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.


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


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


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


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

Latest News

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Flagship3 + Parking Garage Location

Charleston Digital Corridor Rounds Out Team For New Headquarters And Tech Office Building

The Charleston Digital Corridor (CDC) has selected the team for the development of a landmark office building at Morrison Drive and Romney Streets (999 Morrison Drive) in Downtown Charleston.

The CDC, which has a long-term lease on the land purchased by the city in 2013 to support high-wage economic development, has selected local firm Iron Bridge Capital Partners to develop the project. The firms participating in the project include Gensler Architects, an internationally recognized firm with extensive experience in tech office design who will work alongside locally-based Bello Garris to design the approximately 70,000 sq.ft. six floor building, which will include a covered rooftop deck overlooking the Charleston Harbor. Samet Construction will serve as general contractor and ADC Engineering for civil design.

"After interviewing many firms, Iron Bridge was selected based on their development track record, focus on public-private partnerships, community-oriented development approach and a demonstrated interest in the economic well-being of our community by the local principals," said CDC Chairman, Kirk King.

The office building is being developed exclusively for tech and tech-related companies with a goal to accelerate the growth of Charleston's tech economy and foster high paying jobs. The office building will also house the permanent location for the CDC's Flagship3 (FS3) business incubator and co-working office that is focused exclusively on early-stage and relocating tech companies since 2009.

"The city's ability to leverage our resources in support of high-wage, technology focused economic development is a win-win for our community," said Charleston Mayor, John Tecklenburg. "We are excited to see this project move forward."

The development of the tech office building will include a six-story parking deck with over 800 spaces that will be owned and operated by the City of Charleston and a public park between the garage and office building that will be managed by the City Parks Department.

The development process for 999 Morrison is underway with the BAR submittal expected in May, groundbreaking later in the year and the building and parking garage completion targeted for early 2020. Contact Ernest Andrade for further information about Downtown Charleston's premier tech office building or Iron Bridge for leasing.

Luke Blessinger, TalkTools President

TalkTools President: Entrepreneurship Includes Taking Out the Trash

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.

Luke Blessinger is president of TalkTools, a North Charleston-based company that helps families with special needs in feeding and speech difficulties. TalkTools has 13 employees locally and 10 consultants globally. Blessinger purchased the company in 2011 and moved it to Charleston from Arizona.

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

I grew up between New York City and Connecticut. My younger years up to third grade were in New York, and we moved to Connecticut after that. It was sort of like being split between the two communities because both of my parents were New Yorkers, and they moved out for the dream of the suburban life. For 17 years, my dad commuted from New York City – the World Trade Center, basically – all the way out to Connecticut, every day. It was two-and-a-half hours one way. It was insane. That was a good early memory of something I never wanted to do.

How did you come to be in Charleston?

My wife and I – we were dating at the time – were living in San Francisco. We loved it; it was just so expensive. We didn't think we'd ever be able to buy a house there, or, if we did, it would be two hours outside the city. I didn't want to do that. So we moved back to the east coast. She's from New York as well. We just did a road trip south. Her requirement is no further south – we're not going to Georgia because we're from the North. So we just stopped here.

Had you been to Charleston before the road trip?

Never. We'd heard good things. This was before smartphones. This was 12 years ago. When we planned our trip, you couldn't really tell if Beaufort, N.C., was a big town or a small town. So we stopped at a lot of small towns. Georgetown was one of our stops, and we just kept driving right through. When we got to Charleston, we said, "This is where we want to be."

We liked that it was a small city. We were going to get married soon, and we thought we could grow within it. It was affordable, a lot of charm and we love the beach. We needed to be near the water because of my job at that time, so it was a lot about the beach, too.

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

I started caddying at 11. With a dad who was a cop and a mom who wasn't working, there was not a lot of extra money in the house, so getting a job to me was independence. I liked the hard work. It just gave me power. I was only 11, but I was like, oh my gosh, I can go get that Starter jacket that was so cool back then. It was really cool at that time to have that independence, to be able to get up early and go to work and see what comes of that.

Did you have an entrepreneurial drive early on?

I did. I think it was around fourth or fifth grade I got in with a smart crew of people, sort of geeky computer people. Ended up going to Radio Shack a bit and started putting together motors and batteries, and then I started selling them at school. Then I got in trouble for selling them at school. The teacher was so upset that I was doing this. They actually called my mom and said, "He sold this for $12." My mom said, "What's wrong with that? He put it together for $3."

In your own words, what does your company do?

