$2.5M donated to Clemson entrepreneur hub.

Date01 November 2021

Two Clemson graduates hope to invest in numerous Upstate businesses and nonprofits through the creation of a $2.5 million accelerator.

The program, designed to help students, faculty, staff and alumni succeed in constructing maintainable and expandable ventures, will be called the Brook T. Smith Accelerator after donors Brook Smith and Pamela Du Rant Smith, 1989 Clemson graduates, according to a news release.

The accelerator will offer participants workspace, networking, educational opportunities, mentorship and training through interdisciplinary coursework and collaboration with on-campus organizations, alumni entrepreneurs and funding sources.

In addition to cultivating entrepreneurial thinking in students, the accelerator's development of leadership skills and research is meant to allow students to impact global businesses and innovation, according to the news release.

"As the leaders and innovators of the future, it is so important for our students to learn about entrepreneurship, and I am grateful to Brook and Pam Smith for their generosity that will allow us to do even more to help our students develop in this area," Clemson President Jim Clements said in the release. "I am excited to see the results of the work that will happen in the Brook T. Smith Accelerator, and I know that it will give our students, faculty, staff and alumni a boost in their own entrepreneurial endeavors."

The Smiths have experience backing projects designed to build job skills and generate regional economic impacts, as well as endeavors that record oral histories and promoting cultural and artistic undertakings, the release said.

"I'm fixated on identifying philanthropic organizations, projects and people with...

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