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Upstate Company Wins SBIR Grant

Zach Garner
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

As you hear on this show on a regular basis, our state’s small business community continues to receive national attention and funding.  The most recent example we’ve uncovered is an Upstate data management and analytics company that is the first South Carolina-based company in the past 23 years to be awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Mike Switzer interviews Zachary Garner with VisioStack in Greenville, SC.

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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.