COLUMBIA — Michael Roth is going from the pitching mound to the podium.
The former South Carolina Gamecock left-hander and star of the team’s two national championship runs will be one of the featured speakers at the annual Ignite! event, which celebrates the Midlands region’s entrepreneurs.
The event will be held Nov. 14 in the Carolina Coliseum on Assembly Street.
Roth, now playing minor league baseball for the Los Angeles Angels organization, has started his own communications company, Michael T. Roth Enterprises, and is building a reputation as a motivational speaker based on his success on the field and in the classroom. He was even tapped recently by the S.C. Department of Commerce to make a pitch at the Industrial Asset Management Council meeting in Omaha, Neb., for companies to locate here.
“I’m just going to highlight the wonderful things about Columbia and what it has offered me,” the Greenville native said last week. “It has prepared me with the skill set and a mind-set to go into the workplace and be successful.”
The ninth annual event brings together media, technology and business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to celebrate the growth of the Midlands’ knowledge economy. Hosts include Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, executive committee co-chairs at EngenuitySC, the public/private partnership formed to boost the region’s entrepreneurial power.
“There are so many amazing people doing exciting things right here in the Midlands,” Benjamin said. “Ignite! is our opportunity to bring them and their ideas together to maximize that potential and build a critical mass of creativity.”
Other speakers for the event represent health care. technology and other fields:
“We look for a group of diverse people who have exemplified starting something big or unique in Columbia,’’ said Frank Avery, Engenuity’s project manager for the event. “We want them to tell their stories, what made them a success in Columbia and the Midlands, to inspire the next generation. We want people to know this is a place where you can start a new great idea, and there are people here who can help you.’’