The state’s Innovation Plan, released by the Department of Commerce in 2013, outlines several steps the state must follow in order to attract high-tech, high-growth businesses - especially entrepreneurial small businesses. One part of this plan is a $24 million grant program to foster technology-based economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation through university collaboration, local government participation or public-private partnerships.
The latest issue of the Association’s Cities Mean Business magazine features four winners of Commerce’s first innovation grants. These leaders in the state’s entrepreneurial movement will be featured tomorrow morning during a session at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Charleston.
Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt will lead a conversation with these four dynamic entrepreneurs who will discuss what local elected leaders must consider to make their hometowns “entrepreneur ready.” Panelists are
- Ben Chastain, Director of Duke Energy Innovation Center, Hartsville
- Nate DaPore, President and CEO, PeopleMatter, Charleston
- Nikki Seibert, Director of Sustainable Agriculture, Lowcountry LocalFirst, Charleston
- David Warner, Director of the Technology Incubator at Knowledge Park, Rock Hill
Read the article here (p6) and also learn what Commerce’s Director of Innovation, Amy Love, has to say about the state’s focus on growing an entrepreneurial culture (p5).