Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem

Supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses for a competitive Upstate economy

The Upstate’s economy has diversified in recent decades to become better positioned for growth in the Global Economy of the 21st Century. The Upstate is now home to both traditional manufacturing and a growing stable of national and international companies focused on research and innovation. In addition, an expanding legion of entrepreneurs and small businesses are dotting the landscape and serving as a key element of the Upstate’s economy. Continuing to cultivate and support small businesses and entrepreneurs is a critical component of the future economic growth of the region. Ten at the Top has been convening two groups around this driver area, and has compiled a few tools as well. Contact us to get involved!

Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem

Who: Network of professionals that support the growth and development of the Upstate’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

What: Convene to network, learn, and share effective strategies to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Upstate

Launch of Start-Grow Upstate

Watch this recording of the Start-Grow Upstate website launch to see all of the resources available to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Upstate and how best to search the site.


Global Entrepreneurship Week: November 8 -14, 2021 Event on Rural Entrepreneurship at the Fountain Inn Depot: November 11 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.      Register Now!

Tuesday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m. Legal Deep Dive with Michael Nail at Ogletree Deakins



Thursday, October 21 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. How to Talk About Problems – Conversations to Clearly Explain Issues and Solicit Feedback with Erin Ouzts of the Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem. Link to recording.

Thursday, October 7 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. How to Talk While Networking – Conversations to Best Explain Your Company with Ana Parra of CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center. Link to recording. Link to presentation.

Thursday, September 23 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. How to Talk About Sales – Conversations with Potential Clients with Larry Block of Piedmont SCORE. Link to presentation. Link to recording. 

Tuesday, September 14 at 3:00 p.m. Financial Statement Literacy with Earl Gregorich of the SC SBDC. Link to Handout.

Thursday, September 9 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. How to Talk about Finances: Conversations with Lenders and Investors with Earl Gregorich of the South Carolina Small Business Development Center. Link to Recap. Link to Handout.

Tuesday, May 11: A celebration of all that has been accomplished in the last year.  We heard success stories about new programs and broke out into smaller Zoom rooms to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The new Start-Grow Upstate resource navigator website was soft-launched for all to review, test and provide feedback before going live.

New COVID-19 rules, and updated COVID-19 and vaccine guidelines for employers with Michael Nail with Ogletree Deakins – video and presentation

Legislative Update with Kunal Parikh, Policy Advisor to Senator Tim Scott – video and presentation

Conversations to Avoid Intellectual Property Calamities with Hunter Freeman and Doug Lineberry from Burr Forman, LLP – video and presentation

Second Draw PPP Workshop – Video, SBDC supporting documentation, and written recap