FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2013
For more information please contact:
Micki H. MacNaughton
SCRA Technology Ventures Presents "Big Check" and
Knowledge Economist Award
52apps Receives First Investment, Judy Davis Recognized as Knowledge Economist
Columbia, SC - April 1, 2013 - SCRA's Technology Ventures' SC Launch program presented a "big check" investment last Wednesday to 52apps during the Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation (CETi) at USC Start! Innovation Series event. A Knowledge Economist Award was also presented during the event to BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Judy Davis. The Start! Innovation Series invites aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to connect, learn and grow their ventures.
52apps is a Columbia-based company founded by two undergraduate students, Brendan Lee and Christopher Thibault, and led by CEO Stephen Leicht who was a former Executive Vice President and COO of Collexis Holdings. The software and computer programming company currently develops apps for the iPhone and iPad. These apps are based on ideas submitted by the general public, and the company shares royalties with whomever generated the original app idea.
Housed in the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator, the company has already hired six staff members with plans for additional employees as 52apps continues to develop a portfolio of innovative projects.
Following the presentation to 52apps, SCRA recognized Davis with the SCRA Knowledge Economist Award. This award is presented to leaders whose efforts have supported and strengthened the technology-based economy of South Carolina. In addition to her leadership at BlueCross, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,Davis is an active member of the community that serves on numerous boards including the SC Governors School of Science and Mathematics Foundation and Engenuity SC. She is currently serving on the SC Launch board where she has offered longstanding efforts to enable economic development and innovation.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize both 52apps and Judy Davis during this CETi event. 52apps is a great example of the opportunity and innovation bright, young people can offer as part of the South Carolina Knowledge Economy," said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. "Judy Davis has played a vital role in offering insight and expertise to these emerging technology companies as they enter the SC Launch program and enhancing the Knowledge Economy. It is through great innovation and leadership that we will continue to build high quality jobs for South Carolinians."
About SCRA and SCRA Technology Ventures
SCRA Technology Ventures helps innovative companies grow and develop new technologies, creating jobs and advancing the Knowledge Economy throughout South Carolina. This SCRA business sector provides support and mentoring through its flagship SC Launch program to early stage, start-up technology companies. Since 2006, SCRA has deployed over $59 million in funding and infrastructure to support about 280 high -tech, early-stage enterprises, and has directly invested over $13 million in South Carolina start-ups, attracting over $212 million in private investment. SCRA Technology Ventures also supports commercialization and growth by facilitating the transfer of intellectual property and accelerating the transition of inventions to the marketplace. Additionally, SCRA Technology Ventures invests in more established technology companies through its Stage 2 affiliate.
Multiple economic impact studies show SCRA's cumulative output on South Carolina's economy to be over $15.3 billion, and that the company has helped create approximately 15,000 technology-related jobs in the state, with annual wages averaging between $55,000 and $77,000.