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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Charleston Digital Corridor’s Codecamp Program Receives Major Update

The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce it has completed a major update of its CODEcamp code education program. CODEcamp, launched in 2012, has had over 2,000 attendees and successfully placed several graduates in companies in the Charleston region while continuing to introduce adults to web development affordably and in a convenient evening offering.

The update follows an annual review of CODEcamp as well as the rapidly evolving code education programs in Charleston, South Carolina. Changes for 2017 include:

  • Replacing the Web 101-105 class structure in favor of a quarterly, eight-week Introduction to Web Development class for a cost of $495.00
  • Partnering with the JRS Coding School that offers a twelve-week "boot camp" program. CODEcamp graduates receive a discount of $500 against their tuition at JRS.
  • Moving to a project-based curriculum similar to the CODEcamp Kids program.
  • Offering students from public education institutions a 10% discount.

"As the only organization that offered an augmentative coding program in 2012, it is important to recognize the wonderful code and computer science education opportunities that have launched over the past few years and adjust CODEcamp to best suit the community," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

Over the past decade, the Charleston region has become home to over 400 tech and advanced manufacturing companies with almost fifty percent of these companies actively seeking technical talent. "Beyond embracing our high-paying tech companies, it is important to provide them with the education resources to grow and thrive," said Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation Chairman, Kirk King. "We are doing just that."

Ravi Sastry, VP Sales & Marketing of Immedion

Immedion's Sastry: Managing Millennials Require a New Approach

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.

Ravi Sastry is vice president of sales and marketing for Immedion, a cloud, data-center and managed-services firm based in Greenville, S.C., with offices in Charleston, Asheville, Columbia, Rock Hill and Cincinnati. Immedion was founded in 2007 and has about 80 employees.

Where did you grow up? What was life like?

I grew up in India. I came here when I was young. My father traveled around quite a bit, so we lived in a number of places – North Dakota, Michigan, Pennsylvania.

You now live in Greenville, S.C., where Immedion is based. How did you end up there?

I ended up going to school in South Carolina and working for an electronics company in Greenville. I did that for a number of years, and we lived overseas in Europe and Asia. I ran some of the international business for that company for over 15 years. I moved back to Greenville four times, and the fourth time I moved back, that was kind of it. I started a consulting business that I ran for about seven years, and I ended up coming to work at Immedion about six years ago.

I'm lucky because I get to travel to some really cool small cities, between Asheville, Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Cincinnati and Rock Hill – those are kind of my epicenters and spheres of influence.

In your own words, what does your company do?

We provide IT infrastructure for local markets. We take care of all the computers and the sensitive data and provide a service that is highly redundant and robust, and it's on a local level with local staff. 

The IT world is very complex. It's changing all the time. We're not on the bleeding edge of technology; we're not on the trailing edge of technology. We sit in the middle to make sure that we are providing the services that our clients need, from bringing in physical equipment into our data centers, to managing a cloud environment that they're asking for, and also providing the services they need if something happens.

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

I grew up being a lifeguard. If I had to go back again, I'd probably do that the rest of my life. It was fantastic. It was easy. I had no responsibilities, and it was a lot of fun. But, obviously, that's not something that's sustainable.

The first real job I had was in Philadelphia working for a guy in a sales department for a high-tech company. That was my first real sales job. I was a sales rep in Philadelphia covering Eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Not a dream spot, but it was great fun because I got to really go out and do what I wanted to do, be in front of people, talk to them about our products and what we can do, and that really helped me.

He was a real mentor for me. I was there for a couple years and really learned, because I was young and didn't know anything. He really molded a lot of the things that I do now in terms of how we sell and how to sell and what's the proper way to sell and the proper way to influence people, the proper way to network. I teach a lot of those types of things, hopefully, to our people.

What drew you to your current business?

One factor is technology. Prior to knowing anything about Immedion, I was computer savvy in terms of my own computer and knowing what to do, but also I've always been in the high-tech world. That's what I've been doing my whole life.

