What We Do

The Beaufort Digital Corridor nurtures and promotes technology entrepreneurs. Our BASEcamp facility - located in downtown Beaufort - provides scalable office space for tech startups and coworking desks for remote workers. BDC offers networking opportunities, continuing education, and member-driven programs to help grow the tech economy in the Lowcountry.

Talent

Opportunities Abound
LowcountryWorks Tech Business Directory, Talent Portal, CODEcamp, Game On!, Live Work Mentor

Spaces

Get Working
Work Spaces, Scalable Offices, Coworking Desks, Conference Room, Event and Meeting Space

Community

Peer Networking
TECHconnect, BASEcamp Gallery, Fridays @ the Corridor, Coworking @ the Corridor, Beaufort Free Wi-fi

Capital

Accelerating Growth
Regional Tech Investors, Capital-related Education, Pitch Events, Looking to add to Investors List
STATS

Latest News

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Student Spotlight: Tristan Luikey

Imagine landing your dream job before even being old enough to go to a bar and celebrate! Not many people go straight from receiving their high school diploma to receiving a high-powered job offer, but Tristan Luikey put in the work to make it happen.

Luikey, an eighteen-year-old Beaufort native and volunteer at the Beaufort Digital Corridor (BDC), will be relocating to Tampa for a role with ReliaQuest, a cybersecurity company that counts St. Jude's Children's Hospital, the Boston Celtics, and Hard Rock Cafe amongst its clientele.

In lieu of a college degree, he independently taught himself the fundamentals of cybersecurity and ethical hacking, dedicating several hours each day to hone his craft on his own time after school. In addition, he also started his own cybersecurity consulting side-hustle, carrying out penetration tests for local businesses. But Tristan also credits the educational offerings and community he found at the BDC for his early success.

"__[The BDC is] a great place. They offer the path and courses to learn the skills for cybersecurity, and they'll help you with resume building, gaining experience, and networking. The Beaufort Digital Corridor has helped me tremendously," said Luikey.

In August, Luikey was honored at TECHConnect, the BDC's monthly networking event. Before departing to Tampa for his new job, he was honored with a chocolate cake toast and was able to find a few minutes between congratulations to sit down for an interview.

Where do you consider home?

Right now I live in Port Royal, but soon I'll be living on my own in Tampa for work.

What was your first experience working with computers?

My first experience was in the third grade – we had an iMac and I played a lot of games on that, and that's how I got started thinking about how computers work.

It's fascinating that you were able to see past the fun of the games and question the mechanics. Is that what made you interested in computing?

No, it was hardware! Building computers, picking out parts for future computers and learning about how each part works.

When did you know you wanted to pursue cybersecurity in particular, then?

About a year ago, when I read that it didn't require a college degree. That was when I became interested!

What obstacles have you faced that have dissuaded you from college?

I've got dyslexia and ADHD, so those are obstacles, but I know how to find ways around them. Another one is my age – I'm seventeen, and finding work wasn't ideal because a lot of companies won't hire until you're eighteen. I was lucky enough to get an interview because I'm just about to turn eighteen, and I'm happy they took a chance on me.

Without a degree, you still need to be able to prove you have the experience, so you have to do internships or find another way to get experience. You need technical knowledge, but also to have soft skills, to counteract your age. For dyslexia, I use a lot of spelling programs and read through everything carefully. There's not as much you can do about ADHD.

What else do you like to do in your free time, Tristan?

I like cars, so I drive quite a bit, and listen to podcasts.

What was school like for you?

Senior year of high school was my best year. I was given a lot more freedom to explore activities I liked to do. After classes, I would spend up to 4 hours a day on skill refining websites, earning the top 2% ranking on HackTheBox and a top 500 placement on TryHackMe. And, of course, looking for jobs.

It takes a lot of guts to break out on your own, but you have the talent to make it work! How did you actually find this job?

A recruiter reached out to me through my LinkedIn profile, and we started the interview process from there. Jess O'Brien, Executive Director at the Beaufort Digital Corridor, taught me how to research interview questions, negotiate salaries, and checked in on me throughout the interview process.

