Startup.SC, a nonprofit startup incubator based in Litchfield, has selected five companies to participate in its first cohort. To be selected, the companies must be web- and technology-based businesses with ability to scale to $10 million over the next five years.
“This first cohort is a phenomenal representation of what we want to nurture in Georgetown County,” said Brian Tucker, the county’s director of economic development. “The ideas behind these businesses solve traditional market demands by leveraging technology and innovation. I have gotten to know these CEOs over the past months and I am very excited to see these businesses bloom into huge successes.”
Out of 21 applicants, five entrepreneurs were selected: Barb Royal, CEO and co-founder ofKidsCanGiveToo.com; Ray Antonino, founder of FieldVine; Graham Ladd, founder of GeoTraks; Jerry Harrison, founder and CEO of LunaDesk; and Peter Gasca, founder of Yumbev. Following is a description of each of the five companies:
- FieldVine provides online productivity tools that enable small and mid-size service companies to view in real-time the status of all projects, and collaborate with clients, customers and trade partners without the need for time consuming phone calls and searching through emails.
- KidsCanGiveToo.com LLC is an online birthday party management service that makes it easy for kids to share their birthday gifts with charities. Custom email invitations explain to your guests not to bring a wrapped gift, but instead RSVP and make a donation to your child's secure online account. After the party the money is split between the charity of choice and the birthday boy or girl, who gets a Visa gift card.
- LunaDesk is an online employee-management platform for small to mid-sized businesses. LunaDesk's intelligent communication platform and incredibly simple interface reduces employee absenteeism, saves time scheduling and training employees, increases customer satisfaction, and saves businesses money.
- Yumbev wants to more effectively change people’s tastes and preferences for craft beer by developing a family of microbreweries that appeal to a broader set of consumers. The ultimate goal is to do for craft beer what Starbucks has done for coffee.
- GeoTraks is a mobile app scavenger hunt that offers a fun way to discover or rediscover a city, while simultaneously driving foot traffic into brick and mortar businesses.
Over the next 10 weeks, Startup.SC will provide the selected entrepreneurs with mentorship, guidance and resources to help them take their ideas to the next level. 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.
“We were impressed with the first round of applicants and are excited at the potential of our current cohort,” said Ryan Smith, executive director of Startup.SC. “They stood out to us because of their drive and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.”
For anyone interested in contributing to economic development through Startup.SC or submitting an idea for a business, visit www.startup.sc.