The University of South Carolina

USC Faber Entrepreneurship Center 

  • The Faber Entrepreneurship Center exists to spur entrepreneurship within the University of South Carolina. Focused on students, it provides exposure to entrepreneurial concepts through curriculum and programming as part of the educational experience. The Center’s USC Instigator program serves as a test pad for students looking to develop a business concept by leveraging the expertise of faculty and staff to provide guidance.
  • Dean Kress, Director (803-777-7015

USC McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise 

  • The McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise promotes scholarly activity, educates students about the role of free enterprise and entrepreneurship in enhancing economic growth, and encourages students to contribute and participate through entrepreneurism in creating a better America. Its programs include the annual McNair Entrepreneurism Showcase, on-campus Entrepreneurship & Innovation Living and  Learning Community for students, StartupWind Entrepreneurship Platform for students and alumni, a McNair Institute Student Advisory Council and entrepreneurship course offerings.

USC Proving Ground

  • The Proving Ground is an annual entrepreneurship challenge to accelerate University of South Carolina students’ and alumni’s innovative business ideas. The live Shark Tank-like pitch competition, hosted at the Darla Moore School of Business, awards cash prizes in categories for both undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni.
  • Dean Kress, Director (803-777-7015

USC Technology Commercialization Office

  • USC’s Technology Commercialization Office helps inventors and industry representatives navigate the process commercializing their research out of the university. They guide inventors through protect their inventions, assist industry representatives in determining the most efficient ways to team up with USC researchers and use USC innovations, and provide entrepreneurs with resources on licensing USC technologies and pursuing SBIR/STTR funding.
  • Chad Hardaway, Director ((803)-545-4423

USC Virtual Entrepreneurial Support Platform 

  • The USC Virtual Entrepreneurial Support Platform is a free digital innovation center assisting USC students and alumni with new venture development, offered by the USC McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism & Free Enterprise and supported by the SC Department of Commerce. The StartupWind-based platform enables entrepreneurs to create profiles and business model canvases while connecting with advisors and mentors.
  • Katherine Swartz Hilton, Special Initiatives (803-777-1717

USC Digital Transformation Lab 

  • USC’s Digital Transformation Lab represents a collection of spaces for research collaborations at the highest level, used by students, entrepreneurs, researchers, small businesses and industry partners. Partners from companies like IBM, Samsung, Siemens and more work with labs like the Industrial Internet of Things Research Lab to conduct groundbreaking research in areas including aerospace, robotics and more.
  • Chad Hardaway, Deputy Director, USC Office of Economic Engagement (


  • i3 is a social-sector innovation incubator based out of the USC College of Social Work. It provides education, consulting and traditional incubation services – mentoring, networking, testing and more – to students and community organizations.
  • USC College of Social Work – 512 Pendleton St., Columbia, SC 29208 (


  • IdeaLabs offers ready-built, leasable wet lab spaces for researchers and businesses both within and outside the University of South Carolina.
  • Chad Hardaway, Deputy Director, USC Office of Economic Engagement ( (

Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center

  • The Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, housed at the University of South Carolina, expands the pipeline of highly-qualified, entrepreneurial pharmacists in South Carolina through training, research and career opportunities. Its technological resources are available to innovative life sciences companies for research partnerships and more.
  • Patti Fabel, Executive Director (803-777-4341, (