The South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Research Authority held its third annual SC Innovates Pitch Competition last month. Alexandria Coleman, Class of 2025, was selected as a semifinalist and was the only student from the University of South Carolina among the top 15 presenters.
The virtual competition gives students the chance to showcase their projects and connects them with other business-minded students in generating new, innovative ventures in South Carolina.
Tell us more about your project “Beyond Pills” and your experience in the competition.
My business idea centered on the prevention and management of chronic diseases in America. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol have become even more prevalent.
“Beyond Pills” is a hybrid company that is cost-effective, informative, and patient-centered. It is a pharmacist-owned and operated company offering numerous services as part of a monthly subscription. Disease prevention services focus on the root cause of chronic diseases. It is different from other wellness companies, because preventing chronic disease requires behavioral changes that are difficult to sustain.
The company app will have a proprietary algorithm allowing it to learn the behaviors and habits of members, then personalize recommendations to promote and maintain health and well-being. “Beyond Pills” would be supported by revenue generated through classes, subscription fees, supplements, digital health devices, and other value-added items. “Beyond Pills” would also offer nutritional advice, weight management consultations, and grocery mentoring, as well as prepared organic, healthy food and drinks.
By offering members access to experts and content either in person, online or in a hybrid variety, “Beyond Pills” is here for everyone. Whether you live in a food desert or near a grocery store, it is a one-stop shop.
What inspired you to take part in the competition?
Pamela Hite, program coordinator for the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, and Dirk Brown, faculty director of the McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise with the Darla Moore School of Business, inspired me to take part in the competition. During an advisory board meeting, they discussed my business plan I had prepared for the National Community Pharmacists Association competition, and I learned about the SC Innovates annual competition.
How do you feel you benefited from taking part in SC Innovates?
This competition allowed me to speak in front of a live audience and share my passion in addressing treatments for chronic diseases. In preparing for the competition, I learned more about myself and my business concept.
Topics: Pharm.D. Program, Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, Student Experience