Founder Institute graduates 9 startups

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Nine companies graduated this week in the first cohort of Greenville’s Founder Institute program*. The inaugural class of 12 entrepreneurs spent three and a half months developing, refining and building on their ideas, which spanned the manufacturing, healthcare, technology, sports and education industries.

Out of the 150 applicants, around 34 were accepted and a mere 12 officially graduated, said Founder Institute Greenville co-director Jason Premo. The selective and intense nature of the program – which required an average of 25 hours per week in addition to participants’ day jobs – is designed to maximize the entrepreneur’s chance of success upon graduation, he said.

“By the time you’ve come out of it, you’ve avoided 80 percent of the reason many startups fail,” said Premo, who said half of the inaugural class had already received some sort of funding for their firms.

Premo has plans to run the program again next year, with marketing and applications ramping up in January and February for a projected program launch in early March.

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Bangwagon_Logo

Startup: Bandwagon

Founders: Harold Hughes, Susan Donkers

Big idea: Online marketplace gives fans more control and fewer fees

Site: BandwagonFanClub.com

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HeyNeighbor_Logo

Startup: HeyNeighbor

Founders: Kristian Pflieger

Big idea: Rent tools, equipment and more from your neighbors conveniently and securely

Site: HeyNeighborApp.com

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Connect2NICU_logo

Startup: Connect2NICU

Founders: Shante Nixon

Big idea: Connecting parents to providers about neonatal intensive care

Site: Connect2NICU.com

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YourTie_Logo

Startup: Time Is Everything (TIE)

Founders: Adam Powell

Big idea: Outsource chores, laundry, dry cleaning, groceries and more

Site: YourTIE.co

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TForm_Logo

Startup: tForm

Founders: Ben Moore, Chris Rogers

Big idea: Fastest providers of custom thermoformed packaging

Site: tForm.co

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Tipply-logo

Startup: Tipply

Founders: Elizabeth Barr

Big idea: Online recruitment process to vet employees for restaurants

Site: Tipply.cc

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YunoHealth_logo

Startup: YUNOhealth

Founders: Hao Wu, Michele Wang

Big idea: Healthcare tourism service for infertile women in China

Site: YUNOhealth.com

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TallGamez_Logo

Startup: Tall Gamez Inc.

Founders: Julian Nixon

Big idea: Engaging math and science videogames that you aren’t embarrassed to play

Site: TallGamez.com

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Vocati-Logo

Startup: Vocati Inc.

Founders: Jon DeMersseman

Big idea: Keyword focused resume service that boost chances of getting an interview

Site: Vocati.co

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*Upstate Business Journal Publisher Ryan Johnston was a co-director of Greenville’s Founder Institute Program.

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