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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"Hard Work Pays Off" Common Theme In Alboddo Founder's Life

From China to the United States; Columbia, Mo., to Columbia, S.C., and finally Charleston, John Zhang has seen his fair change of zip codes.

Zhang is the founder of software-as-a-service start-up Alboddo Technology, currently located at the Charleston Digital Corridor's Flagship tech-focused business incubator in downtown Charleston.

The company's fundraising software, CharityProud, provides a sophisticated cloud-based donor management solution for small and medium-sized non-profits.

Zhang has over a dozen years of success in software engineering, but surprisingly enough, he started off working with animals.

The software engineer first attended veterinary school in China, then migrated to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in animal nutrition at the University of Missouri, Columbia. "I drove to the farm twice a day to feed the animals," says Zhang, about the pigs and cows he used to study. Then John's interest in computer science became too strong to ignore.

Zhang makes a switch.

In 1999 John and his wife moved from Columbia, Mo., to attend the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., where Zhang would pursue a career in computer science.

He started learning how to code, first with HTML and CSS. He thought it was easy, and interesting. "I can make a difference here," he said. Zhang went on to get his degree in Electronic Engineering from USC, and joined mortgage loan origination software company, Avista Solutions.

He remembers pulling all-nighters at Avista Solutions while his wife attended graduate school. "While she was doing her homework, I was working, and I really enjoyed that," Zhang said.

Because of those fond memories, Zhang says he always tells colleagues that if they aren't spending enough time with their significant other, they should just bring them to work.

For John, hard work always pays off. "You'll get a payback, sooner or later, in some way." By 2012, all the hard work did just that. "We were one of the best mortgage software providers in the country," says Zhang, who became Avista's Chief Technology Officer.

Avista Solutions, which relocated to Charleston in 2009, was acquired in 2012 by D+H, a publicly traded Canadian company. While Zhang stayed on for two more years as the company transitioned, he had big plans when his contract ended.

"I saw how to grow a company from start to finish," said Zhang. After learning all he could at Avista Solutions, he knew it was time to start a business on his own.

In July 2014, following extensive market research and after leaving D+H, John launched Alboddo Technology. His relationships with fundraisers in the non-profit industry proved there was a need for a donor management software that is easy to use, accessible and affordable. He developed the CharityProud product with a team of non-profit professionals that provided him with user perspective.

Zhang is now the leader of a small company that's up against industry giants, but he says that doesn't worry him. Instead, he thinks of it as an advantage.

"One of the biggest problems with current products on the market is that they're too hard for customers to use," Zhang says. He believes bigger, more established companies add dozens of features to satisfy all their clients, making their product anything but user friendly.

Zhang says being smaller helps Alboddo stay current in an ever-changing field, something bigger companies can't always do.

"Nothing is static, even for big companies. If they don't move when the market moves, they will get in trouble."

With the confidence of someone who has been through this process before, Zhang knows that his hard work will pay off yet again. This time, with Alboddo Technology and CharityProud.

eGroup Achieves Advanced Data Center Architecture Specialization From Cisco

eGroup announced today that it has achieved the Advanced Data Center Architecture Specialization from Cisco. This specialization recognizes eGroup as having fulfilled the training requirements and program prerequisites to sell, design and deploy comprehensive Cisco(r) Data Center solutions.

The specialization provides role-based training in three essential areas: Unified Fabric for optimizing data and storage needs; Unified Computing for streamlining data center resources and uniting network, computational, storage and virtualization platforms; and Unified Network Services for advancing the way application delivery and security services are provided in the data center network or computing environment.

"eGroup realizes that this ongoing recognition of our achievement could not be obtained without the focus, commitment, and technical excellence of the combined eGroup and Cisco team – along with the continued investment of our most valued customers," said CEO Mike Carter.

"A lot has changed in the data center architectural landscape over the past few years," says Sales VP Brian Corum, "but one thing that has not changed has been Cisco's commitment to advance their technologies and deliver on customers' business outcomes in this space. And that is why eGroup continues to invest in our partnership with Cisco."

"eGroup's mission is to provide sound, consultative advice to our customers around their business wants, needs and challenges," Corum elaborates, "We deliver and exceed those desired outcomes via our IT solutions customized for customer success, software services, and the cloud. We are pleased to have achieved this specialization for the fifth consecutive year, and we're equally excited to continue sharing our acquired expertise with our base of installed and prospective customers."

The Cisco Channel Partner Program provides partners with the training required to build sales, design and technical talent and then validates their skills through a third-party audit.

