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Columbia's Midlands Tech Launches Entrepreneur Help

Tom Ledbetter
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  While our next guest’s institution of higher learning has often been thought of as a place for employee training programs, he is hoping it will also soon be mentioned as the place to go for student to learn the entrepreneurial skills they will need to turn their business idea into a successful, sustainable, and profitable venture.

Mike Switzer interviews Tom Ledbetter, associate vice president for Entrepreneurial Success and Community Engagement at Midlands Technical College and their new Center for Entrepreneurial Success.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.