When I was running my consulting business, I used that as a vehicle to find the next place to go to work. I was not one of those who was going to go start my own business. I wanted to go find a place to work that allowed me to maximize the skills that I have, allowed me to be interested in a company and an industry that I'm comfortable with.

I also asked, "Who's the leadership?" If the leadership is there and they can allow me to do some of the things that I would like to do, then it was fine. I really enjoy working for Frank Mobley, Immedion's CEO. I like what he has to say.

How would you describe your organization's culture?

First and foremost, we're in the IT business. For a lot of folks, that comes across as very structured, very analytical and very process-oriented. And, yes, we do have that. We are structured. We are process-oriented. We are analytical in what we do. That's the way I've been raised in the high-tech world.

There's the old adage that says you work hard and play hard. Well, I think we work hard and probably play little. And that means that we take this business very seriously. This is people's livelihood that we've got in our hands. It's their data. So when we're at work, it's serious stuff. We have to make sure that everything is working, everything is properly being handled, everything is processed properly, we're handling the customers properly, etc. It's very much a customer-service-oriented culture. Everything is about the customer. From Frank our CEO to the person who is handling the front-line calls, and everything in between, it's customer first.

And I think that we have a very open culture in terms of getting things done. If people have something that they want to talk about, we talk about it. If people have something that is good or bad or there's a situation that's going on, we discuss it, and then we decide what we are going to do moving forward. We are conservative in terms of making decisions that are impacting the company, but we make them fairly quickly. There's no red tape associated with that.

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

I'm very driven, and I drive by metrics and reports. However, my style is to be in front of people. I spend probably 60 percent of my time in front of the folks that work for me, asking, "What are we doing? What can we do to make you more successful? What are we going to do with this particular situation?" It's an open-door policy. We can talk about whatever they want to. I think the motivation is really making them successful.

We are in a high-tech world where we're managing fairly young folks, the millennial people. You must have a certain way of managing those folks different to where I am. I'm the oldest guy in the company. We have a number of young folks that work for us. Great people, very smart. They know what they want, they know what they're doing, and so you have to have certain ways to manage them. And it's not always about the money itself. It's about praising them when you need to and having closed-door discussions when you need to, and ensuring that we're doing what we can to make them successful.

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

To me, a good boss is one that communicates very well, and I think I do that as transparently as possible. There are certain things in the company that you have to keep confidential, and I understand that. But it's communicating constantly, letting people know what's going on, letting them know that you're there for them, letting them know that, "Hey I'm here to support you." I think that's really important.

Bad bosses, to me, are ones that manage a certain way one day and manage a certain way the next. Inconsistent. Because then you don't know where you stand. And I think that's bad, and it brings a lot of bad things with it.

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

I get up very early, and at 5:30 I'm in the gym. I work out and I do a bunch of stuff and then I'm in the office usually between 8 and 8:15. Then it's, "What happened the previous day? What's going on?" Catch up on email, etc. I usually have a schedule already lined up for the week, so I know what meetings I have to be at and where I am traveling. But that first hour in the morning is very routine for me. Go to the gym, get to the office, line up everything that you need to do for that day and let's go. That usually doesn't deviate very much at all.

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

The hardest thing that I have learned, and it's a constant issue, is finding the right people to do the job. It's a challenging thing that you will always have in any business that you're in. You always hear about the "Good to Great" story where you find the right people, put them on the bus, and get them in the right seat. Well, getting them on the bus and putting them in the right seat is easier. The first part is the hardest. Finding the right people.

And even through the interview process, even through all the things that you do, you really don't know until they're in the job for six months to a year, and by then you spent a lot of money, spent a lot of time, done a lot of things. And, unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't work out. So you have to make changes.

So I think the biggest challenge is finding the right people. I think that's a huge challenge for everybody, especially in the IT business because it's hugely competitive. It is ever-changing. It's highly technical. And especially when you are in a sales and marketing function, you're trying to find that holy grail of a technical person who's comfortable with technology but also has a relationship and a personality that can walk into a room and have some command of it. It's very hard to find.

What obstacles have you faced in business? How have you overcome them?