About eGroup

Headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., eGroup provides innovative cloud, software, end- user computing and technical services to organizations across the Southeast. One of the region's fastest growing companies and four-time recipient of "Inc. 5000,"eGroup's solutions drive customer revenue while reducing cost to maintain IT infrastructures. Visit www.eGroup-us.com or call 1.877.eGROUP.1 (1.877.347.6871) for more information.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries.

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13-Year-Old Whiz Kid Representing the Next Generation of Charleston Tech

A future star of Charleston tech is walking the halls at the Charleston Digital Corridor.

13-year-old Parker Thompson takes classes and even serves as a Teacher's Assistant at CODEcamp, an array of classes and workshops in open source technologies taught by Charleston industry professionals. The soon-to-be high schooler even has his own desk at the Flagship

Short on age but certainly not in intellect or ambition, Parker Thompson is an example of what can happen when kids are given access to learning code and technology. The teen says he is already proficient in several languages used in coding the web: HTML, CSS, LESS, SASS, and Javascript- his favorite.

Thompson helps teach adults and children in the Digital Corridor's CODEcamp programs; the CODEcamp Kids pilot program is currently underway. When asked if the adults ever feel weird about being taught by a kid, Thompson said he never gets comments about it. "But I have seen a couple odd looks," he laughed.

His experience with CODEcamp started when a program staffer gave a lecture at Academic Magnet High School, which shares a campus with his school, the Charleston School of the Arts. Three weeks later, he was meeting the CODEcamp staff to make sure he could be a part of it and get started immediately.

This summer, elementary and middle school-aged kids from ages 6 to 14 had an opportunity to learn code from many of the same instructors who teach in the year round CODEcamp. The teen says the summer program makes use of a kid-friendly language called Scratch, a way of teaching coding basics with visual blocks to create interactive stories, games and animations.

And if that's not impressive enough, the talented teen says he's working on his own start-up, a messaging app called Parrot. Being careful not to say too much, Thompson describes the app as one that "takes the struggle out of sending and sharing media content." He continues "It's a much safer and efficient way to talk."

What got Thompson so interested in coding? "Videogames," he says with a grin. Thompson credits Minecraft, a game centered around breaking and placing 3D blocks, with sparking his interest in technology. "I started taking apart the engine, and figuring out what did what," he says.

Wise beyond his years, Thompson could pass for much older than 13. What does a talented kid like him think of other kids his age?

He wants them to join him.

"I want other teenagers my age to be influenced hopefully by the stuff I do," says Thompson. "I think what I do is kind of amazing for my age, and I want to help everyone else to do those same things."

"If they know the opportunities and the possibilities you can make for yourself with code, it will influence more and more people," he says. "Because you can create amazing things for amazing people."

"For the Charleston Digital Corridor's CODEcamp program, Parker is able to offer critical feedback and insights as we evaluate bringing forward a year round CODEcamp Kids program," said Director, Ernest Andrade.

Here's hoping that Thompson's example will get even more kids interested in tech.

Charleston, South Carolina Outpaces the Nation in Tech Growth

In April, I was invited to speak in Charleston's third annual DIG SOUTH – the Southeast's first and foremost event celebrating the digital economy with over 200 presenters from companies such as Google, Instagram, Twitter, TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, and Inc. Acclaimed entrepreneur and internet personality, Gary Vaynerchuk, delivered the kickoff keynote. My media panel was moderated by NBC News anchor and Emmy-Award winning journalist, Angie Goff.

DIG SOUTH functions as a showcase for Charleston as a top location for startups to launch new products, platforms, and services. Over 35 venture capital firms (managing more than $3 billion in funds combined) attended the event seeking investment opportunities. Represented companies included AOL co-founder Steve Case's Revolution Fund, Silicon Valley's BlueRun, Core Capital Partners, Comerica, and Boston Millennia Partners.

"DIG SOUTH's Wild Pitch is the region's capitol of capital," said founder Stanfield Gray. "The number one place for Southern startups to get deals done."

During the event, I was surprised to learn that Charleston outpaces the nation in technology growth.

Charleston, South Carolina has quickly become a surprise player in the tech growth field among giants like Silicon Valley and New York City. Usually known as a top tourism destination, Charleston has a larger percentage of employment in IT-related business than Austin or Raleigh. In fact, Post and Courier reported that Charleston's tech economy is growing 26% faster than the national average – and just as quickly as Silicon Valley.

