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
STATS

Latest News

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Commit Good CEO, Clay Braswell

Failure is Not a Representation of Who You Are, Says Commit Good CEO

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

Clay Braswell is founder and CEO of Commit Good, a company based in downtown Charleston that is combining cryptocurrency with charitable giving. Braswell started Commit Good in 2012, and the company now has 10 full-time employees.  

In your own words, what does your company do?

We connect charities with resources – monetary, in-kind and volunteers – utilizing the blockchain and a digital currency called the GOOD token.

What inspired you to start this company?

My mother passed away from cancer and I realized life is really short and that we fool ourselves by thinking tomorrow will be like today. I wanted to build a global platform that would produce life-changing results for people in poverty.

Where did you grow up? What was life like?

I have lived in a lot of different places, but Alabama will always be home. I was raised in a traditional values environment: have faith, love your family and friends, help your neighbor and, most importantly, win sporting contests.

How did you come to be in Charleston?

I had a couple of software projects underway in Charleston, so I was traveling here multiple times a week and thought, "Why am I not living in Charleston?" It is an awesome city, and I can't think of a place anywhere in the world I would rather live than here.

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

My first job was in high school and I was a Little League Baseball umpire. I learned parents and competitive sports can escalate quickly, so you need great conflict-resolution skills.

What is your management style? Why is that your approach?

Hands-on. I hate the term "vision casting." I think leaders should be willing to take the arrows and be the last one off the battlefield.

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

I think good bosses love what they do and bring a sense of excitement and humility, which make the tough situations easier to navigate. Bad bosses are always trying to overcompensate and make the workplace miserable.

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

You are going to have failures. Failure is not a representation of who you are as a person. Dust yourself off and keep moving.

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

That it's great being the final decisionmaker or calling the shots. Entrepreneurs make a lot of daily decisions. Trying to see all of the angles and blind spots is an exhausting process.

Do you have a morning routine?

Arrive at the gym by 7 a.m. It's my Zen time. I pack my gym bag before bed so once the alarm goes off, I'm out the door in 10 minutes.

What obstacles have you faced building your business? How have you overcome them?

Like most entrepreneurs, I can't think of an obstacle that I haven't faced. You have to stay open and flexible because, a lot of times, obstacles really create the pivot needed to find success.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

Does this person have to be trained, or are they ready? We look for someone that contributes from day one.

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

Long business conversations. Tell me exactly what you want or need from the beginning.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

It's not an "I'll try it" type of scenario. If you are not willing to go all in, it's not going to work.

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

Along with your current skillset, focus on project-management experience. On time and on budget is a sweet melody.

What do you see as the future of your company?

A global blockchain software platform that creates a charitable economy.

How do you prevent burnout?

Keep the main thing, the main thing. Burnout creeps in from wasting time on things you should have avoided. At all costs, cut negative people out of your business and personal circle.

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

My first business partner was a retired executive that wanted to start a new company. He was 62 and I was 22. I learned a wealth of knowledge from his years of experience, understanding what the puzzle pieces are and how to put them together.

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

PC. iPhone.

What's a book you always recommend?

The Bible. Take away all of the preconceptions and read it for yourself.

"Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

Venti coffee – half decaf, cream.

Do you see any challenges recruiting tech talent to Charleston?

Building a blockchain company is more challenging because the number of people in the world that have a smart contract coding skillset is very limited. I would say Charleston has less than 10 people that have deployed a smart contract on a public network. But we have an advantage because of the nature of what we are building and haven't really faced any problems.

Fabio Rosati, Snag Chairman & CEO

SNAG Announces Appointment Of Fabio Rosati As Chairman And CEO

Snag, the largest platform for hourly work, today announced the appointment of Board Member and former Upwork CEO Fabio Rosati, as the company's Chairman and CEO. Rosati was CEO of Elance, which later became Upwork, from 2001 to 2015. Under his leadership, Upwork became the world's largest gig economy platform for skilled work with 14 million users in 180 countries and more than $1 billion in annual billings.

