July 1, 2013

Boeing Back on Track; BiblioLabs Seeks Project Funds

Brendan Kearney  /  Post & Courier

Boeing's 787 program had a tough start to the year when a pair of smoky battery malfunctions prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to ground the global fleet for more than three months.

Since the plane returned to flight in April, there have been a few more glitches, but the program is mostly back on track, especially when it comes to deliveries.

When the 787 was grounded, 50 had been delivered. As of midday Friday, 65 were in the hands of 12 customers.

Last week, Boeing handed over British Airways' first 787, and International Lease Finance Corp. accepted its first as well.

Meanwhile, the North Charleston campus seemed to be on the verge of delivering its first plane to a customer other than Air India.

A China Southern 787 made three flights last week, while a Hainan Airlines 787 cruised to Columbia and back.

Going to school

Founded in 2006 by the same Charleston guys who sold their self-publishing firm BookSurge to Amazon, BiblioLabs has been doing pretty well.

With just 15 employees at the time, the on-demand publisher and app-maker recorded revenues of $17.5 million in 2011. And it's only grown since, in head count and product line-up, most notably a historical archive app platform called BiblioBoard that it says has been adopted around the world.

So now the crew on Calhoun Street wants to keep the spread of BiblioBoard going while giving back in the process. The company is offering to roll the app to underserved South Carolina schools if you pay for it.

Starting today, you can go to local crowdfunding site fundingSC.com and pledge money to a project the company is calling UnlockSC.

If the effort raises enough money, BiblioLabs will provide permanent licenses for BiblioBoard, a huge collection of books, images, documents, artifacts, sounds and video to schools in Dillon, Marlboro and Clarendon counties. Contingent on further funding, BiblioLabs would "unlock," or make the app available, in schools in other counties.

According to the company, selling BiblioBoard to every school in the state would cost $6.25 million. "Instead, we are crowdfunding it to the tune of a 96.3% discount," its website states. "Not bad, eh?"

Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him on Twitter at @kearney_brendan.