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 Foundation Announces Second Annual CodeShow Conference

Charleston, South Carolina – February 20, 2015 – The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation is pleased to announce the second annual {CODESHOW}SE 2015, the premier technology/software developer conference in the southeast. This event will be held in Charleston, South Carolina on May 21, 2015 at the Charleston Museum.

{CODESHOW}SE 2015, built around the "evolving the cloud" theme, will feature a best-in-breed lineup of speakers from top software companies and foundations including Brendan Burns from Google; David Johnson with the Apache Foundation; Kelsey Hightower of CoreOS; Benefitfocus CTO, Don Taylor; Grant Shipley from Red Hat; and Seth Vargo from HashiCorp.

The keynote presentation, Open Source Cancer Genomics, will be delivered by Cloudera founder & Chief Scientist, Jeff Hammerbacher. Jeff, who built the data team at Facebook, has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as #2 in the list of the World's Most Powerful Data Scientists.

Tickets for this limited attendance conference are $399.00 with an early registration price of $349.00 thru April 1, 2015. A limited number of discounted tickets for enrolled students are available at $99.00.

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About:

The Digital Corridor Foundation is an independent 501(c)6 non-profit Corporation focused on diversifying Charleston's economy thru an array of innovative products, events and services targeted exclusively for the technology industry. More: charlestondigitalcorridor.com.

{CODESHOW}SE is the premier software development conference for technology professionals in the Southeast featuring presentations by renowned experts on the leading edge.

Contact:

Ernest Andrade, Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation

843-607-1264

Charleston, S.C.: A Friendly Place to Run a Small Business

Considering its rich history and architecture, booming restaurant scene, proximity to the beach and Southern hospitality (it's the friendliest city in the entire country, according to onesurvey), it's no surprise that Charleston, South Carolina, is a major tourist destination. However, Charleston's small-business owners and experts also say it's a pretty attractive place to own a business.

Here are some of the potential benefits and challenges to owning a small business in Charleston, as well as some important local resources.

Overview of Charleston

Founded in 1670 as Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, Charleston is the oldest and second-largest city in South Carolina, with a 2013 population of 127,999. The city is home to numerous luxury hotels, a historic district with museums, art galleries, a shopping and live theater scene, and plantations and gardens that are open to the public.

Besides tourism, Charleston also benefits from a diverse economy. The area is home to private sector employers such as Boeing, Blackbaud, Trident Health System, Google and Verizon, as well as public sector employers such as the Medical University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston, the Citadel and the Charleston County School District.

Just a few minutes away in North Charleston is Joint Base Charleston, a military facility that supports the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Army and employs more than 20,000 active-duty, reserve and civilian personnel.

Charleston has also been nicknamed "Silicon Harbor" for its growing tech scene, with over 200 tech companies calling Charleston home, including Benefitfocus, BoomTown, PeopleMatter, BlueKey and PhishLabs, according to CharlestonWorks.

Benefits to owning a business in Charleston

There are many benefits to owning a small business in Charleston, according to some of Charleston's small-business owners and experts.

Growing population: One main benefit is population growth, as Charleston County's population has soared from 350,204 in 2010 to an estimated 381,015 by 2014, an 8.8% increase, according to Census figures.

"We're blessed that we live in an area that many people are moving to, whether it's because of the beauty, or the weather, or numerous other things," says Laura Bright, vice president of marketing with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Low unemployment: Charleston's unemployment rate is 5%, compared to a 5.8% national average and a 6.8% rate in the state of South Carolina, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes has listed Charleston as No. 59 in the Best Places for Business and Careers, and projects annual job growth of 2%. According to the Chamber's 2015-16 Economic Outlook Forecast, total employment is projected to increase by more than 6,000 net new jobs in 2015 and another 5,000 in 2016.

Tourism economy: The tourism scene is a big positive for food and beverage companies, says Max Blackman, co-founder of Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil.

"There are a lot of really great restaurants and bars in town, farmers markets, and gourmet shops and gift shops," Blackman says. "We see a lot of business passing through every summer because people just flock down to Charleston."

