NEXT, the Greenville, SC-based entrepreneurial support organization, has announced a new program named “NEXT Launchpad” to showcase, celebrate and help launch up-and-coming early stage businesses.
Executive Director Eric Weissmann told the Upstate Business Journal that “the idea is to plug start-ups in with a network of experts in various fields, all who have a desire to see Greenville’s already-thriving entrepreneurial scene move to the next level.” Those areas include: (1) design and branding; (2) valuation; (3) legal; (4) human resources and team development; and (5) finance and accounting services.
Each of the areas has a corporate sponsor, and start-ups can apply to participate in as many of them as desired. That said, start-ups can only win in one category for the $25,000 grand prize courtesy of the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA). To be eligible to apply, the entrepreneur or business must be located or have plans to locate within the Upstate region of South Carolina.
Category winners will be announced at a community event on April 7 followed by a celebratory happy hour recognizing all the innovation happening in the Upstate.