|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||2||$2,521,820|
For more than 12 years, the University of South Carolina/Columbia Technology Incubator has operated a successful technology incubator in downtown Columbia. The facility has been an incubator to student and faculty startups emerging from the University of South Carolina (USC), a resource for existing business looking to increase competitiveness, and a landing pad for relocating firms entering the Central South Carolina market.
However, in recent years, the incubator experienced significant growth and the current facility was nearing capacity. As a result, the incubator had to slow the rate of acceptance of deserving companies due to space limitations. In addition, the facility had also become inadequate to service the needs of current and proposed clients based on a number of operational, infrastructure, programmatic and financial elements.
In September 2014, EDA awarded $1,974,000 to the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator, the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina Development Foundation to fund construction of a new entrepreneurship and technology commercialization center to serve as the regional hub for USC’s and the region’s entrepreneurship, incubation and acceleration programs. The Center will include a range of resources to support early stage business ventures and will be the first development in a new technology corridor along Catawba Street within the USC Innovista Innovation District.
The vision for the facility is to design and build a center to support the “lifecycle” of modern day technology ventures. The facility will leverage its proximity to USC’s research activities, emerging technologies and student/faculty talent to help create a world class ecosystem. It will facilitate the colocation of entrepreneurs, technology startups, existing/mature technology ventures and the Central South Carolina region’s community of entrepreneurial support organizations to create a powerful mixture of talent, technology, capital and mentoring. The project is estimated to create 698 jobs and leverage $11.9 million in private investment.