The Harbor Accelerator provides free space in Mount Pleasant for its entrepreneurs. (Photo/Liz Segrist)
By Liz Segrist
Published Aug. 4, 2014
The selected teams of entrepreneurs will work out of the accelerator’s 2,500-square-foot space in Mount Pleasant for the next 14 weeks in the hopes of launching or growing their ventures.
“We want to get these companies to a sustainable operation. What they do from there is up to them. We do envision the next Blackbaud or Benefitfocus coming out of this program.”
— John Osborne, co-founder of the Harbor Accelerator
Source: Harbor Accelerator
Round two runs from July through October. The program wraps up Oct. 30 with a pitch event in which entrepreneurs work to secure funding from investors.
The Harbor Entrepreneur Center runs the intensive boot camp. Teams receive free space and Internet access, as well as mentorship from local entrepreneurs who have built successful ventures.
Co-founder John Osborne describes the accelerator as a high-energy, intense and fun environment. Teams work side-by-side and bounce ideas off one another. They spend all day making sales calls, defining price structures, seeking market validation, researching competitors and evaluating their ideas.
Osborne, founder of Funding Charleston, and Patrick Bryant, a serial entrepreneur, launched the accelerator late last year with the idea that entrepreneurs would come in with a viable business idea and use the 14 weeks to define and sell their concept.
The first round of the accelerator ran from January to April and included eight teams with a variety of business ideas, such as Snapcastr’s software platform that enables event attendees to share photos and comments on a big screen or Eatabit’s service that people can use to order food from restaurants via text message.
“We want to get these companies to a sustainable operation. What they do from there is up to them,” Osborne said of the program. “We do envision the next Blackbaud or Benefitfocus coming out of this program.”
Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-843-8119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.