Friendly people: Paula Dezzutti-Hewlette, CEO and founder of the Daniel Island-based Local Choice Spirits, says Charleston's small-business owners like to work together, collaborate and exchange ideas instead of waging war against each other.

"I think everybody here has just been really warm and welcoming," says Dezzutti-Hewlette. "It's a great opportunity to start a business here because it's such an eclectic group of people, and there's a great amount of wealth, experience and resources in this community."

Mark O'Driscoll owns a Marco's Pizza franchise in James Island and West Ashley, two neighborhoods in Charleston. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, O'Driscoll has also lived for years in New York and Florida, but has called Charleston home for the past 10 years and said he doesn't regret the decision.

"I think everything's a little bit easier here, from walking down to the city and meeting with helpful people who will walk you through the whole permitting process," O'Driscoll says. "There just seem to be some good, friendly, helpful people down here. I just found that from the health inspector to the fire officer, you can get them on the phone."

Challenges to owning a business in Charleston

Rising cost of living: Charleston's cost of living is 7.9% higher than the national average, according to Forbes. The median 2-bedroom apartment rent is $1,057 per month, while the median three-bedroom, two-bath home costs $250,589, according to NerdWallet's Cost of Living Calculator.

"Real estate is kind of expensive because there's a huge housing boom here," Blackman says. "So finding an adequate space for a reasonable amount of rent is pretty hard to do."

Permitting: You'll face a little bit of red tape when starting up a small business.

"One of the things we think is very important is that all of our municipalities and counties become a little bit more streamlined in the licensing, regulation and permitting process," Bright says. "And right now, it's still relatively fragmented, depending on which municipality you live in. So that's something that we can work on, and we are."

Lack of funding: Finding financing is a problem for small-business owners nationwide, and Charleston is no different. Traditional banks typically lend only to established companies that are already profitable and will likely require collateral to back a loan.

"Banks are not keen on helping startups, and other investors like to come on later in their growth stage," Bright says.

Not enough workers: The restaurant industry is struggling to hire enough workers to keep up with the demand, O'Driscoll says. "It's growing so fast and most people in the restaurant business will say it's tough to keep good people," he says. "There's not enough quality coming through."

Resources for local small-business owners

"I love Charleston because they're very committed to supporting local business," says Dezzutti-Hewlette. "There's so many organizations that really bring attention to what a difference you make when you support local."

South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS): SCBOS is a vital resource for small-business owners. This business-to-government portal is where you'll file permits, licenses, registrations, and pay your taxes. The portal also links to useful external startup business resources.

Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce: Established in 1773, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce represents the entire region. It's a 1,700-member organization that provides small businesses with resources and support.

For example, the Chamber hosts several events throughout the year to help small-business owners develop relationships and get a better understanding of the local economy, such as "Business in Your Backyard" and "Perfect Pitch." The Chamber also started the Charleston Entrepreneur Ecosystem as a tool to help small-business owners find funding, skills and support to grow their company.

Charleston SCORE Chapter: This organization provides free business mentoring for Charleston entrepreneurs, plus existing and startup businesses. You just need to request a meeting and complete a form with some information about yourself and your company.

"You just apply at the SCORE office and they sent you up with one of their mentor's who's been working in your field –- they help you with your finances, your marketing," Blackman says.

SCORE also hosts several workshops each month to help small-business owners tackle important issues, such as help with taxes, how to recruit and train employees and how to get financing for a small business. Another useful resource is the websites' templates and toolspage , where important questions are answered for small-business owners.

South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC): Operating in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, this organization provides one-on-one consultation to startups and existing small-business owners in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

The services are free and available by appointment only. Free workshops include help with small-business taxes, QuickBooks and how to prepare a business plan. The website also provides free templates such as a business plan, cash flow template, marketing plan and startup checklist.

Charleston Digital Corridor: The Digital Corridor focuses on the growing technology industry in Charleston and was created to attract, nurture and promote Charleston's knowledge economy, says Ernest Andrade, its founder and director.

The corridor provides networking opportunities through numerous events throughout the year, matches qualified career seekers with job openings, trains workers, provides two incubator working spaces in downtown Charleston (with a third space opening in 2016) and offers guidance on startup financing options.

