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.

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

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

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’s Annual iFive:K Brings Tech Community Together

While the 10th Annual Innovators 5k (iFive:K) is over, it will be remembered by race participants as the most successful event yet – in terms of attendance, funds raised for the Digital Corridor's CODEcamp education programming and fun.

The iFive:K, a weekday evening race, held at Riverfront Park in North Charleston on April 14, 2016, has become the favorite race for Charleston's tech community. The new venue allowed the Digital Corridor to host a record 1,210 participants with room to further grow the event in support of Charleston's thriving tech community.

"The employees at Blackbaud really look forward to participating in the annual iFive:K. The excitement and positive energy start with the planning for the event and go through to the days following the race – with even more enthusiasm about the planning for the next year," said Human Resources VP, Peggy Frazier. "Our Blackbaud associates enjoy spending more time with each other in a fun environment that allows them to also have camaraderie with fellow techies in the Charleston community."

Sponsors for the 2016 iFive:K included Benefitfocus (title), BoomTown, Blue Acorn, Blackbaud, SPARC – Booz Allen, Google and several others.

"Of the things we do, bringing the tech community together for events like the iFive:K is one of the most important since it fosters employee wellness, cross-company networking and friendships and supports community education," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade. "We could not host this event without the support from Charleston's growing tech community."

Key Statistics

  • Number of participants - 1,210
  • SPIRIT award winner – Team BoomTown
  • Fastest time – Male 15:39 - Female 18:50
  • Local microbreweries represented - Cooper River, Holy City, Frothy Beard & Lo-Fi
  • Highest Company Participation - Blackbaud - 251
  • Funds raised – approximately $49,000

Tech Sector Exploding in Charleston

The title of this column is not a wish or an aspiration. It's a statement of fact.

For years now, economic development people and politicians have talked about building the technology sector like it was the Holy Grail, and the Holy Land was Silicon Valley. There is now a Silicon Something sprouting up almost everywhere you look: Silicon Alley (New York City), Silicon Shore (Santa Barbara), Silicon Hills (Austin), Silicon Mountain (Denver), Silicon Forrest (Portland).

It's not just a U.S. phenomenon. There is a Silicon Glenn (Scotland), Silicon Fjord (Finland), Silicon Oasis (Dubai), Silicon Beach (Australia), Silicon Dock (Northern Ireland), Silicon Cape (South Africa), etc.

Wikipedia lists a Silicon Something in 28 U.S. cities and regions and 61 globally. There are probably twice as many that haven't yet gotten onto the list. My favorite is Silicon Bayou in Louisiana. I'm not sure how they deal with the alligators, but I guess that's a different story.

All of which brings us to our own Silicon Harbor: Charleston.

As in many communities, back in the late 1990s some smart folks figured out that this internet thing was going to be a big deal. Some city officials and business leaders began to coalesce around the idea of the need to do something to encourage tech growth.

Following a familiar pattern (see the 100 or so initiatives above), the Charleston Silicon Harbor and its related Silicon Corridor (there's that name again) were born.

The initiative grew to house two incubators (a third is in the works) as places for small companies to share space, costs and ideas. Since 2009, 76 startup companies have graduated from the incubators.

Today, more than 200 tech companies call Charleston home.

The statistics are dazzling: There are 243 tech companies in Charleston. Charleston now has a higher percent of its workforce in tech businesses than Austin and Raleigh. Our tech economy is growing 26 percent faster than the national average, on par with Silicon Valley (the original one). More than 11,000 people work in the tech sector. We are in the top 10 fastest-growing software development regions in U.S. ... and on and on it goes.

One could write a book (and someone should) about the innovative tech companies that have flourished in the region. Here are just a few:

Blackbaud, developer of software and services for nonprofits, moved to Charleston from New York 26 years ago. In 2004, it raised $64.7 million at its IPO and now has more than 3,000 employees.

Benefitfocus was founded in 2000 to simplify enrollment for benefits at large companies. It raised $70.6 million from its IPO in 2013 and now has a 40-acre campus in Charleston housing 750 employees.

Automated Trading Desk started in 1988 as a pioneer in high frequency stock trading. In 2007, ATD was sold to Citigroup for $680 million and at the time was handling 6 percent of all the trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange and had 115 employees.

