We’re building a world class new venture team at the University of South Carolina. Our team has started or participated in 13 startup companies, has mentored more than 119 early stage companies and has collectively facilitated over $8,050,000 in capital raising. We’re building a community of, by and for entrepreneurs. Whether you are a student seeking for credit entrepreneurship courses, a faculty member looking for SBIR/STTR funding, an alumnus with the next big idea or a startup looking for cofounder expertise; our team can help you.
Greg leads CETi's strategic efforts and helps build better entrepreneurs. Passionate about Columbia's untapped potential, he believes our city is ripe for creating opportunities. Greg is inspired by people overcoming odds. His most memorable moment in the startup world? The first time he pitched for funding and got a yes, after many, many no's. Greg instigates change, pushes the envelope and has been known to stir the pot! His favorite thing about working with entrepreneurs is that collaboration overwhelms competition.
Raghav Badiger | Startup Guru
Raghav is building a thriving startup community through entrepreneurial education and creating strong programs. He is passionate about ideas and building things from scratch. Raghav loves working with entrepreneurs because they are filled with contagious energy and is inspired by startups constantly trying to break the mold. Raghav earned a master’s in Technology Entrepreneurship from Babson College and is active with early stage ventures in Boston, Silicon Valley and Austin. His favorite entrepreneurial moment was realizing he could be an entrepreneur and losing the fear of the unknown. We call him a startup guru because he has immersed himself into the startup world and has been part of many different early stage companies.
Kelly Truesdale | Tech Wizard
Kelly provides companies with hands-on tech and capital raising help, and occassionally brews the coffee - though not very well! He is developing and managing our product development accelerator. Kelly is passionate about technology in all forms, whether it's a new catalyst for fuel cells or a new framework for building web apps. He loves the "get it done" entrepreneurial spirit and believes founders are some of the most driven and capable people out there. Kelly is COO of SysEDA and a graduate of USC's IMBA program. His favorite entrepreneurial memory is sitting on milk crates around an old, dented table holding his first SysEDA meeting. Why does his title suit him? Well, he looks pretty stunning in a wizard's hat!
Naomi Sargent | Connectivity Queen
Naomi engages the entrepreneurial community through communications and events. She is passionate about getting people involved and loves connecting people. Her favorite thing about working with entrepreneurs is that each day brings a new venture and a different challenge. Naomi is inspired by the passion entrepreneurs have for their companies. Her most memorable entrepreneurial moment is rooting for contestants in the Proving Ground finale. Naomi also acts as Talent Engagement Manager for Columbia Opportunity Resource. She's our connectivity queen because she's constantly tagging and tweeting!