Innovation Ecosystem Series: Columbia/Midlands

September 10 @ 12:00 am - 2:00 pm
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SCRA Webinar: Columbia/Midlands Innovation Ecosystem Series
with Chris Heivly and Joe Queenan

Join SCRA as we interview Chris Heivly, Founder of MapQuest & Managing Director at Build The Fort, and Joe Queenan, Interim Executive Director at GrowCo & Founder of Frontline Engagements. We will discuss their innovation experience, the current state of Columbia’s Innovation Ecosystem, and their future vision.

Innovation is a driver of productivity, competitive advantage, and enterprise value. But it does not happen in a vacuum. Innovation requires connections, just as entrepreneurship does, among key stakeholders—entrepreneurs, universities, risk capital providers, government, and large corporations. These connections are increasingly taking place in “innovation ecosystems” and through programs such as accelerators, hackathons, prize competitions, and co-working spaces in which stakeholders and communities contribute and share resources.

Chris Heivly
Founder of MapQuest, and Managing Director at Build the Fort LLC
Founder of MapQuest, The Startup Factory (Durham, NC), and SVP Ecosystem Development at Techstars. The software technology executive has considerable expertise in business development, investment finance, marketing, operations, and sales. In addition to co-founding MapQuest (which sold for $1.2 billion to AOL), he is also the Managing Director of Build the Fort LLC, which allows Chris to serve entrepreneurs, startup companies, and startup community champions through books, speaking, in-person workshops, and consulting. The entrepreneur is the also the founder of the Big Top Job Fair. He is an accomplished writer and speaker as well, specializing in new ventures and startup communities.

Joe Queenan
Interim Executive Director at GrowCo
Founder of Frontline Engagements, ViaTrace, and Digital Skyline, Joe has helped build three accelerators (corporate, university, and social venture), served as an advisor to brands and governments, and is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director of GrowCo, a founder-friendly organization supporting high-tech/high-growth entrepreneurship in Columbia, SC. Joe has also raised millions in funding, secured millions in contracts, built industry-changing partnerships with the world’s leading brands, and now he strives to help other do the same.

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