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Company: SCRA, Charleston, SC
Company Description: SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with its headquarters in South Carolina. SCRA collaborates to advance technology, providing knowledge-based solutions with assured outcomes to industry and government, with the help of research universities in SC, the US and around the world.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Non-Profit or Government Organization of the Year

Nomination Title: SC Launch

    Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

        SC Launch began operations in 2006 with a charter to facilitate applied
research, product development and commercialization programs, and to strengthen
South Carolina's Knowledge Economy by creating high wage-earning jobs.  The
program is truly entrepreneurial in design and operation because it is was
created by and is run by entrepreneurs who know what tools are needed for
success to help build technology startups, and jobs and equity in the future
for South Carolina.  SC Launch is a collaboration among SCRA and South
Carolina's university research foundations: Clemson University, the University
of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina.

        Since the start of 2010, SC Launch has achieved many outstanding milestones,
which are noteworthy.  Three of our four Innovation Centers were opened to
house companies working to commercialize their research discoveries. These
Centers are state-of-the-art laboratories, manufacturing and business
facilities whose occupants work on new technologies in such fields as
bioscience, advanced manufacturing, energy and environmental sustainability,
and pharmaceuticals.

        SC Launch is also pleased with its financial outcomes in 2010, reporting that
$33M dollars was raised in follow-on capital secured by SC Launch Portfolio. 
We invested in eleven new, promising portfolio companies and supported three
landing parties for companies moving operations to South Carolina this past
year. Over 80 start-up entities over the past year have received SC Launch
support and funding.  The increase in applicants demonstrates the success of
our program and increase in number of companies that actually received support
shows that companies are maturing in their life cycle and choosing to run their
business in the State of South Carolina. 

        In addition to these outcomes, SC Launch proudly and efficiently boasts that we
are good stewards of our funds and documented that we directed 95% of our funds
for investment in entrepreneurial company growth. This outcome is a stewardship
milestone that we are proud to have accomplished over the past year. 

        SC Launch was recognized by Forbes as one of top entrepreneurial support
programs in the nation. As a non-profit we are dedicated and confidently
pursuing our mission to grow South Carolina’s knowledge economy and ultimately
doing our part to help bring jobs and bolster our local economies for the
benefit of our State’s workforce. 

    List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

        Links to supporting Press Releases:

        Links to supporting Video and/or news clips:

        Link to our 2010 SC Launch Annual Report:    


    Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:

        Dave McNamara is Senior Vice President of SCRA’s South Carolina Public Interest
Sector and head of the SC Launch program. McNamara provides leadership at SC
Launch by directing all aspects of operations, research, communications, and
recommendations of the program. He is an experienced Fortune 500 and start-up
executive and also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of South
Carolina and Midlands Technical College. McNamara is a strong asset to the SC
Launch program and brings an entrepreneurial spirit that is seasoned, savvy and