Next Gen Charleston: A Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting Up

Next Gen Charleston: A Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting Up

Written and Curated by Hannah Frankman

Welcome to Charleston Next Gen! We’re so excited to support you on your entrepreneurial journey.

Charleston is a beautiful place to be living, and it’s a unique city -- most people don’t live here because they have to, but rather, because they want to. It’s also a great city to be building a business. There’s a startup scene here, but it isn’t overwhelmingly big -- so there’s ample opportunity to build your niche.

In the following guide, we’ve put together our top resources for entrepreneurs here in Charleston.

Are we missing a resource that should be included? Email Hannah at, and we’ll get it fixed pronto.

But first things first . . .

Where do I get started?

There are lots of ways to plug into the Charleston community, no matter what level you’re at or what you’re working on. The full guide below lists everything Charleston has to offer, but we also have curated recommendations, depending on where you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey.

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, but not ready to start your own project ...

That’s perfect! There are a lot of great places in Charleston to tap into the entrepreneurship network, make some connections, and start learning. Startup Grind Charleston is a great way to learn from successful figures in the business world, and the local networking events are a great place to chat with people in the entrepreneurial space!

If you’re working on your own project, and want to network with specific people ...

We’ve got your back. In the sections below, you’ll find very specific opportunities and resources, sorted by category (so you can search by need). We personally recommend Startup Grind Charleston, plus our own monthly Next Gen meetups.

See below for our full list of resources and recommendations!

General Resources:

Our top picks and most important staples for the Charleston entrepreneur. These are the biggest entrepreneurship hubs in the city!

  • Harbor Entrepreneur Center

    About: The Harbor EC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded in 2013 by two local entrepreneurs + advocates. We've supported more than 170 companies through our programs over the last 5 years. Our alumni have received over $5 million dollars in private sector investments. Many local businesses partner with us annually to support the growth of new companies and the continued development of Charleston's entrepreneurial community.

    -coding school


  • College of Charleston Center for Entrepreneurship

  • Office Evolution

    About: A beautiful coworking space on King Street in downtown Charleston, Office Evolution offers a variety of coworking options -- and also hosts a number of public events.

    Contact: Beth Sanstone


For Creative Entrepreneurs:

Charleston is a big hub for creative entrepreneurs. Photographers, videographers, painters -- whatever your medium, there are lots of resources to help you capitalize on the business side of what you do.

Venture Capital:

  • Alerion Ventures

    About: Alerion Ventures is an evergreen venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in scalable startups. Based in Charleston, SC, Alerion partners with entrepreneurs throughout the Southeast.

  • Charleston Angel Conference

    About: The Charleston Angel Conference, hosted in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, is designed for new investors looking to gain more experience in the angel investing process, experienced investors seeking quality dealflow, and entrepreneurs seeking angel investments and exposure for their companies.

Still not sure where to start? Next Gen has your back! Email Hannah at to chat about resources, opportunities, and best options.

Haley Smith