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Accrete Wins Multi-Million Dollar AI Production Contract from The Department of Defense

Accrete AI Government, LLC., a tenant start-up at the Charleston Tech Center, won a production contract for its Argus artificial intelligence product. Accrete was the sole awardee from a field of 65 bids received for a development Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) contract from the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) initially to deliver Argus to a Defense Intelligence Community customer.

The Department of Defense uses Argus to ingest and analyze publicly available information, in multiple languages, to uncover and map intentionally obscured foreign financial influence in international supply chains.

Jeff Harper, Director of Federal Sales and a James Island resident said, "Accrete is thankful for the support of the Charleston Digital Corridor and Tech Center that further enables us to support the mission of our Defense customers. Accrete remains committed to supplying technology to ensure the United States and its allies maintain enduring information and decision advantage."

"Congratulations to Accrete on winning a large DOD contract. We are honored to support the company's Charleston team at the Charleston Tech Center," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware.

Accrete's dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content.

Workiva VP & Head of Growth, Will Gregg

CDC Tech Life Podcast Episode 17 Features Workiva VP & Head of Growth - Will Gregg

Episode 17 of the CDC Tech Life Podcast features Will Gregg, VP and Head of Growth at Workiva. Will talks about how Workiva is helping companies manage the challenge of reporting and how his role as Head of Growth led Workiva to Charleston.

This episode is sponsored by the City of Charleston. The City of Charleston is pleased to support the Charleston Digital Corridor with its mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.


Charleston’s Tech Economy Strengthens In 2022

In its Annual Wage & Job Growth Survey, the Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce that the average per-capita wage at companies participating in the 2022 survey is $116,149 – the largest year-over-year growth in average wages since the CDC started surveying its members in 2003.

This number once again represents more than twice the State of South Carolina's average wage of $47,490 and Charleston Region average wage of $51,850 according to the latest (May 2021) data available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Key workforce and workspace insights from the 2022 survey:

  • 60% of companies reported adding jobs in 2022
  • 100% expect to continue hiring into 2023
  • 65% of companies have over half of their staff working primarily remote – with over 90% of respondents expecting this number to either remain the same or increase in 2023
  • Less than 10% of companies reported a reduction in their physical office space in 2022
  • Several companies benefitted from capital infusions in 2022 to fund growth and acquisition

"Amidst the national atmosphere of recession and layoffs at tech companies, it's reassuring to see in this survey the resilience and upward momentum of Charleston's tech companies who continue to add jobs, raise capital and generate revenue growth," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

QuicksortRx, a software company focused on simplifying hospital pharmacy purchasing, is just one example of an early-stage company who has performed extremely well in 2022. The company, which has experienced 3x year-over-year revenue growth and more than doubled their staff, expects to see continued growth into 2023.

"Our business model is focused on bringing major savings to our hospital clients," said QuicksortRx Co-Founder and CEO, Jonathan Yantis. "It has been a remarkable growth year for us. The current 'balance sheet recession' being experienced by many businesses has provided us with a great tailwind and validated our business model," he added.

CDC Tech Life Podcast Episode 16 Features Punchlist USA Co-Founder and CEO - Min Alexander

Episode 16 of the CDC Tech Life Podcast features Min Alexander, CEO and co-founder of Charleston SC Prop-Tech Startup Punchlist USA. Min talks about her journey as an entrepreneur and how Punchlist USA is using technology to enhance the real estate experience for home-buyers, brokers and contractors.

This episode is sponsored by Charleston County Economic Development Department. They're dedicated to recruiting new business, growing existing industry and improving Charleston's business climate.


The American Diabetes Association Selects HabitNu to Deliver Project Power

Chicago-based HabitNu, an organization that promotes healthy lifestyle changes, announces that the American Diabetes Association(r) (ADA) has selected HabitNu as a three-year partner to deliver Project Power, an innovative program to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in high-risk and vulnerable communities nationwide. Under this three-year agreement, HabitNu lifestyle coaches will deliver diabetes prevention and management services in twenty cities using HabitNu's ADA-branded coaching platform and digital tools.

Today, more than 37 million Americans have diabetes, while an additional 96 million live with prediabetes, a condition that puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through lifestyle change.