How long have you been coming to the Beaufort Digital Corridor?

I started coming to the Beaufort Digital Corridor about a year ago, October 2021.

And how has being a member here helped you in your career, or just in your personal development?

Well, it's helped me a lot from the social side. They built up the importance of LinkedIn and helped me with my profile. And constructing my resume, that made a huge difference.

So you've made some good work or personal connections here?

Yes, I've met a lot of people who have taught and mentored me, and I've learned quite a bit from the people I've talked to.

_Describe an average day in the life of Tristan. _

I wake up, some days I do a lot of work – recently I've been doing malware analysis, so getting malware code samples, taking them apart, and finding out what they do and how they work. I usually stay up until 10 PM-12 AM doing that.

What advice would you give to someone young who is interested in following in your footsteps?

**Keep persisting. There are multiple avenues to finding your path, so you kind of have to find your own way, and not quit. **

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully still working in the field. I kind of want to move into threat detection or possibly pen (penetration) testing, so I'm hoping to move up into one of those roles. But the field changes so quickly, it's hard to gauge where you're going to be in 10 years. There might be jobs that don't exist now that exist in a decade that I might want to do, so we'll see.

What is your biggest goal in life?

Pssh, I'd like to be able to retire at, like, forty.

What else motivates you besides retiring young?

Small little wins, like being able to successfully do something you maybe weren't able to do a few months ago. Learning and figuring out how to do that, you can move on to accomplishing bigger goals.

Final thoughts?

Never give up, keep being persistent, and try hard.

As the conversation wound down and Tristan returned to the event, I reflected that there couldn't have been a more apt choice for a member success story. For someone so young, he knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. He may not have taken the most traditional route to success, but he knew when to invest in himself. Anyone, at any age, could take a thing or two from Tristan's perseverance and discipline. Far from an underdog, he's a testament to what the BDC stands for. We at the Beaufort Digital Corridor wish Tristan the best of luck in all his future endeavors, in Tampa and beyond!

Brightspeed Boosts Fiber Optics in South Carolina

Brightspeed announced that it will deliver, by the end of 2023, up to 14,000 new fiber passings in Beaufort County during the first phase of its fiber optics network build in the state of South Carolina.

Brightspeed plans to add 36,000 fiber passings in the state in subsequent years of its build plan, for a total of up to 50,000 fiber-enabled locations across its South Carolina footprint.

"Expanding access to faster, more reliable, and user-friendly internet is our number one priority," said Sherry Hessenthaler, operations strategy lead for Brightspeed.

"High-quality broadband has never been more important, whether for work, education, telemedicine, entertainment, or simply staying connected. We are ready to hit the ground running with our deployment in Beaufort County and are looking forward to introducing customers to our state-of-the-art Brightspeed products and services."

The South Carolina build is part of Brightspeed's comprehensive plan to invest at least $2 billion in its fiber optics transformation, which is expected to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years, including in many locations where fiber and advanced technology have not historically been implemented.

"Ensuring that South Carolinians have access to quality broadband has never been more important, but it requires communication, collaboration, and cooperation with partners in the private sector, like Brightspeed," said Gov. Henry McMaster.

"We're grateful for Brightspeed's investment in Beaufort County and look forward to continuing our work together in this increasingly important endeavor."

South Carolina is among the 20 states that make up Brightspeed's service territory, mainly in rural and suburban regions of the country.

Brightspeed will initially be composed of incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) assets and associated operations of Lumen Technologies, which are the subject of a pending acquisition by Apollo-managed funds.

Brightspeed's next-generation FTTP architecture is being engineered to accelerate deployment and market availability.

Brightspeed plans to announce other state-specific network build plans in the coming weeks.

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Beaufort Digital Corridor Offers STEAM-based Field Trips for K-8th Grades

Beaufort, SC – August 15, 2022 – This school year, the Beaufort Digital Corridor (BDC) will host field trips for K-8th grade classes. The field trips will consist of 2.5-hour in-person workshops where students and teachers can come together and explore the integration of tech and academics.

