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The BlueCross BlueShield Institute

GSSM launched its Economics & Finance Institute in 2010 with a generous investment from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and additional support from Bank of America Charitable Foundation, BB&T Charitable Foundation, Charles W. & Elizabeth H. Coker Foundation and the Daniel-Mickel Foundation. Robert Fletcher, Hartsville native and former engineer/Harvard MBA, was hired as the Institute’s inaugural director.

GSSM laid the groundwork for the Institute by visiting nationally recognized business programs at schools such as USC, Stanford, Northwestern and the University of Virginia, and hosting numerous think-tank sessions with many of our state’s most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. Educating South Carolina's best and brightest high school students with an eye to the state's economic future has always been at the heart of GSSM.

“From the vaccines at IDEO, to the electric cars at Tesla, to the Facebook revolution, to the oodles of things Google does, to the work they do day-to-day at companies from Dropbox to Square, I’ve learned that I can make a difference, too–and do it here in South Carolina.” 

– from the journal of Oscar Bezi, GSSM class of 2013, following his visit to Silicon Valley on the 2012 GSSM Tech Trek

Highlights of the BCBS Institute


Speakers series featuring CEOs, tech entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial scientists

Summer Internships

Six-week, real-world internships in economics research, tech entrepreneurship, and economic development during summer between junior and senior years

StartUp GSSM Day

Campus-wide experience focused on exposing students to the how-to of business creation as well as the leading knowledge sector career opportunities in SC

Team-Building Challenge Day

Campus-wide event to gain experience in risk-taking, decision-making and collaboration

Tech Trek

Field study to expose students to leaders, often GSSM alumni, working in the fields of finance & tech entrepreneurship in South Carolina, Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston and more

Technology Ventures

Hands-on course designed to expose students to the fundamentals of starting a business from an emerging technology (based on an engineering course at Stanford University)

Intro to Accounting & Finance

Semester-long course designed to teach the “language of money” and essential financial analysis skills for future STEM leaders

AP Macro & Micro Economics

Taught by a leading professor from the USC Moore School of Business

For more information on the BCBS Institute, contact Robert Fletcher at