By Bob Quinn and Matt Bell
South Carolina is known for many things and being a fertile ground for tech startups is now a rapidly emerging trend. is working hard to continue this trend by funding and supporting viable technology-based startups that are so fundamental to growing our state’s economy.
In FY2020, SCRA’s programs – SC Academic Innovations, SC Industry Solutions, and SC Launch – awarded $2.4 million in grants to South Carolina startups and universities to create jobs, advance research capabilities, commercialize technology, expand product offerings, and fund costs for businesses to relocate to South Carolina.
In addition to this grant funding, during the last fiscal year, SCRA’s affiliate, , Inc. invested $3.1 million in seed funding into 16 South Carolina startups. This included $1 million in investments and loans for companies providing solutions for issues related to COVID-19 as well as assistance for SC Launch, Inc. portfolio companies that were adversely affected by the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic.
Since its inception in 2006, SC Launch, Inc. has invested over $35 million to South Carolina startups. This has led to over $1.9 billion in subsequent investments into those companies from venture capitalists, angel investors, etc. The amount of this follow-on funding received in FY2020, alone, totaled over $329 million. This 55:1 leverage of SC Launch, Inc. to private capital is a true testament to the quality of companies in which SC Launch, Inc. has invested. All of this translates into jobs and economic growth for our state.
Although we are seeing continued success in the generation of South Carolina businesses, a lot of work still needs to be done to develop and support these opportunities. SCRA’s SC Launch, Inc., Cultivation Capital, BIP Capital, and VentureSouth, to name a few, are continuing to grow the ecosystem and are building economic momentum by connecting South Carolina’s technology-based solutions with state, regional, national, and international market needs. It is through the support of these programs that investors are finding ways to invest in South Carolina’s future. However, increased focus must be placed on growing the state’s pool of growth-stage capital. This will provide South Carolina-based startups with the ability to acquire the necessary funds to stay within the state and grow its economy even further.
This content was originally published here.