What We Do

The Digital Corridor is a creative effort to attract, nurture and promote Charleston's tech economy through a combination of technology-enabled initiatives and business incentives, private business support and member-driven programming.

Community

Peer Networking
"The Charleston Digital Corridor serves as the central hub for technology companies in the area and what that has done is create a sense of community around the companies that are a part of it."
  • Grier Allen
  • Founder & CEO
  • Boomtown

Talent

Opportunities Abound
"Attending courses at CODEcamp allowed me to hone my web development skills while giving me the opportunity to interact with professionals that are driving Charleston technology community."
  • Ryan Barrineau
  • Developer
  • Blue Acorn

Spaces

Get Working
"As an early stage software company, it was not only important to have a location to grow in but also the means to mature as an organization. The Flagships afforded this flexibility and infrastructure."
  • Earl Bridges
  • Co-founder
  • Good Done Great

Capital

Accelerating Growth
"While there are many opportunities for investment, our fund is happy to make growth capital available for Charleston’s tech companies. Michael Knox, Managing Partner, Silicon Harbor Ventures."
  • Michael Knox
  • Managing Partner
  • Silicon Harbor Ventures

Attraction

Charleston Wins
"Charleston has emerged as a true tech hub in the United States and we are proud to be a part of the movement that is underway here and are committed to seeing talent and companies grow and prosper here."
  • Nate DaPore
  • President & CEO
  • Peoplematter
STATS

Latest News

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Charleston Digital Corridor Announces 2016 iFive:K

The Charleston Digital Corridor, along with title sponsor Benefitfocus, is pleased to announce the 2016 Innovators' 5k (iFive:K) to be held at Riverfront Park on April 14th, 2016. Proceeds from the annual race benefit the Digital Corridor's CODEcamp scholarships and other education programming. Confirmed sponsors include Charleston's fast growing tech companies, such as BoomTown, Blackbaud, Blue Acorn, and Google

The Digital Corridor's iFive:K has become a favorite athletic and networking event for Charleston's tech community. As one of only a handful of evening weekday races in the region, the iFive:K typically sells out in just a few weeks. Registration for the iFive:K officially opens today.

"A big part of the Charleston Digital Corridor revolves around community – connecting people so that we can help each other grow and foster new talent through CODEcamp," states Kevin Eichelberger, Founder & CEO of Blue Acorn. "As the proud winner of last year's SPIRIT award, Blue Acorn is thrilled to serve as a shining example of what it means to support the effort, and we look forward to passing the torch to this year's most spirited competitor."

"It is awesome to see our tech community come together for a fun evening of competition and networking while supporting the further development of talent in Charleston," said Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade. "The 10th year is the perfect time to take our annual iFive:K to the next level."

"Benefitfocus is proud to sponsor the 2016 iFive:K. We value the initiatives the Digital Corridor is working towards and we're excited to be part of the energy that is attracting top technology talent to the Lowcountry. More than 150 of our associates plan to participate in this year's event. It's a great opportunity to talk technology with other innovators in the Charleston region," said Nina Sossamon-Pogue, Vice President of Media at Benefitfocus.

Additional committed sponsors for the 2016 iFive:K include eGroup, SPARC, BiblioLabs, CarePoint, Bibliolabs, Immedion, and local microbreweries Holy City Brewing and Cooper River Brewing Company

###

About the Innovators' 5K (iFive:K): The iFive:K is an annual event that brings together Charleston's tech community for an evening of spirited competition and networking. Proceeds from the iFive:K support CODEcamp scholarships and other education programming. More: ifivek.com

About the Charleston Digital Corridor: The Digital Corridor is a creative initiative to attract, nurture and promote Charleston's tech economy through a combination of technology-enabled initiatives and business incentives, private business support and member-driven programming.

More: charlestondigitalcorridor.com

Contact: Ernest Andrade

843.607.1264

ernest@charleston.digital

CodeLynx Announces New Version of ZEVA Assessment Software Launch

CodeLynx LLC, a Charleston-based Software Development and Electronic Security integrator, has announced the launch of a new version of Zeva, a software program that allows users to conduct risk assessments and evaluations of any scope or scale.

Zeva was first debuted in the fall of 2014, and after a successful first year, is now available in both the Single-User and Corporate versions, with the Enterprise version scheduled to be launched later in 2016. The new version launch includes a re-design of the Zeva homepage that makes it easier for organizations to immediately calculate their return on investment, identify ways to show compliance with government and industry standards, and apply a quality management approach to programs that have traditionally used informal methodologies.

