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

ISI Technology Joins Qualcomm At Mobile World Congress 2015

ISI Technology accompanies Qualcomm at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain from March 2-5 in Hall 3 Stand 3E10. MWC is the world's largest annual gathering of mobile and related industry decision makers, with more than 85,000 attendees. The Heatworks MODEL 1, among other connected gadgets, is being featured as an AllJoyn Internet of Everything enabled device.

The Heatworks MODEL 1 utilizes Qualcomm Atheros' low-power Wi-Fi chip, the QCA4004, in their electric tankless water heater. The QCA4004 networking platform enables customers to add Wi-Fi to virtually any product, including the MODEL 1. This platform also features the AllJoyn open source software framework, which enables interoperability among a diverse set of products, applications and services to discover, communicate and interact with each other.

Unlike any other tankless electric water heater, the Heatworks MODEL 1 does not have a heating element. All other water heaters utilize heating elements that reach upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing them to fail. Instead, the MODEL 1 uses graphite electrodes and water's natural resistance to silently heat water and provide instant and endless hot water. With the MODEL 1, if there is no water flowing, there is no electricity flowing. Therefore, the MODEL 1 saves up to 40% of energy costs devoted to heating water 365 days a year, every year. Additionally, when located close to the point of use, the MODEL 1 provides 10% water usage savings.

The green, connected and cost-effective Heatworks MODEL 1 is available today at myheatworks.com

About ISI Technology

ISI Technology is led by engineer Jerry Callahan, the cofounder of Blue Rhino, the world's leading propane cylinder exchange company. Jerry invented and patented the technology that powers the Heatworks MODEL 1 and leads a team of heating, technology and plumbing veterans with over 50 combined patents.

More at http://myheatworks.com

Mercer Takes 10% Stake In Benefitfocus, Invests $75 Million In Company

Global health investment and consulting firm Mercer is taking a 9.9% stake and making a nearly $75 million investment in Daniel Island-based Benefitfocus.

Mercer's stake expands its commercial relationship with Benefitfocus. Mercer purchased common stock at $26.50 per share for about $74.7 million in cash. The company has an option to grow its stake in the cloud-based benefits software company over time.

Benefitfocus CEO Shawn Jenkins "We are proud of our efforts that have helped position the Mercer marketplace as one of the largest broker-led private exchanges in the country," Benefitfocus CEO Shawn Jenkins said during a fourth quarter earnings call Tuesday. "We are excited by the significant expansion of our relationship with Mercer and look forward to partnering with them to drive additional growth on the Mercer marketplace in years ahead."

The 800-employee benefits firm founded in 2000 in Mount Pleasant provides software benefits products to employers and insurance carriers who then offer it to their employees and customers. Employees use Benefitfocus platforms to compare, sign-up for and manage their medical and life insurance benefits.

Amid revenue growth, Benefitfocus is expanding its Daniel Island campus, most recently with the opening of its 145,800-square-foot Customer Success Center last week. The new, four-story building houses 500 employees with plans to accommodate 250 more new hires.

During the earnings call, Benefitfocus reported a net loss of $13.7 million for the fourth quarter, compared to an $8.3 million loss during the same time in 2013. Full-year losses were $63.2 million.

Total revenue was $40.2 million in the fourth quarter, up 33% from the same time in 2013. Full-year 2014 revenue increased 31% from the year prior to $137.4 million.

Of that, software revenue was $36.1 million, up 28%; professional services revenue was $4.1 million, up 107%; and employer revenue was $19.5 million, up 47% from the fourth quarter in 2013.

"Benefitfocus delivered a strong fourth quarter performance that capped a record year for the company," Jenkins said.

Benefitfocus ended 2014 with 533 large-employer customers, up from 393 in 2013, and 43 insurance carrier customers, up from 40 in 2013. During the fourth quarter, the state of Delaware, Capella Education Co., Lane Construction Co., Summerwood Corp., Omnicell Inc. and Schneider Electric signed on as employer customers.

"We delivered a number of exciting achievements in 2014, such as supporting dozens of private exchanges, including the nation's largest; adding 160 new large employer customers; and successfully graduating our first class of third-party systems integrators," Jenkins said.

Looking ahead to 2015, Jenkins said the company is focused "on enhancing our marketplace solutions and creating the first significant upsell opportunity in our employer market with the introduction of several new product offerings."

Charleston Business Development Director Transitions To New Role

Charleston, South Carolina - February 16, 2015 - The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation announces today that Ernest Andrade will assume the full-time role as the Director of the Foundation effective April 2015.

"The continued growth of Charleston's tech economy now requires a higher level of focus, enhanced communications infrastructure and a deeper dive on talent development, said Chairman, Kirk King. Accomplishing these goals will require the Foundation to leverage all available resources in the state, region and across the southeast."

