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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Startup Receives Funding to Expand

Nov 23, 2022 06:42PM ● By David Dykes

SCRA’s SC Launch Makes Second Investment in ScopeStack

South Carolina Research Authority’s investment affiliate, SC Launch Inc., has invested in ScopeStack Inc. for a second time. The $250,000 investment will help the Greenville-based software startup expand to continue streamlining statements of work for IT companies.

ScopeStack became an SCRA Member Company in 2018 and successfully progressed through the program, receiving a $25,000 Project Development Fund Grant and a $50,000 Acceleration Grant. They eventually became an SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Company in 2021 when they received their first investment of $250,000.

Developed by IT providers, ScopeStack offers a Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) solution for creating statements of work by redefining the presales process for IT services providers, managed services providers, and cloud services providers through a unique automation platform.

The platform enables engineers to accurately price professional services, reduce the time to scope a project, and quickly generate statements of work while ensuring that accuracy and proper approvals are in place.

“Generating an accurate statement of work can be tedious, but ScopeStack understands the intricacies because the founders came from the very IT service industry they serve. Their solution works extremely well because it’s truly an answer to the problems they saw first-hand,” said Lee MacIlwinen, SCRA investment manager. “ScopeStack makes scoping projects a turnkey process.”

“ScopeStack’s commitment to helping businesses run more smoothly is consistent with our mission of helping business grow,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA executive director. “We’re excited to partner with them in their success.”  

ScopeStack also recently launched a podcast where they are helping businesses by discussing the dos and don’ts of scoping and managing IT projects. They have a growing client base, including some of the industry’s largest global IT distributors, resellers, and managed services providers.

Turn90 Awarded Grant for Work in Columbia, Charleston

Programs and services that are addressing transitional challenges for men after prison will expand their services, helping more people chart a path toward economic opportunity with help from a multi-year grant from Bank of America.

Turn90 has been named as the 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion in the Columbia market as well as the Charleston market for their successful work in both areas to remove barriers and advance economic opportunity for these men who are the highest risk of re-arrest. 

As part of the program, Turn90 will receive a total of $100,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability and storytelling.

Turn90’s successful pilot site in Charleston has been helping men at the highest risk of re-arrest find success after prison since 2015. The organization doubled its footprint in 2021 with the opening of a second location in Columbia. 

The Turn90 prison reentry program combines daily life skills classes, full-time transitional work in the program’s screen-printing business, wraparound supportive services, and career placement in jobs with livable wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

“Bank of America remains committed to addressing barriers to economic opportunity and providing resources for skills development and workforce training,” said Kim Wilkerson, president, Bank of America South Carolina.

“The impact of Turn90’s work is significant, and we are pleased to help them expand with resources and funding to serve even more who need support in our South Carolina communities. Having received this Neighborhood Champion recognition in two separate markets with two distinct selection committees is a powerful testament to their critically important work and the high level of success Turn90 has achieved. 

“We value our partnership with Bank of America and are extremely grateful for receiving this year’s Neighborhood Champion award for both the Charleston and Columbia markets,” said Amy Barch, Turn90 Founder and Executive Director.

“The grant will expand Turn90’s social enterprise in both locations so we provide high-quality job training and career development to more men after prison. Turn90 is at a critical inflection point in organizational growth as we expand across the state. Now more than ever we need the community to stand behind our mission of helping men succeed after prison. This grant signifies Bank of America’s commitment to Turn90 and the men we serve.”

 In Charleston, four nonprofits have also been selected as Neighborhood Champions since 2019, with the bank investing $200,000 into these local organizations. Previous recipients include South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development, Metanoia, and Lowcountry Local First.

In Columbia, four nonprofits have been selected as Neighborhood Champions since 2019, with the bank investing $200,000 into these local organizations. Previous recipients include Columbia Urban League, Senior Resources, and Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity.

Lung Cancer Survival on the Rise, But Still Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths

Advancements in staging and personalized treatments have helped improve lung cancer survival rates, but low screening rates and health inequities among eligible patients remain as significant barriers to treatment, according to the recently published 2022 State of Lung Cancer report from the American Lung Association.

During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Olympus Corp. of the Americas and the American Lung Association are spotlighting potentially lifesaving lung cancer screening and the diagnostic tools available to help guide treatment.

Nearly 237,000 new cases of lung cancer are projected to be diagnosed this year, and it remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the 2022 State of Lung Cancer report.

The American Lung Association reports progress in some key areas, including an 11 percent decrease in new cases of lung cancer nationally over the last five years and an increase to 25 percent of the average five-year survival rate nationally. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer, however, remains one of the lowest because cases are frequently diagnosed at later stages.

About a quarter of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early enough stage when the five-year survival rate is at its highest (61 percent), highlighting the importance of preventive screenings. Screenings involve a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan, a simple and quick process that creates two-dimensional, cross-sectional images as a patient moves quickly through an open, donut-shaped scanner.

Patients are encouraged to discuss a screening with their doctor if they have a history of smoking.

Dr. Gerard Silvestri, of the Medical University of South Carolina, recently published a study analyzing data of those who underwent LDCT scans under the previous USPSTF guidelines. The data showed that those who underwent a scan were more likely to be female and current smokers.

Men, younger eligible patients, and former smokers were less likely to be screened, and the study also showed that adherence to follow-up scans 12 months after the initial screening was “poor, potentially limiting screening effectiveness.”

Women may be more likely to be screened for lung cancer because they are accustomed to utilizing other preventive screenings such as those for breast and cervical cancer, according to Silvestri.

Older patients are more likely to be screened because they have uniform health insurance such as Medicare compared to younger patients, and current smokers might be easier to identify for screening as opposed to former smokers, who are not easily captured in the electronic medical record, he said.

The 2022 State of Lung Cancer report also highlighted healthcare disparities among various racial groups, all of which showed lower rates of early diagnosis, treatment and five-year survival rate following diagnosis.

Nationally, 21 percent of all lung cancer patients did not receive any treatment after diagnosis for various reasons, and new cases, screening rates and access to medical coverage vary from state to state.

Miller-Motte College Adds Cybersecurity Degree Program

Miller-Motte College, which has two South Carolina campuses, has launched a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree program, available online to students in all states except California.

School officials said the program was added to help fill the increasing vacancies in cybersecurity jobs, which grew 350 percent between 2013 and 2021.

“Not surprisingly, as technology expands, so do cybercrimes. By offering a Bachelor of Science degree in cybersecurity, we are helping build a workforce prepared to manage a host of cyber threats,” said Andrea Snow, SVP of Academics & Career Services of Ancora Education network of post-secondary schools and parent company to Miller-Motte College.

“We are proud to offer a bachelor's degree program developed by a team of industry experts who will lead our students in the online classroom.”

The fully online, 188-credit program provides flexibility and can be completed in as little as 33 months. Enrollment is on a rolling basis with classes beginning every five weeks.

The degree program covers such skills as risk management, authentication, information systems security, firewalls, and more.

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