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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Ted Tanner, Co-Founder and CTO of PokitDok

PokitDok’s Tanner Takes on Healthcare’s Outdated Infrastructure

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.

Ted Tanner is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of PokitDok, which offers a platform-as-a-service for healthcare organizations. PokitDok is based in downtown Charleston with an office in San Mateo, Calif. The majority of its 50 employees are in Charleston.

Where did you grow up?

Charleston – born, bred and red. As a matter of fact, my middle name is Calhoun.

What was life like growing up?

Lowcountry living. Oak trees. There's nothing like moss in the oak trees, and the pluff mud, and the salt water. It's spectacular. The impenetrable beauty of the humidity and the heat. And how spectacular the fall is here.

In your own words, what does PokitDok do?

We build the operating system for the business of health. Just like Apple and Microsoft build an operating system that you build stuff on. The whole premise is shop, book and pay. Find me a doctor close to me with these attributes. Give me a price. Let me book it. Let me go in and get out and pay for it.

We have 10,000 cash prices across 48 urban areas. We know the market-making price of a health service. We also took all these so-called electronic medical records, and we integrated a bunch of those and made it easy for developers to write software on top of them.

We had to go make a payment backbone because companies had no way to clear a payment really quick, like PayPal. The next thing we built was an algorithm to compute the propensity for a consumer to pay for a service. Given all these variables that we have now, can Jane Doe pay for a service?

The other thing that we did that's a big problem in health is something called identity management. Who is Jane Doe? Who are you at any given time? Wouldn't it be great if you could just walk into anywhere in the world and your health record is with you all the time, with context? We've brought great security metrics to all of this stuff. Thirty-five to 40 percent of data that's in health is unencrypted.

That's what we do. We have about 700 third-party applications that are built on us.

What inspired you to start this company?

We looked at the data and we said, "The health industry has legacy technology that's been around like 30 or 40 years. It's legacy infrastructure. And it's broken from a personalization standpoint." I said, "There's no Yelp meets Priceline for health. Nor is there a platform that you can build applications on top of, like an operating system." There was no concept for APIs, there was nothing that hid the complexities of the back end of health processing. And it's overly complicated. This was about 2009. Around 2011, on that premise, we founded PokitDok.

If you think about it, the human machine is the most complicated that we know of in the universe, yet when we go to get it fixed, we have no idea how much a strep culture costs. It's the only machine that is most personal to us and our loved ones, but we don't go in and ask, "Well, how much is it going to cost to fix my broken leg?" When everybody knows full well how much it costs. We founded the company on that premise.

What obstacles have you faced building your business?

It's a 40-year-old legacy industry. We have a saying here: Two Cadillacs and a house. People would prefer to keep their two Cadillacs and a house than do the right thing in the health industry, which is help the consumer.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

Figure out the business model first because nowadays you can figure out the technical stuff really quick. Understand product fit. Understand market fit. And then get somebody and just start coding your brains out.

Desire what you already have even more. Desire and love the fact that you get to do something so spectacular every single day, and get on it really hard.

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

Stand up a GitHub, stand up a LinkedIn account, and contribute to as many open source projects as possible.

How would you describe your organization's culture?

Be passionate. Assume everything is broken all the time because there's no such thing as perfect software. Love your hobbies. Go hard. Keep plowing the field.

We believe that software is scalable, and I don't believe in having huge companies. I want to give back to the team. I truly work for everybody here. I never turn off. We have an interesting policy of infinite vacation time. We don't have a schedule, but we have things to do.

We've been criticized for being too intense. We work in the health industry. We want to make sure stuff works all the time. This is a serious business. Building complex stuff that never existed before – that's not serious?

I take my position as a co-founder and CTO very seriously. My co-founder, Lisa Maki, and I have raised $54 million. We've hired 70-something people here in Charleston – through attrition people change. One of my tenets in a leadership role is to amplify people's careers.

Our secret weapon has been Charleston. People in the Valley are asking for way too much money, and they're acting entitled. I literally was out there a month ago, and I heard these people saying, "Hey, are you going over to Corporation X? I heard they raised a Series A and they have an on-staff chef." Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, man.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

They laugh. Certain types of hobbies. Whether they're passionate about building software. It ends up we have a lot of triathletes, black belts in karate, really advanced musicians, former soldiers and former Rangers. Highly creative, highly complex people. But at the end of the day, people who love trying to do the impossible.

How do you prevent burnout?

If you do what you love, there's no such thing.

What's a book you always recommend?

How to Read a Book. It's amazing. It'll make you feel completely stupid.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

I don't go to Starbucks. If I do, it's an unsweetened tea.

Outside of work what keeps you busy?

I love my family and friends. I work out every day. I surf.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

Yes. I fill a mason jar glass up with half water. I put an Emergen-C in it. I take a BC Powder. I take an Aleve. I take something called a neurotropic vitamin. And I drink a mason jar full of tea. Then I go work out at the Medical University of South Carolina. Then I come in here. My executive assistant, Betsy Dalton, gives me a rundown for my stuff today. I usually write on the white board what I'm thinking about, and I start my day.

