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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Jerry Callahan, CEO, ISI Technology

Knack For Problem-Solving Led Callahan To Reinvent Water Heating

The Charleston Digital Corridor Leadership Profile series is focused on the individuals who are driving Charleston tech scene forward.

Jerry Callahan has started and fixed many businesses. He was a co-founder of Blue Rhino propane cylinder exchange. His most recent startup is ISI Technology, maker of HeatWorks technology, currently based in Charleston at the Digital Corridor's Flagship Tech Business Incubator and has 13 employees. Callahan, CEO, has lived on Sullivan's Island for 23 years.

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

I grew up on Cape Cod, outside of Boston. Cape Cod is still pretty quiet in the winter, but it was very quiet in the winter then. It was nice because it was country but still an hour from Boston. (My) memories are of just spending a lot of time outside and enjoying the water. I spent a lot of time in boats.

How did you come to be in Charleston?

Once I got out of college, I started at a company called Great Lakes Dredge and Dock. We did a lot of maintenance dredging – in Charleston Harbor, for example. We also did a lot of interesting construction projects. Then, I got out of that company and got into the business of fixing troubled companies. I moved an aerospace company down here from Upstate New York in June of 1992.

What was your first job, or most memorable early job? What did you learn from it?

A boat yard in Osterville (Mass.). It was third-generation, and I started painting boat bottoms and sweeping the yards out and things like that. It helped me realize how good management and ownership really can produce a really exciting and motivated and collaborative workforce. (Management) treated everybody with respect. It was two brothers that owned it. They treated me as a 14-year-old with the same respect as a 60 year old custom woodworker.

Did you have an entrepreneurial drive early on, or did you acquire it through experiences?

I'd say I had it early on. I think there's two types – probably more – but at least two types of entrepreneurs. One is what I would call the blue-sky entrepreneurs, which are the people who started Facebook and PayPal and eBay, (who) just thought, "Well, this is kind of an interesting idea, I wonder if there's a business behind it." My entrepreneurial spirit has always been, "Gee, here's a problem, there's gotta be a better way to do it than this." So I think there's the problem solvers, which is my part of the entrepreneurial world. I've always been a problem-solver.

What drew you to your current business, or inspired you to start it?

In 2007, I was building an outdoor shower out on Sullivan's Island, and I wanted to have hot water there. The hot water tank was way on the other side of the house, and you had to run, like, 150 feet of pipe. And I said, "Well, I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to waste all that water waiting for water to show up."

So I went to a big wholesaler, and I said, "Look, I'd like to buy a tankless electric water heater," because we don't have any natural gas out there (on Sullivan's Island), it's all electricity. They said they wouldn't sell me one. I said, "Well that's kind of interesting, why is that?" And they said, "Well, because the elements fail and the flow switches fail and the tanks rust." They go through this whole litany of problems. I'm sitting here thinking, "That sounds like a problem statement to me."

In your own words, what does your company do?

We heat water by using electricity differently than anybody else in the world. Instead of having elements that get really hot and then transfer the heat to the water – which is also the way that gas hot water heaters work – we actually pass electrical currents through the water itself. We increase the energy state of the water molecules, so they move faster, and the faster they move, the more kinetic energy they have. And when they bounce off each other, they give that kinetic energy off in the form of heat.

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

That it's glamorous. Rarely do we hear about the failed entrepreneurs. We always hear about the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Pierre Omidyars from eBay and things like that. And yet, they all had to endure a lot of pain and sleepless nights and stressful meetings and hiring and firing and raising money and failed product launches and, especially these days, just brutal, unfounded social media attacks. It's not for the faint-hearted.

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

The No. 1 lesson from good bosses is honesty. One of my earlier bosses told me something I'll never forget. He said, "You know, Jerry, you meet the same people going down as you did going up, so you might as well be honest and have a good relationship with all of them."

I think from bad bosses, what I've learned from them is you just have to stay away from them. You gotta go find another job.

Do you have a routine that's important to your day? A morning ritual, meditation, etc.?

I have a period of time, basically as soon as I open my eyes (in the morning), where I pray-slash-meditate, and then I go through lessons learned from yesterday or the last few days. Then I say, "OK, so what I need to do differently?" And then, "What do I need to accomplish today, and how do I bridge what I have learned or should have learned into being more successful today?" It's a 10- or 15-minute process. It's still in bed, because once I get out of bed I'm going to want to do something.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs or new graduates?

The most important thing is to do what you love and what your personal attributes will allow you to succeed at. For example, there are creative people that will never be good accountants. Although there are some creative people working in accountancy and their jobs are horrendous because they aren't using their natural skills. So try to find the combination of those two.

