SCRA presents Company, Founder, and Researcher of the Year awards at annual summit

April 11, 2024

Hundreds gathered at the South Carolina Research Authority’s annual summit in Columbia, where Williamston-based Bubble Paper was awarded Company of the Year, Scott Pancoast of Zylö Therapeutics was awarded Founder of the Year, and Dr. Joe Carson of the College of Charleston was awarded Applied Researcher of the Year.

Photo (left to right): Dr. Joe Carson, Professor of Astrophysics at the College of Charleston, with the Applied Researcher of the Year award. Benjamin Moore, founder of Bubble Paper, with the Company of the Year award. Scott Pancoast, founder of Zylö Therapeutics, with the Founder of the Year award.

Bubble Paper is a leader in the environmental packaging industry that provides packaging materials that offer the same level of protection and temperature control as current plastic alternatives at a comparable cost. Many areas of the country, including several counties in South Carolina, have banned plastic foam insulation to keep food cold and protect products in shipping. Bubble Paper is uniquely positioned to leverage this movement.

Scott Pancoast is the founder and CEO of Zylö Therapeutics. Zylö Therapeutics is a leader in the topical solutions industry, treating several diseases. Emerging from semi-retirement, Scott Pancoast discovered the effectiveness of the technology and founded Zylö. Its drug delivery system uses patented xerogel-derived particles, called Z-pods™, to topically deliver Nitric Oxide and other notoriously hard-to-deliver therapeutic agents. The technology enables a product concept called the Patchless Patch™, an innovative, competitive response to a lidocaine patch.

Dr. Joe Carson is the brains behind one of TIME magazine’s top 10 Science Discoveries of 2009. He is a professor of Astrophysics at the College of Charleston and the founder of Pensievision, a medical device startup and SCRA Member Company. Joe has found a way to incorporate NASA satellite technology into a low-cost, handheld 3D imaging device to address the third most common cancer worldwide and the leading cause of cancer death in women in developing economies—cervical cancer. As a testament to the critical need that Joe and Pensievision are fulfilling, their federal Small Business Innovation Research proposal received a rare perfect score from the NIH—something unheard of, which is termed the unicorn score.

Themed Founders First, the summit celebrated the hard work of founders growing our state’s innovation economy. It was a time for SCRA-supported and -funded entrepreneurs, startups, project leaders, and members of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to come together, network, and learn more about how to grow their businesses successfully. The success of these startups results in economic growth and new jobs for the state that pay 70% higher than the state’s average.

The keynote speaker was Mastin Robeson, Major General, United States Marine Corps (Ret), President of UASidekick, an SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Company, and Founder and Chairman of the Board for Upstate Warrior Solution.


About SCRA

Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority fuels the state’s innovation economy through the impact of its comprehensive services to technology-based startups, academia, and industry. SCRA provides funding and support to accelerate the growth of academic startups; high-quality lab and administrative workspaces; facilitation and funding for partnerships between and among industry, startups, and academic institutions; assistance and funding for the relocation of technology-based companies to South Carolina; and coaching and funding for startups that may also receive investments from its affiliate, SC Launch Inc.