"Hourly workers constitute nearly 60 percent of the U.S. workforce, and Snag's mission of helping people get jobs and shifts at more than 300,000 employer locations in the U.S. and Canada is a source of inspiration and pride for all of us," Rosati said. "Since Snag's founding, we remain focused on providing the fastest and most trusted way to match job seekers with work, and employers with the team members they need."

"Snag's team is creating a world where people can get hourly work and employers can find workers on demand, providing opportunities for job seekers to maximize their potential," said Snag Board Member Habib Kairouz, Managing Partner of Rho Capital Partners, Inc. "Fabio Rosati brings to Snag a successful track record as a leader and innovator in marketplace platform businesses, particularly in the on-demand work space. I can think of no one better suited to guide the teams and the technology that will take the company to the next level of success."

Rosati takes the helm from Peter Harrison, who had served as CEO since 2013, leading the company through a significant period of growth and change. More than five million workers are hired each year via Snag, representing approximately one out of every four restaurant, retail and hospitality hires made in the U.S.

"Under Peter's leadership, Snag has become the undisputed leader in hourly hiring, growing the core business by over 300 percent and we are pleased that he will continue to be a trusted advisor to the board and the executive team," Kairouz said.

"I am truly proud of what we've accomplished over the past five years at Snag, and I could not be more confident in this team's ability to drive the business going forward," Harrison said. "Fabio has been a member of the Snag board since 2017, and has a strong understanding of our company and our culture. I pass the baton to him with complete confidence in his leadership and in the company's future."

Stasmayer Ranked Among Top 501 Global Managed Service Providers by Channel Futures

Stasmayer, Incorporated ranks among the world's 501 most strategic and innovative managed service providers (MSPs), according to Channel Futures 11th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. Stasmayer's ranking at no. 231 positions them among the world's best for the fifth year in a row. The MSP 501 is the first, largest and most comprehensive ranking of managed service providers worldwide. This year Channel Futures received a record number of submissions. Applications poured in from Europe, Asia, South America and beyond.

As it has for the last three years, Channel Futures teamed with Clarity Channel Advisors to evaluate these progressive and forward-leaning companies. MSPs were ranked according to our unique methodology, which recognizes that not all revenue streams are created equal. We weighted revenue figures according to how well the applicant's business strategy anticipates trends in the fast-evolving channel ecosystem.

"For the past four years, Stasmayer has been honored to be included on the MSP 501. For the fifth year in a row now, we have met the challenge of keeping ourselves on that list with the rest of the world's best. We do nothing short of landing a spaceship on the moon every day, and it is an honor to be recognized for the dedication our team has to our customers. Cheers to our customers and to the incredible team at Stasmayer for making this journey possible. We're again reminded that **We've got IT going on!"**said Richard Krenmayer, CEO, Stasmayer, Incorporated.

Channel Futures is pleased to honor Stasmayer, Incorporated. "This year's applicant pool was the largest and most diverse in the history of the survey, and our winners represent the health and progressivity of the managed services market," says Kris Blackmon, Channel Futures content director and editor of the MSP 501. "They're growing their revenue, expanding their customer influence and exploring new technology that will propel them for years to come."

The full MSP 501 report, available this fall, will leverage applicant responses, interviews and historical data to identify business and technology trends in the IT channel. The complete 2018 MSP 501 list is available at Channel Futures. Highlights will include:

  • Revenue growth and business models
  • Hiring trends and workforce dynamics
  • Business strategies
  • Service deliverables
  • Business tools and automation investments

Plans for New Wireless Network In Charleston Hung Up In Court

Charleston has most of the pieces it would need to get a new wireless network downtown, to start building a grid of small transmitters on the tops of telephone poles and light posts. Read more:

Note: The CDC is a big supporter of quick resolution of this matter to promote the deployment of enhanced data networks including 5G.

David Wise, AVOXI Founder and CEO

AVOXI's Wise: Leaders Don't Need All the Answers

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

David Wise, a Charleston native, is founder and CEO of AVOXI, which sells virtual phone numbers and related software tools to companies globally. Wise started the company in 2001 in Atlanta and opened a Charleston office in 2015. AVOXI's main operations now are based in Charleston and Atlanta with other offices in Hong Kong; San Jose, Costa Rica; Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; and Kingston, Jamaica.