Whether used by an enterprise organization that is required to stay up-to-date with compliance standards – such as in manufacturing, healthcare or utilities industries – or by a single user to conduct a basic evaluation, Zeva is available to help teams of all sizes conduct assessments and make actionable, confident decisions.

Within the new version of Zeva, users may also notice expanded dashboard capabilities and new features of reporting and communications tools. This not only allows users to quickly and efficiently carry out assessments across a range of industries, but also more easily navigate the wide range of features available within the application. Zeva has also been optimized to work on tablets, mobile devices, and traditional desktop computers, and is proving to be the next generation of assessment software.

The inspiration for Zeva first came from the customer experiences of CodeLynx, which has been helping government agencies, corporations and small businesses improve their processes and security systems for over the past 12 years. The need for a solution that would allow customers to track complex and detailed processes became apparent, which led to the creation of Zeva – software that can "evaluate virtually anything."

To learn more about Zeva, visit www.ZEVAapp.com.

About CodeLynx

CodeLynx LLC is a software engineering and electronic security services provider based in Charleston, South Carolina. CodeLynx has been providing custom software solutions, web development, and a wide range of electronic security and audio visual services for both government and commercial customers since 2003. 

CodeLynx been recognized as one of the 20 Best-Performing small companies in South Carolina by SC Biz News in both 2014 and 2015,and has also been named to Inc. 500|5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies for the past three consecutive years. 

ROK Technologies, Inc. Merges with ROK Global Applications Group, LLC

ROK Technologies Inc., a leader in custom GIS solutions has merged with ROK Global Applications Group, LLC, the "go to" organization for Cloud Based GIS to form ROK Technologies, LLC. The surviving entity, ROK Global Applications Group, LLC, will be doing business as ROK Technologies, LLC consistent with the company's' previous branding.

David "Mike" Deignan, a member of the Board of Managers, will be the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Michael Murphy, also a member of the Board of Managers, will be the President and Chief Operating Officer.

The merger will allow ROK Technologies to leverage the combined core competencies of both entities and broaden the cutting-edge GIS solutions it provides to current and future customers. These solutions allow customers to increase efficiency and reduce capital and operating expenses.

"The merger will significantly accelerate growth in both revenue and operating income as well as open up more opportunities for additional products and services," stated David Deignan, CEO of ROK Technologies.

ROK Technologies serves clients in many industries and governments globally. As an Esri Silver business partner and ArcGIS Server Application Service Provider licensee, ROK Technologies is able to leverage the ArcGIS platform and its cutting-edge core competencies to provide cloud-based ArcGIS hosting and application solutions, products and services. Additionally, ROK Technologies has expanded its cloud offerings to include information technology "Infrastructure as a Service" ("IaaS") and "Desktop as a Service" ("DaaS") including ESRI's ArcGIS Pro with 3D capabilities. For more information, contact ROK Technologies.

DaPore Steps Down As PeopleMatter CEO

Nate DaPore –- the founder of Charleston-based PeopleMatter and a leader in the region's burgeoning technology scene –- has stepped down as CEO of the software firm he launched seven years ago. "I've been here since I started the company on my dining room table seven years ago," DaPore said.

The cloud-based workforce management software platform now serves more than 45,000 service-industry locations.

DaPore said he felt ready to move on to the next stage in his career. He met with the PeopleMatter board of directors about two months ago and announced his plans to resign as president and CEO.

The board then began a search for his replacement. George Mackie started Monday as the new president and CEO of PeopleMatter. Mackie, a former partner with Atlanta-based venture firm Noro-Moseley Partners and the former CEO of DBS Systems, has decades of experience in the technology industry.

"He is the right person to take the company to the next level and accelerate its growth," DaPore said. "I'm very excited about his leadership and his being at the helm of the company, and I feel like the company is in great hands. ... George is walking into an opportunity to take it to the next level."

DaPore said no major changes are planned regarding processes, growth plans or leadership positions for the company, which currently has more than 100 employees. DaPore declined to share the company's revenue.

As chairman emeritus, a large shareholder and the company founder, DaPore said he expects to stay involved with PeopleMatter by consulting on special projects and assisting with the leadership transition.

Looking ahead, DaPore said he wants to continue as an entrepreneur and investor, possibly teach, work on his next book and get more involved in growing the Charleston technology scene, particularly with the Charleston Digital Corridor, Dig South and The Harbor Entrepreneur Center. He also serves as a member of the boards of the corridor, YesCarolina and Hampden-Sydney College.