Each workshop has been hand-selected to fit the interests and skill level to best engage each age group and explore the subjects of game design, animation and music introducing students to coding concepts in various forms and modalities.

In addition to students coming away from the workshops with new technical literacy, teachers will also be given the lesson plan, Google Slides and a video of the workshop so they can recreate the program for their classrooms.

Beginner and intermediate students are welcome. The field trips will kick off on September 21, 22, and 23 at the Beaufort Digital Corridor, a high-tech facility located in Downtown Beaufort at 500 Carteret Street.

  • Wednesday, September 21 | 6th - 8th grades: "Get Your Game On" - Games are a fun pastime, but can also be useful as a tool for learning new skills. Through the process of coding games, we also can practice creative problem solving when making our own games, whether they are simple quiz games or more complex platformers. In this workshop, blend game design and coding skills using Scratch to make your own educational game! Scratch is a coding language that allows you to create your own interactive stories, games, and animations.
  • Thursday, September 22 | 3rd - 5th grades: "The Principles of Animation"- Animation is a method in which figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery. Using the art of software development and applying coding principles, students will explore and create animation for application. We will create a short animation based on the 12 principles of animation and computer science. Get ready to animate!
  • Friday, September 23 | K - 2nd grades: "The Rhythm of Code: Making Melodies" - Music and computer programming have more in common than you might think. Writing code and composing music both rely on processes of decomposition, breaking down the input of smaller parts to understand how they work together. In this workshop, Students will investigate the basics of music theory, rhythm & tempo, and how to code their own songs. We will create a program to complete a musical tune using sequential steps by breaking complex sounds into simple parts to create a song.

Let's get creative with digital technology! During each workshop, we will explore using technology to create real, quick and standards based fun projects!

What Students Get:

  • :10-:15 minutes BDC tour
  • :60 minutes classroom / workshop
  • :15 minutes snack break
  • :15 minutes Stop & Chat with a tech professional
  • :45 minutes workshop experimental time, recap & closing remarks

Total Lesson Time: 2.5 hours

What Teachers Get:

  • Lesson plan, Google Slides and a video to recreate program for their classrooms

Field trips may be requested by either individual classes, schools or educational organizations. Interested in introducing your class to tech through hands-on STEAM workshops? Sign-up today by emailing: info@beaufortdigital.com.

→ Request a Field Trip

→ Download the Field Trip Flyer

Evening Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners Coming to the BDC in Fall

Register Here

Take a look around you. Your immediate vicinity might be perfectly safe and still – but what about the multitude of devices and digital information that surrounds us in our increasingly-connected lives? Although it may not be initially apparent, our economy, leisure, and national security all depend on the reliability and privacy of the technological systems they're built upon. These complex technical networks seemingly underscore our every action, from ordering food to paying bills – and new, constantly-evolving threats to their integrity are presenting themselves on a daily basis. Those working in cybersecurity are our first line of defense against devastating attacks such as malware, ransomware, and data breaches. Are you willing to join their ranks?

Sign-up Now

There's an art and a science to protecting machines and those who use them, and the Beaufort Digital Corridor is presenting a new series of three 8-week mini courses that will make it simple to learn. Designed especially for novices and newcomers to the topic of cybersecurity – including current or graduating students, business owners, transitioning military members, or anyone looking for a promising new career path –- this trio of courses will gradually but concisely introduce the fundamentals of cybersecurity and everything one needs to make an entry into the field, no matter what their background. Taught by Technical College of the Lowcountry professor and Cybersecurity Program Director Angela Fantom Kern, CISSP, CISA, M. Ed, MBA, the three interconnected courses will culminate in an entry-level Security Risk Analysis (SRA) Certificate – which itself can open doors to salaries starting at $65K on average!

