SCRA’s Technology Ventures’ SC Launch program presented a “big check”
investment last Wednesday to 52apps during the Center for
Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation (CETi) at USC Start!
Innovation Series event. A Knowledge Economist Award was also presented
during the event to BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Executive
Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Judy Davis. The Start! Innovation
Series invites aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to connect, learn
and grow their ventures.
52apps is a Columbia-based company founded by two undergraduate
students, Brendan Lee and Christopher Thibault, and led by CEO Stephen
Leicht who was a former Executive Vice President and COO of Collexis
Holdings. The software and computer programming company currently
develops apps for the iPhone and iPad. These apps are based on ideas
submitted by the general public, and the company shares royalties with
whomever generated the original app idea.
Housed in the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator, the company has already
hired six staff members with plans for additional employees as 52apps
continues to develop a portfolio of innovative projects.
Following the presentation to 52apps, SCRA recognized Davis with the
SCRA Knowledge Economist Award. This award is presented to leaders whose
efforts have supported and strengthened the technology-based economy of
South Carolina. In addition to her leadership at BlueCross, an
independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,
Davis is an active member of the community that serves on numerous
boards including the SC Governors School of Science and Mathematics
Foundation and Engenuity SC. She is currently serving on the SC Launch
board where she has offered longstanding efforts to enable economic
development and innovation.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize both 52apps and
Judy Davis during this CETi event. 52apps is a great example of the
opportunity and innovation bright, young people can offer as part of the
South Carolina Knowledge Economy,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “Judy
Davis has played a vital role in offering insight and expertise to these
emerging technology companies as they enter the SC Launch program and
enhancing the Knowledge Economy. It is through great innovation and
leadership that we will continue to build high quality jobs for South
About SCRA and SCRA Technology Ventures
SCRA Technology Ventures helps innovative companies grow and develop new
technologies, creating jobs and advancing the Knowledge Economy
throughout South Carolina. This SCRA business sector provides support
and mentoring through its flagship SC Launch program to early stage,
start-up technology companies. Since 2006, SCRA has deployed over $59
million in funding and infrastructure to support about 280 high -tech,
early-stage enterprises, and has directly invested over $13 million in
South Carolina start-ups, attracting over $212 million in private
investment. SCRA Technology Ventures also supports commercialization and
growth by facilitating the transfer of intellectual property and
accelerating the transition of inventions to the marketplace.
Additionally, SCRA Technology Ventures invests in more established
technology companies through its Stage 2 affiliate.
Multiple economic impact studies show SCRA's cumulative output on South
Carolina's economy to be over $15.3 billion, and that the company has
helped create approximately 15,000 technology-related jobs in the state,
with annual wages averaging between $55,000 and $77,000.