Virgin Pulse’s Expansion Plans Move Forward in Providence — 300 Jobs, Millions in Subsidies
Monday, November 20, 2017
According to RINPR, the announcement will be made at the Providence Chamber of Commerce dinner tonight at the RI Convention Center that the plans are finally moving forward.
Virgin Pulse acquired Shape-Up, the Rhode Island-based work wellness company founded by Dr. Rajiv Kumar. The expanded RI footprint will be located in downtown of Fountain Street -- in the building which was housed the Providence Journal exclusively. Now, the office building has been rehabbed for multiple companies. Virgin Pulse is expected to move its Framingham, MA headquarters to Providence.
Last year, GoLocal selected Kumar as one of the “16 Who Made a Difference in 2016.”
The Shape-Up RI founder has come a long way - and fortunately for Rhode Island, has come back to his roots
From launching the successful workplace wellness program in Rhode Island over ten years ago, to growing it into a regional and now global healthcare leader, Kumar recently piqued the interest — and backing - of British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Pulse, who acquired Shape Up this past February.
Fast forward to December, when Virgin Pulse just announced it will be bringing 300 new jobs to Rhode Island in the next five years. Not bad for a kid who dropped out of med school, got his start by winning state and Brown University business plan competitions, and is now proving to be a substantial economic catalyst for not just Providence, but the State of Rhode Island (all while going back to med school, to boot).
"Prior to its acquisition by Virgin Pulse, ShapeUp benefited immensely from strong partnerships with the Rhode Island state government, local institutions, and community leaders. I'm thrilled that Virgin Pulse saw the potential that exists here and decided not only to stay, but to grow our footprint in this supportive and vibrant community," said Dr. Kumar, who now serves as the Chief Medical Office for Virgin Pulse.
And elected officials are just as thrilled — if not more so.
"When Virgin Pulse bought ShapeUp, the worst kept secret among business leaders was that they were looking to move north to Boston,” said Governor Raimondo. “Instead of losing 65 good-paying jobs to Boston, we're going to create nearly 300.”
Kumar might have been focused on the health of workplace employees, but he impacted the health of Rhode Island's economy just as much, if not more.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
- Virgin Pulse Receives More than $5 Million in Subsidies from RI
- RI Commerce Corp to Pay $50,000 Penalty in 38 Studios Settlement with SEC
- Top RI Entrepreneur Posner Criticizes RI Commerce’s $3.3M to eMoney
- GOP, RI Commerce, and Speaker Say Any Stadium Funding Will Have To Be Approved By RI Legislature
- Chafee Says $40M for Wexford is the Wrong Priority, RI Commerce Votes for Funding
- RI Commerce Vice Chair and Raimondo Appointee is Massachusetts Resident
- Commerce’s Pryor Announces Program Expansion, Talks 195, Superman, and PawSox
- LIVE: Gary Sase “The Money Man” Talks Trump Budget, Commerce RI, and 195
- RI Commerce Corp Seeking Proposals for New Business, Tourism Advertising Agencies
- School Safety Assessment Deadlines, Chamber of Commerce Lunch: This Week at the State House
- RI Commerce Lures Vistaprint with $2.2M in Subsidies, Unaware Competitor MOO.com is RI-Based
- RI Small Business Printers Infuriated Over Commerce’s $2.2M to Vistaprint, Agency Defends Move
- RI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Endorses New PawSox Stadium at Slater Mill
- Federal HIll Commerce Assoc.‘s Tarro Highlights the Columbus Day Festival on LIVE’s The Taste
- RI Submits Last Minute Amazon HQ2 Proposal, Commerce Refuses to Disclose Incentives
- Head of RI Black Business Association Rips Raimondo and Commerce for Lack of Support
- Sasse Says RI Commerce Failed to Properly Review PawSox Deal
- Betaspring Blames Commerce Corp, Denies Responsibility for $800K in Misspending
- RI Commerce Promotes Raimondo Video; RIers Lash Out on Social Media
- RI Commerce’s 17 Deals: More than 70% Goes to Out-of-State Companies
- RI Commerce Spends Two-Thirds of its $12M in Contracts with Out-of-State Companies
- Sasse Calls on General Assembly to Audit RI Commerce Corp
- Critics Blast RI Commerce Out-of-State Spending
- Did Commerce RI Have Another Iceland Moment in Amazon Proposal?