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

I hate 'em both. To me, a computer should be like a hammer; it should work every time you pick it up. I actually was PC for a long time and then went to Mac. I think PCs are better for business and Mac is better for creative-type stuff. I struggle through it. And, definitely Android.

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

Earl Grey tea.

This interview was conducted, condensed and edited by Ashley Fletcher Frampton.

Benefitfocus Greenville Ribbon Cutting

Benefitfocus Invests In Greenville’s Growing Technology Base With Office Expansion

Charleston, S.C. – August 25, 2015 – Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions, hosted a celebration today to mark the grand opening of its office expansion in Greenville, S.C. The company announced additional capacity for up to 100 new software-related jobs at its upstate office which has now more than doubled in size to 27,000 square feet.

The Greenville office is the latest in a series of expansions by Benefitfocus, which includes the opening of a third building at its Charleston headquarters campus in February 2015.

"This is an exciting milestone in our growth journey," said Benefitfocus President and COO Ray August. "The health care industry is undergoing massive changes and our customers rely on us to proactively anticipate their benefits technology needs. Our Greenville-based associates represent talented, loyal engineers and technologists. We are proud to call Greenville home."

Founded in 2000 with a single office in Mount Pleasant, Benefitfocus moved to its Daniel Island headquarters in 2006. The company has additional offices in San Francisco and Tulsa. Benefitfocus has served more than 25 million consumers on its platform that consists of an integrated portfolio of products and services enabling clients to more efficiently shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information.

About Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) is a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. Benefitfocus has served more than 25 million consumers on its platform that consists of an integrated portfolio of products and services enabling clients to more efficiently shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information. With a user-friendly interface and consumer-centric design, the Benefitfocus Platform provides one place for consumers to access all their benefits. Benefitfocus solutions support the administration of all types of benefits including core medical, dental and other voluntary benefits plans as well as wellness programs. For more information, visit www.benefitfocus.com.

PlanSource

PlanSource Raises $70 Million to Fuel Innovation in Benefits Technology

Series C investment by Great Hill Partners will propel growth in sales, marketing and infrastructure

PlanSource, a leading provider of cloud-based health exchange and benefits administration technology, has received a commitment for a minority equity investment of $70 million from Boston-based private equity firm Great Hill Partners. PlanSource expects to use the funds to drive growth in sales and marketing, invest in continued product innovation, and expand its operating and technology infrastructure.

"2015 has been a standout year for PlanSource," said Dayne Williams, CEO of PlanSource. "The partnership with Great Hill and this infusion of capital will allow us to continue to fuel our growth and speed the delivery of technology that is helping thousands of families shop, enroll and manage insurance and other essential benefits coverage."

With this investment, Chris Busby and Matthew Vettel from Great Hill Partners will join the PlanSource Board of Directors, which includes existing investors Lemhi Ventures and Timucuan Asset Management. William Blair & Company, LLC, acted as exclusive financial advisor to PlanSource.

Deep roots produce explosive growth

PlanSource was founded in 2008, but its roots stretch back to the 1990s and the birth of human resources software and cloud computing. The company built the first single-source multi-carrier web-enabled benefits management and billing platform. PlanSource has experienced explosive growth in recent years, buoyed by a clear market strategy and innovative products. As of June 2015, PlanSource has experienced:

82% year-over-year increase in recurring revenue

77% year-over-year growth in employees on the PlanSource Platform

97% customer retention rate

In addition to growth in key financial metrics and customer satisfaction, PlanSource has recently signed strategic partnership deals with leading insurance carriers, including MetLife and Humana. And while the majority of its growth has been organic, the company also expanded through its acquisition of ClearBenefits in March 2015. Additionally, PlanSource has had the privilege of powering the technology behind the state of Utah's health insurance marketplace, Avenue H, which has become one of the most successful state health exchanges since the passing of the Affordable Care Act.

The benefits technology market has evolved rapidly in recent years. The Affordable Care Act has placed new reporting requirements on employers, and PlanSource has been quick to deliver tools that ensure compliance and simplify the reporting process. The company is driving trends in how benefits are bought and sold, working closely with some of the country's largest brokers and insurance carriers. Its highly-configurable benefits administration system, which can be run by employers or set up as a private or public health exchange, allows consumers to shop for benefits in the same consumer-friendly way they shop for other products online.

A history of backing successful technology firms

Since its inception, Great Hill Partners has focused on partnering with rapidly-growing middle-market companies. In March 2014, Great Hill Partners invested in bswift, a provider of SaaS-based benefits technology. In November 2014, bswift was sold to Aetna for $400 million, highlighting the strategic importance of benefits technology in today's market.

