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Upstate Spring 14 Magazine Online

Incubator Business Fostering First Tenants BY CAROLYN FARR SHANESY New tenants are bringing life to the University of South Carolina Upstate’s business incubator. The Center for Innovation and Business Engagement (CIBE), located on the third floor of the University’s George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, is already starting to see the fruits of its labor. Three startup businesses – Care.IT, credda LLC and an unnamed company – are already working inside the 20,000-square-foot versatile office space. CIBE Director Erin Ouzts said they are already starting to see some successes. Credda, which finances items through a lease to purchase agreement, set up shop in “The George” in January 2012, but moved into the incubator space in January 2014. “The University truly cradled this company,” Ouzts said. “Our tenants have access to a range of startup services, from mentorship and advising from university faculty to access to classroom and presentation space.” With a good foundation, credda was ready when their first revenue customer asked to use their services. Ouzts said companies will stay inside the working space until their cash flow is at a point where the business is financially sound. Sean Elwell moved his company Care.IT into the space in February. The company, which got its start last year in the Iron Yard’s inaugural digital health accelerator, hopes to drive down the cost of health insurance. Elwell and his employees recently participated in the DIG South Conference in Charleston. As the companies develop and grow, Ouzts emphasized that it creates the perfect opportunity for students to gain some real knowledge about the business world though internship opportunities that the incubator creates. Aiding economic development through entrepreneurial incubation is the last of three objectives outlined by USC Upstate when it chose to bring its business school downtown. “Students will see first hand what it’s like to take a risk and become a business owner,” Ouzts said. “They’ll also get to see what happens as the business develops and the business takes off.” For more information, contact Erin Ouzts at 864-503-7353 or e-mail eouzts@uscupstate.edu. 2014 Spring Upstate Magazine 14 


Upstate Spring 14 Magazine Online
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