January 24-31, EngenuitySC, along with friends and partners, will spend a week celebrating our region’s success and investigating our future opportunities during Competitiveness Week 2020.

Check out this incredible lineup and find ways to get involved!

Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Friday, 1/24

Richland One Career Expo

Growing companies rely on a well-prepared workforce. At the Richland One Career Expo, dozens of local employers in high-demand fields will introduce 1,700 eighth grade students to the habits of thinking that are key to success in their industries.

Invitation Only

Attendees of the Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report launch - which kicked off Competitiveness Week 2019 - network at the Columbia Museum of Art after the results have been revealed.

Monday, 1/27

6th Annual Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report Launch

Central Energy at the BullStreet District
2030 Gregg St, Columbia, SC 29201
Doors open at 4:15pm; Launch at 4:45pm

How likely is a company – or a family – to choose the Columbia region when considering a move to the Southeast? Each year EngenuitySC publishes the Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report, which helps local leaders gauge success and address challenges. Results from 2019 will be shared at this event.

Sponsored by Dominion Energy

Tuesday, 1/28

Table Talk

Central Carolina Community Foundation
BullStreet District
2142 Boyce St Suite 402, Columbia, SC 29201
8:00 - 9:30 AM

CCCF will hold a breakfast event for those interested in more deeply discussing and learning about the ways Midlands school districts and education partners are preparing students to be college and career ready. Speakers include Dr. JR Green (Superintendent of Fairfield County Schools), Tana Lee (Richland One Director of Career and Technology Education), and Diane Luccy (Richland Library Online High School Program) co-presenting with Janet Hatch (Career Online High School Co-Manager and certified Career Coach).


Capgemini Women in Technology Luncheon

Capgemini Columbia
BullStreet District
2142 Boyce St #301, Columbia, SC 29201
11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Capgemini hosts this luncheon to explore opportunities for women in Columbia’s fast-growing I.T. sector.


Cayce Stroll on State

Cayce Arts District
Southern end of State Street, Cayce
6:00-8:00 PM

Adjacent to Cayce’s famed Riverwalk, the south end of State Street is the historical Main Street — and heart — of Cayce. The City has been actively engaged in revitalizing this area, specifically through “previtalization” efforts. This process, appropriately described as “the art of what’s possible,” has already led to the redevelopment of several derelict and underutilized properties, the establishment of new businesses, and multiple public art projects. As you’ll see on your stroll, this small area is dynamic with a unique mixture of businesses, art and recreation — with more to come! Fill your Cayce Stroll on State Passport with stamps from three participating businesses and return it for a free drink token to Steel Hands Brewery, Henry’s of Cayce or Piecewise Coffee Co. This is FREE event! 

Sponsored by Spectrum

Free. Open to Public.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin speaks to the importance of the Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report.

Wednesday, 1/29

1 Million Cups

Richland Library Main
1431 Assembly St, Columbia, SC 29201
9:00 AM

1 Million Cups is a weekly educational program designed to engage, educate and accelerate communities of entrepreneurs. Developed in Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, and continually refined by a dedicated community of entrepreneurs across the United States, 1 Million Cups holds the promise to revitalize, empower, grow and activate the local community of entrepreneurs through online curriculum, coaching and experiential learning.

Free. Open to Public.

Minding Your Business: Keeping Lexington Competitive

Lexington Chamber of Commerce
311 West Main Street, Lexington SC 29072
10:30 am - Noon

Measured in the Competitiveness Report, there are five pillars of competitiveness and regional prosperity — but what does each pillar look like beyond the city’s core? The Lexington Chamber hosts a panel of local leaders working to build success in our region’s largest, most populous suburban county. After the panel, gather a group of colleagues and enjoy lunch on Main Street, Lexington!

Panelists include:
Sarah Johnson, Lexington County Economic Development Director
Franky Barry, Essex Homes & Town of Lexington Planning Commission
Hank Jibaja, Nephron Pharmaceuticals
Greg Little, Lexington One

Sponsored by Nephron Pharmaceuticals

Free. Registration Required.

Social Media Sentiment Workshop in partnership with Experience Columbia SC

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
4:00 - 5:30 PM

Gather with fellow social media innovators for the results of a multi-year social media sentiment study on Columbia SC, learn how Experience Columbia SC is evolving its social media strategy in a changing marketplace and uncover ways we can all work together to increase positive perception of the region we know and love.

Invitation Only

Mayor Benjamin’s State of the City Address

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
6:00 PM

Mayor Benjamin will deliver his 10th State of the City address.

Free. Open to Public.

Thursday, 1/30

Midlands Business Leadership Group Annual Update

8 - 9 am

MBLG is a cadre of business, education, and nonprofit leaders working together to address challenges identified in the Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report. The group will gather for an annual review of their progress.

Invitation Only

Friday, 1/31

Teacher Discovery Day

Downtown Columbia
8 am - 4 pm

Richland One educators who have moved to the area from abroad will be welcomed at Columbia’s beloved attractions and organizations to learn more about connecting students with opportunities in their home community. Their students are the future of our region! This tour is led by EngenuitySC for our partners, Richland One.

Invitation Only

Crash Course Columbia, driven by COR

Downtown Columbia
All Day

Crash Course Columbia is a one-day, immersive experience taking locals behind the scenes of hotspots across the greater Columbia S.C. region. The program is launching in 2020 with the pilot taking place during Competitiveness Week. Crash Course Columbia aims to develop local champions who will connect with the fabric of our region’s culture and choose to stay in Columbia — ultimately increasing talent retention in the Midlands.

Invitation Only

UofSC McNair Entrepreneurship Showcase

McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise
The Senate
2:00 - 5:00 PM

The third annual McNair Entrepreneurship Showcase will feature keynote speaker Steve Forbes, pop-up shops and displays of UofSC student- and alumni-driven startups, and resource providers for entrepreneurs.

Free. Registration required.

Mark Rapp and the Cola Jazz Little Big Band at Main Course

Main Course
1626 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201
7:30 - 10:00 PM

World-recognized jazz musician and artist entrepreneur Mark Rapp calls Columbia “home.” Join Rapp and the Cola Jazz Little Big Band for one of his latest endeavors, Jazz at Main Course. Enjoy a dinner and show pleasing to your ears and tastebuds.

 $10 cover charge + cost of dinner. Open to Public.

EngenuitySC’s Competitiveness Week 2020 is presented by:

And sponsored by:

Arnold Companies
BullStreet District
Central Carolina Community Foundation
City Center Partnership
Chernoff Newman
Colliers International | South Carolina
Columbia Chamber of Commerce
First Citizens Bank
First Community Bank
Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center
John Lumpkin
Lexington Medical Center
LLE Construction
Nelson Mullins
The Cason Group
Public and Education Partners
Richland County
Lexington County
City of Columbia
City of West Columbia
City of Cayce
Town of Blythewood
University of South Carolina
Midlands Technical College