In your own words, what does your company do?

We sell virtual phone numbers. A great example is Michael Kors, which sells pocketbooks and leather goods all around the world. They don't necessarily have operations in all those countries, but if you buy a pocketbook in China and you have an issue with it or you want to order another one, they take a phone number in China, and they ring it to their call center, which is probably in London. We give them those phone numbers and we deliver them to their contact center.

We also give them a software tool, for when that call lands in that call center, to actually monitor the agent productivity, how long are they on the call, are they saying things like "please" and "thank you," are they offering them a promotion. We give them the ability to score that agent's productivity once that call comes in to that call center.

What segments do you focus on?

Hospitality and travel are big for us – hotels, online booking agents, airlines, tour operators – as well as consumer goods. We've also found software companies, people selling software as a service that thought they could do it without ever having to talk to anybody, are realizing that they have some big customers and they don't want to lose them.

Where did you grow up? What was life like?

I grew up here in Charleston, actually in Mount Pleasant. I went to Porter-Gaud through eighth grade and then transferred to Wando High School. I graduated from there and went to The Citadel. Got a bachelor's degree in business administration. Loved The Citadel. It provided a lot of great structure for me in my life at the time, and really a big challenge both physically and mentally, and it also built a lot of confidence in myself as well as in my ability to get out in front and lead people.

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

When I graduated from The Citadel, I left and went to Colorado for nine months and worked in a ski resort and put my bachelor's degree to work doing nothing. But it was great. I decompressed from The Citadel. I went out there and made pizzas at night and rented skis during the day.

I left Aspen and came back to Charleston, and I knew I wanted to get into the business world. I had interned at SouthTrust Bank in Charleston when I was at The Citadel. They had openings in Atlanta. I immediately took off and went to Atlanta to look for some type of job in commercial lending or getting around businesses to learn more about how they work.

I had an opportunity to get involved with a startup at the time, this would have been '95, that had some technology in the communications space. What the company did was sell to the U.S. military communications services for mom and dad or children that were located overseas. They set up a distribution network to sell basic communication services to those folks, so they could call back home to the United States.

I traveled a good bit, and one of the things I saw was that there were a lot of companies setting up operations overseas. American companies setting up in Manila or in San Jose, Costa Rica, to have a branch of their company operating there to leverage the cost of labor or a time zone benefit. But the challenge they had was they didn't really have good communications options and were dealing with what I would say were lethargic, monopoly phone companies of the world.

In 2001, when that company was in the process of being sold, I exited and immediately started this business. We created some solutions to deliver voice-over IP communication services to those overseas businesses and started building a business on top of those solutions.

I saw an opportunity, and for me it was just kind of the right time in my life personally. I wanted to go build something and see if I could make a difference, see what I could build.

Did you have an entrepreneurial drive early on?

I think the driver would have been my dad. My dad was an attorney by practice, but he had a bunch of different businesses that he had run and started along the way. One of them was an oil distribution company out on Ashley Phosphate Road. I always saw my dad doing that. He always had his law practice, but he always had a business on the side. I think that was the driver. We do what our parents do, what we see them do. It was also kind of a confidence builder for me. A lot of credit goes to him. He was also a state senator in South Carolina, so he was a busy guy.

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

One of my first jobs was helping my brother and his friend set up what they called the Shrimp Shack. We sold shrimp along Palm Boulevard out on Isle of Palms. At the time I was growing up, you only had the Ben Sawyer Bridge to get on the islands, and there was no seafood store out on the islands.

The shrimp would just go flying out of the cooler. People came back from being on the beach and wanted to cook. That Red & White right across the street, the grocery store, they didn't sell fresh shrimp, or it wasn't very good.

That was the first entrepreneurial operation that I got involved in. My brother and his friend figured out where to get their product, how to keep it suitable to sell, bringing money in and paying and all that stuff. It was really neat watching them do that.

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

That I don't have to have the answers. Early on, I thought I had to have all the answers. I've really learned to use the people around me more, whether it's the people that work for me or my mentors and advisers. I really see my job as being a problem presenter to the people I work with, and even my mentors, not the problem solver. I've got some really great people who work for me who want to solve problems. We have 80-plus people today. I can't solve all the problems.

