Blog // Connect South Carolina

GSSM Students Study How Technology and Entrepreneurship Impacts Economy

By Wil Payton

Students in our state are seeing first hand the important role that broadband and the fast-paced world of new technology have on the economy.

Students from the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) recently participated in a program that provided an in-depth look at how entrepreneurship impacts the economy. In January, 12 students from GSSM traveled to Silicon Valley to take part in the TechTrek program.

An award winning field-study course open to both undergraduate and graduate students, TechTrek is an intensive elective culminating in a trip to the West Coast where students meet with senior executives at companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Cisco, Starbucks, and Microsoft, among many others.

Students were able to meet Dr. Charles Townes, Greenville native and Nobel Laureate in physics; and DuBose Montgomery, Hartsville native and founder of Menlo Ventures, a leading venture capital firm. Meetings with GSSM alumni were also on the agenda. Students met Todd Eisenberger of Dropbox, GSSM class of 2008 and originally from Myrtle Beach, and Cooper Bethea of Foursquare, GSSM class of 1998 and originally from Dillon.

"The purpose of our trip was to expose students to the highly unique environment of talent, technology, and capital in Silicon Valley and to bring them back to South Carolina with this knowledge," says Robert Fletcher, director of the School's BlueCross BlueShield Economics and Finance Institute. "We need our students to lead a new generation of free enterprise in the Palmetto State."

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