We help families with special needs in feeding and speech difficulties. At Special Needs Essentials, we provide products in any area to special needs. It's very broad. TalkTools is our main business, and it's focused on speech and feeding. For TalkTools, it's really helping those children, families and adults with speech and feeding difficulties and disabilities.

What drew you to your current business?

I was working in government contracting after moving to Charleston. It was interesting work. You may propose something and it goes on the shelf. There's just a lot of waste in government contracting, and specifically with military and homeland security contracting.

I was approached by my in-laws to purchase this business. I had finished my MBA at The Citadel. I wasn't using a lot of those skills or knowledge, and it was really exciting to have the opportunity to use it. It was also really exciting to be doing something that makes a difference. It makes a real difference – even if I'm not specifically helping a child, I know it's happening.

We moved the business here from Tucson, Ariz., in 2011. It's almost like moving your house – it was great to see it there, but it was also great to move it and define it here and bring it up to modern-day technology and have the ability to help more customers.

How would you describe your organization's culture?

We're mission-focused with a Charleston style. We're working hard to help as many kids as we can – we actually have a goal every year of helping a specific number of children – but we do it with a Charleston style in that we're a small business and we operate a bit more like a family than a business. We're not as casual as some of the companies that may have no leave policy, but we're pretty accommodating to people's lives. Things come up, and we like to support each other.

The Charleston flair is work hard but still have a great quality of life. Things we do in that nature are we leave after about half a day every Friday in the summer, we're off from Christmas to New Year, things like that.

What is your management style? Has it changed over time?

Motivator and communicator. I like to encourage people toward goals so that they can figure out the path to get there. I don't like to micromanage. I hate people who micromanage. That sort of led me to be a motivator-communicator. I want people to understand our mission, I want them to understand our goals as an entity, but as far as the specifics of how they do that, I just want to motivate and let them figure it out. Help along the way. Communicate along the way.

Has it changed? Without a doubt. I think when I first took over the company I was more directive. I think I was in every decision, everything that we were doing. Maybe at that time that was good, or not. But I really don't enjoy doing that. I'm more of a big-picture person rather than an every-little-detail person. I think at that point I was definitely a directive leader – staff meetings every day, everybody has their marching orders – but I am really happy I'm not doing that anymore.

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

When it comes to the customer, I've found I need to trust the advice my team is giving me but really verify with the end user. If we build a product that is not understood or not needed by the customer, then we sort of fail as a team.

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

That it's all about ping pong and kegs in the office and lunch every day brought in. We've grown the company quite a bit, we've launched into new markets, we've done a lot of great things, but none of that's really happened for us. That's not part of our culture.

If you were to really ask those other entrepreneurs that may get the ping pong table and the keg, I think they'd answer that there's a lot more taking out the trash, or delivering an order when the post office shuts down or you miss a pickup at your warehouse. That to me is what really is happening, rather than the hype.

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

I plan my week on a Sunday based on what are the most important projects I'm working on. I work out three times a week in the morning with a workout group called F3. It's a men's workout group. It's sort of a nice stabilizing force in my life. You get to know everybody in the workout group. What happens is, you start to become friends with everybody, and if you don't show up, they start to call you out in the grocery store. Or they call you out online, like, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while, what's going on?" It's just a constant motivation for self-improvement.

That's 5:30 a.m. three to four times a week. That gets me going quick, and I find I can accomplish things before most people even come in the office. It helps me really get rolling.

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

One of the obstacles we faced when I first bought the business was the view among employees of, "This is the way we always did it." That is so contrary to how I view life. I just sort of preached to them that those words are not available to us anymore. That's going backward; we are moving forward. It was really just a constant PR campaign.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

I look for a desire to learn, a desire to improve. I look for flexibility. Someone that is not going to say to me, "This is the way we have always done it." And then I look for someone that has a little grit, a little bit of motivation to just push through tough situations.

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

Over-analysis that stalls actions. Analyzing an idea, an opportunity, an initiative so far that you lose sight that if you just get it close enough to take action, you'd be so much further ahead. But it's scary for people to do that.

One of my favorite business heroes is Seth Godin. One of his mantras is "ship it." The idea is that whatever it is, your article, your book, my product – it's never going to be perfect. But at a certain point you need to get over yourself and get over your issues with it and ship it, and let the customer give you feedback and improve.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

They should seek experience in their career starting out of school. Don't worry about the mighty dollar at that point. Go for the experience over anything. No matter what it is, go for the experience. And learn from that, and find someone, whether it's a boss or the CEO of the company you are working for, find someone that you can learn from who is willing to teach you, and run with them as hard as you can before you try to do anything on your own. Because you can learn so much and you can skip so many bad turns if you can find that person and find that organization.

