GrowCo Welcomes Caroline Crowder as Executive Director

Columbia, S.C, September 22, 2022 — GrowCo, the region’s only founder-first entrepreneur support organization is pleased to announce the appointment of Caroline Crowder as Executive Director, effective October 1st, 2022.

Crowder will lead the day-to-day activities for GrowCo at the Boyd Community Innovation Center (BCIC) with a charter to foster an inclusive and robust startup community through activities that inspire new founders, provide programming to support founders at different stages of their journey, and events that showcase the region’s entrepreneurial successes.

The depth and breadth of GrowCo’s operations were expanded significantly following the July announcement of a $1Million donation from The Darnall W. & Susan F. Boyd Foundation to create The Boyd Community Innovation Center in Five Points. The Boyd Community Innovation Center is an inclusive destination for founders of all backgrounds and experiences to connect, network, and build their business with expert support.

Mary Bond Bailey, Marketing Director for the Boyd Foundation said, “We’re excited by how effectively GrowCo is working the plan and by how enthusiastically the startup community is responding to the activities at the Boyd Community Innovation Center. Recruiting an outstanding operations person in Caroline to support the region’s founders enables Columbia to take another huge step forward.”

“The momentum is building in Columbia’s startup community”, added Chris Heivly, former founder of MapQuest and a consultant to GrowCo. “With the addition of Caroline to the Boyd Community Innovation Center team, the Midlands gets a proven leader who can activate the many programs and support services we’ve designed explicitly to grow this nascent startup community.”

Caroline has spent the last year and a half in Singapore working with eduCLaaS Global as the Global Alliances Director developing the firm’s global government alliance strategy and creating collaborative workforce development plans. During this time she created the Digital Skills Coalition plan with an objective to digitally re-skill 650,000 citizens across 16 APEC economies within four years. She also mentored several companies through Techstars Singapore.

Prior to joining eduCLaaS, she served over 5 years at the University of South Carolina, Office of Innovation, Industry Partnerships and Economic Engagement as the Program Director for the UofSC Columbia Technology Incubator leading the recruitment, retention, and development of 45 client companies. She managed operations, programs, communications, community outreach and events, and relationships with the City, County, and UofSC officials.

Before Crowder’s departure to Singapore, she also served as the Partnership Chair & President-Elect of the American Marketing Association Columbia Chapter, Advisor to the Executive Director of R2i2 (Richland 2 Institute of Innovation), and a co-organizer and advocate for multiple events in Columbia including Google Developers Group, Growth Summit, Soda City Startup Weekend, Google Startup Weekend, Open Source 101, diverseIT, 1 Million Cups Columbia, Women in Insurance Technology, and SC Women in Leadership.

“I am very excited about the professional experiences Caroline brings to Columbia. She has demonstrated a tremendous passion for serving the region, a respect for the founder’s journey, and views collaboration as a guidepost, which will serve our community well”, said Matt Vaadi, co-founder and Board member of GrowCo.

About GrowCo

Created in 2019, GrowCo is a non-profit created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. GrowCo’s mission is to:

– Inspire new entrepreneurs to start and grow their companies in the Midlands.
– Serve founders/startup executives throughout their entire journey to establish, validate, and grow their high-growth company.
– Build a culture where: founders and their employees lead the community; there is positive, frictionless peer-to-peer support; there is a foundation of trust among community members;
bad actors and the transactional mindset are not welcomed.

About The Darnall W. & Susan F. Boyd Foundation

The Boyd Foundation creates, supports, implements and promotes outdoor recreational opportunities and facilities, the appreciation of wildlife, beautification of urban areas, educational programs and enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of Columbia, South Carolina and the Midlands at large.  These were and are the special interests of our founders, Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd.