who are capable of navigating and leading in the rocky waters ahead as the world changes drastically from climate change, macro-economic shifts, and more.

In order to achieve this outcome we are prototyping a process that combines an educational and leadership development program with what people do for work so that for the people we employ and the people we identify as the next generation of leaders where we are based in southeastern CT.

cultivating mind, body, heart, & Spirit

People are multi-dimensional animals.

starting in the food & hospitality space

Enliven the scene in New London - complement not compete to enhance the market while doing cool things that raise the bar for other actors.

Provide entry level jobs that create a pathway for motivated people with the right attitidue to succeed and lead.

Climate change preparedness by fortifying local production

Portfolio of Potential

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event space with coworking vibe

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farm

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airbnb-ify the downtown

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Our goal is to raise at least $1M to launch the next phases of RD86’s work.

 
 

Financial backing is an important way to get involved but it’s not just about money.

We want to make friends and receive visits from people who get it and want to be part of this effort.

Fill out this form to indicate how you would like to be part of this work.