BoomTown is a real estate software company. Since opening in 2006, it has surpassed $8 million in revenue and now employs nearly 100 people.

PeopleMatter is a human resources software developer for the service industry. Incubated in the Digital Corridor, it has raised more than $47 million and its products are in more than 33,000 restaurants.

Blue Acorn designs, builds, markets and optimizes e-commerce sites for brands and other online retailers. Started in 2008, it now has more than 80 employees and $8 million in revenues.

PhishLabs, a cyber-security firm also incubated in the Digital Corridor, has completed a $1.2 million Series A round of venture financing and now has nearly 50 employees.

BiblioBoard started with only four people and is now the world's first digital global publishing platform. Today, several hundred publishers use their technology, as do thousands of libraries. The company was started by Mitchell Davis, who previously cofounded BookSurge, which was sold to Amazon.

There are lots of reasons why this is happening. Two of the biggest reasons are that Charleston is a great place to live and attracts young, smart people who want to live here. The South Carolina Research Authority's S.C. Launch program has provided millions in startup and expansion capital to entrepreneurs with an idea.

The bottom line on all this is that Charleston's tech community really is truly exploding. It is creating great jobs for smart people who are building great companies that are having national and even global impact.

Pay attention, folks. Something big and real and important is happening in Charleston - right now.

Dennis Story To Join Benefitfocus As Chief Financial Officer

CHARLESTON, SC – Benefitfocus, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software, announced that Dennis B. Story will join the company as chief financial officer effective July 1, 2016. Story is currently executive vice president and chief financial officer of Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH), a leading supply chain commerce solutions provider. Story brings to Benefitfocus strategic and financial leadership experience in both the public and private sectors of the financial services and logistics industries.

"We're excited for Dennis to join the executive team as demand continues to increase for the Benefitfocus Platform," said Benefitfocus Chief Executive Officer, Shawn Jenkins. "His extensive financial expertise and leadership will be an excellent addition to the team as we continue to scale our platform."

Story has been with Manhattan Associates since March of 2006, during which time revenue grew to over $500 million annually with improving profitability. He was previously senior vice president of finance for global payment processing company Certegy until its merger with Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. Prior to Certegy, Story held the CFO role at NewRoads, Inc., a privately held provider of outsourced solutions for fulfillment and customer care, and also previously served as a senior vice president with Equifax. Story began his career at Coopers & Lybrand. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Kennesaw State University where he serves as a foundation board trustee.

"I'm delighted to join Benefitfocus at such an exciting time of tremendous growth and opportunity," said Story. "During my career, I've been a part of great teams responsible for building flexible software platforms that can improve business performance at scale. I see a similar opportunity in the Benefitfocus Platform, and I'm eager to start."

Story succeeds Milt Alpern who retired March 31, 2016 and will continue to advise the company on a consulting basis until March 2017.

Commerce Launches Website To Connect S.C. Tech Companies, Entrepreneurs

The S.C. Commerce Department's Office of Innovation launched a new website today for the state's tech sector, according to a news release. The S.C. Innovation Hub is a platform for entrepreneurs and tech-related businesses to access resources; connect with one another; and post news stories, events and other information.

"This new tool –- a front door to companies working in the technology sector and the knowledge economy –- fulfills many requests from the entrepreneurial community for a statewide resource, allowing these rapidly growing firms to connect and help them succeed," Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in the release.

The website also has a directory of technology companies and job openings in South Carolina, as well as a community forum. Users can participate by registering via an existing LinkedIn profile.

"Providing the support and infrastructure necessary for our entrepreneurial, technology-based companies to grow is critical to the future of our economy," Hitt said. "This new Innovation Hub allows those in this dynamic sector to engage with one another, advancing both their organizations and our state."

ROK Technologies Selected Immedion’s Cloud to Ensure Reliability and Performance

Immedion announced today that they were selected as the Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider of choice for Charleston-based ROK Technologies. ROK Technologies, an Esri Silver business partner and ArcGIS Server Application Service licensee, provides Cloud-based ArcGIS application development, hosting and managed services. They serve customers throughout the nation and in a variety of industries from government to healthcare.

By offering ArcGIS in the Cloud, ROK Technologies is able to provide affordable and accessible GIS services to customers that may not have been able to afford them in the past. ROK customers use these tools to make data-driven decisions to improve the efficiency of their operations and deliver mission-critical information to decision-making officials. Immedion's Cloud, with built-in redundancies and high performance hybrid-cloud infrastructure, ensures that the data created and produced with ROK Technologies is not only always available, but also safe and secure.

