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Venture capital firm launches in Charleston

Banking & Finance
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Good Growth Capital, a venture capital firm, has launched in Charleston with the goal of raising $20 million to invest in startups, according to a news release.

South Carolina has long struggled to raise enough early and later-stage funding for startups, spurring entrepreneurs to seek funding from other tech hubs, including Silicon Valley and Boston. The managers of Good Growth Capital say they want to fill that funding gap for budding technology companies in the region.

$25,000 pitch prize

The fifth annual Dig South Innovation Conference kicks off today in Charleston with The Harbor Accelerator’s Cohort 7 pitch competition. Eight companies in The Harbor’s startup accelerator program compete for investment money in front of a panel of judges.

Good Growth Capital will award a $25,000 investment prize to the winner.

“Looking at the top companies that have come out of The Harbor Accelerator program and where they are headed gives us great confidence to make a commitment to the winning company coming out of the program,” said John Osborne, executive director of The Harbor Entrepreneurship Center.

The venture fund plans to “invest substantially” in early stage technology companies throughout the Southeast. The amount raised toward the $20 million target has not been disclosed.

The new fund was founded by Amy Salzhauer, an entrepreneur and former CEO of Boston-based Ignition Ventures. She will serve as a managing partner along with John Osborne, the founder and executive director of The Harbor Entrepreneurship Center and executive director of Charleston Angel Partners, and David Mendez, co-founder of Capital A Partners.

“Due to the explosive growth in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in this area in the past few years, we see great investment opportunities,” Salzhauer said in the release. “We see it as a strong competitive advantage to be located here in South Carolina and are really excited to be able to contribute to the entrepreneurial community in the state.”

The state updated its Innovation Plan earlier this year, outlining challenges to growing South Carolina’s tech sector. The lack of venture capitalists and large-scale funds was noted as a major issue.

“I am excited for what Good Growth Capital will do for our innovation economy with the creation of a firm located in South Carolina paying close attention to our state’s companies,” state Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a news release.

Mendez said the fund is in the midst of its initial close and is “positioned to secure South Carolina a place on the venture capital map.”

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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