SCBIZ, July 20, 2012
The University of South Carolina’s efforts to support technology commercialization and entrepreneurship received a boost this week from a $645,000, five-year federal grant to launch a center to help startups with new product development.
The Innovista Center for Product Realization, or ICPR, will be an interdisciplinary, collaborative and holistic approach to helping technology-based startups.
“One of the major constraints facing firms outside of regions like Silicon Valley is access to sufficient capital and talent to achieve critical mass and scalability for their product offerings,” said Don Herriott, director of Innovista. “ICPR will provide the infrastructure, resources and collaborative relationships that capital-starved startups require to take their idea or technology to the next level.”
The ICPR will feature a product design and prototype development program that will help companies create product concepts and applications that have commercial potential and help them develop strategies for getting those products into the marketplace.
Startups in and around USC will have access to an experienced team of product design, development and management experts both inside the university and in the private sector.
“The product realization center is yet another example of the university’s commitment to cultivating innovation, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization,” Herriott said. “It furthers Innovista’s mission of attracting and growing new high-tech businesses to our community and across the state.”
The ICPR will partner with programs and facilities throughout the region, including the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator and the Southeastern Institute for Manufacturing and Technology in Florence.
The Midlands Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation will manage the ICPR program and provide access to mentors, training sessions and startup service providers.
“One of the gaps of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Midlands is a lack of support services for new ventures when it comes to new product design, development and management,” said Greg Hilton, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation. “Filling these gaps will spur new demand for services and capital, and the support system will increase the depth of the startup pipeline in the region.”
Funding was awarded to universities in eight states as part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s University Center Economic Development Program, a partnership to leverage university assets to promote American innovation and strengthen regional economic ecosystems.
Individuals or businesses seeking more information on ICPR should contact Lauren Edwards with Innovista at 803-777-9796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.