NEXT Venture Pitch 2021 Sets Record

More Venture Capital Firms in Greenville for the Sixth Annual Signature Event

Three Judges Selections Awarded from 100 Applicants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- September 17, 2021 (Greenville, SC)Over 20 VCs representing world-class funds from across the country gathered yesterday to judge our top eight finalists and select their choice to take the stage at next month’s Venture Atlanta. The event was the culmination of a months-long effort narrowing down 100 applicants from all over the Carolinas to just one startup to represent the Upstate at one of the Southeast’s most prestigious events.

Anduin, an AI solution proven to speed up billing and cash flow for accounting firms, took home the coveted Judges’ Choice and is delighted to pitch at Venture Atlanta. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and want to thank NEXT Upstate for giving our Anduin A-Team this award. Justin Adams, founder and CEO of Anduin. We work hard and know we are onto something big. Having the opportunity to get in front of an audience like this is important for us. Thank you!”

The three Judges’ Selections were:

From left: Tyler Traudt, CEO of Debtbook; Ryan Johnston and Ryan Heafy, Co-founders of 6AM City; Bob Quinn, Executive Director of SCRA; Shontavia Johnson, Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Carlos Phillips, President of Greenville Chamber; Justin Adams, Founder of Anduin; Paige McPheely, CEO/Founder of Base.

A sold-out Greenville One Center saw all eight founders think on their feet as they fielded tough, pointed questions from some of the top minds in venture investing and entrepreneurship. The event was highlighted by “profiles in entrepreneurship” – three fireside chats offering often candid glimpses inside the success stories of founders, investors and the winding road it takes to get to the top.

An interesting twist this year brought seven VC firms from the West Coast to evaluate two startups remotely. This hybrid model brought the attention of firms like Kleiner Perkins, GV (Google Ventures) and Intel Capital whose eyes were opened to the potential of Greenville.

“The NEXT team put on a great program. Really punched above its weight with this showcase of the Greenville region and the high-growth companies that are coming out of here,” said Don Rainey, General Partner of Grotech Ventures. “There’s no doubt in my mind we’re just scratching the surface and I can’t wait to watch this takeoff.”

NEXT Venture Pitch would not be possible without the support of sponsors like Clemson University, SCRA, Kopis, Elliott Davis, the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the Greenville Local Development Corporation, Hughes Development, JP Morgan Chase and Knoll Ventures. NEXT Venture Pitch will be back in 2022, exact dates to be determined.


Now in its sixth iteration, the NEXT Venture Pitch Conference is a half-day venture capital conference that brings together high-growth entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, world-class speakers, and more to establish Greenville as an innovation and entrepreneurship hub in the southeast. For more information, visit


NEXT is an entrepreneurial support organization that attracts and helps high-impact, knowledge-based companies grow by developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem and connecting entrepreneurs to it. NEXT currently supports over 120 knowledge-based companies in Upstate South Carolina. For more information, visit


Susan Durden | 864-735-7516 |

Kopis and Zipit Announce Strategic IoT Partnership

Kopis will be utilizing Zipit’s IoT connectivity and device management technologies to reduce time to market for companies bringing IoT products to market.


Cary, NC (September 13, 2021) – Three leaders in IoT design and solutions have come together to deliver an all -in-one, comprehensive IoT Reference Platform.

Internet of Things (IoT) design engineering firm, Connected Development, partnered with cloud-based IoT solutions firm, Kopis, and cellular connectivity and subscription platform, Zipit, on this platform that is aimed to help customers with size, power, and cost constrained IoT applications accelerate time to market.

The feature-rich IoT Reference Platform offers pre-certified, detailed schematics, including Silicon Labs’ BG21 Bluetooth System on Chip (SoC); Telit’s ME310 LTE CAT-M1/NB-IoT cellular modem (AT&T and Verizon); and an array of proven and pre-tested cloud service SDKs, drivers, and sensors.

This powerful combination of pre-tested hardware and software building blocks allows customers to rapidly prototype their unique application, while benefitting from a cost-effective and seamless transition to volume manufacturing.

“With an engineering team averaging 25 years of experience in the industry, we understand the pain points of IoT product development,” said Gregor Bleimann, VP and General Manager at Connected Development. “We created the blueprints, initiated the testing, and integrated the leading software to help developers take off on the ground running.”

The customizable IoT design platform is an ultra-low-power consumption design–offering integrated security features and extensive cellular connectivity for applications like industrial IoT, asset tracking, sensor monitoring and reporting, remote asset control, motion detection and reporting, and battery-operated IoT devices.

“The Kopis IoT platform has been strategically designed to streamline and automate common IoT processes,” said Andrew Kurtz, President & CEO at Kopis. “We are pleased to partner with industry leaders like Connected Development and Zipit to broaden the possibilities of our offering and allow developers to focus their time on what matters most–their application.”

“The IoT Reference Platform isn’t just another development starter kit,” said Frank Greer, CEO & Co-Founder at Zipit. “We’ve brought together three experienced powerhouses in IoT to eliminate the obstacles that prevent developers from delivering solutions that are market ready. The Zipit team is proud to offer our cellular connectivity and subscription services to provide for a seamless deployment.”

The IoT Reference Platform is available now and can be customized to meet the form factor, sensor needs, and more, of diverse applications. Learn more by visiting:


For additional information:

Britany Ochalek

Marketing Manager – Kopis


About Connected Development

Led by a team of well-known and respected experts in wireless, M2M and IoT, Connected Development provides the most comprehensive set of services on the market to bring products from concept to reality quickly and painlessly. Further, their network of partners, spanning every aspect of the wireless community, let Connected Development position customer solutions for success from the start. For more information, visit


About Kopis

Kopis is a Greenville, S.C.-based technology firm focused on providing high impact software and cloud solutions to businesses and state agencies in the Southeast. With a growing team of over 50 employees, Kopis is one of the fastest growing software companies in South Carolina. Kopis is the 2020 Greenville Chamber Small Business of the Year.  For more information, please visit


About Zipit

Zipit is a leading Internet of Things platform company, delivering trusted tools that reduce time to market for connected devices and digital services. Zipit’s platform removes the complexities of connecting devices to wireless carriers, as well as enabling and managing subscription services – making it easier to launch and monetize IoT solutions anywhere in the world. To learn how Zipit can help your business, visit:

The “Z” logo and Zipit are registered trademarks of Zipit Wireless, Inc.