Greenville’s New TechStars Network Member “The Next Big Thing” Now Open For Applications

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Today, another TechStars Network accelerator comes online. Greenville, South Carolina’s “The Next Big Thing,” as it’s called, has been running in stealth mode since its founding in February 2011. But now, the incubator is ready for submissions. Companies can apply for the program starting today up until the window’s closing on April 20th.

The Next Big Thing’s initial program will begin in summer 2012, culminating in a Demo Day in September.

Like all TechStars Network affiliates, The Next Big Thing will provide those granted admission with support and capital to help get their startups off the ground. In this case, companies receive office space, mentorship, free legal and accounting work and $18,000 per team in seed funding. They will also receive around $75,000 in freebies and discounts from partners. In exchange, The Next Big Thing takes the typical 6% stake in each startup it invests in.

The accelerator has lined up some significant mentors to kick off its launch, including Brad FeldBo FishbackRyan CarsonHiten ShahEric MarcoullierLloyd Taylor and many others.

In addition to its own startups, the accelerator also invests in other startups, usually graduates of similar accelerator program. Currently, it has invested in FullContact (TechStars Boulder 2011) and is closing on two investments from TechStars NY.

The unique thing about this incubator is that it’s also hiring five designers skilled in one or more of the following: IA/UX, identity design, illustration, graphic/print design, HTML, CSS, Javascript/JQuery, video production and animation. The designers will be employed by the The Next Big Thing but will work with the teams individually. They will also be encouraged to join the program’s startups or launch their own, says TNBT Managing Director Peter Barth.

Barth, an alumnus of Vanderbilt University, where he studied computer engineering, spent a couple of years on Wall St. as a registered options principal and general securities principal at Duke & Company and Morgan Stanley. But he soon realized that he really was a hacker at heart and he moved away to Indianapolis, taking a development position with SinglePoint. He worked his way up to CTO then purchased a stake in the business. In 2006, he relocated to Greenville and has been involved with the development of NEXT, the NEXT Innovation Center, InternGreenville, and now, The Next Big Thing. Other members of TNBT’s advisory board are detailed here.

Interested startups can now apply for The Next Big Thing here.