Cyber Security Course List for Beginners

The three parts of the series are broken down into key areas of most importance in cybersecurity: the course list starts with a broad overview of issues and concepts in Cybersecurity for Beginners, including malicious activity, cryptography, and access control, and the follow-up courses cover Security Policy & Procedures for Small Business Owners, through to Risk Analysis & Management, including the creation of your very own professional risk management plan.

In the interest of accessibility and efficiency, classes only require a time investment of 90 minutes a week, for 8 weeks per course. That's 6 hours a month to a brand-new world of opportunities. And the best part? No homework will be assigned! If you ever find yourself wondering how hackers across the world can access confidential information, how sensitive business and governmental data is fortified from prying eyes and enemy forces, or how codes can be used to secure devices and their contents, then this beginner's cybersecurity course offered locally in Beaufort, SC will be a pragmatic career move – and a lot of fun for you, too. Multiple scholarships will be made available on a needs-first basis, so sign up now if you can potentially see yourself in the flourishing cybersecurity industry.

The next big phase of your life is starting August 31st. Are you ready to begin? Register today.

Beaufort Triple Crown 5K race series coming in October

→ Run / Walk in the Run Forrest Run 5K      

→ Sponsor the Run Forrest Run 5K

There's good news for local runners coming up this fall. Three local organizations have partnered to create a family-friendly 5k race series dubbed, the "Beaufort Triple Crown."

The series spans across 3 Saturdays in October.

Saturday, October 8th, 2022 | Run Forrest Run 5K: Beaufort Digital Corridor kicks off the series and all proceeds support the mission of bridging the tech career gap between school and work.

Saturday, October 15th, 2022 | Swing Bridge Run: The run supports HTCCS mission to provide rigorous classical education to children regardless of financial means.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022 | Flying Frog 5K: This unique course is on the runway at beautiful Beaufort Executive Airport. This race supports the Altitude Academy, a lowcountry program dedicated to educating youth on aviation.

Participants who complete all three races will be eligible for special series awards for best combined time that will be awarded at the final race in the series. Individual registration and participation required for all three races to qualify.

"We are thrilled to see three great organizations coming together to form the Triple Crown Race Series and we are excited to provide timing this year," Tim Waz, owner of Grounded Running in Beaufort.

"While every event we support is special in itself, having three amazing events in one month offers participants a unique new challenge to do all three.

Beaufort continues to rank as one of the healthiest cities in America and we love supporting a lifestyle focused on physical fitness as a component of overall health and well-being. Grounded Running is proud to partner with Beaufort Digital Corridor, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School, and Beaufort Executive Airport to put on this series, as well as to support each and every participant by providing a top quality race experience and support for each individual to reach and exceed his or her fitness goals," he added.

All courses are USATF certified, timing is provided by Grounded Running and a unique finishers medal is sponsored by Stokes Toyota Hilton Head.

Registration for the Beaufort Triple Crown series is only available until October 5, 2022. To
qualify, you must register for each of the individual races above and select "yes" on the
participation question above.

Beaufort Triple Crown participants will receive different colored race bibs from other participants and will be timed for the singular races as well as the overall series and compete to win both series finisher and overall placer medals.

The top 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall male and female winners will take home the prize.

Register for the Swing Bridge Run: bit.ly/SwingBridgeRun * Register for the Flying Frog 5k: bit.ly/FlyingFrog5k

For more information, you can find the event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BeaufortTripleCrown/

July 2022 Updates

From the desk of the Executive Director:
It's officially festival season in Beaufort! Are you excited? We know we are! We will be hosting a booth at the Beaufort Water Festival's non-profit expo taking place on Saturday, July 23rd from 12-4pm. Throughout the water festival, we will also be premiering our new commercial on the jumbotron.

BDC members have been busy behind the scenes storyboarding, writing, directing, filming, modeling and editing this promo and it truly showcases some of the diverse tech ecosystem in Beaufort. Check out the sneak peak of this amazing video produced by 1212 Design! Apart from all the festival activities, we've curated a list of great speaking and networking events for you to participate in. Don't have FOMO!

