Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Turning your great idea into an actual concept can be an overwhelming process to handle by yourself. But now, USC is teaming up with other groups to offer students a chance to win thousands of dollars to turn their idea into reality - The Proving Ground.
It's a push towards business creation they've been making for the past few years, through their Incubator program, Innovista and several others.
"It's really focused on finding great ideas and innovative business concepts, running them through a gauntlet of reviews, coming out the other end with some great concepts that we think we can help fund and help launch," Greg Hilton says of The Proving Ground. He's with the Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation. For him. making our state's economy about ideas is the path to a greater future. "What's going to differentiate us is when we can create ideas that have commercial viability, that have a place in the market. It's hard to outsource that sort of innovation," he says.
And that's where The Proving Ground comes in.
Students can submit their proposals and judges will chose one for the SCRA Technology Ventures prize, one for the Innovista Innovation prize and one for the Maxient Social Impact prize.
They'll all win money to get their idea started.
"I feel that our school has the right amount of technical majors as well as non-technical business majors. And they can come together to synergize and do this entrepreneurial creation of ideas," explains Entrepreneurship Club President Thomas Thompson, "Entrepreneurship and the start up phase create the most amount of jobs out of any type of business."
And that's really what the contest, the money and the ideas are about, according to Innovista's Lauren Edwards. "We are trying to harness the talent here at the university and help these students that have great ideas find the resources and the mentors that they need to be successful and to take those ideas and actually make them reality," she says.
The Proving Ground is open to students in any USC school across the state, and those in any major are encouraged to submit their proposals. To get more information, just head to their website.