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

Find an inspirational boss or company to work for and learn with them.

What do you see as the future of your company?

I see continued innovation to improve the lives of those with special needs. Innovation in the form of therapy approach, products we can launch.

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

It's someone I worked for many years ago, right out of college. I was working in the Merchant Marines. She was the captain of a ship, a U.S. government ship. We were taking U.S. military supplies for the Iraq war. We were loaded with tanks and missiles and helicopters, whatever you can think of, we were taking it over there.

I think what was inspiring about her was being a woman in a predominantly male environment – she was the only one on board. But more important was how she led. It was definitely a humility-leadership approach. She'd make everyone feel like they were important, whether you were washing the dishes or navigating the ship. That was, for my nearly first job out of school, really cool to see. The crew on that ship would do anything for her.

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

Android. I'm a PC guy.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

Regular medium coffee.

Outside of work what keeps you busy?

My family. I have three kids, 10, 8 and 6. Every weekend it's something that they're doing. I enjoy it.

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

I think it's grown amazingly, and I like how there have been a lot of companies involved in that growth. It's not just one employer coming in and dictating everything.

Spearheading Innovation in Life Sciences

Growing up as a sports enthusiast, Scott Sacane, a molecular biology scientist, was smitten by the way a player-coach could help their team achieve success. He believes that being in the game while advising the players in the moment creates a unique perspective that often leads to successful outcomes. Donning the role of a player-coach at Catalytic Data Science, Sacane brings the same enthusiasm, commitment, and the positive attitude to transform how life sciences companies find, analyze and share information. "I certainly don't have all the answers and could never pretend to be an expert in the engineering domain, but I have operated in the life sciences industry for three decades, and I know the problems well," he says. With 30 years of rich experience in the life sciences industry, Sacane is clear on what he wants to achieve with his venture. "At Catalytic Data Science, we want to connect researchers to the vast world of life sciences data, information and analytics through a single, highly integrated cloud-based platform." Read the full story HERE.

Visiture Acquires ExpandLab

Visiture, an eCommerce marketing agency, announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ExpandLab, an eCommerce design and development agency based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Visiture is a certified Shopify Plus technology partner and industry leader in eCommerce digital marketing, while Expandlab's expertise lies in innovative eCommerce development. The marriage of the two will provide merchants an unmatched expertise in creating efficient, attractive online shopping experiences that connect brands with their target customers.

"This is an incredible opportunity to bring together two great companies, each a leader in their fields, in order to provide enhanced opportunities to our clients," said Brian Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Visiture. "Together, we will draw on our decades of experience to push the boundaries on design and eCommerce innovation, consistently delivering outstanding results for merchants." 

As a leader in digital marketing for enterprise eCommerce brands, Visiture has experienced huge growth over the past couple of years with offices in both Charleston, SC and Atlanta, GA. In 2017, Visiture was named to the INC 5000 list among the nation's fastest-growing private companies. 

"This acquisition affords us the opportunity to provide a suite of best-in-class services to eCommerce merchants under one roof, so to speak," said Ronald Dod, CMO and co-founder of Visiture. "It's truly great to work with like-minded people who are passionate about eCommerce. We look forward to seeing how the joining of our creative talents will build future opportunities and wins for our clients."

Based in Atlanta, GA, ExpandLab, a Magento Solutions Partner, has set the standard in eCommerce development. By mastering leading-edge technology, strategic services, and thought leadership, ExpandLab has solidified itself as a resource for helping retailers overcome the complexity of omnichannel retail and selling online.

"With the combined services of Visiture and ExpandLab, we'll be able to offer the best in class turn-key services for leading eCommerce brands," said Dennis Ngin, COO of ExpandLab. "From SEO and PPC management to development and custom design, we've created an end-to-end solution with a single point of contact to fuel the growth of our clients and reduce marketing expense."

The acquisition will bring ExpandLab under the umbrella of the Visiture brand, with offices retained in both Charleston, SC and Atlanta, GA. The full creative team at ExpandLab will make the transition to the Visiture organization.

"Our employees have always been the DNA behind our success, and that of our clients," said Ryan Jones, Vice President of Operations at Visiture. "We're excited to add the talent and experience of the Expandlab team to the Visiture family."

