June 25: Storytelling in Innovation

On June 25, 2019, Kasie and Shennice welcomed Laura Corder into the studio to talk about entrepreneurship in South Carolina. Here are the show notes:


Kasie Whitener, Clemson Road Consulting, DMSB

Shennice Cleckley, Smart Cookie Coaching

Laura Corder, SC Department of Commerce Office of Innovation

Theme for day:

Storytelling in Innovation

Agenda review:

  • Get to know Laura Corder of the SC Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation
  • Scribble and the effort to tell entrepreneurial stories
  • What’s next at Innovation
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Segment 1:

We’re glad to have Laura Corder in the studio with us. She’s been in the Innovation / Entrepreneurial Ecosystem her entire career. Walk us through how you got into entrepreneurship and really what’s the appeal?

I tell people all the time there’s no bigger advocate for entrepreneurship in state government than Laura Corder. Tell our listeners why you think Innovation and entrepreneurship are such key parts of our current and future economy.

There’s a great culture of failure in entrepreneurship. It’s this mentality that we can try anything, see if it works, and then revise and re-try if and when it doesn’t. That kind of forgiving, adventurous spirit is not usually synonymous with state agencies. How has the Secretary and the Department as a whole taken your approach to fostering entrepreneurship?

Segment 2

Another persistent tenet in the entrepreneurial ecosystem is storytelling. It’s a little like failure in that it’s always there, but it’s also about telling the good stories. We had Philippe Herndon here to tell the story of crowdfunding for growth at Caroline Guitar and we had Renee Lally here of Midlands Cheer & Dance to talk about her first year as a studio. We love the success stories.

Tell our listeners about Scribble, the Office of Innovation’s latest attempt to capture all those success stories and shine a light on what entrepreneurs are getting right in S.C.

1 Million Cups is a forum built on telling entrepreneurial stories. Its format is all about getting entrepreneurs to show their vulnerability in 6 minutes and then take feedback, advice, and encouragement from the community as a whole. Did you have any trouble convincing Scribble participants to open up? What’s the feedback been like?

Segment 3

You’ve held two Innovation Rally events during which you brought together some active participants in the entrepreneurial ecosystem: venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, state and federal agencies, non-profit resources. Everyone from SBDC and SCRA to 1 Million Cups and the SC Angel Network.

How does South Carolina benefit from a united — or at least mutually aware — entrepreneurial ecosystem? What kinds of collaborations and initiatives have come out of these rally events?

The ecosystem is always welcoming new players — new business owners, start-ups, transfers, agencies and initiatives. Melissa Lindler and the OBO just launched Mentor Match-Up for women entrepreneurs. How challenging has it been for you to map that statewide landscape of resources and activities?

What do you see as the role of the Office of Innovation in fostering entrepreneurship in the state? Are there measurable goals you’re working toward?

Some of the challenges in entrepreneurial support efforts include what to measure — what indicates success? The SBA measures how much capital is being infused — or how much money in loans is distributed; and how many jobs are created by new ventures. What are some ways your office is measuring success?

Segment 4

Take us into the future. Five years from now we have more or less start-ups? What percentage of jobs do you think will be created by new companies? Knowing we’re sliding deeper into the gig economy — everyone’s got a side hustle — how do you expect we’ll need to measure job creation in the future?

We’ve had some conversation around here lately about revenue not being profit. Talk about how the Department of Commerce recognizes profit in these new ventures; is there a distinction between revenue and profit? What do these measurements tell us about the relative state of success in entrepreneurship in SC?

Your work to unite the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been awesome to watch. Thanks for the efforts and for sharing your time with us. Give us a few upcoming events and activities we can look forward to.

Ready to support Start Something, Columbia! Call 803-569-8200 to talk about becoming a patron.

Start Something, Columbia! is lovingly supported by:

City of Columbia


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