startup PROGRAM

Innovation through Incubation

At the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, we’re looking for innovators who are passionate about their idea … and committed to doing exactly what it takes to successfully launch and grow their business.  We’re looking for the next great innovators.  We’re looking for you.

If you are an entrepreneur with an idea in the early stages of business development, nothing is more important at this critical time than having the right resources, support – and guidance – to take you to the next step in your business development.  The Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) offers all that – and more.  As a DRCI STARTUP Innovator, you’ll be guided step-by-step by a team of established business growth experts, comprised of some of the Lowcountry’s most successful entrepreneurs and experienced professionals with a wide range of connections at the Local, State and National level.

If you are not ready for the STARTUP program maybe our PRE-START program (early 2021) is for you.

Acceptance into the DRCI STARTUP program is competitive, and the DRCI accepts a limited number of innovators to be part of the program. Specific criteria for the DRCI STARTUP Program includes:


  • Be a for-profit business in a high-growth field
  • Have a product or service that can be commercialized within a reasonable amount of time
  • Be in the early stages of business development
  • Demonstrate a strong market for products or services
  • The company should intend to remain in the region
  • Have a basic business overview or a written description of a business
  • Have the ability to pay the incubator’s monthly fee
  • Agree to meet twice a month with your team to set goals and objectives and to evaluate business conditions

There’s no such thing as one right way to do a startup. You just have to work as hard and effectively as you can to take your company from concept to reality. It’s not easy, but it is possible. But you have to be focused. We can help. We are going to build a team of talented people around you. We are going to help you make it work - but you have to be committed.

  • If your startup is a "hobby", we are not for you.
  • If you are not goal-oriented, we are not for you.
  • If you are not a self-starter, we are not for you.

Becoming Part of the DRCI STARTUP Program

The STARTUP Program is organized in a simple, three-step process:

  1. 1. Pitch
  2. 2. Support
  3. 3. Grow

Potential DRCI Innovators can apply to enter one of our programs. We offer both a Pre-LAUNCH curriculum that helps potential entrepreneurs refine a rough idea and STARTUP where we help build the company into a sustainable business generating cash flow.

Services Provided by the DRCI STARTUP Program

Our program is individualized to meet the specific needs of each of our innovators.  We understand that each company we work with has different areas where they need help, and some may need more help than others. 

 Below is a list of our most commonly provided services:

  • Business licensing and company formation advice
  • Business Plan development/execution
  • Sales advice
  • Marketing advice
  • Accounting/Financial advice
  • Mentors
  • Funding Introduction
  • Other services as required by innovator
  • Ongoing business/technical consulting
  • Office space & Infrastructure
  • Structured bi-monthly team meetings
  • 18-month goal planning and execution
  • Social media advice and planning
  • Website advice and development
  • Intellectual Property Search
  • Product Development Services
  • Technical Evaluations

Ready to be our next business success story? 

Apply today to join the DRCI STARTUP Program – and get ready to take your idea from vision to reality. Call us today or click here to contact us to learn more.