Technology is ever-changing. There's a lot of people involved in it now. You have big guys like Amazon Web Services and Google and Microsoft Azure folks that also provide the cloud environment. So how do you compete with them? We do things very similar to what they do, and our costs are similar to theirs. They are now penetrating into our markets. We've done a pretty good job of explaining to customers that, "Hey, you're talking to me. I am a real person. I'm willing to manage your cloud environment for you. I'm not sure how that works with the big guys. Who are you going to talk to, and how are you going to get support?"

Another obstacle, as I mentioned, is getting the right people. We've used recruiters in the past, and some have been good and we've had some success with that. I think the biggest success for us comes from finding people through a referral process. Just trying to put a resume on the Internet and trying to hope something happens doesn't work. That's kind of like saying, "I am going to do a bunch of cold calling and hope a client comes in." That doesn't usually work, either.

What do you look for in the people you hire?

I look for attitude, aptitude and altitude. Attitude – do you have the right attitude, do you have the passion, do you have what we call the entrepreneurial skills and want to do that? Aptitude means do you have the knowledge and the education and the comfort level of being in a technical company? And third is altitude – where do you want to go? Do you want to stay in the current job you're in for the rest of your life, or do you have a passion to want to do something else?

Then, second, is how do they fit into our core values? Integrity, initiatives, problem-solving and customer first - those are our core values.

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

Lack of communication because you get surprised when that happens.

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

In general, young folks that come right out of college, they're ready to take on the world. They think they know everything. They want to be challenged. They want to have continuous feedback on what's going on. I need more, I want more, I need another project, I want to do this, I want to do that. And my advice on that is, that's great; you have the right attitude, but it's how you do that. What's the esprit de corps in how you want to get that accomplished? There's a wrong and a right way to approach your boss in terms of what you want to do.

Work on being less aggressive, a little bit softer. Let's get you through the first six months and see what happens. Let's get you through the first 12 months and see what happens. Let's get you to two years and then say, "What's my two-year plan? What's my five-year plan? Where do I want to be in two and five years from now?" That's the type of thing that you've got to think through as you start your career coming into the tech world. Because not everybody is going to be able to run the company. Not everybody is going to be able to come in and say, "I will work here for a little while and I'm going to go do my own startup." Just be a little bit patient and let's see where things go as you look at what your goals are.

What do you see as the future of your company?

I think it's extremely bright. We are very focused on only a few things. We provide infrastructure services that are within our building, allowing people to rest easy at night knowing that their equipment and their cloud environment are being taken care of. We've been able to transform companies, our clients, from a CapX spending to an OpX spending, which means that I don't have to go spend millions of dollars on equipment. I can allow Immedion to take care of me on an operational expense.

We think that model will continue to grow because people don't want to be in the equipment business. They want to be in whatever business they're in. They don't want to have to worry about whether there is redundancy, are their computers going to be running. They want to be able to go work on their processes. They want to be able to work on their projects and take care of what makes the company more efficient from an IT standpoint, not necessarily the infrastructure side of it. We've seen a huge transformation in the last 10 years associated with this, and we're sitting right in the middle of that. We see a very bright future associated with that type of transformation.

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

Our company is all PC, but I am a Mac user, and I get a hard time within the company about that. If something goes wrong, they always blame me for it. But I have been a Mac user, so it's hard for me to go back to a PC. I am also an iPhone.

What is your usual Starbucks order?

It's real simple. Black coffee. No sugar, nothing.

Outside of work what keeps you busy?

I have a family – a wife and two daughters. One just graduated from graduate school, and the other one is a junior at the University of South Carolina in the International Business program. So they keep me fairly busy. Golf, working out, reading, cooking. We travel some.

We keep busy trying to keep a balanced life. Immedion has done a very good job of that for me. In my previous life, I was on an airplane every day. I'd leave on Sunday or Monday and not come back till Friday night or Saturday. I did that forever. At Immedion, I have a more balanced work life now because of the places that I travel to. So that's been great. It allows me to do other things.

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

We've had a pretty good success on the technical side of getting the right folks in here. It has not been a problem for us, and the local community has been great in helping us with that. We'll ask, "Hey, we have this position open and we're looking for somebody. If you know anybody, please let us know." That's how we've been able to get the folks that we have.