The end of the day is how thankful I am that I get to do this every day and come home to my family.

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

I want more collaboration in Charleston. I have tried over the last 10 years to get more collaboration. We've had several meetups. We sponsor things. Every time I show up and we show code, we show ideas, people go, "Well, we can't talk about what we're doing." Really? Really? Most people are just jamming stuff in a database.

The first artificial intelligence meetup at Stanford that we went to, PokitDok did, and sponsored it, they had 1,100 people register, 800 people show up. And this wasn't even a conference; this was just a meetup. It was a madhouse. People started writing on boards and talking with each other and everything.

We can't get five people to show up here. I've watched the ecosystem grow from, like, 100 companies to let's say 500 now, maybe. And there's just no collaboration.

What do we lose by not having that?

Resilient infrastructure to change and cross-pollination of ideas and business, and monetary incentive, and talent acquisition. A lot of people have moved here from the West Coast. Our secret weapon here in Charleston was the fact that a lot of people moved here for lower cost of living. That's changed now, that's over. Workplace arbitrage is over and you can get a job anywhere remotely now. So the only other thing left to do is collaborate and show up with the goods. 

385 Meeting Street, Downtown Charleston

Charleston Digital Corridor Relocates Flagships To 385 Meeting Street in Downtown Charleston

The Charleston Digital Corridor (CDC)is pleased to announce the relocation and consolidation of the Flagship and Flagship2 tech-focused business incubator facilities to 385 Meeting Street, a three-floor office building at the corner of Meeting and Mary streets. The relocation is the result of the redevelopment of the property on which the Flagships are currently located.

This interim location, Flagship - Bridge, will serve as the offices for the CDC and early-stage tech companies until the anticipated opening of the Flagship3 @ the Charleston Technology Center in 2020.

The Flagship - Bridge business incubator will offer 21 fully-furnished offices of varying configurations to serve companies at different stages of development; two conference rooms for use by residents and members of Charleston's tech community; and a host of business services and amenities including high-speed data and corridor bikes. Parking will be available at the Visitor Center Parking Garage behind the office building.

The Flagship - Bridge business incubator, the fourth facility developed by the CDC, will incorporate feedback from tech clients since the original Flagship facility opened in May 2008.

"The City of Charleston is pleased to have facilitated the relocation of Flagships with no disruption to the companies currently operating at the two facilities," said Charleston Mayor, John Tecklenburg.

"We are honored to continue supporting tech companies in the Charleston region and excited to report that a majority of the tech companies relocating to the Flagship - Bridge facility have experienced growth well above 200 percent since they commenced operations in our incubator," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

Renovation of the Flagship - Bridge tech-focused business incubator is expected to get underway in September and be ready for occupancy in December 2018.  

Geoff Parker, author of Platform Revolution and MIT IDE research fellow and Ray August, Benefitfocus President and CEO

Benefitfocus Joins the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ :BNFT ), a leading cloud-based benefits management platform and services provider, has entered into a corporate membership with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (MIT IDE). Part of the MIT Sloan School of Management, the MIT IDE explores how people and businesses work, interact and prosper in an era of profound digital transformation.

The goal of the corporate membership is to build a long-term relationship, focusing on the issues and opportunities around the digital economy. The MIT IDE relationship further accelerates Benefitfocus' insights and commitment to innovation, which is a key component to the company's platform business strategy.

"Benefitfocus is accelerating our digital transformation and we are making significant investments to advance our platform," said Benefitfocus Chief Technology Officer and MIT alum, Jim Restivo. "We continue to execute on our strategy and tackle innovation from all angles of our business. We're thrilled with the opportunity for exponential learning and growth alongside technology leaders including Accenture, Amazon and Microsoft, among others."

Working with public and private sector partners, the MIT IDE conducts groundbreaking research in the areas of productivity, employment and inequality; big data and human AI; new digital business models; and social analytics and digital experimentation. The MIT IDE sponsors fellows; hosts the global MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge, conferences and roundtables; and supports other events that bring thought leaders together to inspire new ideas. The MIT IDE believes that challenges posed by the digital economy are not only solvable, but that technology will create new opportunities for people and businesses to thrive.

"One of the major advantages of our collaboration with MIT IDE is advancing our organizational learning through an external, business and consumer viewpoint," said Benefitfocus President & CEO, Ray August. "This 'outside-in' perspective helps us optimize our technology to deliver a better consumer experience and allows us to strengthen our business relationships. Ultimately, each participant on the Benefitfocus platform will feel the true benefits of our MIT IDE relationship."

David Verrill, MIT IDE's Executive Director, adds: "We are proud to announce that Benefitfocus has joined our community as the newest member of the IDE. Through this membership, Benefitfocus and MIT IDE will collaborate to explore challenges and opportunities and drive the conversation on the digital economy."

Goole Data Center - Berkeley County

Google Investing $600 Million in its Berkeley County Data Center Expansion

Google today confirmed plans to further expand its existing campus in Berkeley County, marking the 10-year anniversary of its data center at the Mount Holly Commerce Park. The expansion is projected to bring approximately $600 million of additional capital investment.With this new announcement, Google's total investment in Berkeley County will reach approximately $2.4 billion. 