Home to more than 200 tech companies, Charleston's fast-growing tech hub is fueled by new waves of young, creative talent flocking to the area. From 2000 to 2012, Charleston's millennial population grew 58 percent – outpacing Nashville, Denver and Houston.

Venture capitalists have also taken a keen interest in the mid-sized metro. This year, the Brookings Institution ranked Charleston #12 in the nation for venture capital "first fundings" by population and deal concentration.

This year, Charleston-based, Bidr, which creates a mobile-based fundraising system for nonprofits, took home first place at DIG SOUTH's "Wild Pitch" event, earning $7,500, plus $2,700 of on-the-spot crowdsourced funding. Just one week later, Bidr took home the top prize of $100,000 from Steve Case's Rise of the Rest tour stop in Charleston.

The region's growth didn't happen overnight. Blackbaud, developer of software and services for nonprofits, moved to Charleston from New York 26 years ago. In 2004, the company raised $64.7 million at its IPO. Around the same time, health insurance technology company, Benefitfocus, was also founded in the region. The company raised $70.6 million from its IPO in 2013 and currently services clients like Under Armour, Dannon and New Balance. It now has a 40-acre campus in Charleston housing 750 employees.

"You could count the number of technology-focused companies that were around on two hands back in 2004," said Grier Allen, CEO and Co-Founder of real estate software company, BoomTown. "Today, we have hundreds of companies ranging from your one-person, two-person startups looking for that angel round, all the way up to the Google and Boeing, which is expanding its technology arm here in Charleston. It's an exciting time to be part of Charleston's knowledge economy." Since opening in 2006, BoomTown has surpassed $8 million in revenue and now employs nearly 100 people.

Charleston's Collaborative Community

At the cornerstone of Charleston's tech community is the Charleston Digital Corridor(CDC), a public-private partnership that provides Charleston's entrepreneurs with community, talent, spaces and capital. Since 2009, the CDC has graduated 76 startups in its incubator spaces (called "Flagships").

For funding, local startups also have access to SC Launch, which invests $200,000 or more in select technology ventures throughout the state, and Silicon Harbor Ventures, an investor-managed fund targeting early and growth stage companies in Charleston. While these organizations provide the resources that tech companies need now, just as many are focused on ensuring Charleston has an important resource for the future: talent.

"Our region's tech economy has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. To keep this momentum going, we want to make sure tech companies can find the talent they need here for years to come," said David Ginn of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. "Between the region's top-rated restaurants, lively culture, deep history and low cost of living, Charleston is an appealing place to live and work."

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance, along with a dozen of the area's top tech companies, recently unveiled a new initiative, Charleston Open Source, which will attract and connect national talent to local tech companies.

Charleston Digital Corridor Companies to Watch:

• HR software developer for the service industry, PeopleMatter, got its start with the CDC in 2009. Since then, the company has raised more than $47 million in venture capital and counts 33,000 restaurants across the country among its clients, including Wendy's, Marriott, Domino's and more.

• After cyber security firm, PhishLabs, moved into CDC's Flagship2, the company completed a $1.2 million Series A round of venture financing and has since moved to a space downtown with nearly 50 employees.

• Workforce analytics firm, Echovate, moved into CDC's Flagship last summer and has since enrolled in SC Launch. The company hopes to hire between 75 and 90 employees in Charleston over the next few years.

BiblioBoard began with just four people and is now the world's first digital global publishing platform, offering millions of pages of content from several hundred publishers and used by thousands of libraries.

While many tech positions can be done anywhere, over 11,000 people in tech occupations chose to live in Charleston. Take a look at the Digital Corridor's interactive tech map. It's an exciting time to observe how and how quickly Charleston's business landscape will continue to change in the upcoming years.

NanoScreen Awarded ISO 9001:2008 Certification

NanoScreen, an industry leader in automated liquid handling, announced today that it's quality management system processes have been certified as compliant under the ISO 9001:2008 standard. This certification applies to NanoScreen's management system governing the product design, manufacturing and sales of instruments and consumables.

"As one of the leading liquid handling providers, it was essential for us to achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification, demonstrating our commitment to a strong culture of quality", said Garey De Angelis, CEO of NanoScreen.

"Receiving ISO 9001:2008 certification demonstrates NanoScreen's dedication to meeting or exceeding the expectations of our customers in the design, development, manufacturing, sales and servicing of liquid handling products", said Tiffany Benford, Director of Quality Assurance at NanoScreen.

