Group Helps Local Entrepreneurs Connect with Business Leaders

October 30, 2017 at 3:43 pm

The University of South Carolina Upstate sponsors a group that began monthly meetings in September, with the goal of giving entrepreneurs with bright ideas access to business leaders who can help them turn those ideas into reality.

Over coffee. Lots of coffee.

One Million Cups was founded by the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Foundation to provide networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. The Spartanburg chapter of 1MC, which is sponsored by the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, has its next meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Hub City Tap House: Home of Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery, and will feature presentations by two local businesses. There is no cost to attend.

Brian Brady, an instructor at the JCBE and cofounder and member of the organizing committee for 1MC Spartanburg, said a typical meeting will include brief presentations by two local startup businesses.

“What this is doing is providing a venue where local entrepreneurs can present about their companies and get feedback from local members of the business community that attend,” Brady said. “Then, if they’re looking for some particular assistance, they can put it out to the attendees. Then the members of the business communities in attendance will ask questions [of] the presenters and provide feedback.”

Ironically, both presenters at Wednesday’s meeting share DNA with the University: Each one is housed in the JCBE GreenHouse Business Incubator, Brady said, and one of them was founded by a full-time USC Upstate student.

The two presenters will be Resiliency Technologies, founded by Robyn and Tim Farrell; and Garcia Tech LLC, founded by Jonathan Garcia, a sophomore at the JCBE. TechHutt a Garcia Tech Brand produces an array of smart-charging solutions for modern devices, while Resiliency Technologies will showcase its Sharpen brand, which delivers research-focused content through mobile apps.

“This is one part of promoting and trying to build the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Spartanburg,” Brady said. “One Million Cups is a recent initiative to help promote entrepreneurship in Spartanburg and to help local entrepreneurs to grow and become successful.”

According to Dr. Mohamed “Mo” Djerdjouri, dean of the JCBE, USC Upstate is happy to work with other stakeholders such as the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce to help local entrepreneurs succeed.

“The Johnson College of Business and Economics and USC Upstate are full partners with the business community and other local stakeholders in the quest to enrich the business ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation in Spartanburg. Thus, we are very excited to be part of this great initiative, which allows local entrepreneurs to engage and connect with the community. We are working as a team to help more startups to launch, more enterprises to grow and create more jobs to keep our young people here and grow our local economy.”