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University of South Carolina


Columbia, SC

Build to Scale Program

Capital Challenge

Project Name

South Carolina Rising

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



To help accelerate companies through this technology development phase, the University of South Carolina will organize, launch, and operate South Carolina Rising, a pre-seed/seed investment fund. This new, state-wide investment fund will identify, qualify, and provide equity investments to promising early-stage technology companies based in South Carolina. In other regions, this approach has demonstrated decreased risks inherent in traditional angel investment, and it will benefit the state by expanding the pool of capital available to emerging, high-growth technology companies. This will, in turn, create sustainable, high-paying jobs.

The fund will provide pre-seed and seed equity investments to high-potential early-stage technology companies headquartered in South Carolina. These $50,000 to $75,000 investments will provide critical capital enabling the companies to advance their technology development plans making them more attractive to later stage investors. The university will collaborate closely with organizations and firms that are actively investing in South Carolina companies and looking for investment opportunities that are a good fit with their investment capital and thesis. Since the fund will have a commitment to equitable inclusion across age, gender, race, and religious beliefs, the investments will seek to support a variety of experiences and perspectives to help generate better ideas that will solve the complex problems of a changing—and increasingly diverse—world.

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Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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