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Millionaires to partner with start-up ideas in the Lowcountry

Millionaires to partner with start-up ideas in the Lowcountry

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

You most likely haven't heard of the Tarian Shoulder Stabilizer, yet. It's a shoulder brace for athletes aimed at reducing injuries. In proto-type now, the concept was developed by Riley Csernica, of Mount Pleasant, and Chelsea Ex-Lubeski, of Goose Creek, while students at Clemson University.

Post graduate school, the women used  coffee shops to continue development. Last month, they moved into the Harbor Accelerator.

"This is a place we can stay, work, and get organizer," Csernica said. "It also provides a lot of motivation."

That's because everyone who works at the Harbor Accelerator is developing a new idea, and they get help to make their concepts into viable businesses.

"The impact I think we can have here is growing high impact business that create jobs for people in the community," John Osborne, Director of Harbor Accelerator, explained.

The Harbor Accelerator is a start up business in its self at just 70 days old.

The concept came from a Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce trip to Nashville last year. The city has a similar incubator.

The program in Mount Pleasant connects eight start-ups with 24 mentors, touting impressive resumes.

Each owns or sold a multi-million dollar enterprise from a variety of industries.  Patrick Bryant leads the mentor team.

"Anytime you can accelerate businesses, you're going to create more jobs. You're going to create more opportunity in the market place," he explained

Four start-ups have been selected. There's room for four more in the 14 week program.

Along with mentors, the companies connect with business experts helping with everything from accounting to marketing.  All the services are free. The program is supported by local corporations and private donors.

At the end of the 14 week program, Dig South will host a pitch event for the companies. They owners will get a shot to pitch their ideas to angel investors in hopes of securing funding to expand further.

 So far, there have been 112 applications for the program. Of those, 75 were from outside the Charleston region.

The current start-ups at the Accelerator include a medical brace, an app, a program to scramble tests and help teachers grade exams, and an interactive toy for kids.

The program will be offered twice year. The first program begins January 2, 2014. The second round begins in July.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.

 

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