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Midlands tech startup raises $750k - mostly from outside SC

Jeff Spencer, CEO and co-founder of Playfora
Jeff Spencer
Jeff Spencer, CEO and co-founder of Playfora

It’s not often we hear of a local start-up raising big money from outside the state, but that is what has happened with our next guest’s socially-minded e-commerce company, which has received $750,000 so far this year, most of which has come from a Cleveland-based venture capital firm. Mike Switzer interviews Jeff Spencer, CEO and co-founder of Playfora, in the Boyd Innovation Center in Columbia, S.C.

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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.