Charleston Local Development Corporation (LDC): The Charleston LDC serves as a funding resource for small businesses in Charleston. It works with banks and financial institutions to provide small-business loans, whether it's for startup, expansion or business continuation financing.

Charleston's "Women In Tech"Recognized at First-Ever White House Tech Meetup

Charleston, S.C. – Charleston Women in Tech continues to contribute to the City of Charleston's thriving tech economy and is putting Charleston on the map for creating equal opportunity for all genders. On Friday, April 17 the White House, will host local leaders from across our "Innovation Nation" at the first-ever White House Tech Meetup, including Charleston Women in Tech. Carolyn Finch, Business Development Manager for the City of Charleston will be representing the Meetup group at the White House. Finch will join 49 other tech community organizers from across the nation to discuss best practices, scaling outreach and inclusion efforts, finding new ways to diversify the industry, and ensuring the engagement of young people. Charleston Women in Tech is one of only four all-women's groups to receive an invitation. In addition, Finch will be speaking on a panel discussion titled "Tech for Social Change and Economic Development", addressing the need to include more women in technology.

With roughly 400 active members, Charleston Women in Tech has already made a significant impact in closing the gender gap in an industry dominated by men. Sponsored by Google and local tech companies such as BoomTown, Blackbaud, and Sparc, Charleston Women in Tech has hosted networking events, resume workshops and roundtable discussions – creating opportunities for collaboration and innovation and shifting the gender landscape in the Charleston tech community. To further address the gender gap, the group has taken on the mission of introducing girls to software technology by forming "Girls in Tech" coding clubs. Utilizing Google's CS First software education program, volunteers from Charleston Women in Tech, teach software skills to elementary and middle school students to encourage young females to explore career opportunities in the tech industry.

Finch's efforts have given prominence to the need for more females in the tech industry, as well as a forum to celebrate women leaders in the tech community. "I am honored to be representing Charleston's Women in Tech. Our participation in this inaugural event is demonstrative evidence of the work these women have accomplished in their efforts to create a more diverse and equal industry. " says Finch. "This event will be an invaluable opportunity to share our mission as a community in Charleston, not only as women in technology, but Charleston's tech community as a whole."

About Charleston Women in Tech

Charleston Women in Tech is a collaborative effort of Charleston's women leaders, educators, and tech professionals to support and mentor women of all ages in the technology industry.

More: http://www.meetup.com/Charleston-Women-In-Tech/

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: www.charlestondigitalcorridor.com

Penton Technology Names Stasmayer, Incorporated to the MSPmentor 501 Global Edition

Charleston, South CarolinaStasmayer, Incorporated has appeared on Penton Technology's eighth-annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition, a distinguished list and report identifying the world's top 501 managed service providers (MSPs). The complete 501 list is currently available on the MSPmentor. Stasmayer earned a spot on this prestigious list at no. 299. Only two companies in South Carolina are ranked on this list.

"We are proud to be amongst the world's top managed service providers for the second year in a row. It is an honor to be recognized for the dedication our team gives to our customers. Thank you to our awesome customers and incredible employees." said David Stasaitis, Stasmayer Co-Founder and President.

Each year, MSPmentor gathers information for its annual rankings through the participation of managed service providers and IT service providers in our annual survey. The survey was conducted from December 2014 through January 2015. "We want to congratulate Stasmayer and look forward to covering their growth strategies in the year ahead," said Marcia Parker, Executive Director, Penton Technology Group.

MSPmentor, produced by Penton Technology, is the ultimate guide to managed services. MSPmentor features the industry's top-ranked blog, research, Channel Expert Hour Webcasts and FastChat videos. It is the number one online media destination for managed service providers in the world.

ABOUT STASMAYER

Stasmayer, Incorporated is an IT support company based out of Charleston, South Carolina. We offer comprehensive IT services designed to alleviate IT concerns, avoid technology disasters and help organizations maximize their productivity. Stasmayer's Managed IT Department is the realization of our core beliefs- IT exists to give productive time back to real business people. Our clients include law firms, medical practices, construction firms, manufacturing companies, nonprofit organizations and corporations of all sizes throughout South Carolina. To find out more about Stasmayer, visit www.stasmayer.com or call 843.724.3440.