Trey Pringle, Sovi Cofounder and CEO

Sovi Cofounders Push Each Other to Achieve, Says CEO Pringle

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.

Trey Pringle is cofounder and CEO of Sovi, which helps consumers find deals on concert tickets. Pringle and longtime friend Tom Evans founded Sovi in 2012. The company is based at the Charleston Digital Corridor's Flagship2 in downtown Charleston with one other local employee and a developer in Argentina. Sovi operates in 25 U.S. cities and Canada.

Where did you grow up? What was life like?

Greenville, S.C. My business partner, Tom, and I grew up in Greenville together, so that's been a great centerpiece of us building this company. I'd say the biggest standout from that is playing basketball. We both played basketball from a young age and were on the same team. That's how we became friends when we were younger.

How did you come to be in Charleston?

I went to the College of Charleston, graduated in 2009, stuck around for about a year, moved to Greenville for a couple of years, and then San Francisco after that. We were operating our business on the West Coast. We were raising a seed round or a pre-seed round. There's a fund called SC Launch. We spoke with investors on the West Coast and SC Launch about participating, and SC Launch ended up being the best fit for us. Part of a partnership with them is having a headquarters in South Carolina, so we decided to move back.

But I also believe from going to school here that Charleston has the right climate for a technology industry to thrive. It's got a great quality of life with a semi-low cost of living. It's kind of rising now, but definitely as it compares to San Francisco, it's still the right ratio. I think that is the right foundation, and that is why we moved back here. It's been great for our business. We've grown quickly since we've moved back.

In your own words, what does your company do?

We operate a secondary exchange for concert tickets. We create products where live music fans can buy concert tickets, and our ultimate goal is to use these products to help bring down the cost of tickets for everyday fans to go see concerts.

We have tools that search the entire internet for tickets on sale, sort of the same way that Kayak does for plane flights, so that we can find the lowest price on sale anywhere. It might be from the box office, it might be from StubHub, it might be from somewhere else on the internet, but we try to aggregate that all in one place. That, we believe, is going to help bring the cost down. But, long term, there are also some things we believe we can do by using our data to help artists and promoters price their tickets more effectively, and it's going to make the costs long term come down for consumers as well.

Right now, our flagship product is Sovi, an app where you can buy concert tickets in two taps, and we are expanding on that with releasing a website and an Android app, as well.

What inspired you to start this business?

We started the business about five and a half years ago. Tom had just graduated college. I was a year out of college; I'm a year older than he is. At that age, you're just starting your adult life, and you're pretty active going out in the community, taking part in events, meeting friends at bars, etc., and we started the business as an events-marketing business. It was sort of like a Craigslist for local events.

We got bars, charities, 5Ks, everything under the sun – we got those organizers to post them to our platform. It's pretty much the exact same thing as what Facebook events is now, what we were five years ago. It worked really well. It created a lot of awareness for events in the community, but it was very hard to monetize.

We learned through that that live music was where the real potential was. Pretty much everyone that used our platform was either a music venue or promoter that was putting their concert on there, and a lot of consumers that came to look at the calendar were looking for concerts. So we said, there's a pretty big marketing gap for live music, and that's what pushed us to create an app that was specifically for live-music tickets. We made that pivot about two and a half or three years ago.

What's the meaning of the name Sovi?

Honestly, it was just a unique name that we came up with one day. We wrote like 20 different names down. I can't remember exactly where that one came from, but we knew it was memorable, and we knew it was unique from "events this" or "tickets that" – those names aren't memorable.

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

Tom and I both worked together at our first job, and it was at Old Navy, when we were 15. At that age you're mainly just working to have some money to spend with your friends, at the movies or whatever. But it definitely teaches you responsibility. I'd say that's the main thing that I learned, managing money and responsibility.

Did you have an entrepreneurial drive early on?

It developed later in life for me.

How would you describe your organization's culture?

Not only do we focus our products and our business on the live music industry, but that's a big part of our lives. We go to a lot of concerts, music festivals. It's very ingrained in what we do every day. So I'd say the culture revolves a lot around music. When we're not going to concerts, we are constantly playing music in the office and discovering new music.

What is your management style?

I was a history major in college, so I don't know much about the specific management styles that you might learn taking an MBA class. I'd say our style has just evolved out of the way that Tom and I work together. We have very complementary skill sets. We know what each person excels at, and we work together to focus on the things that we're best at.

I'd say that I excel more as an operator and Tom excels more as a product person, but we both have complementary pieces that help support both of those sides of our business. In general, we work really well together, delegating everything that needs to be done.

