ENTREPRENEURSHIP & START UP
In Central SC, we know that our economic future hinges not only on a diverse mix of industries and talent, but on an entrepreneurial spirit that drives us forward. That’s why we’re focused on building a business environment where start-ups can succeed. Ranked as one of the top 5 U.S. markets for up-and-coming tech talent, our Region welcomes creatives and entrepreneurs and helps business grow.Industry Brochure
CREATING AN INNOVATIVE FUTURE
Anchored by the University of South Carolina, Columbia has quickly become a destination for young, educated workers gaining more than six-thousand millennials every year. While our city may be smaller than tech giants like Seattle and Austin, we’re big on brainpower and creativity. A low-cost of living and an atmosphere of collaboration coupled with ample co-working space and innovative programs like SC Launch makes bringing ideas to market easier and makes Central SC a hotbed of innovation.
27% tech growth in the past 5 years
Region produces 20% More software & computer science degrees relative to national average
Top 5 market for up-and-coming tech talent
UofSC ranked among top-patent producing universities in the world
65K+ enrolled in higher education
Top 5 city for millennial migration
median age: home to youngest county in the state
Top 5 U.S. city for lowest start-up cost
Made in Central SC
Resources & Support
We have the resources and support that provide a dynamic environment where entrepreneurs, startups and established companies succeed and prosper.
1 Million Cups Columbia
A weekly event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to a thriving peer network in Columbia.
Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship
ACRE supports entrepreneur farmers by hosting agribusiness workshops, running grant competitions, and teaching new and beginning farmers business skills.
Founder Institute (SC)
The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. Since 2009, its structured accelerator programs has helped over 6,000 entrepreneurs raise over $1.75BN in funding.
Public/private partnership focused on sparking an explosion of entrepreneurial activity in the Columbia, SC region. Focuses on providing the space, community, resources, mentoring and learning opportunities fast-growing companies need.
Built with entrepreneurs' dreams in mind, Innovate Columbia is a one-stop shop for connecting with local resources in the Columbia, SC region.
Midlands Tech Business Accelerator
Based on the Midlands Tech Enterprise Campus, provides business incubation space co-located on a technical college campus.
MTC Center for Entrepreneurial Success
Through the Center for Entrepreneurial Success (CES), we will help you navigate the difficult, and often complex, path of taking your idea and turning it into a sustainable and profitable venture.
Opening in Summer 2020, will offer 12 floors of unique workspaces including coworking space, private offices & technology-enabled SmartSuites.
Office of Business Opportunities
The City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities is committed to supporting initiatives that benefit small, minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses located in, or that want to do business with, the City of Columbia.
A collaboration powered by the S.C. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Build Carolina, SC Codes is a platform connecting South Carolinians to the education and resources they need to unlock careers in technology.
Accelerates growth & innovation by providing a unified voice for the statewide technology community.
Supports the commercialization of research, finances start-ups and spin-off companies, and provides formation support and other business services.
Applied research corporation delivering technology solutions to federal and corporate clients, with three locations throughout South Carolina including Columbia.
South Carolina's content toolkit for the pursuit of innovation. Helps creators connect to state resources, network with other entrepreneurs and generates relevant publications and podcasts.
Columbia-based platform & community for creators, independent workers & entrepreneurs. Has two co-working spaces in downtown Columbia.
USC/Columbia Technology Incubator
Helps innovative businessses grow through education, mentoring and community relationships within an established incubation facility.
UofSC Faber Entrepreneurship Center
To remain a global leader in business education and a catalyst for economic development, the Faber Center at South Carolina is helping to develop South Carolina's entrepreneurship program as we encourage and prepare our students to take their entrepreneurial skills into the new global economy.