Immedion is a premiere provider of data center services including Cloud, colocation and managed services. They recently announced the launch of their new Cloud Management Platform, giving their customers the ability to deploy and manage virtual services, monitor resource usage and provide on-demand resource elasticity from a single-pane-of-glass. Immedion operates seven enterprise-class data centers in Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Asheville and Cincinnati. ROK Technologies selected Immedion as their colocation provider in 2009 and experienced their reliability and dedication to their customers over the years.

"We know from experience that Immedion is dedicated to their customers," said ROK Technologies' Chief Technology Officer Jason Harris. "Their team of Cloud experts engineered a hybrid-cloud infrastructure for us that's secure, reliable, and manageable for our clients. We look forward to growing our partnership and trust Immedion to keep our services Always On."

"ROK Technologies has made a name for themselves as a leader in GIS services. We look forward to continuing to support such an excellent organization as they provide the necessary software to support their growing customer base throughout the nation," said Pat O'Brien, General Manager of Immedion's Charleston facility.

Boomtown’s Allen: Find A Big Problem And Solve It

The Charleston Digital Corridor's Leadership Profile series is focused on the individuals who are driving Charleston tech scene forward. This series is brought to you with support from Charleston Southern University.

Grier Allen is CEO and co-founder of BoomTown, a real estate sales and marketing software company with 212 employees. BoomTown was founded in 2006 and is based in downtown Charleston, S.C.

Where did you grow up? What was life like and what are your memories from there?

I grew up in Summerville, so pretty close here to Charleston. Life was good. Summerville was a great place to grow up. Oftentimes, we came down to the beach on Sullivan's Island. So I knew pretty much from the get-go this was the place where I wanted to live and grow the company, eventually.

Some of my memories were just riding around on bikes, and there was the Flowertown Festival in Summerville. I remember going around and getting in a lot of mischief while that was going on.

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

The first real job that I had was a lawn-service business. My dad was in real estate, and he had a lot of listings that needed yard work when they were on the market. I started to kind of branch out from there. I think the biggest lesson that I had out of that was that you can conceptualize and have a vision for what you want to do, but it takes hard work to actually get it done, to execute.

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

My dad always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He actually worked at my grandfather's car dealership for a while and then went off on his own, started a business and then ended up in real estate, which is a pretty entrepreneurial type of role to be in. That was kind of where I got the first glimpses of entrepreneurship, which eventually led me to start the business.

In your own words, what does your company do?

We build technology for real estate brokers and consumers. The real goal of the technology is to match the right real estate professional with the right consumer in hopes that they'll find their right dream home.

What inspired you to start BoomTown?

In 2006, I had just come off of another venture that I'd started with a buddy from college, Slant Media. We did that for about two years. Since early in my life, I've been surrounded by real estate, with my dad and helping him out at the office and doing odd jobs for him and really helping him as technology started to come into the world of real estate. I always loved technology from a very early age as well.

The genesis for BoomTown was I wanted to do something in the real estate industry because it's a big industry. It's an industry that hasn't really been affected much by the Internet, and that's still the case today. I really wanted to find a big problem and solve it.

The big problem that we found was that consumers were requesting information and starting their search on the Internet, but there were secret shopper surveys that were done with the big web portals that had all the home listings, and about 50% of those requests for information or requests for a showing were completely being ignored by the industry.

We felt like that was a pretty big gap there in terms of what the consumer was expecting and what the industry was providing in terms of service. We felt like we could build a system that would better match that consumer to the right real estate professional. We could partner with the best agents in the country and create a system that enabled the real estate professional to provide a better and higher level of service to the consumer.

How would you describe your organization's culture?

It's pretty laid back in terms of the environment. We definitely like to have fun while we're doing what we're doing. We have a set of core values. We established those core value when we were about 30 employees. I won't go through all of them, but really our guiding core principle or core value has always been "create amazing experiences." Whether that's through our technology for our customers or the consumers that are using our technology, or through the service that we provide to our customers, or just the way that we treat each other internally or work with vendors or work with strategic partners – it's always been really focused around that core value of create amazing experiences.

What is your management style?

