COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX)- When Andrew Askins graduated from the University of South Carolina last month, he knew exactly who he was going to work for: himself.
"I think we do it because when you have a vision for something you want to create and the kind of company you want to build you know, its addicting," he said.
He and two of his friends, Austin Price and Bill Brower, started a business tool app called Krit.
"Not to sound like the cheesy start up founder," Askins laughed, "but to impact the world in some way with the product you're creating is just, that's the coolest part for me."
According to the Kauffman Foundation annual report, South Carolina is now ranked 29th in the US for start up activity. This time last year, we ranked 46th. That's the biggest 1-year increase in the nation.
John Wilkinson also started his own company.
"Sometimes we get down on ourselves about the state of South Carolina," he said, "but there are a lot of great things happening here. Including, as you know now, entrepreneurship. A lot of good companies starting and finding success."
Wilkinson is also a community organizer of 1 Million Cups Columbia, a group of local entrepreneurs that meets once a week
"Sometimes it's really exciting and you're on top of the world," he said, "and other times you're looking up like, how am I going to get out of this hole?"
It's a feeling that Askins also knows well.
"The good times when you have a customer you're talking to who really just gets what you're doing and is excited about your product, those moments you feel like you're on top of the world," he said. "Nothing feels better than that. Its such a rush, such a high, then there's moments where it's like oh crap, how am I going to pay the bills next month?"
But for an increasing number of South Carolinians, the risk is well worth the reward.
"You had an idea, and you nurtured that idea and built it and launched it and it was accepted by the market and people like it, that's really rewarding at the end of the day when you can look at something and say, I built that," Wilkinson said.
1 Million Cups Columbia will hold it's next meeting on Wednesday June 17 at 9am at Cromers P-Nuts in Columbia. The meeting is free and open to the public.