The hallmark of an innovator is an individual who is always looking for the next opportunity to grow their ideas and challenge the status quo.
NEXT was created to support these innovators- and their ventures- as they develop their ideas.
Explore the story of how NEXT came to be and the roadmap for where we’re headed.
In 2005, Greenville entrepreneur Jeff Papenfus scrawled a question on a bar napkin: “Why aren’t we doing this in Greenville?”
The “this” in question was an initiative to build and maintain a network of entrepreneurs and supporters with the aim of nurturing and promoting local economic growth. Jeff saw that the model worked, and he knew it would work in Greenville, too. Soon after, a group of Greenville entrepreneurs began the efforts that would form NEXT.
From the start, NEXT’s goal has been to connect innovative entrepreneurs to a rich network of support and to provide education and opportunities for growth. High-impact small companies are critical to true economic development. In creating a local ecosystem where these ventures will thrive, high-quality jobs and a rich economy will follow.
From Idea to Thriving Initiative
Since its founding in 2006, NEXT has demonstrated the ability to generate a critical mass of high-impact companies in the Upstate region of SC. NEXT has built a collaborative, dynamic ecosystem to support an entrepreneur community of 134 high-impact companies.
See Everything NEXT Has to Offer
Explore our resources for entrepreneurs.