Thursday, September 29, 2011

Learn About the EngenuitySC Office at Garvin Design Group Open House

Garvin Design Group will be hosting an open house to celebrate some of their most recent projects including the office of EngenuitySC. If you haven't visited the office, it's certainly one of the most dynamic in Columbia, and we've loved calling it home since December. We're always open to visitors, so drop in if you haven't seen it, get out here. We're at 1000 Catawba St sharing the Columbia Innovation Center with the SCRA (another Garvin client to be featured).

But first, make sure you get out to Garvin's open house and learn about the challenges and excitement of building some of Columbia's most innovative and prominent spaces including the new Patterson Hall dormitory at USC, Mast General Store, and renovations to the Peace Center.

And if you think our office is innovative, check out Ignite! 2011. It will blow you away (literally. Click that link - You'll see what I mean).

RSVP by September 30


October 6, 2011 - 5:30pm-8:30pm
1209 Lincoln Street
Columbia SC 29201

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Science Cafe takes a twist for the scary and sickening...

Science Cafe continues its foray into the twisted, the humorous, and the thrilling. Join EngenuitySC and the University of South Carolina as we take you behind the scenes of America's creepiest, most exciting, and just plain greatest past times, the SC State FairRegister today! 

If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, "You know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty."
Jeff Foxworthy, comedian

If you've been to a state fair, you know its an experience unmatched by any other. Ferris wheels teeter perilously in the wind, an unimaginable number of whirling machines fling our bodies around like rag dolls, and the food is abundant and downright delicious in the most sinful of ways. If aliens were to judge our species by the fair alone, they'd probably want to know why we're so dedicated to the science of making ourselves sick. 


Well dear reader, Dr. David Tedeschi, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of South Carolina is here with an answer for the aliens and for you.

Come learn about all that centrifugal force that gets you so sick, the science that keeps you safe, and why, despite all those G's you just pulled, you get to stumble off the Tilt-a-Whirl or the Fireball laughing and not in dire need of a doctor.

Dr. Tedeschi, participant in the University of South Carolina's Midway Physics Day (a program of the College of Arts & Sciences), will discuss Newton's laws and how they tie into the Fair and the community. 

Registration is encouraged, though not required. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Science Cafe in 50 Words or Less
Science Cafe is a community forum designed to engage our community's scientists with those interested in the world around them. The cafe takes place the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Capital City Club atop the Columbia's tallest tower at the corner of Assembly and Gervais. There is no dress code nor age restrictions. We encourage children L-12, college students, young adults up through to our most experienced retirees to join us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ignite... Coming Back to Blow You Away

Mayor Benjamin and President Pastides Let the Sparks Fly in Support of EngenuitySC Ignite! 2011
Explosive video features community’s top leaders and entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurship contest and local non-profit

EngenuitySC is back for the 8th time with their annual award-winning conference Ignite, and this year they’re letting the sparks fly with a promotional feature video sure to leave you scorched.

With the swift yet casual toss of a lighter by a markedly stoic Mayor Stephen Benjamin, the two and a half minute feature video explodes into a neon-lit series featuring President Pastides of the University of South Carolina, President Marshall “Sonny” White of Midlands Technical College, Columbia’s Director of Economic Development Jim Gambrell. The leaders participated to show support for some of Columbia’s most dynamic grassroots leaders and entrepreneurs featured in the video including Executive Director Katherine Swartz of Columbia Opportunity Resource, founder of Caroline Guitars Philippe Herdon, and President and Owner of DP Professionals
Barbara Blau.

The video is designed to share clips from previous years of the fast-paced annual innovation celebration, recipient of the 2010 Excellence in Economic Development award from the International Economic Developers Council, but its sure to leave anyone who watches ready to join the conference’s call and “start something,” the theme for the night. The celebration, based on a hybrid of the popular TedX and Pecha-Kucha engagement formats, showcases Columbia’s homegrown talent in every facet from its mix of established and rising innovators and entrepreneurs as speakers, to the shark tank contest theme, to local cuisine, right down to the upstart firm Dinobrite Productions hired to produce the video.

