Founded by Gordon in 2005, Sandlapper is a full-service broker-dealer and dealer man-ager of investment products. It boasts a team that has decades of experience across a broad range of industries and investment vehicles covering both the public and private markets. These industries include packaged product anal-ysis, commercial real estate equity and debt, tax credits and shelter programs, oil and gas and related industries, equipment leasing, corporate and municipal debt, and other debt obligations and portfolio management.
Shay Houser believes Green Cloud Technologies is a fun place to work. The firm is owned by its more than 40 employees, and each has a stake in creating an enticing workplace, he believes. “Everyone is a shareholder and that makes a big difference,” says Houser, founder and CEO of the Greenville-headquartered, cloud-based four-year-old data storage firm. “We are focused on the long term and creating a fun environment. We hire the best employees we can get. At the end of the day, it’s about them.” Green Cloud’s growing staff, which Houser says will reach at least 48 by year’s end, is comprised of young, yet experienced, aggressive tech-savvy people. He describes them as driven and willing to put in the hours it takes to grow an early-stage tech company. Also key to Green Cloud’s ascension has been access to capital and the ability to assemble a strong group of “channel partners,” who are IT companies across the country that sell Green Cloud’s services under their own brands. The 250 or so channel partners help the company expand its product offering and increase the number of end users. About five to 10 channel partners are added each month. End users of Green Cloud’s services include companies from a wide variety of industries, but healthcare-related companies have the largest share, with about 30 percent. Houser believes South Carolina has an exceptional business climate, but there is one major component missing that would help start-up firms: there are no venture capital firms based in the state. “There has to be more venture capital available for small and medium enterprise growth,” Houser says. “The state has done phenomenal with large companies, but better access to capital is needed to accelerate growth of emerging companies. There is not a single South Carolina-based venture capital firm. Charlotte and Raleigh and Atlanta have scores of VC companies. The fact that there are not any here is a detriment to startup companies.” Houser is a veteran of the telecom industry and is an experience entrepreneur. He founded and sold several companies prior to launching Green Cloud. With this background, he is well-qualified to offer advice to those interested in starting a company. “I love to see entrepreneurs at work,” he says. “Greenville has a great environment for new companies and the state does as well. Starting a company is high risk and it takes a lot of energy. You have to have a great plan in place, great advisors and be ready to work hard for the next 10 years. The rule of thumb is it takes twice as long and requires twice as much capital as you might think.” Green Cloud was founded in the fall of 2011 by Houser, his dad Charlie, brother Charles, and several others from their previous company, NuVox. Green Cloud is headquartered at the NEXT Innovation center and recently leased additional space there. Shay Houser says that space should be sufficient, but he says Green Cloud needs to add two more data centers in the coming years. It currently operates such facilities in Greenville and Nashville, Tenn. Houser believes cloud computing is propelling a sea change in technology. “It’s rapidly changing the whole business environment. When you look at the Fortune 500 companies that migrated to the cloud years ago and have proved it’s more efficient, to me that should be an indication that that’s the way to go for small and medium enterprise companies. Cloud providers offer a more secure and more efficient solution compared to a company buying computer equipment and sitting it in an office. To me, that makes absolutely no sense any more.” What’s in a name? For Green Cloud, the “Green” can take on several meanings, Houser says. “We’re in Greenville, right? We like to play off the environmental piece. Our servers and infrastructure and infrastructure run a lot more efficiently than a premise-based server. And, jokingly, our channel partners make a lot of money. So, we put a little bit of thought into the name, but not a lot.” Adding to the company’s environmental cache, Green Cloud plants a tree for each of its customers every quarter of the year. That’s a growing number and Houser hopes it reaches 10,000 a year in a few years.
Lima One Capital is the top hard money lender in South Carolina. John S. Warren is the founder and chief executive officer of the Greenville based finance company. Lima One serves investors from offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston. Warren described hard money in an interview with Miami Herald interview in 2013. “Hard money usually refers to a loan on an investment property from a nontraditional lender or private lender. Unlike many traditional lenders, hard money lenders base more of their underwriting on the value of the secured asset, as opposed to the detailed intricacies of a borrower's financial background,” Warren said. Warren said he began Lima One in early 2010 with just $1 million in capital. He then raised about $2 million in capital because he had more business and needed money to meet his clients' needs. In 2013, Lima One originated more than $50 million in loans. More than 99 percent of those loans have been repaid, Warren said. Hard money lenders focus on lending money to real estate investors, particularly those looking to buy and renovate properties to flip them. Warren believed, after researching the market, in his ability to provide hard money in a more professional way than competitors. Lima One is fully capitalized and prides itself on its customer service. The company offers a variety of loan packages to fit the needs of its real estate buying clients. Lima One lends funds for complete rehab, new construction, construction, cash out, long term rental, and transactional funding. With such a variety of loan products clients are sure to find the perfect program to fit any real estate project. One of the assets of Lima One is its commitment to being upfront about costs and its promise of absolutely no hidden costs or junk fees. The lender is also quick and efficient. It closes hard money loans fast and offers the most straightforward terms in the industry. Lima One's style of business has revolutionized the hard money industry. It provides investors with the ability to capitalize on the most promising opportunities in the current real estate market.
SolBright Renewable Energy is the grand winner of the 2013 SC Fastest Growing Companies. SolBright is headquartered in Charleston. It sells and installs renewable energy systems, primarily solar panels for military bases, industrials concerns, and institutions.
Wireless Communications is an exclusive Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. Wireless Communications owns and operates 40 retail locations throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and West Virginia. Each of our stores strives to meet our company vision: “to be the leading premium retailer for Verizon wireless products and services while providing an untouchable customer experience”.
Barling Bay, Inc. offers leading edge solutions to Federal Government customers, with a focus on Systems Engineering, Information Assurance/Security, Research and Development as well as Management and Administration. They provide the appropriate people, processes and quality programs to enable successful integration of programmatic, technical and operational enviroments. Revenue increases of 730% for the last three financial periods acccouts for the reason why Barling Bay covets the number one spot.
Wild Creations, a developer of science and nature adventure toys, is headquartered in Myrtle Beach is the 2010 fastest growing company in SC with an impressive revenue growth of 313% from 2007 to 2009.
Direct Source Imports, an international wood purveyor, headquartered in Mt. Pleasant is the 2009 fastest Growing Company in SC with an impressive revenue growth of 225% from 2006 to 2008.
2am Group, headquarted in Duncan, is a manufacturing technical service provider of logistics, manufacturing and quality solutions for the automotive, aerospace and marine industries, with customers thoughout North America and Europe.
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