"Benefits technology is an exciting space to be in at the moment, and we believe PlanSource is uniquely positioned to succeed," said Chris Busby, Partner at Great Hill Partners. "PlanSource has thoughtfully navigated an increasingly complex industry and positioned itself for future growth. We have nothing but confidence in the company's ability to continue to drive growth and innovation in the benefits technology sector, and we are looking forward to a successful partnership."

About PlanSource

PlanSource provides the industry's most flexible and extensible health exchange and benefits engagement platform in the cloud. More than 8,000 employers and 3.5 million consumers use the PlanSource Platform for benefits shopping, enrollment, billing and ongoing administration. PlanSource partners with leading insurance carriers, brokers and government entities to provide both exchange and non-exchange solutions to companies of all sizes. PlanSource – One Source. Many Benefits. Learn more at www.plansource.com.

About Great Hill Partners

Great Hill Partners is a private equity firm that has raised $4 billion in capital commitments to finance the expansion, recapitalization or acquisition of growth companies within the business and consumer services, media, communications and software industries. Great Hill targets investments of $25 million to $150 million. For more information, please visit www.greathillpartners.com.

PlanSource is a registered trademark of PlanSource, Inc., and PlanSource owns other registered and unregistered trademarks. Other names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Press Contact

Bill Fryman

843.697.8792

bill.fryman@plansource.com

Stasmayer, Incorporated Ranked on Inc. 5000 for 2nd Consecutive Year

Charleston, South Carolina- Inc. Magazine recently ranked Stasmayer, Incorporated no. 4063 on its 2015 Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. This is the second consecutive year that Stasmayer has achieved the recognition, with a 3- year growth of 71%. The Inc. 5000 represents one of the most comprehensive looks at the most important segment of the economy–-America's independent entrepreneurs. The full 2015 list can be found at Inc.com www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2015.

"We're excited and grateful once again to be listed among the top 5000 fastest growing companies in the United States for the 2nd year in a row. We feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this exciting business community and this growing economy. We have worked hard to continually evolve Stasmayer's Managed IT Department to make it more valuable to our customers and to position us all for the needs of the future. This recognition is another testament of our hard work, and we look forward to continually growing and increasing the power of our services to the exciting businesses throughout Charleston, SC and beyond. Many thanks to our customers for believing in us, our team for their hard work, and our families for letting us do what we do. We've got IT going on!" said Richard Krenmayer, Stasmayer CEO.

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 in the Charleston area, throughout South Carolina and the Nation. To find out more about Stasmayer, visit www.stasmayer.com or call 843.724.3440.

eGroup Recognized as Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Authorized Technology Provider in the United States

Mt. Pleasant, SC – August 17, 2015 – eGroup announced today that it has achieved Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) designation from Cisco. The designation recognizes eGroup as having fulfilled the training requirements and program prerequisites to sell, deploy and support Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure products and solutions.

Participation in the Cisco ACI ATP Program allows eGroup to offer their customers a new data center architecture designed to simplify operations and greatly reduce provision time through automation for their applications.

"eGroup is delighted to join an elite group of Cisco partners capable of helping business leaders make their applications perform with faster on-demand agility thanks to Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)," says Lori Sussman, eGroup's VP of Services. "ACI is the first data center and cloud solution to offer full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources and we are proud to have earned this certification."

To earn the ACI ATP designation, eGroup fulfilled Cisco application centric infrastructure training and exam requirements. eGroup also met the personnel and post sales support requirements set forth by Cisco.

The Cisco Authorized Technology Provider Program is part of the Cisco go-to-market strategy for emerging technologies. The program helps Cisco to define the knowledge, skills and services that channel partners need to successfully sell, deploy and support an emerging technology practice.

About Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) in the data center is a holistic architecture with centralized automation and policy-driven application profiles. ACI delivers innovative

software flexibility with the scalability of hardware performance. An ACI network is deployed, monitored, and managed in a fashion that supports DevOps and rapid application change. ACI does so through the reduction of complexity and a common policy framework that can automate provisioning and managing of resources.

About eGroup

Headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, SC, 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 five-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.

Press Contact:

Angie Murto eGroup 843.708.4288 angie.murto@egroup-us.com

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Pokitdok Health Care Platform Raises $34M In Latest Funding Round

PokitDok has raised $34 million for its application programming interfaces that aim to make health care transactions easier.

Wayzata, Minn.-based Lemhi Ventures led this series B round for the tech firm, which has dual headquarters in San Mateo, Calif., and Charleston. PokitDok also raised $12.2 million in a series A round in June 2013, co-led by New Atlantic Ventures and Rogers Venture Partners.

