CELEBRATE | October 14, 2020

South Carolina Launches First Student Pitch Competition in Conjunction with GEW

Photo Credit: South Carolina Innovates

Global Entrepreneurship Week has once again sparked the launch of a transformational event and showcased the strength of collaboration in South Carolina.  

Fifteen colleges and universities representing over 120,000 students have united to launch the first statewide student pitch competition in South Carolina’s history – SC Innovates.  

What started as a “what if” idea in August of this year has quickly matured into a collaborative group of 15 colleges and universities rallying together to launch this catalytic event. Together with partnership from the South Carolina Department of Commerce and South Carolina Research Authority, the inaugural SC Innovates pitch competition will be launched in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) on November 18th, 2020.  

Finalists will be competing for thousands of dollars in cash prizes as well as follow-on mentoring with seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. Any student enrolled in at least a one-credit course this fall at a South Carolina-based college or university is eligible to enter the competition, which opens this week and closes Sunday, November 1, 2020.  

A handful of GEW community organizers across the state chose to view the practical limitations of pandemic-related challenges as an opportunity for further collaboration across the state. Colleges and universities quickly jumped on board, each one contributing time, resources and support to bring this idea to life.  

The organizers feel this event will serve as a unique opportunity to showcase South Carolina’s student innovators, connect them with other like-minded students and generally kick-start more new ventures in the State.  

Ideas will be submitted online with an “idea concept card”, a pitch deck and a pitch video. Ideas will then be judged by a volunteer team of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors based on clarity and impact of: 

  1. The problem,

  1. The solution,

  1. The revenue / sustainability model,

  1. The social / environmental impact,

  1. To what extent is the venture innovative, and

  1. To what extent is the venture feasible / executable.

Semi-finalists will be announced the week of November 9 and will present at the Live Virtual Finale on Wednesday, November 18, which is free and open to all participants and the public.

This competition is co-sponsored by: Furman UniversityCoker UniversityBenedict CollegeUniversity of South CarolinaClemson UniversityCollege of CharlestonColumbia CollegeFrancis Marion UniversityGreenville Technical CollegeMedical University of South CarolinaMidlands Technical CollegeUniversity of South Carolina UpstateWinthrop University and Wofford CollegeSC State University, with additional sponsorship provided by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and South Carolina Research Authority.  

Visit our webpage to get started on your application. 

For more information, please contact one of the lead co-organizers: