S.C. Commerce Office of Innovation announces grant awards

14 organizations across the state receive funds to support innovation and entrepreneurship

The South Carolina Department of Commerce Office of Innovation today announced $670,000 in grant awards to 14 organizations as part of the Relentless Challenge grant series. With the mission of progressing and supporting technology-based economic development projects, commercialization of new ideas and the next generation of industry-leading companies, the Relentless Challenge targets strategic investments in localized initiatives.

"The knowledge economy represents a vital part of South Carolina's present and future. To ensure our industry partners have access to cutting-edge technology and a high-tech workforce, the continued growth of innovation in S.C. is critical," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "Congratulations to these 14 awardees, and we look forward to all they'll achieve in the years to come."

Since 2013, the South Carolina Department of Commerce Office of Innovation has awarded more than $7 million in local innovation projects to 41 organizations. Relentless Challenge grants are a pillar of the Office of Innovation, connecting the state's people-driven ecosystem through resource development to support the business community in its relentless pursuit of transformational ideas.

Projects commence in early 2021. The 14 projects are:

  • City of Myrtle Beach - Building Myrtle Beach's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Don Ryan Center of Innovation - High-Tech Expansion in the Bluffton Region
  • Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce - Cultivating the Future of Hartsville and the Pee Dee
  • Greenville Local Development Corporation - The "GVL Starts" Program
  • GrowCo - Project Flywheel
  • Increasing H.O.P.E. - Accelerator Pilot Program
  • McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism & Free Enterprise - Connecting Students to Startups: Collaborative Online Programs for Students & Startups
  • MUSC Research Foundation - Entrepreneurial Support Through Education, Formation and Funding, Networking and Mentoring
  • MUSC Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences (ZIAN) - Inspire, Innovate, Commercialize (I2C)
  • NEXT Upstate - NEXT Learning Labs Extension, Office Hours, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Internship Program Extension
  • People in Partnership - "Chain Spark" - A Blockchain Startup Launch Program & Incubator
  • Piedmont Technical College - Workforce Immersion Experiences for Educators
  • Trident Technical College - Virtual Entrepreneur Center at Trident Technical College
  • Venture Carolina - Venture Carolina Center for Entrepreneur and Investor Education