IT ALL CAME TOGETHER ON A BAR NAPKIN.
In 2005, business leader and economic development street preacher John Warner convened a rather eclectic group of folks from around South Carolina at a Courtyard hotel in Charleston to discuss new strategies for improving the state’s economy. After hearing an inspiring update about the Charleston Digital Corridor, entrepreneur Jeff Papenfus scrawled on a paper napkin, “Why aren’t we doing this in Greenville?”
It was at that seminal moment that a group of Greenville entrepreneurs and community leaders began to coalesce into an effort that would soon become NEXT.
From its earliest days, the goal of NEXT has been to provide the support entrepreneurs require to build strong, successful, globally-competitive businesses.
We cater to risk takers and pioneers, because we believe that innovative small companies are critical to true economic development. We are also passionate about creating an ecosystem in the Upstate where such ventures can thrive and that generates high-quality jobs plus and “wealth through ownership”—serving generations to come.
Who could’ve imagined so much could start with a napkin?