County gives $50K to Startup.SC

  • Friday, September 5, 2014

Georgetown County has agreed to provide $50,000 to Startup.SC, a non-profit startup incubator organization in the Litchfield Exchange.

The funds came from the county’s economic development budget.

The investment will be matched from an innovation grant provided by the S.C. Department of Commerce Office of Innovation.

Brian Tucker, economic development director for Georgetown County, said Startup.SC fills a void in the county for helping small businesses with the potential to grow succeed in that growth.

“[It has] technical expertise and experience launching companies,” Tucker said.

“Having [it] in Georgetown County is a huge win for us.”

He also stated that there are a number of factors that create a healthy, sustainable economy in Georgetown County.

“We have been able to successfully balance our wonderful quality of life, which brings almost a million visitors a year to our county, with our strong industrial and manufacturing base, which offers stable quality employment to thousands,” Tucker said.

“This investment in scalable startups will round out all of the various components to offer opportunities to all of our existing residents, as well as allow us to recruit the best and brightest to move our community forward.”

Ryan Smith, executive director of Startup.SC, said, “We are excited about the future of Startup.SC, the support of the county, and expect great things from the entrepreneurs and Startup.SC.”

Smith will work to build an ecosystem of investors, mentors, donors and entrepreneurs that will attract top tech talent to the Grand Strand.

Support for entrepreneurs will include educating them on choosing co-founders, creating pitch decks, finding investors, taking on investment, and providing a platform to launch their businesses.

“With support of this magnitude, the probability of success is much greater” said John Sanders, chairman of the Grand Strand Tech Council and a personal contributor to Startup.SC.

Sanders made a personal contribution to Startup.SC because he believes it will aid in enhancing the region’s competitiveness for attracting tech talent and that the entrepreneurial activities related to technology and the Internet will cause growth.

Startup.SC is working to build scalable technology-based businesses with the ability to scale to $10 million over the next five years.

The grant from the Department of Commerce allows for up to $250,000 in matching funds.

According to the organization’s website, Startup.SC is now raising funds from public and private sources to receive those matching funds and complete their mission.

The organization is continuing its efforts to fully utilize all of the grant funds to support expanding operations.

Tucker explained that the $50,000 contribution to Startup.SC is a one-time investment and will not be recurring.

“We wanted to help them build a foundation,” Tucker said.

“The likelihood of them staying here is higher if we are already supporting their efforts.”

He added that the county is also trying to create a partnership between Startup.SC and the Georgetown County New Business Center, also located in the Litchfield Exchange.

“They are really working in collaboration with one another,” he said.

“They are trying to approach this thing from both directions and capture whatever really good ideas are out there.”

For more information about Startup.SC, or to make a donation, visit www.startup.sc.

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