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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests Nearly $2 Million to Support Entrepreneurs and Startups in South Carolina

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.9 million investment to the University of South Carolina (USC)/Columbia Technology Incubator. The grant will support the building of a new startup center to serve as the regional hub for the development of entrepreneurship, incubation, and acceleration programs for early stage ventures across South Carolina. According to the grantee, the investment is expected to create 698 jobs and generate $11.9 million in private investment in the first five years of the project.

“The Obama Administration and Commerce Department have prioritized supporting American innovation and entrepreneurship, which are key drivers of U.S. competitiveness, job growth and long-term economic growth,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will support an important infrastructure project that support public-private partnerships with the University of South Carolina to help local entrepreneurs and businesses grow.”

“We are extremely appreciative of the Economic Development Administration for this $1.9 million investment in the University of South Carolina/Columbia Technology Incubator,” said William Kirkland, Executive Director of the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator and USC’s Office of Economic Engagement. I am certain that this new partnership will lead to more entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs in the Midlands while creating an exciting technology corridor in our Innovista district.”

EDA’s investment will support the construction a 50,000-square-foot technology and incubation facility. As the first development in a new technology corridor in USC’s Innovista Innovation District, the center is expected to serve as a critical facility for integrating USC and the Columbia Metro region's entrepreneurial activities. This facility will be able to take advantage of its proximity to the University of South Carolina's research activities, emerging technologies in the region, and student/faculty talent to help create a world class regional innovation ecosystem.

In addition, the investment will facilitate the co-location of entrepreneurs, technology startups, existing and mature technology ventures, and the region's community of entrepreneurial support organizations to create a mixture of talent, technology, capital, and mentoring. The grantee expects this co-location to facilitate the launch and acceleration of a new generation of technology ventures in the state.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.