Do you see any challenges recruiting tech talent to Charleston?

We don't have as much of a problem here because our number of employees is fairly small. But I worry about companies like Boeing and Volvo and Mercedes and all that. How are they going to bring technical talent here, because it's only so big? One of the critical issues that the whole state has is how do we get people educated to come to work in the technical field? What do we do with the local technical schools, and how do we incentivize them to bring more people in to teach, whether it's mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science or whatever it is, and then make sure that graduates stay here? There has to be a linkage between the education side of it in the local market and the companies that are investing here. How are those companies going to support the technical schools? If that support is not there, then they are going to bring technical talent in from outside.

It's gotten much better, no question about it. That just has to continue. I think that's a core issue that has to continually be addressed.

Snagajob Set To Double Product Design And Engineering Team In Charleston

In June 2016, Charleston tech start-up, Peoplematter, was acquired by Snagajob. The company, with locations in Washington, DC, Oakland, CA, and Richmond, VA made the decision to not just keep the Charleston location, but to grow the company here.

Just a year after Peoplematter was acquired by Snagajob, the Charleston office is firing on all cylinders. Employment applications in the company's portal have increased 400% over the past twelve months, setting the stage for a dramatic team expansion of their product and engineering team.

According to the company, the positions Snagajob is seeking to hire range from senior level principal engineers and team leads to junior developers. "We expect to nearly double the size of our engineering team in Charleston with approximately fifteen new engineers to support the growth of our business model," said Jen Boulware, Snagajob's Senior Director of Engineering. "Our goal is to grow our highly collaborative team responsibly," she added.

"With over forty percent of our tech companies hiring, Snagajob represents one of the many companies in Charleston that are responsible for the continued robust growth of the software industry here," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

Charleston has placed a high priority on expanding the local technical talent pool and the focus is starting to see dividends. Education offerings range from coding bootcamps, a four-year computer science program at the College of Charleston that is growing well above the national average to a recently introduced Ph.D. program in computer science at Clemson University's Charleston campus. 

Charleston Health Care Startup PokitDok Replaces Founding CEO With Insurance Executive

The founding chief executive of PokitDok has stepped down, saying the health care technology firm needs a new leader to manage its expansion.

Lisa Maki says the company, which is headquartered in California but has most of its employees in Charleston, had grown large enough to justify a transition. Maki says she helped court her replacement, Joe Murad, who started earlier this month. Read more:

Charleston Software Firm Hires a New Chief Financial Officer

Charleston software developer Benefitfocus Inc. named a new finance chief Monday to replace an executive who stepped down after eight months in the job.

Jonathon Dussault will join the publicly traded Daniel Island company Aug. 14. Benefitfocus said its next chief financial officer brings "extensive strategic and financial leadership experience in the benefits technology sector." Read more:

Stasmayer Ranked Among Top 501 Managed Service Providers by MSPmentor

Stasmayer, Incorporated ranks among the world's most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor's 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. Stasmayer's ranking at No. 253 puts them at the top of the pack in South Carolina.

The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier. The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net. In addition to honoring Stasmayer, this year's MSP 501 list and study showcases the top ranked MSPs worldwide.

"We are honored to once again to be ranked among the world's best in our field for 4 years in a row. In an evermore complex business environment, the natural tendency for businesses to undergo device and app explosion unabated means that fulfilling their mission to their customers becomes even harder without IT expertise. The small businesses of today are more intricate than what the enterprises of yesterday were. That means that earning the dollar today is more expensive than the dollar of yesterday unless you can speak IT, strategize IT, manage IT and most importantly, secure IT" said Richard Krenmayer, CEO, Stasmayer, Incorporated. "Cheers to our team and our customers for making this journey possible. They continue to remind us time and time again that We've got IT going on!"

"On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Stasmayer, Incorporated for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree," said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. "The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry."

The 2017 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors. Data was collected online from Feb. 16 through May 15, 2017. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

Upcoming Events

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CODEcamp Kids Summer Camp

CODEcamp Kids Summer Camp 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). CODEcamp Kids - Summer Camp 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
  • Are delivered by specially-trained and passionate middle-school educators

Learn more and register HERE.

