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 |