What do you see as the future of your company?

We'll really evolve the contact center capability. We don't see call centers disappearing. We don't see communications with consumers going away. The trend we are seeing today is being able to have multichannel communication – chat, phone call, email. People want all that interaction.

For the business side, it's how to optimize those interactions where they are professional, efficient and effective, where someone doesn't have to call back in or email in two or three times to get an issue resolved. The technology will use artificial intelligence to help identify miscommunication and dissatisfaction very quickly to eliminate churn in our clients' customers. There's a long growth path there for us.

How far is that from where your company started?

A long way. We started with just the virtual phone numbers, and we would just ring it in. Then people said, "Hey, can you put a recording and a message in front of the number when it answers? OK, great. Now, will you record the phone call for us? OK, can you send us the recordings?" That's been the evolution of our business.

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

I think fear keeps a lot of people from doing it. But there's not really anything to be afraid of. I think you gotta figure out your financial plan, and I think starting any business requires at least $50,000. But there's so many resources out there today – people that want to help entrepreneurs get a business started, be an angel investor or a seed investor to so many different ideas – that's really not a challenge. There are tons of organizations, especially here in Charleston, mentors and advisers and people that would help anybody. So probably the biggest misconception is they are alone, they don't have the support they need.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

Surround yourself with one adviser or two advisers that have been there, done that. And work them like borrowed mules.

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

Commit to something. Find a company that's been around for at least three years and commit to be there for at least three years. One thing I look at on people's resumes is how many jobs have they been in in five years. For me, more than two jobs in five years is a red flag. It doesn't mean I won't hire them, but it begs the questions of stability, reliability, dependability and just a commitment to the effort.

And stay in Charleston. There's tons of opportunity here. You don't necessarily have to go to Silicon Valley to find other bright people to work with.

What are your thoughts on how Charleston's technical landscape has grown?

You see tech companies getting funded left and right to grow and expand their businesses. Some of them getting sold for some of their business ideas. I think it's fantastic for Charleston and for the tech community.

Do you see any challenges recruiting tech talent to Charleston?

We'll hire people that work remote, and we're always bringing them here and hoping they'll move here. But it's not a requirement. We have guys that work for us in Detroit, Boston, Atlanta. These guys all collaborate and work virtually.

Naturally, just because of the geographical size of Charleston, there's a limited pool of folks here. We're looking for people. We've got three or four interns that are working here this summer. We're looking at how to grow and develop those people for two years, three years, four years down the road. We're taking the long-term approach to that.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

I do pray every day. I ask for guidance and the power to kind of go do it. I spend quiet time every day, reflecting on what do I want to happen today and journaling.

In a business setting, every day, 15 minutes, 8 o'clock in the morning, we do a leadership check-in. Keep in mind we're not all sitting in the same office, we're all over the world, but we do a leadership check-in on strategic initiatives – does anybody have any hurdles related to the strategic initiatives they are working on – and then are there any issues with customers, vendors or employees.

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

Mac.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

I don't go to Starbucks, but I do drink Starbucks coffee. I drink their dark Sumatra.

Outside of work what keeps you busy?

I mentor with other people, meet with them during the week. I love that. I love when people ask for my input on something. Some of it has to do with business, some of it is personal.

What's a book you always recommend?

"Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill or "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. Lots of great takeaways. Those are like textbooks that you just study and read. The other one is "The Spirituality of Imperfection" by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. 

Heatworks is a Finalist for the 2018 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award

Heatworks announced today it has been selected as a finalist for Red Herring's Top 100 North America award, a prestigious list honoring the year's most promising private technology ventures from the North American business region.

The Red Herring editorial team selected the most innovative companies from a pool of hundreds from across North America. The nominees are evaluated on 20 main quantitative and qualitative criterion, which include disruptive impact, market footprint, proof of concept, financial performance, technology innovation, social value, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their respective industries.

This unique assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track record and standing of a company, which allows Red Herring to see past the "buzz" and make the list a valuable instrument for discovering and advocating the greatest business opportunities in the industry.

