The Myrtle Beach, Conway, Georgetown area is not widely known by the rest of the world as a place for raising large rounds of venture capital or for bootstrapping new inventions. However in recent years there have been several groups forming in various locations around the Grand Strand to change that very perception.
This isn’t just any one group of formerly successful entrepreneurs. It is actually a collection of existing groups coming out of their silos to build the entrepreneurial community together. You may have even heard of some (or all) of them.
The Conway Innovation Center and the Georgetown Innovation Centers are both initiatives of 5th T Innovation, and are partnered with academic institutions across the state – including Clemson and Coastal Carolina University.
The Grand Strand Technology Council is a nonprofit organization that has been serving Horry and Georgetown County for the past eight years. They are most popular in the entrepreneurial community for the packed out movie theater “pitch nights” and Startup.SC initiative.
The South Carolina Angel Network is an affiliation of the leading angel investing groups in South Carolina. These groups consist of more than 200 individual angel investors that meet frequently to analyze the best early stage companies from around our region - and support them with their financial and intellectual capital.
Entrepreneurial Explorers is serial entrepreneur Bill Stanton’s Meetup.com Group of local independent business owners, investors, and local idea enthusiasts. They are a group focused on fueling that passion and drive that it takes for a person to execute a great idea.
Each of these groups bring a unique specialty to the table: Manufacturing resources, micro lending, technology intelligence, access to capital, and the entrepreneurial spirit. However there is one common core that all of these groups share:
They believe that the Grand Strand is perfectly positioned to be a hub for startups, technology, and innovation. They all believe that this unifying effort will be the difference maker in our coastline’s budding entrepreneurial economy.
This collective initiative will keep the name Entrepreneurial Explorers, and aims to be a high-energy initiative of challenging and inspiring entrepreneurs into action along with the resources and support network that they need. This group will debut their plans for supporting the local community’s business ideas at the Summer Edition of their favorite community-wide event: Pitch Night.
To learn more and register for this event visit www.gstechcouncil.org/pitchnight
(Original article published in VIP Magazine)