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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Tech Leader Urges Cloud Developers To Help Solve Real-World Problems

The cure for cancer could be living in the cloud.

The chief scientist for a California data management company said the solution to real-world problems, such as medical treatments, depend on a strong open-source, cloud-computing infrastructure.

Cloudera founder and chief scientist Jeff Hammerbacher also urged attendees at the {CODESHOW}SE 2015 tech conference in Charleston last week to continue developing downstream applications to leverage that data. More than 200 software professionals heard presenters explore topics surrounding "evolving the cloud" at the conference Thursday.

The lineup also included speakers from Google, Red Hat, CoreOS, Apigee, HashiCorp and Benefitfocus.

Hammerbacher, an assistant professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and a director on the board at Sage Bionetworks, explained the connections between open-source software –- a development model that allows anyone to contribute to a product's design –- and immunotherapy cancer treatments.

"If you take anything away from today, just know that better open-source software or cloud-computing infrastructure is very, very important to solving real-world problems like curing cancer," Hammerbacher said during his presentation, "Open-source cancer genomics."

Hammerbacher built and led the data team at Facebook before leaving the company to start Cloudera, which helps companies analyze, store and process large amounts of Web-based data.

Hammerbacher urged local software professionals to continue developing online data analysis and storage applications.

"Please continue the work you're doing, and pay some attention to some of the downstream applications," he said. "Because hopefully I'll be able to leverage some of the open-source software that people in this room generate to facilitate our work in curing cancer."

According to Ernest Andrade, director of the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation, open-source collaboration is what {CODESHOW}SE and Charleston's knowledge economy are all about.

"For the attendees, it allowed them to learn and be inspired about topics and dev-op strategies they may not have previously known about, and are now able to deploy in their respective companies to better serve their customers and make them more profitable," Andrade said.

Don Ryan Center Launches New Web Portal

The Don Ryan Center for Innovation recently launched LowcountryWorks, a new web portal that showcases local companies in the region and connect job seekers to companies that are hiring.

The portal showcases the wide variety of companies throughout the Lowcountry to both area residents and those companies considering relocating here, as well as provide job seekers with an efficient way to connect directly with companies that are hiring throughout the Lowcountry.

The portal, Lowcountry Works  allows visitors to view and learn more about a wide range of companies throughout the Lowcountry all within one convenient site, and to connect with companies that are currently hiring via a simple, easy-to-navigate responsive website.

Don Ryan Center for Innovation, is a public-private program designed to support new technology company formation and development in Bluffton. The new web portal comes from a partnership between the Don Ryan Center for Innovation and the Charleston Digital Corridor, the developers of CharlestonWORKS™ which, since its launch in 2008 has seen steady growth in visitors to the site both from around the U.S, and locally.

The new LowcountryWORKS web portal was designed to provide people both throughout the Lowcountry and across the country with an easy, convenient source of information about the range of companies and talent located in the Lowcountry area, and offer a convenient way to connect with employers throughout the region. By showcasing the companies already located in the Lowcountry and the extensive talent existing in the region, is a valuable resource for those considering locating their companies in the Lowcountry to provide them with a comprehensive business overview of the area.

"We're excited to be launching LowcountryWORKS as an important new tool for people both throughout the Lowcountry as well as throughout the country to have easy access to the wide array of companies in our area, all in one convenient place and all able to be accessed with a single click to their site from our main page," said David Nelems, Executive Director of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. 

"This portal is a tremendous asset for those seeking to learn more about the wide range of companies, and extensive talent, already doing business in the Lowcountry, as well as provide people with key information about which companies are currently hiring. By providing visitors to LowcountryWORKS with a simple way to both learn about and connect with these employers, we are hoping to provide job seekers, and those wishing to relocate their company, with opportunities to be part of our growing business sector here in the Lowcountry."

LowcountryWORKS is accessible from all web platforms, including desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Accessing up-to-date information about companies and specific job opportunities is simple and quick, with information received in less than 5 seconds.

Companies can request to be added to the portal, and can modify their information as they grow and as needs change – making the portal a valuable source of the most updated job opportunities and the most comprehensive company information in the Lowcountry.

"It's great to see the Don Ryan Center for Innovation offer this important tool to both the local community and beyond, to showcase the tremendous opportunities that exist in the Lowcountry business community," said Ernest Andrade, Director of the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation. "The portal design has been tremendously valuable to individuals in other cities throughout the country when it comes to company research and connecting with potential employers, and we know that it will be a tremendous resource for those seeking more information about Lowcountry businesses and job opportunities, as well."

