Low overhead, high-speed connectivity, essential business services and a network that provides mentors, customers and collaborators—the essentials for start-ups are in place and ready to support you.

Available Resources in the City of Columbia

Business Incubator

Coworking Spaces

Need a Business License?

Women Business Center


Increasing the number of minority-owned business

Benedict College Business Development Center 
Minority entrepreneurs can rent office space by the month, use temporary space on an hourly basis, network, get training and access funding in this professional office building near downtown.

A market for your products

Soda City Market
A farmers and artisans market attracting thousands of customers to Main Street every Saturday. Space for 150+ vendors; provides low-cost opportunities for food producers and craftspeople to test products and develop a customer base.

For social entrepreneurs

Provided through the USC College of Social Work, this incubator helps for-profit, nonprofit and government organization find innovative ways to address social problems. A 7-stage incubation process includes rapid-cycle testing, networking and outreach.

Manufacturing, prototyping and design support

The Center for Entrepreneurial Success (CES)
Based at Midland Technical College, CES provides workspace, expertise and tools to create blueprints, prototypes, engineering and technical reviews. Resources available to current and future students; includes Entrepreneurship Certificate curriculum.

LaunchPad for Growing Companies

A public/private partnership focused on sparking an explosion of entrepreneurial activity in the Columbia region.


Work spaces


Two locations, SOCO Vista and SOCO BullStreet, provide flexible co-working spaces, meeting rooms, a schedule of educational and networking events plus a community of collaborators.

femme x COLUMBIA

femme x COLUMBIA is a monthly membership-based co-work space and social club featuring a lounge and cafe, shared and fixed desks, computers, meeting rooms, and outdoor garden work areas.

Expansive Main Street
Located at 1122 Lady Street, Expansive Main Street features proximity to the University of South Carolina, Columbia Museum of Art, and several downtown apartment buildings. Expansive offers 12 floors of state-of-the-art workspace along with a third floor outdoor event space.


Richland Library Main
In the main branch of Richland Library, find a free makerspace that’s part art studio, part workshop, part media lab. Equipped with technology, tools and supplies.

Commercial kitchen

DER Kitchen 
The state's first shared commercial kitchen; gives bakers, caterers and food truck operators a pay-by-the-hour base of operations.




Sharing entrepreneur success stories

1 Million Cups 
Weekly event for entrepreneurs to present startups and meet a thriving network of founders in Columbia.

Networking the tech community

Tech After Five 
Monthly facilitated network meetings for entrepreneurs, investors, suppliers, and talent from the tech sector.

Supporting women business owners

Women’s Business Center 
Supports female entrepreneurs and business leaders across the state. Based at Columbia College with weekly programs and networking events, regionally and locally.

Benedict College Women's Business Center

A newly designated Women’s Business Center by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); the only Federally funded HBCU in the nation with statewide coverage operating a WBC; economic development organization; part of a nationwide network of community, business, and economic development programs; and professional and trained business advisors.

Connecting with the insurance sector


The mission of its.cola is to cultivate and bring awareness to the Columbia area's talent and innovation empowering a world-class insurance technology hub.

A top-ranked technology incubator

USC/Columbia Technology Incubator helps entrepreneurs move from idea to startup through 3 programs:

  • CoLab—for freelancers needs co-work space
  • LaunchPad—a training camp to test ideas
  • Business Incubation—an all-inclusive program for startups

Named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Top 3 College Incubators to Watch”.

USC/Columbia Technology Incubator