South Carolina is becoming one of the best places to build a startup, but most of the early-stage entrepreneurs we speak to aren't aware of the local tech resources that are available to help them.
With applications for the South Carolina Founder Institute now open, we're excited to release the South Carolina Startup Resource Guide, which is currently in Draft v1 below! It was developed by the South Carolina Founder Institute and local leaders:
This is just a draft, and while we spent many hours on this research, more input is needed. Please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list.
Are you looking to build a startup in South Carolina? Then apply to the South Carolina Founder Institute today!
Text version included below, for ease of searching:
There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.
1. Idea Stage
This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.
- South Carolina Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters)
- Inspirational South Carolina Startup Events: Open, inclusive startup events that often focus on ideation. (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
- Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing tech events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire).
- Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development events and startup bootcamps for entrepeneurs. (Includes comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, General Assembly, Lean Startup Machine, code camps, etc)
- Team Formation: Events for Finding Co-founders in South Carolina. (i.e. tech networking events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching)
- Build First Product: Hackathons & product events in South Carolina.
2. Launch Stage
In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.
- Establish: South Carolina law firms & banks for startups
- South Carolina Workspaces: Co-working and flexible workspaces for startups in South Carolina.
- Formalize: South Carolina accounting, development and HR tools for early-stage startups.
- South Carolina Incubators: Groups that prepare companies for seed investment and provide advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources)
- South Carolina Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
- Pitch & Demo Events: Tech events that showcase South Carolina startups for investment.
3. Growth Stage
Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.
- South Carolina Investor Networking: Events and groups that connect professional investors with founders.
- Major Media: Mainstream local business press that often showcase local startups.
- South Carolina Angel Investors: Seed-stage investors and micro-vcs.
- South Carolina Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond
- Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
- Expansion: South Carolina Growth accelerators and consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
4. South Carolina Startup Success Stories
Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.
- Acumen IT
- Butcher Shoppes International, LLC
- Zipit Wireless
To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.
1. South Carolina Startup Leaders
Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.
- Marty Bauer
- Peter Barth
- Jeremy Boeh
- Dodd Caldwell
- Leighton Cubbage
- Eric Dodds
- Matt Gevaert
- Matthew Klein
- David Pence
- John Saddington
- Madiken Scholl
- Damien Stevens
- Mason Steward
- Peter Waldschmidt
- John Warner
- Phil Yanov
- Karl McCollesterMojoe.net
2. South Carolina Government Startup Resources
Public organizations that facilitate local economic development
Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.
- Local South Carolina Tech Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)
- South Carolina Tech Employers
Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the South Carolina Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a draft, and more input is needed!)