To view the companies and job opportunities currently listed on LowcountryWORKS, visit the portal. For additional information and to discuss opportunities for having your company listed on LowcountryWORKS, contact David Nelems.

Best Places for Millennial Job Seekers in South Carolina

Although the Great Recession hit South Carolina harder than most places, recent economic indicators show the state is making some headway, if slowly. While the unemployment rate hasn't budged much in the past year, millennials here are primed to find jobs.

Young adults, or millennials, in South Carolina are attracted to the laid-back Southern lifestyle, coastal towns, thriving cities and lower rents throughout the state.

Some of the most successful businesses in the Palmetto State are in sectors such as aerospace, alternative energy, automotive manufacturing, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, distribution, food processing, forestry and wood products, plastics and chemicals as well as recreation, according to the state Department of Commerce. The Charleston metropolitan area, in particular, is seeing a rise in its millennial population as the tech industry moves in.

NerdWallet crunched the numbers for 66 cities and towns in South Carolina to determine the best places for millennial job seekers.

NerdWallet's analysis

  1. Are there jobs in the area? We looked at the unemployment rate in 2013 and the average worker payroll salary in 2012 using the most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures. We determined the average worker's salary with the census bureau's payroll by ZIP code. Lower unemployment rates and higher payroll salaries scored positively.
  2. Can you afford to rent near work? Using census data, we measured a city's median rent, including utilities, to determine if an area has reasonable rent costs. Lower costs resulted in a positive score for a city.
  3. Do other millennials live there? We determined that millennials are workers ages 18-33, which is the definition used in a March 2014 Pew Research Center report. We used two of the census bureau's brackets, ages 20-24 and 25-34, to create a millennial group for our analysis. From this, we found the percentage of millennials in a city's 2013 population and the growth of millennial residents from 2010 to 2013. High percentages received positive scores.

Key takeaways

Millennials are moving to the Charleston area. Half of the places on our list are in the city or within 45 minutes of Charleston –- from the city itself to North Charleston and small suburban cities. The city's economy has been on the upswing and attracting the kind of tech startups that hire large numbers of millennials. Charleston's waterfront, historic sites, museums, cultural centers, universities, restaurants, retail and, of course, beaches are also appealing.

They are jetsetters –- or live near airports. South Carolina millennials can get away at a moment's notice thanks to their proximity to the state's airports. Five of the places on our list have airports within city limits including Aiken Municipal Airport, Berkeley County Airport, Charleston International Airport, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Best places for millennial job seekers in South Carolina

1. Cayce

This suburb of South Carolina's capital, Columbia, sits at the top of our list with about 29% of the city's population of 13,000 in the millennial age group. Cayce also boasts the highest salaries of any place on our list at a median nearing $50,000 a year. The city is on the Congaree River and close to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport and major roads, making it a great choice for commuters. Some of the biggest employers in the Columbia area include the state government, Palmetto Health hospital system, University of South Carolina and the energy company SCANA.

2. Fort Mill

Fort Mill, a suburb of Charlotte in York County, saw one of the highest increases in its millennial population from 2010 to 2013, with an increase of over 26%. Some of the largest employers in Fort Mill include Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Ross Distribution, Schaeffler Group USA, Citi Financial, US Foods, Shutterfly, Domtar and Daimler Trucks North America. Nearby attractions include the Anne Springs Close Greenway, Carowinds amusement park and the annual South Carolina Strawberry Festival.

3. Greer

About 1 in 5 residents are millennials in Greer. This suburb of Greenville boasts one of the lowest median rents on the list at $747 a month. For commuters, it's conveniently located along Interstates 85, 185 and 385. It also is home to the South Carolina Inland Port and lies next to the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. While Greer's economy was once rooted in textiles, it is now home to North America's only BMW manufacturing plant.

4. Ladson

Ladson, a census-designated place in both Berkeley and Charleston counties, had one of the higher surges in its millennial population with an increase of 25% from 2010 to 2013. While it has the highest median rent on our list at $1,034, residents also have higher median salaries at nearly $50,000 a year. Ladson is primarily a bedroom community, but an auto manufacturer –- General Dynamics –- is based there. Ladson is bordered by both North Charleston and Summerville, and runs parallel to U.S. Route 78 and I-26. The best-known attractions in Ladson are the Coastal Carolina Fair held annually and the Exchange Park events center.