"I have some other ideas on the workbench for a next venture. ... And I'm super excited about the bustling tech scene and getting back into helping aspiring entrepreneurs and mentoring. ... This is a great time for me to step back into helping build Silicon Harbor," DaPore said.

Since its founding in 2009, PeopleMatter has secured more than $60 million from venture capitalists and other investors. The firm occupies two offices on Upper King Street after expanding in spring 2014.

The company had an unspecified number of layoffs in fall 2014. And last year, the company launched Peoplelytics, which uses clients' data and helps them make decisions, predict situations and solve problems.

"It really feels like the right time. I'm a serial entrepreneur. I like to build things and start things, and that's what I want to get back into," DaPore said. "I felt like the company was in a fantastic spot and it's a great time to leave on a high and leave the company in good hands. Timing is everything."

2015 - Year in Review

2015: Year in Review

Since 2004 the Charleston Digital Corridor has published a handsome printed Annual Report distributed primarily to our current member companies, investors and visitors to our Flagship tech business incubators. If the CDC had a theme for 2015, it would be to streamline, simplify and focus.

In keeping with this spirit our new online only Year in Review provides you with some insightful data and key metrics regarding Charleston's tech industry. I hope you will enjoy this presentation and as always, I welcome your feedback.

Continued success in 2016!

[ 2015 - YEAR IN REVIEW ]

What Benefitfocus CTO Taylor Wants In A Job Candidate

The Charleston Digital Corridor leadership profile series is focused on the individuals who are driving Charleston tech scene forward. This series is brought to you with support from Charleston Southern University.

What Benefitfocus CTO Taylor wants in a job candidate

Don Taylor is Chief Technology Officer at Benefitfocus, provider of cloud-based benefits management software, located on Daniel Island. He leads an engineering team of about 700. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, Taylor started a Charleston-based technology company called Boxcar Central. 

Where did you grow up? What was life like and your memories from then/there?

I am from Framingham, Mass. It definitely crafted my view on technology, because I grew up on the 128 Beltway, which was, at the time that I was growing up, one of the major technology hubs in the world. My dad was an engineer, and all my neighbors' dads were engineers – and moms. So the culture around Boston was really about technology. And that's why it ultimately seemed like an obvious choice for me. 

How did you come to be in Charleston?

I was in the Navy in 1979, and was stationed in Charleston. I left Charleston and went back to Massachusetts when I got out of the Navy, (but) it was extremely expensive to live around Boston at the time, and I had young kids. I ultimately found a job with First Federal of Charleston. They moved me back down here. I was a programmer.

In your own words, what does your company do?

In the last five to seven years as a country we have been moving toward a consumer-based model for all of our benefits. Five years ago, you would go to work for a company and they'd give you a piece of paper and you'd sign it, and you'd get whatever you got. Now there's the model we are moving to called defined contribution, where your employer is going to give you, say, $500 a month, and then give you the ability to buy whatever you want with that $500. So you can pick your own health insurance, your own life insurance.

Our mission at Benefitfocus is to take all of this data, this complex thing called benefits, and make it easy for somebody to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. The applications that we build allow a consumer to go in and purchase benefits, and then provide you access to that throughout the year.

What is your management style?

I've always tried to create an environment where really smart people can come in and have the flexibility to do what they do best. I feel like my job is to, No. 1, help provide some level of consistency and thought across various teams or leaders of those teams, because obviously when you're building a big platform, it's all got to work together.

How has the Charleston technology community evolved in recent years?

When I got here in 1991, there was no technology community at all. It was somewhat of a culture shock to me because I grew up in a culture of technology and startups. The neighborhood that I raised my kids in, there were no other technologists that lived in that neighborhood.

Now the growth is almost exponential. Once you get some bigger, successful software companies, like Benefitfocus, Blackbaud and some of the others in town, then they start spinning off talent. So people leave there and start their own companies and then those companies start to grow.

We've had several people from Benefitfocus who went out and built very successful companies, which is ultimately awesome. That's what we want to see happen, because then you create more and more companies, which create more and more jobs, which make it more attractive for people to move to this area. 

What mix do you find between recruiting locally and drawing people into the community?

As the years have ticked on, there are more and more people who are in Charleston who have the skill sets and cultural fit (who) would be a great fit for Benefitfocus. Also, the colleges (and their computer science programs) have grown a lot. So there are more and more people coming out of the schools that understand the technology. Plus, with large high-tech manufacturing companies like Boeing opening facilities here, it just brings more technologists.

If you looked at a curve on local hires versus importing people, we're definitely closing the ratio. We don't move nearly as many people now as we did five years ago from other states.

What lessons have you learned from good bosses? Bad bosses?