According to a news release from the company, the new funding will fuel business development, marketing and technical support to meet demand from large group providers, health care systems integrators and telehealth businesses.

PokitDok was launched in 2011. The tech firm now has 16 APIs that are used in apps for payment processing, eligibility checks, referrals, claims submissions, online scheduling, patient identity management and provider searches.

PokitDok CEO and co-founder Lisa Maki had the idea for the company when she struggled to find a nonsurgical treatment for a spinal injury sustained while practicing karate. Maki and Chief Technology Officer Ted Tanner wanted consumers to be able to shop directly online for health providers the same way people do for clothes or home goods.

PokitDok's platform aims to connect doctors and patients; provide new business functions for care providers and payers; and help electronic medical records and other digital health care services communicate, according to the company. Its APIs –- sets of protocols and tools to build apps –- enable health care transactions to be integrated into any app, website or product.

"Much like Uber scaled quickly by leveraging APIs, emerging and established health companies can apply a similar technical strategy using PokitDok. We give them the tools that accelerate time to market and produce operational efficiency across health care business processes and data," Maki said in a news release.

Tanner heads the Charleston operations, which will relocate into a 10,000-square-foot space on Calhoun Street by the end of the year. Maki heads the Silicon Valley office.

With the investment, Tony Miller, Lemhi's founder and managing partner, and Jodi Hubler, Lemhi's managing director, will join PokitDok's board of directors.

"PokitDok has introduced a novel solution to legacy issues and high costs that plague the health care industry," Miller said in a statement.

Charleston Tech Companies Make Inc. 5000 List Of Fastest-Growing Private Firms

Twenty-three Charleston tech businesses made this year's Inc. 5000 list, which ranks the country's fastest-growing private companies. Sixty from across South Carolina made the cut. Of the companies, Charleston tech companies made the list include:

ISHPI #1052

Blue Acorn #1110

Phishlabs #1135

CodeLynx #2271

Cantey Technology #2767

eHouse Studio #3926

eGroup #3929

Stasmayer #4063

Omatic Software #4376

Upcoming Events

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Put Your Business On The Map

Registration is now open for "Let's Put Our Cities on the Map" in Charleston. The Black Googler Network is hosting the event and the mission is simple – to help local businesses get found on the web, on maps and on mobile phones. That's important because although 97 percent of consumers look online for local products and services. But, approximately 40 percent of small businesses in South Carolina do not have a website. Learn more and 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

Flagship Gallery - Artist Reception and Resident Mixer

Join us at the Flagship on Thursday, September 3 from 5-7pm for an evening of art and networking featuring local artist Chad Clewley. You'll be able to take in some of Chad's most unique pieces, mingle with fellow Resident Flagship and FS2 companies and catch up on what's been happening at the CDC. Light refreshments will be provided.

From the Artist:

This installation includes most of the pieces from a series of monster paintings where I create what I like to think of as a "habitat" before I decide what type of creature will fit within the new environment. Not knowing what monster will live in this environment while it is being painted keeps me excited and makes the process fun.

Recently relocated from Durango, CO, I am enthusiastic about living in Charleston where I can surely be inspired by some of the city's surroundings for new paintings in this series or perhaps a new, similar series.

"Juana, The Iguana" is not part of the monster series, but it is my most recently finished piece and thought she would fit in with the rest comfortably.

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. 

Sponsored By:

Charleston Digital Corridor, BoomTown, BiblioLabs, Blue Acorn & PeopleMatter  *This event is sold out*

CODEcamp Workshop - Agile Scrum

CODEcamp is offering a Saturday workshop on Agile Scrum. This workshop is led by Abraham Becker. Learn more and register HERE

Fridays @ the Corridor - Confused About Cloud Infrastructure?

As part 2 of the conversation about Cloud infrastructure, join us at the next Fridays @ the Corridor on September 25th as we discuss Private, Hybrid and Public Clouds?

At the September Fridays @ the Corridor, Red Hat's, Russell Bryant and Immedion's, Brad Alexander will lead a discussion about what resources are available to help you determine which cloud configuration is right for your team and how these platforms interact with the public clouds from about the OpenStack and local private cloud companies,

This presentation will be moderated by Jack Russell Software's Chief Architect, Tom Wilson. Learn more and Register 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

CODEtalks

The Charleston Digital Corridor is hosting CODEtalks - A daylong event featuring talks and panel discussions regarding the latest software development technologies and trends led by Charleston industry professionals. Learn More & Register HERE