5. Greenville

In Greenville, a city in upstate South Carolina, millennials make up 28% of the population. Residents here are fortunate to see some of the lowest rents on our list at $749 a month. The biggest employers in Greenville include Greenville Health System, School District of Greenville County, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Michelin North America, GE Power & Water, as well as the county, state and federal governments. The city, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is famous for its unique Liberty Bridge and quaint, revitalized downtown. Several festivals are held every year including events dedicated to arts and crafts, comedy, comic books and science fiction, STEM activity, culinary arts and Shakespeare.

6. Hanahan

Hanahan, a city in Berkeley County, is just 13 miles from Charleston, and 22% of its population are millennials. Hanahan's proximity to Charleston, including major roads, makes it an ideal location for commuters. In addition, the city is home to Naval Weapons Station Charleston and a medium-security military prison. Residents have access to the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor as well as the Goose Creek Reservoir, a popular place for fishing.

7. Charleston

Charleston is an urban magnet for millennials –- 30% of the population's 123,000 people are young adults. It's the biggest city on our list with a range of opportunities for job seekers. The city expects 11,000 new jobs in the region over the next two years, and over 25,000 new jobs in the next five years, according to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. The main job boom is expected to be in fields including computers, software, science and engineering, sales and marketing and also in the medical industry. Charleston is above all a port city, and boasts the fastest-growing facility in the country, according to the chamber.

8. Aiken

In Aiken, over 17% of the population are millennials. It's the county seat of Aiken County and it's one of the two largest cities in the Central Savannah River Area. Aiken's economy is steeped in energy and major employers include Savannah River Nuclear Solutions and the U.S. Department of Energy. Aiken is also home to the University of South Carolina at Aiken. The city features historic homes, equestrian activities, Aiken State Park, several arts organizations, the county farmers market and more.

9. Moncks Corner

Moncks Corner may be the smallest town on the list at just under 8,400 people, but millennials account for over 22% of the population. Millennial population growth was the highest on our list by far with a boom of nearly 53% from 2010 to 2013. The town is just 45 minutes from Charleston and is home to Berkeley County Airport. Residents find both the lowest rents and the lowest payrolls to match in Moncks Corner. Downtown includes progressive shops, restaurants, national retailers and small businesses as well as other attractions, including the Cypress Gardens.

10. North Charleston

North Charleston, just seven miles from Charleston, is the third-largest city in the state and the second biggest on our list with over 100,000 people. Nearly 29% of the population are millennials, who saw their population grow 11% from 2010 to 2013. The biggest employer by far is Joint Base Charleston, a military facility. The base shares its runway with Charleston International Airport, another area employer. And job seekers will also find opportunities at Boeing South Carolina, an assembly site for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which is also a big employer in North Charleston.

Charleston Google Developers Group and Google SC to Host Developers for Workshop and Watch Party in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC - This  May 28, hundreds of coders, developers and students are expected to participate in SC's first Google I/O Extended event in Charleston. The event is part watch party and part dev workshop that coincides with the annual Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The Google I/O Extended event will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the American Theater on King Street.

Google I/O Extended events will include live streamed sessions of Google I/O in San Francisco, code labs and more. The events are being brought to hundreds of cities around the globe, being led by the Google Developer Groups and working with local developer, higher education and tech partners.

Sponsors for the event include:

  • Google SC
  • Charleston Digital Corridor
  • The College of Charleston
  • Google Developers Group Charleston

Attendees at Charleston's Google I/O Extended will be able to participate in codelabs to get first-hand experience with new technologies and demos from local developers

Participants must RSVP here and get your ticket here. Space is limited and is on a first come, first-served basis.

Google is home to a data center in Berkeley County, SC and supports STEM and computer science in our community.

Local developers, coders and students receiving hands-on training and demos from local Googlers. For more information and updates about the event, visit the G+ page for the event

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Tech Startups Want Flexibility in Commercial Space

Seven moves in three years.

That's how many times Good Done Great has relocated its Charleston operations since 2012 –- and it's not the only Charleston tech company to have to make multiple moves.

Good Done Great President Earl Bridges started the software company in 2008 from his Daniel Island home along with company CEO David Barach, who runs the Tacoma, Wash., office. They created software that would make charitable giving easier for employees at Fortune 500 companies like clients IBM, Monsanto and Staples.

Bridges looked at space at the Charleston Digital Corridor in 2012. He moved in that day and hired his first employee that week. The company operated out of five different offices altogether within Flagships 1 and 2 in downtown Charleston before relocating to a 2,500-square-foot office on Daniel Island.

"I remember walking in and thinking that space was way too huge," Bridges said.

