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Furman Innovation & Entrepreneurship to Host SC Innovates 2020

SC Innovates 2020 is the first statewide pitch competition of its kind in South Carolina.

Four groups from Furman will participate in the Nov. 18 competition. Furman News

On Nov. 18, Furman’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) will host SC Innovates 2020, the first statewide pitch competition of its kind in South Carolina (SC). What started as a crazy “what if” idea by Bryan Davis, the managing director of Furman I&E, has quickly transformed into a massive and unprecedented event. Fifteen universities and colleges across the state have each pitched in $500 to the prize pool, which now totals near $10,000.  

According to Davis, this event is “an investment for leaders into broader impact.” Regardless of the winner, SC Innovates  offers a large opportunity for deeper community connection and for students to “cross-pollinate.” Any SC student enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour was able to apply for the competition. After receiving 120 pitches and 77 full applications, the Nov. 18 competition will feature the 15 semi-finalists via Zoom. The competitor pool will eventually be narrowed down to 5 finalists and 1 winner. There will also be $500 awarded to one participant who is deemed the “People’s Choice Award,” based on being the most personable and likable according to the audience in attendance.

Furman has 4 diverse groups competing in the competition. These groups have pitches that vary from providing menstrual products to middle-school girls, to tiny homes for people on the autism spectrum. Beyond Furman students, Davis shared that the competition also received a range of pitches related to medical technologies, nonprofits for social change, and much more. Furman I&E hopes to see a large number of Furman students in attendance at this virtual event not only to support their peers, but to also see the impressive ideas that college students in their community have to share.  

In addition to hosting SC Innovates 2020, the Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office has been doing great work elsewhere. This week, the office was named Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center by the Global Consortium, which is the highest award of its kind for emerging innovation centers such as Furman I&E.  

According to a statement from Furman I&E executive director Anthony Herrara, “This recognition is a testament to Furman’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship and the unparalleled support by the campus community, alumni, parents, community members, administration and Board of Trustees.” Furman I&E was established just over two years ago, and the global recognition reflects its rapid growth and impressive programming.

The SC Innovates 2020 competition is free to attend. Anyone interested can RSVP here, and should tune in on Nov. 18 at 5:30pm.

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