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CCU Atheneum: After relocating from Colorado, Little Spider Adventures' Jordan Brawner explains his business that offers immensely popular escape rooms and haunted houses.
After relocating from Colorado, Little Spider Adventures' Jordan Brawner explains his business that offers immensely popular escape rooms and haunted houses.

'Shark Tank' showcase highlights business and innovation on Grand Strand

by Peter Gasca
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If you have lived on or visited the Grand Strand over the past five years, you have undoubtedly witnessed the incredible growth of business, culture and activity in the area. From year-round restaurants to multiple theaters, the area is turning into much more than just a vacation destination.

The excitement and growth of the area was highlighted recently with the inaugural Entrepreneur Showcase: Business and Innovation event held at Coastal Carolina University on Jan. 18.

The event, which attracted more than 100 area business and community leaders, was presented in a “Shark Tank”-like pitch format and was moderated by a panel of business professionals. No solicitations for money or investments were made. Instead, the entrepreneurs were provided five minutes to make the most compelling and entertaining explanation of their businesses.

Hosted by the Fifth T’s Conway Innovation Center and Georgetown Innovation Center, in cooperation with the Community and Business Engagement (CoBE) Institute at CCU, the goal of the event is to raise awareness of the amazing opportunities available for businesses in and around the Grand Strand, including economic development activities and numerous resources available to businesses of all sizes.

The event also showcased six, fast-growing Grand Strand companies, demonstrating how the area has become such an inviting place to start and run a business.

Lysi US
Started by two CCU students, Sean Edwards and Ross Kunmann, Lysi US is the first domestic distributor of health supplements produced by the Iceland-based Lysi International, the world’s leading producer of fish oil.

Recovery Room
Founded by Dena Pozeg, an experienced medical professional, Recovery Room brings the fast-growing and popular service of injection therapy (such as vitamins, etc.) to South Carolina.

Little Spider Adventures
After relocating from Colorado, Little Spider Adventures, headed by Jordan Brawner, is leading the production and introduction of high quality entertainment services, including immensely popular escape rooms and haunted houses.

Authentic Pawleys Life
Founded with the goal of producing organic, holistic remedies without harmful or toxic chemicals, Authentic Pawleys Life is finding tremendous success growing and distributing from the Grand Strand. Mary Zlotnick is CEO of the company.

D1 Recruiting
Founded by Jacob Oressie, an enthusiastic serial entrepreneur, D1 Recruiting was created to provide valuable networking services to athletes who do not have access to opportunities ordinarily available in more affluent communities.

Global Arts and Media
With a goal of competing with Netflix and other online streaming giants, Global Arts and Media has found a unique and attractive niche that has thus far gained it a solid following. Vanessa Greene is head of the subscription-based streaming sevice company.

In the end, the audience chose its favorite, Oressie’s D1 Recruiting, which won a $200 prize.

After the evening’s business pitches, invited guests participated in a short reception, which provided opportunities for the entrepreneurs and student leaders to network with the business and community leaders in attendance.

The event was sponsored by First Citizens Bank, Mullikin Law Firm, Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development at CCU, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development, CCU College of Science and College of Business, and Community Works.

The event was a tremendous success. It is really a magical time to be on the Grand Strand. In just a few years, we’ve seen tremendous growth and attracted businesses and families alike. The best part about all of this exciting growth – we are just getting started!

For more information, visit the event website at www.innovationgrandstrand.com.

Peter Gasca is director of the CoBE Institute in CCU's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

 

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