JRS Open House

Considering a new career in software development? JRS Coding School invites you to an Open House at our beautiful new location to meet our instructors and students and to learn more about the coding school experience. You'll find out how to apply and get your questions about coding school answered. Light refreshments will be served. Validation for free parking in our onsite deck will be provided at event. Additional parking is available nearby.

About JRS Coding School

JRS Coding School was established in 2016 to help bridge the gap between the demand for development expertise and the available talent in the marketplace. Upon graduating from this 12-week immersive, boot camp-style course, students are proficient at a junior professional level, able to build full-stack web applications using JavaScript. Students are also introduced to agile workflow, communication, and software lifecycle training to prepare them for working in a dynamic professional software development setting.

Why JavaScript?

JavaScript has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past few years, both in its utility as a technology and value as a skill in the job market. JavaScript is used to program everything from servers to mobile devices to microcontrollers. In their most recent reports, GitHub and RedMonk list JavaScript as the world's most popular programming language, while Burning Glass lists JavaScript as the web development skill with the highest demand in the job market.

Register now to reserve your spot at our Open House and learn more!

Questions about JRS Coding School or the Open House? Contact us at info@jackrussellsoftware.com or 843.972.4502.

Fridays @ the Corridor

Fridays @ the Corridor: Planning Your Cloud Migration – Changing the Tires While Driving

Moving is always a challenge! Whether you're moving to a new home or changing cloud providers, you have a choice of where to spend time, what to fix, throw away or bring with you. Learn how we built our strategy at Snagajob and how the plan is unfolding.

At the July Fridays @ the Corridor, Snagajob's Sr. Director of Engineering, Jen Boulware, and Rob Dozier, Director of Security, will review the strategy to migrate the PeopleMatter platform from Rackspace to AWS while continuing to deliver SaaS products. Learn more and register HERE.

Coffee and Code

Join us for Coffee and Code on Saturday, August 5. Our next 12-week class begins on Sept 18, so if you are considering enrolling in coding school, this is a great opportunity to learn more about JRS and the immersive coding school experience. There's no obligation, just a chance to see if coding school might be a good fit for you.

The day's agenda includes an open house from 10 to 11 am. You'll enjoy a continental breakfast and get answers to your questions about becoming a full-stack developer. Following the open house, there will a Pre-Course Workshop from 11 am to 3 pm. The JRS application process involves a pre-admission assignment, so interested students are invited to stay for assistance with this pre-work that day. Even if you are unsure about making the commitment to enroll, you are welcome to join us for this session. Just be sure to bring your laptop if you think you might stay for the workshop.

Intro to Web Development

CODEcamp is a continuing tech education program designed for busy adults exploring a potential new career in the software industry or working professionals seeking a career change. Students learn the fundamentals of web development (HTML, CSS & Javascript) in a hands-on classroom environment. This CODEcamp class:

  • Introduces coding & web development in a convenient and affordable after-hours format
  • Help uncover a passion and potential career in the high-wage, high-demand tech industry
  • Features a balance of lecture & lab with students writing code from the very first class
  • Are delivered by passionate professionals from Charleston's tech companies

Learn more and register HERE.

Fridays @ the Corridor - Innovation Spotlight: Ceterus

Any entrepreneur will tell you that building a successful start-up company is extremely challenging - requiring focus and tenacity. At our September Fridays, Ceterus Founder & CEO, Levi Morehouse will discuss the inspiration behind the formation of Ceterus, the challenges he has encountered along the way and how he is overcoming these business challenges to become one of the most successful start-ups in Charleston. Learn more and register HERE.

CODEcamp Meetup

Technology is in every aspect of our lives. Attend our CODEcamp meetup to learn the basis of what drives the technology we use every day. It may just spark an interest that leads you to pursue a career in web development.

During the CODecamp meetup, you will:

  • Learn about our Introduction to Web Development course
  • Meet our expert instructors
  • Hear about tech ed opportunities beyond CODEcamp

Register HERE.