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Greenville Entrepreneurs pitch in GVL Starts Demo Day

This eight-week program helps budding entrepreneurs learn the skills needed to pitch their product.

GVLtoday GVL Starts

The three winners with their normal-sized checks. | Photo by Jerry Pilewski

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Over the last eight weeks, 25+ GVL Starts entrepreneurs have worked towards their final class and presentation — Demo Day — on Thursday, Oct. 19. Five finalists pitched to local investors and an audience for a chance to win a $5,000 grant for their startup venture.

What is GVL Starts?

A program at Furman University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with local organizations like City of Greenville, Greenville Local Development Corporation + the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

GVL Starts teaches entrepreneurs the skills needed to build a successful startup, connects budding entrepreneurs and business owners with like-minded community members, thinkers and leaders + helps turn ideas into action.

This year’s finalists featured a range of products and services, from software technology to canned cocktails.

Here are the finalists:

  • Dr. Natalie Morse | Fearless Grad | This company helps college graduates get their PhD’s fully funded.
  • Dallas Freeman | Sparker | Sparker is an app that aims to eliminate small talk by connecting with your friends and comparing your interests.
  • Babette Jones | Six/Nineteen | These pre-canned cocktails help bring people together and gives back to the community.
  • Jennifer Oladipo | Stank Radio | With this platform, musicians have the support to turn their passion into a business.
  • Joe Whelchel | Hire Warriors | Think of Angie’s List, but everyone is an active-duty or retired veteran or first responder.

Drum roll, please — and the winners are:

  • Dr. Natalie Morse | Fearless Grad
  • Babette Jones | Six/Nineteen