PRESS RELEASE: Charleston Selected for Collision Conference as Top Emerging Startup Ecosystem

CHARLESTON, SC - Dec 18, 2015. In April, rising startup ecosystems around the country will go head-to-head in the Launch Pad PITCH competition during the 2016 Collision Conference in New Orleans. The competition will showcase the nation’s most promising companies being built outside of San Francisco and New York. Charleston has been chosen to participate in Collision 2016, America’s fastest growing tech conference taking place April 26-28, and will send three local companies to compete against other top emerging startup cities. The Harbor is thrilled to be leading the selection process for the three companies that will represent the Holy City.

Charleston will compete against the following cities and organizations across the nation: Buffalo and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Nashville and The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, New Orleans and Idea Village, Pittsburgh and Thrill Mill, Raleigh-Durham and The Startup Factory, and San Antonio and Geekdom.

"We know there are rising markets where founders are building meaningful companies. To help us identify the right markets, we partnered with Revolution and Venture for America, both organizations who know the value of the emerging startup landscape better than anyone else in the US," said Chris Schultz, CEO of Launch Pad.

“This is yet another validation that the Charleston Region entrepreneur ecosystem is on the rise.  This is a great opportunity to gain national exposure for both three local start ups and our region’s innovation community.” said John Osborne, Director of The Harbor Entrepreneur Center.

In order to qualify for the Launch Pad PITCH competition, companies cannot have raised more than $3mm. To be notified when the application form and selection process is open, those interested should fill out the form found here.

The participating companies representing Charleston will be selected on March 1st and all participating companies will be announced March 16th at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.


Collision is “America’s fastest growing tech conference” created by the team behind Web Summit. In two years, Collision has grown to over 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world’s fastest growing startups and the world’s largest companies, alongside leading investors and media. Collision 2016 will welcome thousands of attendees to New Orleans, in between the two weekends of Jazz Fest.


The Harbor Entrepreneur Center a non-profit organization dedicated to growing entrepreneurship and scalable companies in the Charleston Region. Through an accelerator program for innovative startup companies, a Propel program & Forum Groups for further-stage founders, high-impact events, and multiple sites offering workspace throughout the region, The Harbor consistently creates ways to collide the most motivated, smart and capable entrepreneurs.


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