I've learned a ton from Shawn (Jenkins, co-founder and CEO of Benefitfocus). Shawn is one of the best technologists that I've ever worked with. One of the things he's taught me is that you have to take care of yourself first. In order to live in the chaotic, high-pace, high-stress environment that we all choose to live in, if you don't have the discipline and the confidence to pack your bags and go on vacation and not be on the phone the whole time you're on vacation then you're doing everybody a disservice because ultimately you're going to burn out. You're not going to be as effective as you can be. You're not going to have the energy for the people who are counting on you.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

Passion is really the No. 1 thing I look for, and then underneath that umbrella, would be character, aptitude and drive. Usually where I can be most successful (in interviewing candidates) is when I can get somebody talking about what they do when they're not at work. If they start getting excited about a project that they're working on from 10 o'clock to 2 in the morning every night after their kids go to bed just because they love doing that, then that gives me an inkling. If I ask somebody what they aspire to do and they say, "Well, I don't know, I'm just kinda trying to figure that out," that's not a good sign.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs or new graduates?

To college graduates, be very crisp on your vision. I truly believe if you chose computer science as your degree path and you're passionate and you do a lot of really cool projects and the people you hang around with are doing projects, then when you sit down in an interview and you convince somebody that, "I went to college and I did good well there, but let me tell you about what I really love to do and some of the things that I've done" – that, I think, would get you furthest down the path in an interview process.

On the entrepreneurial side, I do believe to the core of my being that if you set your mind on something and you focus...focus...focus, eventually you will be successful. 

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

I don't think many people understand how hard it is to get somebody to write you a check.

Are you a Mac or a PC? iPhone or Android?

I am technology agnostic. Now I have a Mac, because we switched over to Macs some time ago. But I have other computers, and I'll have Linux running on one and I'll have Windows running on one, mainly because I like to keep up with the state of each one of them and the nuances of how they all do things. The same with the handheld devices. I really don't care one way or another. I think it's good as a technologist, you should have them all.

One of my core pet peeves is people who are religious about technology. It makes me crazy, because at the end of the day they all do the same thing, just slightly differently. They all have their goods and their bads. You should just pick the right thing for the job. 

What is your usual Starbucks (or other restaurant/pub) order?

I like Veranda. I (also) have a Keurig, which I love. They have a great interface.

Interview conducted, condensed and slightly edited by Ashley Fletcher Frampton


Immedion Expands Footprint into Midwest with Acquisition of Appica

GREENVILLE, SC (December 1, 2015) Immedion LLC, a South Carolina-based provider of data center services including Cloud, colocation and managed IT services, announced today its expansion into the Midwest through the acquisition ofAppica, a provider of Cloud and data center services located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The acquisition brings an added layer of geographic diversity to both companies and leverages Immedion's technical expertise, high-performance Cloud architecture and scalable infrastructure solutions with Appica's in-depth knowledge of the local IT market.

Established in 2002, Appica operates two data center facilities in greater Cincinnati and serves clients worldwide. Appica is SSAE 16 audited and offers carrier-neutral network capabilities, full power redundancy and compliance-ready solutions designed to help clients meet HIPAA and other regulatory requirements. Additionally, Appica provides a comprehensive suite of Cloud services including AppBlock, an on-premise or off-site IT platform for production and recovery environments designed, configured, and monitored to safeguard a business's data and workflow. AppBlock platforms are equipped with built-in elements of redundancy suited for business continuity and disaster recovery.

"The acquisition of Appica is a natural fit for Immedion," said Immedion CEO Frank Mobley. "Both companies share a complementary portfolio of IT services, proven track record of minimizing customer downtime and a focus on providing excellent customer service to our local markets. We are excited about the opportunity to expand Immedion's presence into the Midwest."

Customers take advantage of Immedion's secure and scalable infrastructure services for primary production, disaster recovery or as a supplement to their current data center environment. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Immedion was founded with the goal of bringing the enterprise-class data center and managed IT services available in large cities to smaller markets. After proving its business model in Greenville, Immedion has steadily expanded its operations to Columbia, Charleston and Rock Hill, SC and Asheville, NC. The acquisition of Appica's two Cincinnati data centers will bring Immedion to seven data center facilities.

"This is an incredible opportunity for our customers and Cincinnati team," said Appica CEO Aaron Larkins. "Immedion's track record and expertise in this industry will complement our common goals of delivering 100% uptime to our customers and to ensuring the availability and security of their data. As an Immedion data center, we are excited to join a growing company that shares our values and will provide additional data center markets, resources, and cloud platforms expertise to further support our customers."

