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NEXT Venture Pitch 2019 includes SC Launch check presentation to 6AM City

By April 17, 2019February 18th, 2020No Comments

The 4th annual NEXT Venture Pitch Conference took place on Thursday, Aprill 11th at the Greenville ONE Center downtown.


The sold out event included a morning workshop and a half-day afternoon conference, including a keynote address, 8 SC pitch companies, a panel of venture capitalists, and more.

6AM City’s COO Ryan Heafy and CEO Ryan Johnston, who were featured at the event last year as a pitch company, returned this year to collect a check for $200,000 from SC Launch Inc.


From left: Jill Sorensen, SCRA Director of Entrepreneurial Programs, Ryan Johnston, 6AM CEO, Ryan Heafy, 6AM COO, Lee MacIlwinen, SCRA Regional Manager, Bob Quinn, SCRA Executive Director. Photo Courtesy of SCRA.


“It feels great to have them back so soon,” says NEXT President & CEO John Moore. “What’s cool about 6AM, it proves that all kinds of industries are right for disruptions and innovation.”

6AM City, a digital meadia company based in the Greenville area, has exploded in the last three years, starting with a first-seed round of capital raising $700,000 in 2017 from three angel investors (Erwin Creates, Sycamore Investments, and Venture South/Upstate Carolina Angel Network). GVLtoday started pushing daily newsletters to email subscribers. COLAtoday in Columbia and CHStoday in Charleston soon followed.

The 6AM team now totals 24, with headquarters in Greenville and two multimedia journalists in each of their markets, including Asheville, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Lakeland, Florida.

The team plans to use the additional $200,000 from SC Launch to drive technology development to increase operational efficiencies. COO Heafy adds, “We are using technology to get smarter about how we cover content and what works in a local market.”


For more, read the full feature from the Upstate Business Journal here.


NEXT is an economic development organization born out of the Greenville Chamber. For more information, visit