ISO, International Organization for Standardization, is the world's largest body of voluntary international quality management standards. Important components of ISO 9001:2008 include customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and preventative action.

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 via an automated liquid handling system. The company's core competency is in the manufacturing of high density air displacement heads, disposable pipette tips and robotic liquid handling workstations. 

Belimed Announces Washer/Disinfector Compatibility with Latest Automated Robotic Cleaning Process

July 13, 2015 (Charleston, SC) Belimed, Inc. (www.belimed.com), announced today that their WD 290 washer/disinfector, together with a new specialty robotic rack has been confirmed acceptable for use in the Automated cleaning process for Intuitive Surgical's EndoWrist(r) surgical instruments designed for use with the da Vinci(r) Xi™ Surgical System. Belimed Inc., part of the Belimed Group, a world leader in cleaning and sterile processing systems and solutions in health care and life sciences, has a 40-year plus commitment to providing continuous improvements and infection control solutions within sterile processing departments worldwide.

Belimed's popular WD 290, together with a new dedicated Xi robotic rack, can now be used with the labor-saving Automated cleaning/disinfection process for Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Xi series EndoWrist surgical instruments and accessories. Only a handful of washer/disinfectors currently on the market are listed as compatible in Intuitive's Reprocessing Instructions Appendices.

The WD 290 with Xi rack offers full Automated wash, rinse, decontaminate, and dry functions, saving clinician time and increasing facility throughput over purely manual-based cleaning techniques. Due to its pass-through design, the WD 290 also follows standardized SPD workflows, delivering decontaminated instruments straight to the clean-side without the need for special dirty-side handling or the potential for re-contamination.

Please refer to the latest Intuitive Surgical reprocessing instructions for detailed descriptions of the procedures for reprocessing EndoWrist instruments and accessories designed for use with Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Surgical Systems.

When reprocessing Intuitive Surgical instruments, it is important that the healthcare facility follow all directions in the latest Intuitive Surgical Reprocessing Instructions as well as any instrument specific instructions and supplements that may come with individual instruments.

About Belimed

Belimed is a leading supplier of technology-based cleaning, disinfection and sterile processing products and services for the medical and pharmaceutical industries, 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 designed to increase efficiency while ensuring high quality reprocessing, decontamination and sterilization results.

Belimed delivers effective reprocessing solutions through its exceptional design, installation and service teams. Continually striving to address customers' challenges, goals and requirements, and meeting a higher set of standards, Belimed is healthcare's trusted reprocessing partner.

The Belimed Group: A Company of the Metall Zug Group

The Metall Zug Group focuses on its three core businesses and is managed as an industrial group. It is headquartered in Zug (Switzerland) and has a staff of more than 3,500 employees. The household appliances business unit includes the Swiss market leader V-ZUG AG, SIBIRGroup AG and Gehrig Group AG. The infection control business unit is represented by the Belimed Group, and the Schleuniger Group makes up the wire processing business unit.

Contact:

John Nies, Marketing Product Manager, Belimed US

Belimed Inc.

www.belimed.com

john.nies@belimed.com

843-216-7424

Digital Agency Start-Up Commences Operations In Charleston, SC

Charleston, South Carolina – July 9, 2015 - The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce that premier digital marketing agency, Digital Fire Media, has selected the Flagship2 (FS2) business incubator as the location for their first office.

Digital Fire Media, started by iPhoneMD's, Sam Whetsel, specializes in using well-placed HD screens to deliver highly targeted, specific messages allowing clients to engage future customers when they shop, travel, study, or play.

The company's business considerations were to select a location that is ideally located in Downtown Charleston, providing the ultimate in business flexibility in terms of lease commitments as well as catering to a community of like-minded tech entrepreneurs, which led them to select the FS2 business incubator.

"By allowing us to focus on issues directly related to the growth of our new company and taking care of other support issues on our behalf, the Charleston Digital Corridor's FS2 is perfect for our start-up business," said Digital Fire Media co-founder, Sam Whetsel.

"In developing and operating the Flagships, the Digital Corridor's goal is to provide the highest level of services to tech and tech-related start-up companies in Charleston and watch them fulfill our objective to build a high-wage economy one company at a time" said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

Digital Fire Media joins a growing list of companies that have been successfully incubated at the Flagships, which have include Peoplematter, Good Done Great and Phishlabs.

