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S.C. Commerce announces 2023 Relentless Challenge grant awards

15 organizations across the state receive funds to support innovation and entrepreneurship

The South Carolina Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce) today announced its 2023 Relentless Challenge grant recipients, which totaled more than $750,000 granted to 15 organizations around the state.

Relentless Challenge grant recipients support projects designed to enhance the state’s innovation ecosystem – specifically in the areas of high growth entrepreneurship, talent development, access to risk capital, and industry and higher education partnerships that may lead to commercialization of innovative products. 

“South Carolina’s emerging industries are a direct result of our talented workforce and an environment that fosters innovation,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. Congratulations to all of the grant recipients on their innovative programs that will create unique opportunities and advance the lives of South Carolinians.”   

Since 2013, S.C. Commerce has awarded more than $8.1 million, supporting over 65 local innovation projects. Available grant funds that are uncommitted in any grant cycle are carried forward for future innovation projects.

Relentless Challenge 2023 grant recipient projects are due to commence the first quarter of this year. The 15 recipient projects are listed below:

  • Advanced Technology International (ATI) - Enhancing the Support Structure for Cyber Security & Computer Science Workforce in SC Underrepresented Minorities
  • Benedict College - Burroughs Enterprise, Startup & Technology Innovation Lab - Burroughs Enterprise, Startup, and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Innovation Lab 
  • Clemson University - Sonoco FRESH @Clemson University - Clemson University Compostable Packaging Research Development & Innovation (Cu-CPRI)
  • Coker University - Center for Leadership & Entrepreneurship - Pee Dee Innovation
  • eMYRge - Hustle Beach: Finding and Fostering Our Founders
  • Gravity Center - Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® Program Launch
  • Greer Development Corporation - The Platform @Greer Bootcamp: South Carolina’s Pre-Accelerator
  • GrowCo Columbia - Business Acceleration for Future Columbia High-Growth Entrepreneurs
  • NEXT Upstate - Rising Through the Ranks: SC as an Entrepreneurial Hub with Data
  • ONESpartanburg - Spartanburg Area Entrepreneur Ecosystem Project
  • SC Association of Colleges and Employers - Rev UP SC
  • University of South Carolina Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Engagement - South Carolina Rising: A New Pre-Seed/Seed Fund
  • University of South Carolina Columbia Technology Incubator - Columbia Innovation Media Studio Expansion and Outreach
  • University of South Carolina, Columbia - Faber Entrepreneurship Center - Moore School of Business - Faber Entrepreneurship Center Opportunity Workshops
  • Webgryrlz Code - Software Engineer Bridge Program