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New program to invest in S.C. startups

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A $400,000 federal grant will be used to create a new statewide investment program to identify, qualify and invest in promising startups through the University of South Carolina’s Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Engagement.  

South Carolina Rising, a partnership with the university’s South Carolina Research Foundation, will use a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship as part of that organization’s Build to Scale capital challenge program.   

“We would like to thank the EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for choosing our proposal to be part of this program,” Bill Kirkland, executive director of the university’s Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Engagement, said in a news release. “The creation of South Carolina Rising is all about making sure that entrepreneurs have all the tools they need to start and build a successful company right here. This investment in our startup community demonstrates UofSC’s commitment to continuing to build a thriving innovation ecosystem across the state.” 

The university is one of 17 organizations and the first higher education institution in state history to be awarded the grant, according to the release. The federal program aims to increase capital in underserved communities and provide operational support for early-stage investment funds, angel networks or investor training programs.  

The EDA funds have been matched by a group of local partners which will collaborate with the university to look for investment opportunities in emerging, high-growth technology companies, according to the release.  

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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