Life Sciences Industry Cluster receives grant from Office of Innovation

Funds used to provide life science start-ups with resources

Quick Start logoSouth Carolina’s life sciences industry cluster (SCBIO), received a $100,000 grant from the Office of Innovation to fund its QuickStart program, helping early stage life science companies navigate their first steps quickly so they can be funding ready with credible support.

“We want to identify prime companies and connect them with experienced professionals and hopefully avoid early missteps,” said Matt Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC and head of the SCBIO committee developing program guidelines.

Selected companies are eligible for up to $10,000 in services and will be able to choose resource partners for legal help that includes pursuing patents, company organization, early stage regulatory counsel,  marketing and web development, pitching, executive mentoring and management.

“We are putting together our resource partners and advisory committee members now,” Gevaert said.”We are pulling together professionals with deep experience in life science and startup functions.”

Companies interested in QuickStart funding will be asked to fill out an application with SCBIO and then pitch to a review committee. Attending a startup workshop is encouraged, though not required. Those applications and and deadlines will be announced in the coming weeks. Interested persons can contact SCBIO.

The grant was one of 19 awarded across the state in a second round of Innovation Challenge grants that totalled $2.6 million.  The South Carolina Innovation Challenge solicits proposals for projects that focus on fostering technology-based economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation in South Carolina communities through university collaboration, local government participation or public-private partnerships. Projects are required to address one or more goals of the South Carolina Innovation Plan.

The Innovation Plan was finalized in 2013 and developed by a Steering Committee operating under of the Department of Commerce and based in part on the findings of the SC Council on Competitiveness’ Capital Markets Study.