Uber, the on-demand car-hailing service, operates in more than 450 cities around the world, including the Town of Hilton Head Island. Monthly “Ubered” for a week, interviewing local drivers. Here’s what we learned.

The next time you Uber, don’t be surprised if your neighbor rolls up to the curb in a polished Lexus or Mercedes with leather seats.

We all know that the United States was built on the notion of the American dream. This concept has fundamentally impacted not only our way of life, but who we are as a people. We all strive for it. It’s like apple pie and baseball. It is the core principle that has driven us as Americans. And it is the American dream that attracts people from around the world to our way of life — they are attracted to our country by the limitless possibilities that the American dream represents.

The town of Bluffton and its Historic Preservation Commission recently congratulated the partners involved in completing the first phase of renovating the historic Graves House. Located at 85 Calhoun St., this century-old house has been moved 16 feet and stabilized by placing it on a new foundation, making way for further rehabilitations and future uses.

bluftonbudayBluffton Buddy, an app for smartphones and tablets that portrays the people, places and traditions that make Bluffton the heart of the Lowcountry, is now available for free download in the App Store for Apple iOS devices and Google Play for Androids.

The town of Bluffton’s Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017-18 is now available via the town’s website, townofbluffton.sc.gov. The 34-page, two-year strategic plan establishes the framework for guiding policy and financial decisions. The plan is also a flexible tool, helping Blufton Town Council align town resources with strategic priorities to best benefit the residents and business owners of Bluffton. The action plan is divided into six strategic focus areas: May River and surrounding rivers and watersheds, town organization, economic growth, fiscal sustainability, community quality of life and infrastructure.

Bluffton has been recognized by the Municipal Association of South Carolina for outstanding management of growth while implementing plans to keep the historic Old Town area a charming community center. The municipal association credited the town’s long-term strategic planning as an example of successful planning. 

Cornerstone Church in Bluffton has reached an agreement with the town to allow public parking in the church parking lot adjacent to Calhoun Street. Parking will be accessible every day, with the exception of Sundays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the annual Bluffton Village Festival, and the Christmas at Cornerstone Festival. This will make an additional 55 parking places available to the public.

Bluffton leaders are working to update the town code to include a more comprehensive set of rules and regulations for public docks and boat ramps. Current town code only refers to the “Bluffton dock,” though there are now three within the town limits, and does not address ramps or piers at all. The new rules will address safety concerns as well as make sure that the docks are not being monopolized by commercial users. 

pokemon gameLocals who are playing Pokémon Go, the latest version of the Pokémon franchise in the form of a smartphone app, can head to the Bluffton library to train their Pokémon and battle with other players. The Bluffton library has embraced its status as a Pokémon “gym” and has created a display area announcing what team is currently in control of the gym. Ryan Easterbrooks, the librarr’s director of children’s programs, plans to keep the excitement going with a Pokémon club in the fall. Coligny Plaza and Bluffton’s Old Town are also popular local destinations for players. 

shuttle serviceTanger Outlets Hilton Head is offering shuttle service between its two shopping centers in Bluffton. The service will continue through Aug. 31. The shuttle runs daily from noon to 4 p.m., departing Tanger 1 every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour, and Tanger 2 on the :15 and :45. The shuttle stops at Tanger 1 will be behind Shopper Services and across from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th by the gazebo. The shuttle stops at Tanger 2 will be behind Shopper Services and at the crosswalk by Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream and the Salty Dog Restaurant. 

Assisted Living FacilityPalmettos of Bluffton, a NHC Bluffton skilled nursing facility, is scheduled to open in September. The facility will include 55 assisted-living apartments and 20 memory care apartments. Planned amenities include a library, a gym and a putting green. 

Prevent PollutionThe town of Bluffton will be installing six signs to identify coves that drain directly into the May River and to remind town residents and guests not to litter. Two signs will be placed at Heyward Cove on Bridge Street, two at Huger Cove on Bridge Street, one at Verdier Cove and one on Lawrence Street. 

The waiting is the hardest part. Those who have endured three years of the Bluffton flyover construction project connecting Bluffton Parkway with the bridges to Hilton Head Island can finally exhale upon its scheduled June 30 completion.

With what began in May 2013 as a 30-month project — with one delay pushing back its original November 2015 deadline — the $45 million capital improvement will transform the traffic flow on and off the island along U.S. 278. Incoming traffic from the mainland and traffic coming off the island should experience considerable ease of travel, less congestion and fewer delays.

DENISE GARISONOn May 3, the Beaufort Country Board of Education approved Denise Garison, who has been an educator for 30 years, to replace current Bluffton High School principal Mark Dievendorf when he retires on June 30. Garison most recently served as principal of Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she had a strong track record of academic growth and on-time graduation.

LUNCH AND LEARN
Becoming an ANGEL Investor??

Angel Investors are a key part of the Entrepreneurial business development cycle.  Angels provide the base level support to move a new venture from proof of concept to customer acquisition and growth. If the growth is successful then the Angel has opportunity to profit, if not there may be a few pivots by the business but if customer traction does not develop then the investment is at risk.

Angel investing is always a learning process as the product/service is likely new and different, often disruptive and the firm is new and formative in terms of putting together its operational services. But if the product/service hits willing and engaged customers and solves an opportunity problem (Uber, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, etc.) the outcomes can be huge (Unicorns are new companies that quickly grow to Billion dollar valuations) even those with more reasonable outcomes can generate significant ROI.

The Lunch and Learn session will be held on Wednesday June 22 at a location on Hilton Head Island. If you meet the SEC criteria for being an Angel there will be a follow-on session on June 29th (Lunch and evaluate) a real deal from the SC Angel Network (SCAN). After that you will have an opportunity to consider joining with other Angels in SCAN and evaluating and considering investing in opportunities via a regular deal flow process.
The Lunch and Learn session will cover:

  1. Where Angels fit in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  2. What Angels provide for entrepreneurs
  3. The potential returns
  4. The high level of risk
  5. How to evaluate the potential of new entrepreneurial opportunities
  6. Valuation and Terms and due diligence activities
  7. The SEC rules
  8. The Jumpstart rules  (crowdfunding)
  9. Lone Wolf versus Angel Groups
  10. Does being an Angel fit your capability and capacity??
  11. Exploring the opportunity further

Sign up now to receive the information on the June 22 venue location (timing is 11am to 1:00pm.) The session is a quality learning opportunity where the issues and your questions will be competently handled.

Details of the June 29th session will be provided to those qualified and interested. There is no charge for either.

 

 

State Rep. Jenny Horne is running for Congress, challenging incumbent Republican Mark Sanford in the coastal 1st Congressional District. The Republican primary election is June 14. Horne is a Republican member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing District 94. She was first elected to the chamber in 2009.