ABOUT PENTON

Penton drives performance for more than 16 million professionals each and every day. They rely on us to deliver: Insights, information & workflow tools to inform critical business decisions; networking & community to engage them with industry peers & partners; and data & marketing services to advance their business performance & deliver ROI. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit www.penton.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Cayce Lane

Director of Marketing

Stasmayer, Incorporated

cayce@stasmayer.com

NanoScreen Announces Industry Leading One Year Dispense Head Warranty

Charleston, SC - NanoScreen announces an industry leading one year warranty for all of its custom, new and serviced liquid handling dispense heads. The warranty quadruples or doubles the industry's typical warranty coverage of 3 to 6 months. This translates to important benefits for customers including reduced service costs and extended shelf life. NanoScreen offers this warranty at no additional cost to its customers and is effective immediately.

"NanoScreen's new warranty further demonstrates our commitment to providing the best in class experience for our customers. We believe our customers are going to love the benefits of the extended warranty period," said Garey De Angelis, NanoScreen's CEO. "Our dispense heads are already well known for their premium performance and now our customers will get the added benefits of time savings and reduced life-cycle costs."

"The one year warranty emerges like nothing seen before in our industry," said Imad Mansour, NanoScreen's Chief Scientific Officer. "We have always provided a comprehensive three tiered service program with unparalleled technology in a dispense head. The new warranty period delivers additional value to our superior services."

The warranty applies to a variety of dispense heads compatible with equipment provided by Beckman Coulter, LGC, Molecular Devices, and PerkinElmer. Any 96 channel, 384 channel or custom head purchased from or serviced by NanoScreen will be covered by the one year warranty.

About NanoScreen

Founded in 2003, NanoScreen designs and manufactures instruments and consumables that are used by most of the major pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the world. We specialize in providing solutions that allow researchers to precisely and simultaneously transfer hundreds or thousands of compounds in an automated fashion. Our core competency is in the manufacturing of high density air displacement heads, disposable pipette tips and robotic liquid handling workstations.

Belimed Releases New Small Steam Sterilizer, MST V 446

Belimed Inc., a part of the Belimed Group, a world leader in cleaning and sterile processing systems in health care and life sciences, has released a new small steam sterilizer, the MST V 446. Optimized to meet challenging space requirements and designed to the latest AAMI guidelines, the MST V 446 fits the needs of today's OR, ASC, or sterile processing area. Outfitted with a programmable touch screen panel, optional integrated air compressor, and ability to sterilize 25 lbs. loads this unit was designed with ease of use, total cost, and compliance in mind.

About Belimed

Belimed Inc. is a leading supplier of technology based cleaning, disinfection, and sterile processing products and services for Medical and Pharma, hospital and healthcare systems across the Unites States, and around the world.

Belimed Inc., www.belimed.com, ensures absolute customer confidence in their sterile processing areas by providing solutions that increase efficiency while ensuring high quality reprocessing, decontamination, and sterilization results.

Collaboration Key To Technology Growth, Industry Leaders Say

Bobby Hitt understands South Carolina's technology movement. The Commerce Department secretary sees it every day in his own family, with his youngest son working in the coding field.

"We're starting to see this grow, we're starting to see this move," he said. "These are people who are coming to work with flip-flops on with their laptop. And they're generating and working on contracts worth millions of dollars."

Growing the number of those flip-flop-clad workers will come through further collaboration, Hitt and other area technology leaders said Wednesday during IT-oLogy's annual IT Summit. "This is not about reinventing the wheel, it's not about being redundant," said Lonnie Emard, IT-oLogy president. "We've got to be smarter about what limited resources we have. ... Everybody is picking their piece that is a niche and saying, 'You do this well, I do this well.' What happens when we connect those dots?"

That ideology is starting in the school systems and working its way up to the business level, said state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. Companies such as Boeing approached education leaders asking for more characteristic development than mere content knowledge, she said, with desired traits ranging from collaboration and problem-solving to punctuality, proper work attire and peer-to-peer interaction.