"This year was rewarding, beyond all expectations" said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. "There are many great companies generating really innovative and disruptive products in North America. We had a very difficult time narrowing the pool and selecting the finalists. Heatworks shows great promise and therefore deserves to be among the finalists. Now we're faced with the difficult task of selecting the Top 100 winners of Red Herring North America. We know that the 2018 crop will grow into some amazing companies that are sure to make an impact."

Finalists for the 2018 edition of the Red Herring 100 North America award are selected based upon their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition, and financial health. During the months leading up to the announcement, Red Herring reviewed over 1200 companies in the telecommunications, security, cloud, software, hardware, biotech, mobile and other industries that completed their submissions to qualify for the award.

The finalists are invited to present their winning strategies at the Red Herring North America Forum in Marina Del Rey, June 18-20, 2018. The Top 100 winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on the evening of June 20 at the event.

Charleston Home to Small But Robust Industry of Video Game Developers

Worldwide, the video game industry makes more money than the movie and music industries combined, emerging as one of the most lucrative pursuits in the entertainment realm.

According to the Global Games Market Report, in 2016, the gaming industry raked in $99.6 billion, compared with the movie industry's $36 billion and the music industry's $15.7 billion. Read more here

Upcoming Events

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CODEcamp Kids Summer Camp - CS Upstart

CODEcamp Kids CS Upstart is a week-long half-day camp designed for middle school students to promote an interest in computer science and tech careers while expanding on the core STEM concepts from their other classes. Students learn the fundamentals of web development (HTML, CSS and Javascript) and entry-level robotics. CODEcamp Kids CS Upstart classes:

  • Introduce middle-school students to coding & web development in a fun, engaging format
  • Help students discover a passion and potential career path in the high-wage, high-demand tech industry
  • Engage middle schoolers with several fun projects in front of their computer and has them coding from the first class
  • Introduces middle schoolers to industry professionals (2 visitors per week)

Class Format:

This course is lab-based. Students learn the fundamentals of computer science by:

  • Designing a simple web page (CSS/HTML)
  • Constructing an electromagnet
  • Building and programming a robot

Vitals:

  • Location: Charleston Digital Corridor's FS2 Incubator Mac Lab at 78 Alexander Street
  • Schedule: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 1:00pm (2 sessions)
  • Computer provided
  • Cost: $249 for the week-long program
  • Phone: 843.607.1264
  • Email: kids@chscodecamp.com
  • Social: Facebook or Twitter

3Phase: SBIR/STTR Workshop

Learn the aspects of writing a Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant including: history, eligibility, sources of funding and agency differences, understanding what reviewers look for and writing instructions. With over 50 years of technology commercialization expertise, the 3Phase team specializes in assisting entrepreneurs like you and go beyond just the technical requirements.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

The 3Phase team understands that it takes a village to build a startup. That's why our workshop is designed for more then just the entrepreneurs, but the entire small business community, so everyone walks away from the experience more knowledgeable and armed with the necessary information for their next phase.

  • Anyone planning on submitting a proposal in the near future
  • Someone wanting to learn more
  • Small business support networks including financial managers, business managers, consultants, etc.

Learn more and register HERE.

Grassroots Design Thinking with John Murray—Design Lead, IBM

Experience Design Thinking: a framework to solve our users' problems at the speed and scale of the modern digital enterprise.

Products and services are not measured by features and functions. They're measured by how well we fulfill our users' needs. When we shift the conversation from one about features and functions to one about users and user outcomes, we deliver more useful, usable, and desirable solutions. We elevate professions and redefine industries. But most importantly, we earn the trust, respect, and repeat business of the people we serve.

While Design Thinking is traditionally taught as large workshops with all stakeholders involved, sometimes that's just not possible due to budget, availability and skepticism. John will talk us through how to start using the framework as a lone wolf or a small team by starting at the granular, grassroots level and slowly on boarding other teams by demonstrating the value. Learn how to show your company the true value of the Design Thinking process and turn naysayers into advocates. Get your tickets HERE - CDC members get a discount with code 'FS2IBM18'.