Charleston's Second Tech Incubator is Open For BusinessAshley Fletcher Frampton / Charleston Regional Business Journal
The city of Charleston?s second incubator for knowledge-based businesses, the Flagship 2, is now open with most of its 17 offices filled.
The city of Charleston's second incubator for knowledge-based businesses, the Flagship 2, is now open with most of its 17 offices filled.
City officials on Wednesday celebrated the launch of the 13,700-square-foot building, which was transformed over the last six months from its former uses as a television studio and retail store into modern, minimalist office spaces.
The building's new purpose is to give technology-oriented companies affordable, wired space in the heart of the city, along with a connection to the resources needed for growth.
That connection comes from the city's Office of Business Development and its partnership with the Charleston Digital Corridor, a public-private effort to attract and nurture a knowledge economy locally.
Located at 78 Alexander St., the Flagship 2 is adjacent to the city's original business incubator, the Flagship. The building at the corner of East Bay and Calhoun streets, which opened in June 2009, was formerly a video store.
The Flagship is meant for businesses in the startup phases and as a temporary landing pad for firms relocating to Charleston. The 12 offices there are small, between 75 and 150 square feet.
The Flagship 2 was developed for companies that are established and growing, with spaces ranging from 300 to 3,000 square feet. But like the original Flagship, the leased space isn't meant to be permanent.
"Our goal is that our tenants don't stay here long," Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said Wednesday.
The idea is for companies to grow out of their incubator space, ultimately adding more jobs in community, Riley said.
Companies now in the Flagship, together with the 16 that have graduated from it, have raised more than $22 million in capital and created about 86 jobs, according to the city.
The city's capital investment in the Flagship was $120,000, officials said.
The city paid $500,000 to renovate the Flagship 2. Tenant rents are expected to cover all operating expenses.