As far as our team is concerned, our main goal is to empower people to get the best out of themselves, so we don't impose a lot of rules. We mainly focus on the goals, long-term goals, where we want to take our business and the milestones that we've laid out and the roadmap that we have to get there. We just all get in there together and work on those goals every day.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

Someone who is a self-starter. Someone to whom we can say, "These are the goals. This is our roadmap to get there." And then they can just go and start working, and they don't need a ton of guidance. We want them to definitely ask us questions and ask us for guidance when it's needed, but we're never going to be able to get the best out of ourselves if we've having to look over someone's shoulder all day.

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

I have limited experience with bosses. After our first illustrious job at Old Navy, I was mainly a bartender up until we started this business. I didn't really have any influential bosses during that time, but I would say that I've learned a lot from people who were not a boss but more of a mentor. Most people that I met when we moved to San Francisco and a lot of the investors and the supporters that we've had along the way, I've learned a great deal from.

One lesson is patience. When you're an entrepreneur, you think everything that you've envisioned for your business, especially early on, you think it's all going to happen in the next few months. Most of my mentors have taught me to definitely keep your energy levels high and be hungry in that mindset, but to also understand that some things take time and know that you're going to have to have endurance and a plan that involves longevity if you're going to be around for the long haul.

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

My business partner, Tom. Through the years of building this business, we both started it not knowing anything. We decided to jump into it together, and we've held each other up the whole way. We've also taught each other so much. We've learned from each other the entire time that we've built this business, and we're both constantly working on ourselves, developing ourselves and making ourselves better, so that keeps the challenge up for the other person to keep up. That's the No. 1 force behind what I've been able to become professionally.

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

The hardest part about being an entrepreneur, especially a technology entrepreneur, is the sacrifice that it takes. Especially if you don't have some of the things going for you like having gone to an Ivy League school or having worked for a Facebook or Google, you're already sort of playing catchup. So to really get your business around the corner and over the hump, it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice financially, personally, for a long time.

You have to be willing to do that to really move your business to the place where it's profitable and growing and there are actually people using it and interested and people paying you money for whatever it is that you do. There's no getting around it – it's very difficult, and I think that's what weeds a lot of companies out. When that first valley of darkness comes for you, you either walk through it and experience the sacrifice, or you don't.

What's the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

That it's easy, because it's definitely not. The other one I would say is that it's not a get-rich-quick-thing that some people view it as. Sometimes people come up to me and say, "I have this idea for this app." And they have this notion that you could just go and build it in two weeks and you'd make millions of dollars from it. If it was that easy, everyone would do it and everyone would be a millionaire.

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

That's one of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur – you're not stuck with time constraints on your day. You don't have to be a certain place at a certain time. It's more about getting the best out of yourself every day. That actually allows you to have more of a flexible routine.

For me, the morning is the time when I get the most done. Probably the hours from 9 to 12 I'm heads down, listening to music, cranking away. The afternoon is when we loosen up a little bit more, work on the product a little bit more. It's more of a freer atmosphere and we're planning for the future, talking about product updates, changes that we could implement.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

That whatever idea you are working on now is always going to change, it's always going to iterate. Keep that in mind when you're making your future plans. You may think that whatever you're working on right now is the perfect solution to a problem, but it never is. It's always going to change. Keep that embedded in whatever process you use to grow your business.

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

It depends on what your end aspirations are. If you just want to work in technology, I'd say definitely target a bigger company. If you want to work for a small startup or be a technology entrepreneur, you can't start learning fast enough with that.

There's a huge learning curve of two, three or more years of becoming an operator of a tech startup. There are going to be tough times, but you just have to push your way through those, and you can't start early enough if that's what you want to do.

What do you see as the future of your company?

It's always been our goal to fundamentally change the live music industry for the better. There's a lot of layers. Most anyone who's been to a concert knows that. They know that sometimes ticket prices are astronomically high. They know that sometimes they never hear about a concert until the day that it's happening. There's some connectivity issues. There's some marketing issues.

But we think some of the biggest issues are just internal disconnect between the different pieces of the industry – venues, promoters, artists, etc. – and we are working on solutions that help bring all those pieces closer together, and we believe that's going to help bring ticket prices down in the long run.

We are in 25 cities now and growing. We just launched our first international market in Canada earlier this year; we are in Toronto. We'll be rolling out Vancouver soon, and we're hoping to expand to a few more international markets before next year is over, as well as throughout the rest of the United States.

