Incubator Brochure

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Incubator Brochure

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    The USC / Columbia Technology Incubator focuses on helping start fast-growth companies here in the Midlands. We are successful in Economic Development because we focus on small highly technical companies, and then we actively incubate those companies towards fast growth to create high paying jobs.

    5 minute ride from the University of South Carolina, located in the center of Midlands. 40,000 sq ft. building provided for $1 a year by the city of Columbia. 49 companies enrolled; 38 housed in the incubator. 31 companies graduated, with an average Employees salaries average $ 63,450 754 high-salary jobs created.

    The Incubator

    USC / Columbia Technology Incubator1225 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201


    How do we do it?

    We nurture Midlands Entrepreneurs and their new Companies by:

    Providing private offices with desks, internet and telephone; meeting rooms, a video conferencing room and a wide range of support from experience mentors and advisors.

    Providing administrative support and advice quickly so that entrepreneurs can concentrate on growing their businesses.

    Helping them to focus on Cash Management concepts. Offering information sessions and consulting services about government ordinances, regulations

    and business licensing.

    Supporting entrepreneurs to help them get ready to access capital and find angel investors to help them along the way.

    Studying and critically examining business plans of our incubating companies. Requiring companies to present their progress and development initiatives to the Incubator

    Advisory Committee on a regular basis.

    Color Printers


    High-Speed Internet

    Business Consulting

    Technical Consulting

    Grant Writing help

    Master Agreements

    Educational Lunches

    Incubator Advisory Committee Advice

    Midlands Tech Staff and Professors

    USC Professors / Interns

    Administrative Assistance


    Access to Service Provider Network

    Mail Room




    Some of our Companies:

    What Services do we provide our incubating Companies?

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    Where do our Start-Up Companies come from? Landing Parties: We are

    working to attract companies located in the United States or Internationally that wish to move or open a subsidy in the Midlands. These companies, known as Landing Parties, are housed in the City of Columbias International Business Center located in the incubator.

    Why is Incubation critical? Incubation dramatically increases the chances of survival for newly formed companies, which

    generally have a very low success rate. Mentoring and nurturing in an incubator is often critical.

    Incubation helps channel the already constrained resources of newly formed companies. Incubation saves valuable time, money and resources allowing companies to grow faster. Incubation provides an opportunity to Commercialize new technologies developed by professors

    by linking a researchers idea with an entrepreneurial mind.

    Incubation provides the opportunity for important peer to peer networking. Incubation provides straight and focused advice from highly experienced mentors on a range of

    topics including- choosing lawyers, financial analysts, and accountants.

    Incubation helps companies find best-fit interns, as well as short and long-term employees.

    Results: The Midlands most efficient and cost effective economic development activity:

    > 754 new jobs created > 224 Jobs (29 percent of total jobs) held by minorities > 31 companies graduated from the program (27 of them are still in the Midlands) > Cost per job to the State of South Carolina is only $941 per job*

    The Survival Rate (at 5 years) of companies nurtured in the incubator is 89% after graduation as compared with a national average of about 50% (U.S Dept. of Commerce).

    The Landing Party program works! 16 landing parties, including 3 international companies, have moved into the USC / Columbia Technology Incubator.

    Awards and Recognition: USC / Columbia Technology Incubator was nominated for the National Business Incubation

    Associations Incubator of the Year award (2008 and 2009).

    USC / Columbia Technology Incubator and the City of Columbias Office of Economic Development received an award for Excellence in Economic Development from the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

    USC / Columbia Technology Incubator received a National Award for Excellence from the International Economic Development Council.

    USC / Columbia Technology Incubators model is being used by the SC Department of Commerce as a model for other cities, counties and municipalities that want to start an incubator program.

    USC & Midlands Technical College:Professors, Researchers, Students

    Entrepreneurs from countiesin the Midlands

    US based companiescoming to the Midlands


    More of our Companies:

    The Incubator has the potential of significantly changing the

    economic profile of Columbia;in fact it already has

    - Jim Gambrell,Director of Economic Development, City of Columbia

    Joel Stevenson, Executive Director,Email:


    Agata Chydzinski, Director of Operations,803-545-4423

    *Cost per job for the state of South Carolina is calculated by dividing the total number of funding received from the state by total number of jobs created by the incubator.

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    Our Incubating Companies:

    Come help them grow!Donors of Money, Services and Mentors are needed. These donations can be very rewarding for you and the Midlands.

    Incubation Benefits

    Each USC / Columbia Technology Incubator Company receives:

    Mentoring and Business Consulting: The incubator offers mentoring services by its staff, members and by entrepreneurs in residence. All incubator companies are required to meet the director for monthly company progress reviews

    > mentoring services are provided in several areas including Strategic planning, assessment in Marketing, PR, and a host of other areas

    Performance management: Employee assessment, team building, coaching. Performance review and elevator pitch preparation under supervision of potential Investors

    (Angels or VC)

    Education, networking and advisory services: Business knowledge and experience through the Moore School of Business faculty and Staff

    Marketing and management studies through management professors from USCs Moore School of Business.

    PR and Promotion teams through USCs School of journalism and mass communication: The school of journalism and mass communication provides free Public Relations, advertising solutions to incubator companies (logo design, Brochures, Website).

    Service provider access (Attorneys, Accountants, Consultants etc.) Incubator companies network to share ideas and help exchange best practices Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce membership: FREE for incubator companies,

    reduced rate for incubator graduates

    Contacts and Mentors with city of Columbia, Richland County and Lexington County Grant writing workshops: Access to the following internal services:

    > Network Management and administration > Panels for reviewing fund-raising initiatives > Translation services > Part-time management, marketing, accounting and human resource help > Letter writing > Facility maintenance > Help with city licensing > Graduate student consultants to tenants > Mentoring and business leader access > Tenent services; office equipment, services and supplies > Equipped conference rooms

    USC / Columbia Technology Incubator:The USC / Columbia Technology Incubator represents a best-in-class environment in the Southeast that provides nurturing and support for the development of homegrown, Midlands area companies that are based on knowledge, technology, research or intellectual property. We are viewed as an enabler of success and a source of inspiration for start-up companies during their critical early stages. Success of these companies means real and affordable economic development in our region and our state.

    Our Companies

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    Access to Midlands Technical Colleges: > Faculty, students and staff > Employment services > Enterprise campus facilities > Other campus facilities

    Access to USCs: > Faculty, students and staff > Moore School of Business: Companies can request the help of professors and students or participate in class workshops. > International MBA students who provide assistance with business plans, strategic marketing and financial plans, investor packets and HR Support. > College of Journalism and Mass Communications: Provides public relations and advertising solutions. > College of Engineering: Provides technical help. > College of Arts and Sciences: Provides technical help. > Libraries are available for in-depth research > Colleges and other University Buildings for utilizing computer labs, conference rooms, lounges etc. > Dining halls, book stores and general infrastructure

    Why Should I invest in The Incubator? Develops high paying jobs in an extremely cost efficient way. Cost per job for funds

    received from the State of South Carolina is only $941 per job.

    > Incubator has created 754 high salary jobs to date. Average employee salary for graduates is $63,450.

    Assists in decreasing unemployment rate of the Midlands. Fosters the participation of the Midlands