My leadership style is to cast a vision that everybody can get their arms around. If you've got everybody rowing in the same direction, then it makes a massive impact. So just trying to really reinforce why we're here, what we're doing and what are the most important things for the business – that's the style that I like to use to motivate employees and get everybody aligned and rallying around the same goals.

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

I really haven't had any bosses. The first two years out of school, I did consulting work at Carolina One. I had people that were asking me to do things, but I didn't really have any boss. Becoming a boss was something new to me. That evolution was pretty interesting – what you need to do at different phases of the growth of a company and what your role should be and how that changes over time.

What's the hardest or most important lesson you've learned in business?

I think back to the early stages of BoomTown, and I think about the transition from being a doer into a leader. That transition of doing things yourself versus getting results through people. That was one of the biggest 'aha' moment for me and kind of took a while to really digest. I got through it by really leaning on mentors and other people who had been through those experiences before, and even hiring the right people internally.

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

A lot of people think, "Oh, you work for yourself, so you can do whatever you want whenever you want." I think that's a common misconception. Really, if you're going to be successful as an entrepreneur, it's really hard to balance your life. Because in the very beginning, it's just you or you and a couple of cofounders, and you're working around the clock. You're always thinking about work. So if you're going down the path of entrepreneurship because you want an easier lifestyle, what you'll find is that that's not going to be the case.

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

I do. I have to get exercise to clear my head. I will run two or three times a week and then I work out twice a week. I try to get as much exercise time in as possible.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

We think about, first and foremost, the values - do their values match up with our values? We have our core values for a reason, and one of the biggest places we use them is in the hiring process. We evaluate people based on those values and make sure that it's a match. If it's too far off from who we are, then typically it's not going to work out and you've made a hiring mistake. That's a big one.

Aptitude is another one we look for. We sometimes have junior positions that we have to fill, and we want to fill those with people who are ambitious and looking to grow in their careers, and we try to provide them the path to be able to do that. When I look to hire for the leadership team, it's how can we really calibrate on what we're looking for, and stepping out of the mindset of hiring somebody who you just like or who might have the right resume, and really thinking hard about what you and your business need.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

The most important thing that we did in order to achieve success is to find a problem that is real and to focus. Most entrepreneurs have a tendency to be a little ADD, and you kind of chase the shiny new opportunity a lot. I think our success was based on the fact that we stayed very focused on the problem we were trying to solve. I'd say focus is paramount.

The other thing that I'd say is reach out to people that you are trying to market this product to. Really try your best to get feedback from them - really genuine, critical feedback from them - and don't be afraid to make adjustments to what you're doing. We were actually going down a slightly different direction, and we started asking the question, "Would you buy this for X amount of dollars per month?" And we found that the answer to that question was, "No." So we pivoted our idea slightly and added to it, added some services to it, until we found that we had a product that the market really put a lot of value on.

What advice would you give new graduates seeking to work in the tech industry?

If you're looking to join a high-growth tech company, I think one universal trait that you need to have is the ability to really embrace and drive change. Things change so rapidly in a startup environment. You might have different organizational structures. Some businesses reorganize every six months. We're not like that. But being flexible enough to change because of the rapid growth is something that I think is very important.

From a technical perspective, in my experience, it was great learning the fundamentals of computer science and computer engineering in school. But really try to put your skills to test in the real world using more modern programming languages. One thing that we really look for is somebody who is always pursuing growth and learning. That's something that we definitely look for on the resume. Even if they're already in a position or have done an internship, you like to see where people are doing side projects or submitting code to open-source projects that can be checked out.

What do you see as the future of your company?

We don't have any aspirations to take the company public or anything like that right now. We just want to build a great business that continues to have a massive impact on real estate. One of the reasons why we started this business – the industry really not being responsive enough to the digital consumer – that's still a problem. We still haven't solved it. We're a long way from solving it. So I never get bored thinking about all the things we can still do to make this industry better. So for the future of BoomTown, I just see more and more opportunity for us to leverage new technologies, leverage the assets we have to create a better real estate experience for consumers and real estate professionals alike.

We're not looking to disintermediate the real estate agent. We feel like the real estate agent plays a major role in a successful real estate transaction due to their local knowledge, negotiating skills, things like that. But we want to continue to push the envelope and develop new and exciting technology that delights consumers and our customers, who are the real estate professionals.

