An overflow crowd attended REDI’s inaugural Demo Day event featuring presentations by 14 entrepreneurs who are clients of the Innovation Hub at the Downtown Incubator. The successful standing-room only event took place December 2 in the Landrum Room at Landmark Bank in the District.
The event was designed to elevate the visibility of the products and services created by Innovation Hub entrepreneurs, and to create greater awareness of Columbia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its variety of startup businesses and clientele. Another Demo Day will take place in the spring, in addition to other planned events and programs designed to assist and promote entrepreneurs.
“Demo Day gave our business the best local exposure we have had to date,” said Ella Wilhoit, CEO of WEHOIT, LLC, a management and supplier diversity consulting company and Innovation Hub client. “The positive response from investors and city leaders has helped to position WEHOIT, LLC for greater success.”
“REDI and the SBTDC has been amazing to work with, and demo day was just the icing on the cake,” said Innovation Hub client Sean Lander, co-founder of Phinlander, LLC, creators of ADHDog, an internet-connected all-in-one dog feeder, exerciser and training system. “The ability to pitch our business to the community is just one of many examples of how much REDI, SBTDC and the city support local entrepreneurs.”
"Bringing new business ideas to market is greatly facilitated at Demo Day, as participants include entrepreneurs, financiers, business leaders, and other interested parties," said Todd Culley, CEO of Boone Electric Cooperative and REDI Board Chair. "Events such as this are essential for our community to continue to compete for opportunities to create great jobs."
"I really feel like this is the very beginning of a wonderful program, and I thank Stacey and staff for initiating it," said Culley. " It’s exactly the thing we need, and it complements REDI’s other economic development strategies."
Entrepreneurship is a growing facet of economic development, creating jobs through new business developed by individuals personally invested in the local economy. REDI’s Innovation Hub at the Downtown Incubator supports the creativity and productivity of entrepreneurs by providing business counseling services, events and programs that foster a strong ecosystem for all who share a passion for technology and innovation.
Demo Day was sponsored by Landmark Bank, Maly Commercial Realty, Veterans United Home Loans and Craft Beer Cellar.