January 16, 2012

New Tech Tenants

Business Review  /  Post and Courier

For the past couple of years, Earl Bridges has worked from home on Sullivan's Island. During the same period, Ron Weavil has supported his Lowcountry customers from North Carolina. This month, that changed. Due to the growth of their respective tech companies, both are settling into new offices in Charleston.

For Bridges and Good Done Great, the grant-management software development firm where he's executive vice president, it's about graduating to a physical office. Before Bridges moved into Charleston's Flagship incubator two weeks ago, all of Good Done Great's 10 employees had worked from their homes in almost as many states. But the company has been "growing a ton," Bridges said, and with customers in more than 30 states, including big names such as Hyatt and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Good Done Great has to adapt.

Bridges plans to hire two or three people this year, and if Good to Great continues on its current course, move into the bigger Flagship 2 nearby and then into a bigger office in the region. For now, he's happy to get out of the house.

"Everyone here is trying to grow businesses," Bridges said of the East Bay Street incubator. "Gets you in the right mind-set."

For Weavil, Carolinas territory manager for ModernTech, trekking down to the Palmetto State coast from Cary, N.C., had lost its charm. Also, his manufacturer customers "wanted a more local presence" for training purposes. ModernTech, based in Tennessee, sells, services and trains people to use SolidWorks computer-assisted design software and the Objet 3D printer.

So Weavil moved to Folly Beach about a month ago and was setting up his new office on Daniel Island on Friday. Weavil said he hoped to open his doors across the marsh from Blackbaud today and "gradually" hire five people. The company's clientele in the Lowcountry includes Bosch, Berchtold, Boeing subcontractors and defense contractors, Weavil said, but the plan is to expand.