What one person has been the biggest influence on your business life, and why?

I'd say my dad. Some of my more vivid memories growing up were when my dad started his own business. I was the kid who was like, "Daddy, can I come to work with you?" I just thought it was so cool back then. After graduating from college, I remember him giving me a lot of books that had guided him and helped him over the years. Books that kind of got me thinking differently about the world and what opportunities are out there. That expanded my mindset and got me thinking, "Why can't I build a great business?"

What is your biggest pet peeve in business or amongst colleagues?

How about the biggest challenge? I think one of the biggest challenges when you look at life overall is just work-life balance. I think that's the biggest challenge. I love what I do here, but I've got two little boys, 2 and 5 years old, so finding the time spend with them and occasional travel that I've gotta do – that's something that I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with.

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

I don't know when I actually made the switch, probably about six or seven years ago. But I was a hard-core, writing-code engineer after college and in my first couple of businesses, and even with BoomTown up until we actually launched the product in the middle of 2008, I was all PC. I had friends who were designers and were always using Macs, and I kind of thought they were all weird. It was this (iPhone) that changed me. So I started off with the iPhone, and it's kind of like a gateway drug into everything else Mac. I'm definitely an Apple disciple now.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

Medium roast black. Grande.

Outside of work what keeps you busy?The boys. I've got a 2-year-old named Walker and a 5-year-old named Grier Jr. My wife and I love to take them to the beach or go out on the boat with them. I'm going home in a little bit to go ride bikes around the neighborhood with Grier. That's pretty much what keeps me busy these days outside of work. I like to read; I like to learn new things. A little bit of physical exercise. There's not much time for anything else.

What has it been like building your technical team in Charleston?

In the early days, it was a challenge. Back in 2006, when we were trying to find our first engineer – first of all, we didn't know what we were doing. Second, there wasn't much of a tech community around here. The Charleston Digital Corridor was very helpful in the early days for us. It's amazing to see how much has changed around here since then. Hiring the right talent was difficult very early.

The company has grown to a point now where it's gotten a lot easier, and obviously the tech economy in general has grown quite a bit in Charleston. So it's getting a lot easier. Finding the mentorship and access to capital, if you're looking for that in the early stages – those were things that were nonexistent back in the early days.

What do you see as some of the challenges recruiting tech talent to Charleston?

It's still expensive to live here. People think that they're coming from a place that is an expensive place to live, like a larger city that might have more expensive real estate. But it's still kind of expensive in Charleston. I think another thing is finding the right skill sets. It's still hard to find some of the senior-level talent that has knowledge of a specific skill set. We've had challenges ramping up our mobile teams both on iOS and Android. So we actually started an office in Atlanta because they have a ton of mobile talent there.    

US property: Charleston’s Blossoming Tech Scene Draws In Young Buyers

When Oscar Wilde arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 1882, he found the place firmly rooted in the past. One evening he remarked on how beautiful the moon looked. "You should've seen it, sir," he was told, "before the war."

The American civil war began with the bombardment of Charleston's Fort Sumter 155 years ago this Tuesday and, since the Confederate army was defeated in 1865, the city has held on to a nostalgic vision of its history. The pastel-hued colonial homes, the old theatres and municipal buildings, the Palmetto trees and cobblestone streets all remain, and today form much of the appeal for homebuyers.

However, in recent years, the city has developed a reputation for innovation and change, drawing an influx of younger buyers from Europe and the US. Between 2000 and 2012, the population of 25-35 year-olds grew 58 per cent, according to a report from the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. As of last year, millennials made up 15.7 per cent of the population –- the highest proportion of any "mid-level" metropolitan area in the country (cities with 500,000 to one million people).

It's an increase some have linked to the blossoming tech sector. The city's Charleston Digital Corridor, an initiative promoting and developing 294 local technology companies, has helped it earn the moniker "Silicon Harbour".

Those moving in have money to spend. "We're getting a lot [of buyers] in their thirties looking to purchase $1.5m-$3m homes," says Helen Geer of William Means Real Estate.

"They come here for executive roles or they might have a tech company they can run from Charleston." Then there is the second home market: largely people from the Midwest and East Coast. Some of Charleston's most coveted properties are purchased by those wanting a coastal bolt hole for a few months of the year.