The evening will open with a reception featuring some of Columbia’s best local culinary artists including the popular food truck 2 Fat 2 Fly and renowned, all-local caterer Spotted Salamander who will feature a menu of locally harvested and prepared southern cuisine.

The first half of the program, focused heavily on entrepreneurs who set up shop in our backyard, will feature 5 high impact speakers including Natalie Brown of Alternacirque, Dean Tony Ambler of USC’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, CEO Terry Brown of Edens & Avant, Founder of Caroline Guitar Philippe Herdon, and more. The speakers, who collectively exemplify the organization’s mission to create knowledge, recruit talent, foster entrepreneurs, and give Columbia the competitive advantage it needs to thrive, will speak on the successes, failures, excitement, struggles, and inspiration behind their own endeavors. More will come on each speaker as the event draws closer.

The IGNITE! Columbia Competition will make up the second portion of the evening’s events building on the speakers’ discussions. Contestants will have until October 16 to record a video describing how their idea will change Columbia in support of the conference’s theme “Start something…” and upload it to YouTube. Contestants will then submit a link to their YouTube video to Two finalists will be selected from the submissions by a panel of judges and will be given a chance to pitch their idea to an estimated 500 attendees live at the conference. Audience members will vote on site to select the winner who will receive a hefty check of seed capital to go out and plant their idea.

“The contest is about ideas with really start something” said Greg Hilton, Senior Project Manager at EngenuitySC. “Whether you’re a researcher, technologist, serial entrepreneur, activist, culture vulture, or policy maker, we know Columbians are full ideas that can inspire and reinvent the community. Ignite! demonstrates that anyone can be a catalyst for change in the knowledge economy.”

And clearly businesses around the community see purpose and meaning in the conference. From the state’s largest institutions down to its newest firms, organizations are lining up to get a chance to invest in Ignite!. Anchors BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Wells Fargo have already signed on for the top sponsorship levels, while other organizations such as Cyberwoven, Dinobrite Productions, Midlands Technical College, the Moore School of Business at USC, and University of South Carolina-Innovista have pledged contributions.

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
The Zone @ Williams-Brice Stadium
Tickets are $30 
Tickets and Sponsorships available now at

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Executives to Share a Meal and Experience with Midlands Young Professionals

Columbia OpportunityResource (COR) is hosting its quarterly Table for Six Networking Event (TF6) on October 5, 2011 at the Saluda RiverClub in Lexington, S.C.  Table for Six (TF6) is a unique networking experience that connects seasoned executives with up and coming leaders in the community.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., young professionals will get to have dinner with some of the most prominent executives from the Greater Columbia area. The intimate setting will allow participants to build relationships, network and have quality conversations.

Table for Six (TF6) is a key part of COR's efforts to attract and retain top Midlands talent by providing opportunities for young professionals to gain leadership exposure and experience.

Executives participating include:
JoAnn Turnquist, president & CEO of the CentralCarolina Community Foundation, was a table executive at COR’s last Tf6 event. 

“The conversations were lively, the food was excellent and the networking opportunities were priceless!  I look forward to attending future dinners,” said Turnquist.

The only cost to participate in TF6 is the price of the meal, which is $20 for COR members and $27 for non members. Seating is limited, so register early. Click here to register.

About COR  Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR) is a dynamic volunteer driven community development organization focused on engaging and connecting a new generation of Columbians to make our community a better place to live, learn and play.  COR is an all-stakeholder organization (ASO), reliant on a new generation of leaders, the wisdom of current leaders, partnership organizations and area municipalities to effectively serve and impact the community. For more information or to join COR, visit or contact Katherine Swartz at 803.733.1123.

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Tech Venture Columbia is Under Way

Tech Venture, launched September 8 by thStart! Columbia Coalition, sold out every seat and is poised to produce Columbia's next big technology companies. The program is a 14 week mini-accelerator designed to evaluate your technology, develop your winning concept, build a successful business plan, and accelerate your winning idea from dream to profitable reality. Based off of the Kauffman Foundation's curriculum for entrepreneurship, the course will teach its entrepreneurs. Follow EngenuitySC on our newsletter, blog, Twitter, and Facebook to learn more about the progress of rising entrepreneurs. We'll feature a new one each month to show you the kind of talent Columbia produces every day.

Visit and for details on the program.

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