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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: New Accelerator Program

May 08, 2024 09:49AM ● By Donna Walker

SCbio's Life Science Accelerator, SCbioDrive, Launches Application for Inaugural Cohort

SCbio, in partnership with The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), on May 7, 2024, opened applications for its new accelerator program, SCbioDrive.


A biannual program, SCbioDrive will select up to six seed-stage life sciences companies for an eight-week hybrid program designed to advance their platforms and technologies through expert business curricula, industry guidance and mentorship - all at no cost.


Emerging therapeutics companies are invited to apply for the inaugural Fall 2024 program by June 28.


Startups selected through a rigorous two-step vetting process will:


* Participate in six business-focused curriculum modules taught by seasoned experts from Charles River Labs, Deloitte, Maynard Nexsen, Medpoint, and more;

* Partner with a small, dedicated group of industry mentors;

* Connect with SCbio's global life sciences network through ecosystem-wide events and targeted 1:1 partnering opportunities; and

* Experience an End-of-program Demo Day in Charleston, S.C., where they will present their company to a curated group of potential investors and industry leaders.


"The resources and knowledge that the SCbioDrive inaugural cohort will gain from the expert companies leading this curriculum will be invaluable," said SCbio President and CEO James Chappell.


Chappell added, "We want this program to show entrepreneurs that South Carolina is the state where businesses, at their earliest stages, are set up for success and sustained growth."


"Our vision for Drive has always been to support diverse founders with exciting science no matter where they are starting their company," said MassBio CEO and President Kendalle Burlin O'Connell.


O'Connell added, "We're pleased to see SCbio take the MassBioDrive model and put a Palmetto State spin on it to accelerate their homegrown startups toward success."


The Fall 2024 accelerator will run from Sept. 23 to Nov. 21. Applications for the inaugural program cohort are available at  


SCbio is South Carolina's investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state.


SCbio represents more than 1,000 organizations employing more than 87,000 professionals across the state and supports and advances organizations in multiple arenas including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, digital health, research and medical labs, bioscience distribution, bio-ag and more.

Columbia Vehicle Group Selects Aiken County to Establish First SC Operation

Columbia Vehicle Group, an electric vehicle manufacturer, said it selected Aiken County for the company’s first South Carolina operation.


The company’s $12.2 million investment will create 180 jobs, according to Gov. Henry McMaster’s office.


Part of the Nordic Group of Companies, Columbia manufactures pure electric vehicles for industrial and commercial markets under the Columbia and Tomberlin brands.


The company’s products, which include golf carts, utility vehicles, maintenance vehicles and e-bikes, are distributed globally.


“We’ve been investing in great communities since 1947 with Aiken being a superb fit to our continued global expansion of the Tomberlin and Columbia brands,” said Columbia Vehicle Group CEO Michael Tomberlin.


State officials said Columbia is relocating manufacturing operations from Florida and Wisconsin to Aiken County for closer proximity to customers and its supply chain.


The company will purchase and upfit the existing 154,480-square-foot facility located at 2063 University Parkway in Aiken.


Operations will be phased in over the next 18 months. Those interested in joining Columbia should email [email protected].


The state’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project.


The council also awarded a $100,000 Set-Aside grant to Aiken County to assist with the costs of building improvements.

Governor Requests Disaster Declaration Following April 20 York County Storms

Gov. Henry McMaster on May 7, 2024, requested a presidential disaster declaration to assist state and local recovery efforts following the dangerous storm system that moved through South Carolina on April 20, 2024.


The storm produced high winds and large hail that impacted areas of York County. The request comes after extensive damage assessments determined 16 homes were destroyed, 12 homes experienced major damage, and residents experienced widespread roof and vehicle damage. 

"I have determined that the situation and survivor recovery needs in York County are of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments, such that federal assistance is necessary to supplement the ongoing efforts and available resources of the State, local governments, disaster relief organizations, and compensation by insurance for disaster-related losses," McMaster wrote in the letter.


He added, "Indeed, the impacts of the April 20 storm have resulted in threats to the safety, security, and welfare of residents of York County, particularly the most vulnerable residents in the storm’s path."


If granted by the White House, the declaration would help those affected by the storm through FEMA Individual Assistance Programs.


Those programs provide direct financial assistance to those who incurred property damage as a result of the storm.

What Taxpayers Should Do If They Receive Mail From the IRS

IRS sends notices and letters when it needs to ask a question about a taxpayer’s federal tax return, let them know about a change to their account or request a payment.


Agency officials say don’t panic if something comes in the mail from the IRS – they’re here to help.


When a taxpayer receives mail from the IRS, they should:

Read the letter carefully. Most IRS letters and notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice deals with a specific issue and includes any steps the taxpayer needs to take. A notice may reference changes to a taxpayer's account, taxes owed, a payment request or a specific issue on a tax return. Taking prompt action could minimize additional interest and penalty charges.


Review the information. If a letter is about a changed or corrected tax return, the taxpayer should review the information and compare it with the original return. If the taxpayer agrees, they should make notes about the corrections on their personal copy of the tax return and keep it for their records. Typically, a taxpayer will need to act only if they don't agree with the information, if the IRS asked for more information or if they have a balance due.


Take any requested action, including making a payment. The IRS and authorized private debt collection agencies do send letters by mail. Taxpayers can also view digital copies of select IRS notices by logging into their IRS Online Account. The IRS offers several options to help taxpayers struggling to pay a tax bill.


Reply only if instructed to do so. Taxpayers don't need to reply to a notice unless specifically told to do so. There is usually no need to call the IRS. If a taxpayer does need to call the IRS, they should use the number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice and have a copy of their tax return and letter.


Let the IRS know of a disputed notice. If a taxpayer doesn't agree with the IRS, they should follow the instructions in the notice to dispute what the notice says. The taxpayer should include information and documents for the IRS to review when considering the dispute.


Keep the letter or notice for their records. Taxpayers should keep notices or letters they receive from the IRS. These include adjustment notices when the IRS takes action on a taxpayer's account. Taxpayers should keep records for three years from the date they filed the tax return.


Watch for scams
The IRS will never contact a taxpayer using social media or text message. The first contact from the IRS usually comes in the mail. Taxpayers who are unsure whether they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on


More information:
• Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter
• Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts.


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