Financial and Legal Advisors

DH Capital served as the financial advisor to Appica and Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as Appica's legal advisor.

About Immedion

Immedion's objective is to keep customer business-critical data and applications available 100% of the time 24x7x365. They accomplish this by coupling world-class data center facilities and a strategic array of managed services developed to deliver the highest degree of reliability at a very competitive price. Since 2007, Immedion provided its customers with fully redundant power, Internet bandwidth, cooling and humidity control to secure their IT infrastructure. Customers leverage Immedion's enterprise-class data centers and Cloud services to minimize critical computer system downtime caused by commercial power outages, Internet problems, or other system failures. Immedion is headquartered in Greenville, SC with additional data center facilities in Asheville, NC, Columbia, Charleston and Rock Hill, SC and Cincinnati, OH. For more information please visit www.immedion.com or contact Immedion at 864.908.3000.

Upcoming Events

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FastTrac® NewVenture™ for the Female Entrepreneur

FastTrac NewVenture for the Female Entrepreneur will:

  • Leverage your business skills to increase productivity.
  • Network with other professionals as you define and build your business.
  • Enhance your negotiation, marketing, and financial skills.

FastTrac NewVenture is for aspiring entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business but need a plan and framework for successfully starting a company:

  • Discover how your business concept matches your personal vision.
  • Align your business concept with a real market opportunity.
  • Learn how to set realistic financial goals for your business.
  • Determine the unique features and benefits of your product/service.
  • Find your target market and discover your competitive advantage.
  • Learn how to manage business functions and develop an organizational culture.
  • Determine the steps to profitability.
  • Identify potential sources of funding for your business.

Specialized topics for women entrepreneurs include:

  • Networking
  • Effective negotiation
  • Strategic decision making
  • Building a board
  • Social media
  • Financing your business

Learn more and register HERE.

Intro to Java - Free Crash Course

This course assumes no previous knowledge of Java or any other programming language. The first half of the course will be a short lecture on the basics of programming and Java, followed by a hands-on workshop where we'll do some actual coding together. You can learn more and register HERE.

Intro to HTML/CSS

This course assumes no previous knowledge of HTML/CSS or any other programming language. Topics covered will include:

What is HTML?

  • Where is it used and what does it do
  • What is the syntax

What is CSS?

  • Where is it used and what does it do
  • What is the syntax

Course Requirements:

• A laptop with Google Chrome and Sublime Text installed

• Course materials will be provided beforehand when you sign up.

You can learn more and register HERE.

Meet the Burke Robotics Team

The weekend of February 24-27, the Burke High School robotics team will compete in regionals in Myrtle Beach. Come meet the team and join members of the technology community in wishing them luck at the competition.

  • Overview of the First Robotics competition
  • Team Q&A with Toby Smith
  • Robot Demo
  • Meet & Greet with the team and members of the Charleston tech community

Visit the Burke Robotics blog

Support the Burke Robotics Team

Refreshments are made possible by BoomTown! and BiblioLabs and we expect a number of community leaders to be on hand for this important event.

Fridays at the Corridor - Got Jerks At Work

Competent jerks are a fact of life in all organizations, especially start-ups with brilliant people who are passionate about their ideas and may not have the best social skills. Removing them from the organization is often not an option. Instead, you need to improve your self-awareness to take actions to help you, coach them in ways that don't annoy them and actively help others in the organization.

At the February Fridays @ the Corridor event, Liz Guthridge, a behavior design and lean communications expert, will lead a presentation focused on helping companies deal with jerks and reducing their adverse effects on others in an organization. Learn more and register HERE.

Charleston InnoVision Forum

Join us as InnoVision welcomes Jeff Groh, President of New Product Visions, as he shares with us his tried-and-true tricks of successful innovation management!

The predominant management model used in organizations today has been around since the beginning of the last century and influences how companies manage innovation. The focus of this discussion is to explore the forces and trends that are disrupting the current management model and what it ultimately means for innovation management and corporate survival. Come join the discussion!

Jeff Groh is President of New Product Visions, a consulting company who helps organizations improve their innovation management practices. We focus on processes, organization issues, the role of management and culture. Jeff spent 30+ years in industry in a variety of management roles prior to starting New Product Visions.

RSVP to Angela Halpin at ahalpin@mcnair.net or 864.271.4940.

2016 iFive:K

The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation presents the 10th Annual iFive:K on April 14, 2016. The race start and finish line are at Riverfront Park on the Cooper River in North Charleston and followed by a post-race celebration at the park. Learn MORE