The state education system has instilled a variety of approaches to teach those skills. Schools are incorporating STEM learning –- a hands-on problem-solving technique that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math –- and one-to-one computing, which gives each student an electronic device for access to the Internet and course materials.

"When you walk in a real progressive classroom, you don't see all the students sitting in rows anymore," Spearman said. "You see them engaged, collaborating around tables, on projects on the couch."

Those skill sets will allow students to transition into the technology workforce with greater ease, Hitt said. That is essential for a state that is the nation's top producer and exporter of tires and No. 1 exporter of automobiles, he added.

Hitt said the number of information technology jobs in South Carolina has increased by 45% over the past decade, with the need and demand for STEM-educated students to grow by 100% in the next three years.

"We're collaborating from the state, to the counties, into the school districts and beyond," he said. "We're having an impact. And having an impact is what we all need to be thinking about doing."

"Twenty years ago, kids in this state coming out of high school weren't thinking about careers in complex manufacturing or complex business," he added. "Today, kids coming out of high school never knew a time where BMW wasn't here."

These collaborations are helping to grow the industry statewide. Rock Hill Economic and Urban Development Director Stephen Turner touted the area's Knowledge Park, a new hub for knowledge economy businesses, while Greenville lauded the upcoming Next High School, a technology-centered, collaborative charter school opening this year.

Bill Kirkland, the University of South Carolina's executive director in the Office of the Economic Engagement, showcased the school's new applied computing minor, part of a statewide initiative, and the new innovation centercreated alongside IBM and Fluor.

The industry also continues to grow in Charleston, where the technology field now makes up 5% of the regional economy, according to Ernest Andrade, the founder and director of the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation. Over 300 tech companies now call the area home, with 45% of them currently hiring at wages almost two times the regional per capita.

The city of Charleston's two largest occupants of commercial space are also tech companies: Blackbaud and Benefitfocus.

Upcoming Events

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DIGsouth

The DIG SOUTH festival features more than 200 presenters from across the nation, 750 Conference participants and 5000 total Festival attendees. In 2015, the DIGsouth Conference presenters will explore innovation, disruption and all things digital in technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, media, gaming, culture, healthcare and much more. LEARN MORE

2015 iFive:K Race

The iFive:K is a weekday, evening race winding through the historic streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina. This race is favorite of knowledge-based business professionals, running enthusiasts and visitors. More: iFiveK.com

Women in Tech

The Charleston Digital Corridor and Blackbaud are pleased to announce our next "Women in Tech" meet up! This will be an event for women, students and professionals, interested in connecting with other women in the tech industry. In addition to our regular mingling and networking, this meet up will focus on developing your skills to land that dream job in the tech industry. We will have a panel of experts in the HR industry there to assist you in your search and help you get prepped for that big interview!

Feel free to come and mingle, talk code and become part of the "women in tech" community. All are welcome. Learn more and RSVP here

Fridays @ the Corridor - Your Business Needs Money?

Investors have money and you are ready to pitch them – the big "ask" presentation. But what do potential investors really want to hear? Is your investor presentation actually preventing them from saying "yes?" How long or short should it be? What points are the most important ones to cover?

At the May Fridays @ the Corridor, Kira Perdue, executive vice president at award-winning PR and Digital agency Trevelino/Keller, we'll present 10 key points you need to make a successfully pitch for investment. The presentation will include key Dos & Don'ts, and Tips & Tricks. Kira Purdue, who has worked counseling start-up companies for over 20 years, will share insights into what works. Register HERE.

{CODESHOW}SE 2015

{CODESHOW}SE is the premier software development conference for technology professionals in the Southeast featuring presentations by renowned experts. This year's conference to be held May 21 at Charleston Museum and presented by Benefitfocus will feature talks by leading tech speakers from Red Hat, Apigee, Google, CoreOS and HashiCorp. The cherry on the top is the keynote "Open Source Cancer Genomics" by Cloudera founder Jeff Hammerbacher. Mr. Hammerbacher built the first data team at Facebook and Forbes ranks him as #2 in a list of the top 7 most powerful data scientists. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.codeshowse.com/ with early-bird registration ending April 1.