"We are pleased to confirm that we will soon expand our presence in Berkeley County. South Carolina is our home, and we are so excited to work together with the community in this next phase of growth.," said Lilyn Hester, Google Head of Public Policy and Community Relations for the Southeast.

"We couldn't be more thrilled that Google is choosing to expand their South Carolina operations yet again. I congratulate Google on celebrating a full decade in the Palmetto State, and know that thanks to the business-friendly environment that we continue to foster, it is the first of many," said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster

"We congratulate Google on this latest expansion, which adds to the ongoing success they've experienced in South Carolina. This innovative company has been a longtime partner of Team South Carolina, and this new $600 million investment further reaffirms their commitment to our state," said SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

Five facts about the Google data center in Berkely County:

  • Google is expanding its Berkeley County operations.
  • $600 million of additional capital investment.
  • This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Google's data center at the Mount Holly Commerce Park.
  • With this announcement, Google's total investment in Berkeley County will reach approximately $2.4 billion.
  • For more information on Google, visit the company's website.

Snag Names John Frederick Chief Operating Officer

Snag, the largest platform for hourly work, today announced that John Frederick has been named the company's Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the company's technology, data, legal, finance and human resources teams. Frederick joined the company in January 2018 as Chief Administrative Officer.

"John Frederick not only brings a wealth of financial and business expertise, but he is also experienced in technology and consumer product companies and very familiar with transformation and growth," said Snag Chairman and CEO Fabio Rosati. "His knowledge and experience will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of becoming the world's largest marketplace for hourly work."

"I can't imagine a more exciting time to be at Snag," Frederick said. "We're at the forefront of an exciting new era, with the right teams and the right technology to deliver products that are disrupting the marketplace, making it possible for everyone to get the work they need to reach their full potential."

Frederick has more than 20 years of experience leading financial and administrative functions in private and public companies with revenues ranging from $60 million to more than $2 billion. He previously held senior finance and administration roles in leading consumer products and technology companies. He is a member of the board of directors for SenSanna and Maryvale Preparatory School. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Joint Base Charleston Civic Leaders Tour MacDill Air Force Base, Florida

Seventeen local civic leaders, who serve as conduits for leadership and advocates for the Air Force, flew on a JB Charleston C-17 Globemaster III to MacDill's 6th Air Mobility Wing in order to gain a broader understanding of the Air Mobility Command mission.

"Civic leader tours help our community leaders understand and appreciate not only the JB Charleston mission, but the Air Force mission as whole," said Col. Jeff Nelson, 628th Air Base Wing commander. "It's a privilege for us to show them what we do first-hand so they can help tell our story in the community."

The mission, unique operations and various units made MacDill AFB a great location to showcase a different side of AMC's capabilities. The two-day tour allowed civics to view and participate in several demonstrations, including parachute packing, a KC-135 Stratotanker flight simulator as well as refueling simulator, and a tour of the United States Central Command headquarters building, among other activities.

"To me the best part was the SERE demonstration," said Daniel Brock, Rawle-Murdy Associates public affairs and social media account supervisor. "It was cool to see some of the things our search and rescue teams are capable of and it's nice knowing that our Airmen and Soldiers have the training to survive if they ever are caught in a scenario where they need to."

While educational, the demonstrations weren't the only learning opportunities. Several civic leaders were able to interact with and learn about the actual Airmen who help accomplish the mission every day.

"I enjoyed getting to meet and talk with some of the Airmen, both from MacDill and Joint Base Charleston" said Ernest Andrade, executive director of Charleston Digital Corridor. "Understanding the mission and the various jobs at MacDill was a great experience, especially the briefing at SOCOM headquarters.

"I'd say overall we just learned," said Brock. "We learned about the people in the Air Force, we learned about MacDill's mission and we learned more about other civic leaders as well as the Joint Base's leaders."

Along with the 628th ABW commander and Command Chief Master Sgt. Todd Cole, 628 ABW command chief, Col. Clinton ZumBrunnen, 437th Airlift Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Juan Guzman-Gonzalez, 437th Aerial Port Squadron superintendent, co-hosted the visit to MacDill.

"It was great having both sides of the house, the 437th and 628th, along with civic leaders and honorary commanders from both wings go on this trip to learn more about our AMC partners," said ZumBrunnen. "It's not every day I get to fly 17 civilians in a C-17 to show them another aspect of the Air Force than they are used to seeing here at home."

With the civic leader program aiming to hold tours such as these for local community leaders every year, Nelson is confident that this year's trip will not only encourage the civic leaders who attended to continue to participate, but for even more civics to attend next year.

"We're grateful for everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the tour," said Nelson. "This is a rare opportunity and thankfully everyone who attended enjoyed the experience. With the success of this trip, we're excited to grow the program and share it with more of our Charleston community leaders."

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BSides

BSides is a community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members. The goal is to expand the spectrum of conversation beyond the traditional confines of space and time. It creates opportunities for individuals to both present and participate in an intimate atmosphere that encourages collaboration. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants. It is where conversations for the next-big-thing are happening. Learn more and RSVP here.