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

Upcoming Events

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MVUX - Minimum Viable User Experience w/ Jono Young

Good User Experience Design is hard; it takes a long time and your project scopes are shrinking. Luckily for you, there is a faster, more cost-effective way called Minimum Viable User Experience (MVUX). MVUX is a new way of thinking about users, experience and design. It's about doing the absolute minimum amount of work to get the absolute maximum return. This is where "Less is More" meets User Experience Design.

Speaker, Jono Young, is an Agile Web/App UX Designer, Logo Designer, Speaker & Marketer. He is passionate about helping others design solutions that save time, feel good & make money. It's been said that he thinks too much, but he's pretty sure that is his design super power.

REGISTER HERE

Using Federal Funds (SBIR/STTR) To Finance and Grow Your Company

If you are looking at funding options for your company, the federal government's SBIR/STTR grant programs should be at the top of the list. Please join us as nationally recognized expert, John Davis, leads a presentation on the strategic use of SBIR funds. To attend this event, register HERE

Introduction to SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS is an advanced 3D modeling software that is used by many major manufacturing companies such as Boeing. This class is free and will be open to members and the public. There is a 12 person limit on this class and the class itself will last about 3.5 hours. 

REGISTER HERE

Javascript Lighting Talks

Join them for a night of lightning talks! (crack of lightning sounds outside your window). They'll take volunteers to talk about something Javascript'y for 5 minutes. So come and share your knowledge and experience with Javascript!

They will finish with a keynote on the IDesign method by Andre Dublin.

REGISTER HERE

Startup Grind Charleston Hosts Marc Murphy (SPARC)

** This is a paid event. Purchase your tickets HERE **

What is Startup Grind?

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. We host monthly events in more than 150 cities and 65 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Our monthly fireside chat interviews, startup mixers and annual conferences provide ample opportunities to connect with amazing startups and the people behind them, tap into a strong support network, form meaningful connections and gain inspiration for the startup journey ahead. For more information visit StartupGrind.com or follow us on twitter@StartupGrind.

Marc Murphy, SPARC

As CEO of SPARC, Marc Murphy is responsible for leading the overall corporate direction, business continuity, and management of the organization. He oversees all business and operations done in concert with several Department of the Defense contracts worth a combined value of over $50M. Marc consistently develops strategic plans to advance the company's mission and objectives to promote revenue, profitability, and growth. In addition, Marc maintains a team of Executives and Directors who drive the operational initiatives of SPARC on a daily basis. Prior to joining SPARC Marc served as the SPAWAR Account Director in the Deloitte DoD/Federal group, where he oversaw all operations, and was responsible for leading strategic initiatives that were critical to the ongoing growth of the company. Marc is a former Army Officer, and left service at the rank of Captain. He has degrees from Bucknell University and American University, and lives in Charleston, SC with his wife Ami and their three children.

Fridays @ the Corridor - 7 Strategies to Increase Website Traffic

You have invested a significant amount of time and resources to develop a great website. Now, how do you generate traffic to this site and convert eyeballs to sales? 

At the August Fridays @ the Corridor, Ann Marie Houlihan from Agile Advantage will lead a presentation regarding some of the best strategies to increase your website traffic. Register HERE.

SPARC Hackathon 5

SPARC Gives hosts the annual Hackathon to foster and grow tech-loving geeks. This coding marathon brings together developers, companies, and the community in non-competitive way for a weekend full of learning and fun. 

REGISTER HERE

2015 Charleston Mayoral Candidate Tech Mixer

Join Charleston's technology community for drinks and appetizers as we spend an evening discussing issues important to our 21st century economic development. Each mayoral candidate will speak briefly on the challenges and opportunities they see on the horizon and the tech / economic development strategy they would bring to city hall. The talks will be followed by a short, moderated audience Q&A. There will be time to mingle and meet the candidates after the Q&A. mingle and meet the candidates after the Q&A.

Sponsored By:

Charleston Digital Corridor

BoomTown!
BiblioLabs
Blue Acorn
PeopleMatter

RSVP HERE

Tech Startup Bootcamp

Is a startup for you? Find out in this practical, hands-on and fast-moving course.

Do you have an idea for the next Facebook, FitBit, Instagram or Snapchat?

• Discover what it takes to turn a tech concept into profitable reality

• Learn the business, technical and legal issues involved in building a tech startup

• Participate in guest sessions from local business leaders and investors

• Discover what you need in a pitch presentation so that you can raise funds and attract top talent

Bootcamp runs September 29 - November 17, 2015 on Tuesdays, 6:00 -9:00 p.m.

Learn more and/or register HERE