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Upstate entrepreneurs win start-up money from local organization

South Carolina Business Review
SC Public Radio
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After receiving over 80 applications for a start-up business contest with ideas ranging from helipad maintenance to spent nuclear fuel recycling, eight winners were selected by our next guest’s organization to receive prize packages that, in total, represented more than $100,000. Mike Switzer interviews Eric Weissman, executive director of NEXT 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.