The company outgrew it quickly, however, and now employs nearly 30 people in a 6,000-square-foot former church building on Rutledge Avenue. The company ripped out the pews, put down desks and got to work. Coders work a few feet away from the baptismal pool.

As the company seeks to raise $2.5 million, Bridges said investors want to see the company spending money on product development, not rent.

"When you're first starting, you have big ideas but you are not sure exactly how big this thing is going to get. ... The hard thing about it is: Buildings are static and the company is growing at a rate that's dictated by how successful you are, and you never know what that success will look like," Bridges said. "It's like jeans on growing teenage boy. They fit at first, but soon they are too short."

Some tech startups in Charleston are hiring faster than anticipated and end up having to move into larger spaces year after year. Several tech company CEOs want to see shorter lease terms –- preferably one year –- and expansion options like renovated warehouses or developments with vacant buildings nearby.

Bridges said the Digital Corridor's Flagships 1 and 2 are great options for startups to move in quickly and add employees. It's once companies get to the range of 20-plus employees that options become more limited, according to several startup founders.

Blue Acorn founder and CEO Kevin Eichelberger said startups want open floor plans, "cool spaces" and one-year leases. "Like the Digital Corridor ... it's great as an incubator, but beyond one to two years, lots of growth-mode companies need something bigger," Eichelberger said. "To commit to three years of office space when your fate is determined every quarter makes it really hard to decide how large your space should be."

As a co-founder of The Harbor Entrepreneur Center, John Osborne has launched co-working and accelerator office spaces in Summerville, Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston. He said buildings with expansion options or movable walls would benefit growing startups as they quickly scale up or downsize unexpectedly.

It's a bit of a gamble for the developers, landlords and startup founders. If developers build expandable spaces with tech companies in mind, they could lose money if they are not at capacity. Landlords could lose money with shorter lease terms as they seek new tenants after a growing company moves out.

Startups do not want to –- and often cannot afford to –- spend more on space when they do not yet have the staff to fill it; but they also want new space quickly when adding employees.

Peter Fennelly, a principal with Colliers International – Charleston, said commercial real estate professionals understand that tech companies want to move quickly when growing, but he said landlords and developers want to ensure a return on their investment through multiyear tenants.

Fennelly said tech companies that want extensive renovations should likely expect to sign a longer lease and wait more than six months before moving in. Spaces that are move-in-ready in high-demand areas like the peninsula are quickly absorbed. Supply is scarce, Fennelly said.

"If someone wakes up in the morning and wants to take space that day, it's not that easy. That's the nature of the business," Fennelly said. "Sometimes tech companies are trying to move so fast, it's hard for them to take the time to see that it might take six months of planning to get into the space. To make it really work, there has to be understanding and flexibility from both parties."

Blue Acorn started in a 450-square-foot space and then a 1,200-square-foot law office, both in Mount Pleasant, before moving to a 3,000-square-foot office on Rutledge Avenue in downtown Charleston. The company expanded to nearly 6,000 square feet in that space and then had to move some employees to the Digital Corridor.

"We were growing faster than our space would accommodate," Eichelberger said.

Blue Acorn is now run out of a 12,000-square-foot building at 145 Williman St., part of Raven Cliff Co.'s Half Mile North development. The company will expand into a neighboring 8,000-square-foot warehouse this year.

"Early on in a startup, there's a lot of risk. ... From my standpoint, we could have been a niche agency and stayed at a few employees or grown a lot," Eichelberger said. "I wanted short-term leases and small spaces. I wanted to be conscious of cost as a startup."

Fennelly said developers want to create more opportunities for Charleston's burgeoning tech economy through mixed-use developments, like Half Mile North, the corridor's planned Flagship3 or the city of Charleston's planned tech district, all on the upper peninsula.

"Buildings are full; vacancies are tight. That's a sign of a strong economy in Charleston. The tough part is if you are starting a company or growing one, you find limited options," Fennelly said. "I see opportunities in our marketplace for more people to take old industrial buildings, reconfigure and recycle them and turn them into something creative."

Good Done Great will remain in the downtown church building for about a year until moving into a 14,000-square-foot space in the former DwellSmart building off Morrison Drive. With its acquisition of Give.com, Bridges hopes to roll out what he's dubbing a "401(g)" program for employees, a personal savings account similar to a 401(k) but with funds going toward donations instead of retirement.

Bridges expects the company to add about 35 positions by the time it relocates to Morrison Drive and 144 jobs overall by 2019.

"Here's the problem with commercial leasing in South Carolina. We're finding everyone wants a five-year lease on their property. ... When we started five years ago, we fully thought we would still be working out of our home offices by now," Bridges said.