ADA's Project Power aims to break down the barriers that limit access to vital resources and empower participants to engage in lifestyle modification to help manage their diabetes risk. Through a $10 million commitment from CVS Health, Project Power will arm participants and their families with the risk tests, screenings, and program resources they need to stay healthy.

HabitNu has been effective in delivering behavior change programs that reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes and managing diabetes and hypertension, especially among hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations. Over the course of the program, HabitNu health coaches work closely with participants in small group settings, in-person and online, to help them break old habits, create new ones, set attainable goals, and stay motivated. Project Power participants use highly engaging digital tools such as the HabitNu app, wireless scales, and activity trackers to monitor their progress with lifestyle change strategies and to help them stay on track.

"HabitNu has a long and proud history of successfully developing wellness programs that reduce the health risks faced by diverse populations in urban and rural settings," said Dr. Sindhu Rajan, HabitNu's CEO. "Project Power is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate HabitNu's ability to improve the lives of the people we serve," Dr. Rajan continues.

"Project Power aims to better understand and address unmet health needs in underserved communities," says Sherry Hill, Program Director for Project Power. "Our goal is to reduce health disparities and build a future without diabetes. As we prepare to launch Project Power nationwide, the HabitNu team has demonstrated their ability to execute on such a large undertaking."

LASSO Raises $5 million Series A Round Led By McCarthy Capital

LASSO, the people platform for the live events and entertainment industry, announced today that it has closed a round of funding.

The $5 million round was provided by McCarthy Capital out of their Emerging Growth Strategy. This round follows a seed round for $3 million in December 2021 enabling triple digit growth in 2022 and being named one of the fastest growing technology companies in the Inc. 5000.

Clay Sifford founded LASSO to help event companies better manage their workflows with electronic crew onboarding, skills management, crew scheduling, event communication, time-tracking, travel management, and payroll processing, among other solutions. In 2022, LASSO has also continued to enhance its crew marketplace which offers technical talent across 25 production positions, in the top 25 markets in the US.

LASSO's rapid growth demonstrates the evolution of an industry that has been underserved by technology for decades. "We're still in the early innings of transforming the event and entertainment industry, and this timely investment from McCarthy Capital will enable us to scale quickly", said Sifford, CEO of LASSO. "This isn't just an investment in LASSO, it's an investment in the people and companies that make exceptional performances happen, and we are excited to have a partner that shares our vision and commitment to revolutionize the industry."

LASSO will use the funding to scale its operations, invest in product development, hire additional team members, and further expand its crew marketplace offering.

"We are excited to partner with the management team of LASSO," said Matt Breunsbach, Managing Director at McCarthy Capital. "The company has experienced impressive growth since inception and is committed to continuing to build unique solutions to challenging problems within the event and entertainment industry. We look forward to supporting LASSO's growth and continued efforts to become the leading platform for the entire industry."

Rich Conte interviews Wired Island's, Mike Sottak

CDC Tech Life Podcast Episode 15 Features Wired Island Founder and Managing Director Mike Sottak

Episode 15 of the CDC Tech Life Podcast features Mike Sottak, Founder and Managing Director of Charleston-based Communications Strategy and Public Relations firm Wired Island International. Mike talks about his experience working with Technology companies globally, the economic and workforce changes that are impacting his clients, and why he brought the firm to Charleston.

This episode is sponsored by the City of Charleston. The City of Charleston is pleased to support the Charleston Digital Corridor with its mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.


Voya Financial To Acquire Benefitfocus, Inc.

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), a leading health, wealth and investment company, and Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), an industry-leading cloud-based benefits administration technology company that serves employers, health plans and brokers, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Voya to acquire Benefitfocus. Read more:

Upcoming Classes & Events

Jan 18, 9AM - 10:30AM

Why Startups Fail - How to Avoid Typical Mistakes

Presented by Jim Uchneat

Most startup companies fail or at least, fail to reach their full potential. One study suggests as many as 90% fail within 5 years. Beginning with great ideas startups typically operate with constrained time, money, and the mix of skills needed to succeed.

Jan 19, 5:30PM - 7PM

Charleston AR/VR meetup - The Meta Quest Pro Headset

Organized by Dave Ingram

The new Meta Quest Pro headset is a lot more comfortable, has some really great features for virtual collaboration, like a controller you can flip around and use as a pen, plus face and eye tracking to show real emotions. It also has better tracked controllers and the resolution is good enough to read fine print on websites.