Andrade served the City as Annexation Coordinator from 1989 to 2001, helping expand the city from 38 to 100 square miles. In 2001 he conceived and launched the Charleston Digital Corridor, becoming its Director. The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation was formed in 2004 to provide and expanded array of innovative products and services focused exclusively on the technology industry.

"We know that thriving economies are the result of privately led initiatives that are supported by the public sector. After a decade long incubation period, it is time to transition the Digital Corridor to this model so that the good work will continue yielding economic benefit for the City of Charleston and beyond," said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

Charleston's tech and advanced manufacturing economy, which now makes up approximately five percent (5%) of the regional economy, is experiencing robust growth as measured by GDP output and adding high-wage jobs at unprecedented levels.

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About:

The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation is an independent 501(c) 6 non-profit Corporation developed to assist Charleston with fulfilling its goal to diversify the knowledge economy by pursuing an array of innovative products and services focused exclusively on the technology industry.

More: charlestondigitalcorridor.com.

Digital Corridor To Offer Codecamp Kids Program

Charleston, South Carolina – February 16, 2015 – The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation is pleased to offer a code education program for elementary and middle school children this summer. CODEcamp Kids will teach elementary and middle school children the basics of programming and how to build a web application and even a video game. Classes will be held at the Flagship business incubator in Downtown Charleston.

As part of the Digital Corridor's commitment to diversity, scholarships will be made available to four students from each class. The scholarship would include a Google Chromebook for each student who successfully completes the class.

"Just like our year round classes that would not be possible without the commitment of our local tech companies to provide our instructors, CODEcamp Kids has become a reality thanks to a commitment from eCommerce company, Blue Acorn", said Digital Corridor Foundation Director, Ernest Andrade.

CODEcamp, launched in 2012 as a part of the Digital Corridor's comprehensive talent strategy, is a community-sourced training program that provides instruction in open source Web and mobile technologies. Information and registration information about CODEcamp Kids summer program is on the website.

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About CODEcamp

CODEcamp is a community-sourced training program offered by the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation to provide instruction in open source Web and mobile technologies. More:www.chscodecamp.com

About the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation

The Digital Corridor Foundation is a 501(c) 6 corporation chartered in 2004 to support the development of Charleston's tech economy through an expanded array of programming and networks. More: www.charlestondigitalcorridor.com.

Local Entrepreneurial Groups Get $500,000 From Commerce

The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation and The Harbor Entrepreneur Center each received $250,000 from the S.C. Commerce Department's Innovation Office to help execute on their missions of expanding Charleston's knowledge-based economy.

The Digital Corridor foundation will use the funds to upfit the incubator space in the planned Flagship3, according to Charleston Digital Corridor Executive Director Ernest Andrade.

The Charleston Digital Corridor plans to build Flagship3 at 999 Morrison Drive this fall to expand on its Flagship1 and Flagship2 spaces that house tech companies and coding classes off East Bay and Calhoun streets in downtown Charleston.

Flagship3 will also have incubator space for startups, as well as longer-term space for more established, high-growth tech companies. Andrade is seeking financing from the local tech community and other funding for the project. Flagship3 will be the anchor for the city-planned tech district on the upper peninsula.

The Harbor Entrepreneur Center's funding will help support its co-working spaces in Mount Pleasant, Summerville and downtown Charleston, its business accelerator program in Mount Pleasant and its forum groups and events into 2016, according to co-founder and director John Osborne.

"This is as much an endorsement of what all is happening in the Charleston region to grow entrepreneurship and innovation as it is about The Harbor itself. ... This kind of runway provides opportunity to develop additional partnerships to make The Harbor a sustainable organization for a long, long time," Osborne said.

The 14-week Harbor Accelerator program is designed to take startups from concept to revenue. Once accepted, teams of entrepreneurs work full time from their free space in Mount Pleasant to test their ideas in the market, practice pitching, learn from mentors and seek financing.

Overall, Commerce's Innovation Office awarded $2.6 million to 19 organizations around the state to further innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development, according to a news release.

The S.C. Innovation Challenge received nearly 60 submissions totaling $10.5 million in requests for this funding round. To be awarded, projects must meet at least one of the goals in the S.C. Innovation Plan. The maximum grant is $250,000, which must be matched by funding not appropriated by the state.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical components to the success of our economy," Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a statement. "We want to enable and support a stronger innovation ecosystem in South Carolina and help the state become a top place in the nation to start and build high-growth businesses."

The Office of Innovation launched in fall 2013 and is headed by Amy Love, Commerce's former spokeswoman.

In May 2014, 14 S.C. organizations received $2.4 million in innovation challenge grants, including the Charleston Digital Corridor, Lowcountry Local First, the Harbor Accelerator and the College of Charleston's International Cross-Curricular Accelerator for Technology.

