When Erik Weir was 5 years old, he started selling lemonade.
It was a speech impediment that fueled the fire leading to his entrepreneurial success. He bought his first car when he was 13 years old, purchased his first real estate right out of college, and quickly felt he could not only make his own dreams come true but also those of someone else.
Instead of going to work for some place he didn’t enjoy, he got into investing in college when he started buying stocks and secured his real estate license at age 18.
“I was curious about investing and realized you can have passive investments that work for you while you’re sleeping,” said Weir. “Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur or investor, but you can help you and your family create a better life with those opportunities.”
Weir will invest in South Carolina and its entrepreneurs with $30k PowerUp: A South Carolina StartUp Competition.
South Carolina entrepreneurs hoping to launch a startup will have the opportunity to compete for $30,000 in cash prizes, premium office space and professional business coaching.
The competition is sponsored by Weir, principal of WCM Global Wealth, author of "Who’s Eating Your Pie?", and host of the podcast “Stuttering Your Way to Success,” and presented by Integrated Media Publishing, publishers of Columbia Business Monthly, Charleston Business Magazine and Greenville Business Magazine.
“I am pleased to be teaming up with Integrated Media Publishing for the $30k PowerUp,” said Weir. “This is our way of investing in the future generation of South Carolina’s small business owners. For over two decades, I have been giving financial advice and success coaching to celebrities, millionaires, and billionaires. Now I am turning my attention to disruptive innovators and promising entrepreneurs in my home state of South Carolina.”
People like competitions, like Shark Tank, said Weir, which this competition will resemble on a local scale.
“This is about experience education and feedback, too,” he added. “I saw a lot of people through the course of COVID get depressed and anxious, while some reinvented themselves, started a side hustle. I want to encourage that on a broader scale. Sometimes these startups just need a little bit of capital and feedback.”
Weir, who will be heavily involved in the competition process, will not only hand the grand prize winner a check for $15,000 but will provide them with personal business coaching and six months of office space at his company headquarters located in downtown Greenville.
“Small businesses are the heart of South Carolina’s thriving economy,” he said. “We want to find innovative startups with the necessary ingredients to thrive. We’re not looking for mega startups that require buckets of cash, but big dreams that can be funded creatively and smartly.”
Contestants will pitch their business startup by presenting a video, and three winners will be announced in October and the deadline to submit applications is March 27 at midnight.
Startups interested in applying must have less than $500,000 in funding and propose innovation and creativity, said Weir.
“This is an opportunity for startups to also receive free press,” he added. “I think competitions like this fuel the economy and the community. South Carolina is a state for businesses to thrive. I love entrepreneurs, creating jobs and energy, and we could always use more of that.”
Weir said he wants to see how this competition goes, but it could eventually lead to growing an entrepreneur incubation site at his headquarters.
More details are available online.
As founder of WCM Global Wealth, a financial wealth advisory firm, Weir serves clients ranging from some of the biggest multi-platinum recording artists, pop culture celebrities and professional sports icons, to several families listed on the Forbes Billionaires list and other business owners, according to a news release.