CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University is partnering with Clemson University and the City of Conway to launch the Conway Innovation Center (CIC).
This center is a technology incubator that will attract and assist in the development of local commercial enterprises. It will be located in downtown Conway on 1119 Third Avenue. Though, activities are being held at the CIC, it is scheduled to formally open in the Fall of 2014.
The 5thT Innovation Group will administer the center. The 5thT is a corporation that refers to elements that help drive the Grand Strand's economy. They include timber, turpentine, tobacco, tourism and technology. "Based on a fundamental tenet that non-urban locales have the same creative business abilities within the community as larger metropolitan areas, CIC will provide access to resources that are typically found in larger markets," says Michael H. Roberts, president of 5thT and dean of CCU's College of Science.
This project has gained many supporters. Clemson's technology village network will provide links to services including business mentorship, product development, entrepreneurial assessment, seed financing and recruiting. With the help of the James L Knight Foundation, The Waccamaw Community Foundation donated a $150,000 grant to the project. "The Knight Foundation's commitment to innovative funding in partnership with local community foundations has allowed Waccamaw Community Foundation to invest heavily, alongside Coastal Carolina University and others," says David Bishop, Waccamaw Community Foundation board chairman and interim executive director.
The city government specifically identifies business and technology innovation as key elements in Conway's downtown strategy. Once established, the 5thT officials predict that the CIC may generate up to 10 new businesses annually.