This episode of The Edge features Christy Ashkettle, Director of Communications and Culture at NEXT. Christy regularly works with tech entrepreneurs and brings a unique perspective to the podcast. We dive into the mission of NEXT and the numerous ways in which it nurtures and cultivates a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Upstate of South Carolina, discussing the importance of bringing high-impact startups to the area. We also talk in-depth about Venture Pitch, NEXT’s yearly conference that brings together venture capitalists and local entrepreneurs, discussing its impact on the community and the often behind-the-scenes role that NEXT plays in helping companies grow and thrive. Christy caps the episode by sharing some advice for entrepreneurs, talking about the importance of networking and keeping an open mind when building a company.