Digital Corridor Executive Director Andrade Leaving Post to Lead Foundation

Ernest Andrade, head of the Charleston Digital Corridor since its founding in 2001, will leave his post to become the director of the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation.

The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was formed in 2004 to support the corridor's efforts. The foundation uses member fees to fund coding classes, incubator spaces and other programs.

Andrade will be the foundation's first full-time staff member when he becomes its director in April. The city of Charleston is now seeking a technology business development director to lead the Charleston Digital Corridor.

Andrade said the corridor has helped develop Charleston's tech economy by providing support, recruiting tech companies and addressing issues such as workforce challenges.He said it has operated with a startup mentality from the beginning, changing business tactics in lockstep with growing tech companies. "That's what we've focused on for 10 years with a relentless focus, and for me, a personal passion. ... It's been very collaborative," Andrade said.

The transition will enable Andrade to shed some of the corridor's daily management responsibilities and focus on development-oriented activities, such as hosting a software conference in Charleston in May or sharing best practices about incubating a tech industry with other S.C. communities.

He said the foundation might license some of its "best practices" for other industries –- such as the corridor's job portal site, where job-seekers can browse openings at Charleston tech companies.

"If I'm speaking in other communities and helping them with tech-based economies, there's no reason why I can't share best practices in our own backyard," Andrade said. "Sharing knowledge with other communities ... that is economic development in the 21st century."

Andrade said the tech community's growth would not have happened in Charleston without the vision and support of Mayor Joe Riley and Charleston City Council more than a decade ago. Riley said in a statement that thriving economies result from privately led initiatives supported by the public sector.

Andrade was the city's annexation coordinator from 1989 to 2001, helping expand the city from 38 square miles to 100 before he formed the corridor in 2001.

The foundation's directors include Riley, CSS International CEO Kirk King, PeopleMatter CEO Nate DaPore, Blue Acorn CEO Kevin Eichelberger, Google Data Center's site operations manager Eric Wages, Benefitfocus COO Andy Howell, Boeing South Carolina IT executive Brad Elmenhurst and BoomTown CEO Grier Allen.

"The continued growth of Charleston's tech economy now requires a higher level of focus, enhanced communications infrastructure and a deeper dive on talent development," King, the board chairman, said in a statement. "Accomplishing these goals will require the foundation to leverage all available resources in the state, region and across the Southeast."

Upcoming Events

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Fridays @ the Corridor - Top Ten Tips for Mobile App Development

Businesses are moving toward mobile first strategies. Mobile application development is hard because, in most cases, this translates to native iOS and Android applications as well as mobile browser support. Just because you are mobile first, your software still has to run on a myriad of other platforms including laptops and desktops. As you transition to mobile first, here are the top ten techniques for making your mobile application development a little less hard.

At the March Fridays @ the Corridor, David Elam, Founder of PayNearMe, will show us how his company was able to plan, design, and implement the latest products using the best native technologies combined with Cordova, PhoneGap and AngularJS. The result is a hybrid mobile app that can run natively on iOS and Andriod as well as adaptively respond to touch enabled or desktop browsers. Register to attend this event HERE.

Leading the Scaled Agile Framework (Leading SAFe) Certification

Icon Technology Consulting (Icon) is pleased to announce training of "Leading the Scaled Agile Framework (Leading SAFe) Certification" course on April 6-7, 2015. This is a class for executives, agile thought leaders, agile champions, and/or management who need the critical knowledge to begin your company's transformation to a scaled agile approach. 

In this two-day course, you will gain knowledge to leverage the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), and its underlying principles of lean thinking, and product development flow. You will leave with an understanding of how the principles and practices of the framework support Lean Thinking and Agile Development, along with scaling to the Enterprise ScrumXP, Agile Release Train, Agile Portfolio Management, Agile Architecture, and Scaling Leadership.

Cost: $1,395

Early Bird Discount: $200 off until March 23, 2015 ($1,195)

Icon Partner Discount Code ($100): Icon2015 ($1095)

Please visit www.icontechnologyconsulting.com or call (636) 530-7776 ext. 809 to register and get more detailed information about the class, pre-requisites, location, and group discounts.

Fridays @ the Corridor - CODEtalk- Monolithic vs. Microservices Applications

Traditionally, the monolithic architectural style has dominated application development. This server-side approach method puts all of its functionality into a single process and scales by replicating the monolith on multiple servers. Issues arise, however, with scalability and as more applications are being deployed to the cloud, the monolithic style has given way to a new approach- a microservice architecture style- where services are independently deployed and scalable.

At the April Fridays @ the Corridor, we examine these two architectural styles and discuss the trend towards the microservices architecture style. Tom Wilson from Jack Russell Software and BoomTown's, Jason Finneyfrock, will share their insights on what one style will dominate the future of app development – or perhaps another approach is on the horizon? Register HERE

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