Charleston Digital Corridor’s 2015 iFive:K Brings Tech Community Together

Charleston, S.C. (May 1, 2015) – Under near perfect weather conditions, Charleston's tech community once again gathered for the ninth annual Innovators iFive:K Run-Walk-Shuffle event. The unique weekday event has grown from 250 runners at its launch in 2007 to its cap of 800 registrants, and sold out within 30 days after tickets went on sale on January 1, 2015.

The iFive:K, sponsored entirely by Charleston's robust tech community including title sponsors Benefitfocus and Google, allows for an evening of spirited competition and networking while raising scholarship funds for CODEcamp and other education initiatives of the Digital Corridor. The 2014 event raised almost $45,000, another record amount.

"There is no better example of tech community engagement in the country than the iFive:K race," said Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation Director Ernest Andrade.

The iFive:K race event was followed by an after-party at the Charleston Maritime Center where companies competed for the coveted "SPIRIT" of the race award. This year, Blue Acorn won the award and the annual bragging rights that go along with the trophy.

To view pictures from the race, visit the 2015 iFiveK photo album and race recap video on the Digital Corridor's official iFive:K video channel. With another successful year in the books, planning is already underway for the 2016 iFive:K.

###

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. All proceeds from the iFive:K support CODEcamp scholarships and education programming. More: ifivek.com

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

Contact: Ernest Andrade

843.724.3773 p | 843.607.1264 c

ernest@charlestondigitalcorridor.com

Catalytic Data Science Selects Charleston, SC For Company Expansion

The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce that Catalytic Data Science, a venture backed company headquartered in Connecticut, has selected Charleston, South Carolina for their software development center. The company, founded in 2012 by biotech industry veteran and molecular biologist, Scott Sacane, will be located at the Digital Corridor's Flagship2 technology business incubator in Downtown Charleston.

Catalytic Data Science builds software for the brightest minds in today's research communities. The Company's cloud-based platform is purpose built for researchers and designed to improve all aspects of their digital workflows. By building and integrating a number of diverse tools, Catalytic enables semantic search of scientific literature, text mining, annotation, bioinformatic analyses, data visualizations and collaborative sharing from a single secure workplace. The Company's mission is to increase the pace of discovery and improve the lives of scientists by developing powerful tools that accelerate the various components of research and development activity.

In making the decision to locate their software development office in Charleston, the company considered other cities including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Boulder and Austin. Catalytic Data Science Founder and Chief Executive, Scott Sacane, cited Charleston's rapidly growing tech community, ability to attract senior talent, competitive cost of living and outstanding quality of life as some of the primary reasons for the decision.

"We believe that great Companies are only built by great employees so choosing a location for our software development center that facilitates both recruitment of local engineering talent as well as relocation of world class developers is critical for Catalytic. The City of Charleston and The Digital Corridor stood out as a clear choice based on our multi-city analysis," says Scott Sacane Founder and CEO of Catalytic Data Science. "We couldn't be more pleased to be building our software development center in Charleston and know exciting days lie ahead."

"We are honored that cutting edge company Catalytic Data Science has selected Charleston for their software development center and contributing to our tech ecosystem," said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

About the Charleston Digital Corridor

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

Contact:

Ernest Andrade

ernest@charlestondigitalcorridor.com

843.607.1264

Upcoming Events

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Bitcoin Meet and Greet

In an effort to promote local Bitcoin discussion and growth we will be giving away $5 worth of Bitcoin to everyone who shows up! Come out and join the discussion! Learn more and register.

Charleston Indie Game Developers Meetup – Finding Success as an Indie Game Developer

App store veteran, Dan Russell-Pinson, discusses his indie game journey from small Flash games to top-selling mobile apps. Learn how he has made a living for the last 5 years making games from his home in Charlotte, NC. Topics include: game design, creativity, setting yourself up for success as an indie developer, finding your niche, overcoming initial failures and many more.Learn more and register

Hack Night

Come one, come all to Hack Night! Hack Night is a gathering of programmers, designers, hardware hackers, and other tech minded creators. We're open to all who are wanting to make something, contribute to open source, or need help with a project. Learn more and register

GDG Meeting - Intro to Android Development w/ Bill Mote

Every journey has to start somewhere. Your Android development journey begins here! During this presentation Bill Mote will show you where to find the tools and resources to get started with Android development. Bill Mote will walk you through setting everything up and deploying your first application to an emulator. Bill will build a small application that consumes a web API and you will be left with both source code and some homework. Learn more and register.