Read the full newsletter here

Summer 2022 Newsletter

From the desk of the Executive Director:

This May marked 1-full year since I traded in my Mad Men_™_ world of advertising career to run a non-profit full-time. As I reflect on the past year, I'd like to take a moment to thank each of you for your support and encouragement along the way! I can't believe how fast the time has flown and how much we've grown together.

Together we transitioned from Zoom to in-person networking, introduced a new Board Chair plus 2 new board members, established a new strategic framework, hired employee #2, ran a Forrest Gump themed 5K, launched a cybersecurity certificate program, hosted several lunch & learn events, dressed up like our favorite 90's icons (Party on Wayne), onboarded many new members, piloted a Mobile Gaming Accelerator for students, organized Beaufort's very first Startup Weekend and so much more!

And we're not stopping anytime soon. Ready to hit play on year 2? Check out the list of upcoming events below. Be sure to save the date for our special Member Appreciation Night on Thursday, June 16th! You won't want to miss it!

Jess O'Brien, Executive Director

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Upcoming Events

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BDCu SRA 110 - Intro to Cybersecurity

Register Here

This beginner-friendly course introduces the fundamentals of cybersecurity.

About this event

Who is this class for?

  • Students seeking alternative education or wishing to enter the workforce post-grad.
  • Transitioning Military seeking to enter the field of cybersecurity.
  • Small Business Owners - This mini course trains business owners and their employees on the fundamentals of cybersecurity.

What will I learn?

Upon completion of this course, the participant should have a good understanding of the need for cybersecurity, including the scope and purpose of malicious activity.

Concepts such as the Internet, the "Internet of Things" (IoT), and the ways in which networks are connected and vulnerable, will be discussed.

Essential elements of cybersecurity will be introduced including:

  • Access Control, the method used to restrict access to sensitive data.
  • Security Operations and Administration, the action of identifying important, valuable company assets and related documents for the task of policy and procedure creation.
  • Risk management, the methods in which cyber threats can be monitored, identified, and mitigated.
  • Cryptography, the use of codes to hide and protect sensitive data from unauthorized access or malicious activity.
  • Network Security, a cybersecurity subfield that focuses on protecting an organization's network from threats, including: denial-of-service attacks, malware, and internal attackers.
  • Cybersecurity certifications, the method in which cybersecurity professionals specialize, train, and further their career path.

This course will also cover the intersection of cybersecurity and the law. The legal responsibilities of businesses and professionals to protect their client's sensitive data will be discussed.

This introductory course provides the necessary foundational information to begin and continue one's cybersecurity training. Upon completion, the student will be prepared for the second course in this three part mini-series: Security Policy & Procedures for Small Business Owners.

Completing all three courses in this mini-series grants the student an entry level Security Risk Analyst Certificate.

Register Today

BDCu SRA 111 - Security Policy & Procedures

Register Here

This beginner-friendly course introduces business owners, employees or students to cyber-security policy, procedures and best practices.

About this event

Who is this class for?

  • Students seeking alternative education or wishing to enter the workforce post-grad.
  • Transitioning Military seeking to enter the field of cybersecurity.
  • Small Business Owners

What will I learn?

The importance and practicality of policy, procedure, and protocol will be discussed, as will industry recommended best practices. A sound information security program is initiated at the executive leadership level; therefore, this course will be particularly beneficial for individuals seeking an advancement into a leadership position or wishing to improve their executive skills.

Participants will learn to write security policy and produce effective implementation plans to better protect their organizations from digital threats and liabilities. This course includes business templates to create effective policies, procedures, and agreements, for administrators, staff, third party contractors, and users.

Additional topics introduced in this mini-course include:

  • COBIT, a powerful framework used to maintain control, reliability, and quality of IT systems used by a business or organization.
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), a set of best practice guidelines designed to mitigate cybersecurity risks within organizations.

This introductory course provides the necessary foundation to continue one's cybersecurity training. Upon completion, the student will be prepared for the third course in this mini-series: Risk Analysis & Management.

Completing all three courses in this mini-series grants the participant an entry level Security Risk Analyst Certificate.

Register Today