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

Mac for sure. Always Mac. As far as smartphones are concerned, I have an iPhone, but I have mutual respect for iPhones and Androids. At the end of the day, the experience a person has using that device defines what it's worth to them. For sure, Apple had a head start for a long time, but I definitely believe that some of the companies that build Android phones now are catching up.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

Iced green tea.

Outside of work what keeps you busy?

Going to concerts. I love to travel. My fiancé is Chilean, so we travel to Chile a good bit. Love to be in the outdoors, hike. I did a lot more of that when I was on the West Coast. But hiking, camping, visiting national parks. Anything outdoors. And beyond that, being with my family.

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

We're lucky because we're both developers, so that hasn't been a huge challenge for us. However, I do know that it's tough to build a technology team anywhere, even in San Francisco. If you're in a market where there's not a high volume of developers, then it's tough to find one. But if you're in a market where there are a lot of developers, then they come at a premium. So you're either fighting cost or you're fighting the time it takes to actually find the right person.

What are your thoughts on Charleston's technical landscape?

It's great. It's growing. We've probably grown our revenue by 10x in the year and a half that we've been here, so it's been great for us. It's one of those rare cities like Seattle or Austin – it's got a very high quality of life and the cost of living is relatively low compared to some of the other tech hubs in the country. And that's the equation that you really want to have. People can have an enjoyable life that's not super expensive.

What this community and other communities need around the country is more funding. No company is going to be built without some level of seed funding. So, the higher volume of that, the higher volume of technology companies there will be on the scene. I've seen the funding community here growing over the last few years. There are way more opportunities now than when we started our business. As that grows, the technology community here will grow with it. 

Blackbaud Gives Special Stock Award to Employees Worldwide

Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced plans to provide a one-time stock award for eligible employees, equivalent to approximately $2,000 (USD).

On the heels of its 2017 fourth quarter and full year earnings announcement, the company said that, based on business performance, outlook and a recent change to federal tax law, it will give a one-time stock award to all full-time employees who do not receive equity as part of the annual Corporate Employee Stock Award Program.

Blackbaud, who was recently named one of Fortune's 56 Companies Changing the World, Forbes' Best Employers for Diversity, Forbes' Most Innovative Growth Companies and Forbes' America's Best Midsize Employers for two consecutive years, and recognized with many other regional and national accolades for its performance and workplace culture, says today's announcement is part of an ongoing commitment to making the Charleston, South Carolina-based tech company the best place to work with the most competitive and compelling benefits in the industry. Blackbaud has approximately 3200 employees in offices around the world.

"We make unmatched investments in R&D so our customers can achieve their most ambitious goals, but it is our people who are the secret sauce behind everything good we do," said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. "They volunteer over 100,000 hours to causes annually, they go above and beyond to pitch in as an extended member of our customers' teams; they do whatever it takes to help our customers advance global good because they are deeply motivated by the idea that good truly can take over the world. After another strong year of performance with record-level customer satisfaction, it seemed fitting to celebrate our people and make another investment back in them, by ensuring that as owners, they are all participants in our company's and customers' success."

Blackbaud says the awards will be issued on February 28, 2018 and will vest one year later. For more information about Blackbaud, visit www.blackbaud.com.

Kopis acquires NWN Smart Government Division, formerly TiBA Solutions

Kopis, one of South Carolina's leading Software Development, Business Intelligence, and Dynamics providers with offices in Greenville, SC and Charleston, SC, recently announced the acquisition of the NWN Smart Government Division, formerly Greenville-based TiBA Solutions. The acquisition will expand Kopis' current offerings in software development, mobile app development, business intelligence & data analytics, and Microsoft Azure cloud services. Combining these two senior teams creates one of the largest and most senior enterprise software and cloud services teams in the southeast. In addition, Kopis will continue to be NWN's government partner, working closely with them to serve mutual clients.

With the acquisition, Kopis will add an additional vertical focus on Smart Government to its deep Manufacturing and Distribution experience, and continue to be the premiere Government enterprise software and cloud services partner for the Southeast.

"Our state and local governments are vital to the success of our citizens," said Kopis CEO Andrew Kurtz. "We have always admired them and are thankful for the work they do, but are also very aware of the constraints they face. With this team's experience in the government space, as well as Intellectual Property tailored specifically to government challenges, we believe we can help our local and state governmental entities do more, for less, and provide value to both the local government as well as its citizens."

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Intro to Web Development

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