According to Geer, the agency is receiving multiple offers on all of its properties. "The average listing is about 60 days – less than half what it was in 2012 – and wait times on homes in the most sought-after neighbourhoods can be up to a year."

It is demand that has driven up house prices by an average 7.3 per cent in the past year, according to Zillow, with a further 2.5 per cent rise forecast this year.

At the top end of the market is the city's historical heartland, specifically South of Broad, with its tree-lined streets and antebellum architecture. Here, William Means is selling a mid-19th-century three-bedroom property here for $2.55m.

The French quarter and Ansonborough, both similarly picturesque and within walking distance of high-end restaurants and boutique shops –- King Street is known as the Charleston equivalent of New York's Fifth Avenue –- are also in demand. A four-bedroom penthouse with an office, sauna and a 5,000 sq ft roof terrace is on sale for $3.395m with William Means.

Other areas in demand are the coastal neighbourhoods known collectively as "the beaches". Most notably Kiawah Island, with its five championship golf courses, and Sullivan's Island where you'll find palatial timber-clad beach houses with waterfront views. Median house prices here are £1.5m; a six-bedroom property with a deepwater dock on Sullivan's Island is currently for sale at $6.38m through William Means Real Estate.

The tight inventory should make Charleston ripe for development, but its popular historic districts are largely off-limits.

"Developers are desperately seeking land throughout Charleston, but planning restrictions are directly at odds with development growth," says Drew Grossklaus of William Means. Charleston has one of the oldest preservation societies in the US, founded in 1920, and a plan for the historic district was drafted in 1974. There simply isn't the capacity for change.

Developers are instead looking north of the city centre, to a district already popular with millennials: Mount Pleasant. It's about a 15-minute drive from downtown Charleston and close to the beaches of Sullivan's Island. This month Tides IV, a high-end condominium building with 54 units, is due to complete; residences sold ahead of completion have averaged $930,000.

Matthew Norton of the state's Urban Land Institute is keen to stress that the city is not anti-development: "It's about smart, sustainable, responsible development," he says. "Understanding that the things that have drawn people to Charleston, the beautiful beaches and marshland and the historic and cultural aspects, are protected and preserved."

Proposed plans have, nevertheless, met with some resistance. "Mount Pleasant was a quiet conurbation but is now probably one of the fastest growing towns in South Carolina," says Norton. "The acceleration of growth caught everyone off guard." The Save Shem Creek Corporation is an example of a vociferous community group rallying against a number of proposed builds in the area.

An influx of younger buyers and a booming economy are to be welcomed, but it seems Charleston is not ready to relinquish its grip on the past just yet.

Buying guide

  • Popular fee-paying schools in the area include Porter-Gaud and First Baptist
  • In 2015, the annual violent crime rate in Charleston was 2.11 crimes per 1,000 residents, lower than the national median of 3.8 per 1,000 residents
  • The Charleston Regional Development office predicts the creation of 20,000 new jobs in the city by the end of 2017

What you can buy for ...

  • $1m A three-bedroom condominium in Downtown Charleston
  • $5m A five-bedroom beach house in Mount Pleasant
  • $8m A six-bedroom historic home with a guest house in South of Broad

Upcoming Events

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SyntaxCon 2016

The Syntax Code & Craft Convention – more commonly referred to as 'SyntaxCon' – aspires to become the SouthEast's premier programmer's code gathering. Learn More HERE

The Future is Serverless (or is it)?

There has been a lot of talk lately about building your services using serverless architecture. How do you start? Is it the correct solution for your project? Will it work for you? At the May Fridays @ the Corridor event, Michael Wright the CTO at Vizbii International, Inc. will discuss building APIs for Vizbii using a serverless architecture on AWS. Learn more and register HERE.

This one-hour presentation, held at the Flagship on May 20, 2016 begins promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Parking is located in the Gaillard Garage on Alexander Street or the Aquarium Garage on Calhoun Street. Note: Parking in the Reserved Space at the Flagship will result in a parking ticket or a towed vehicle. If you would like to attend this month's Friday's presentation, please RSVP by emailing Kristen Pappalardo.

This interactive forum is meant to engage and inform Charleston's knowledge-based community. Attendance is limited to 25 guests, with priority seating for Digital Corridor members. The non-member fee is $25 and can be paid by cash or check at the door.