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
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Melissa Venable, PhD Leadership Profile

Leadership Profile Interview with Melissa Venable:

Melissa Venable, a board member for the Beaufort Digital Corridor, works for Higher Education at Red Ventures as an online education advisor. As an instructional designer she has experience in industry and higher education. She is an adjunct faculty member and online course designer at Saint Leo University, and a certified career coach with a background in career development services. Melissa is also an associate editor for eLearn Magazine. She earned a PhD in Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida with research interests in distance education and support services for online students. She also holds master's degrees from Central Michigan University and the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University. In 2010 Melissa established a company of her own, Design Doc LLC, to connect with freelance and consulting projects related to online instructional design and career development.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a lot of small towns all over the Carolinas. My father worked in retail, which required us to move a lot.

How did you come to be in Beaufort?

After living in Tampa, Hawaii, and Miami, I wanted to find someplace out of the fray – to have a lifestyle away from the big city and traffic. I could live anywhere since I was working remotely though I needed to be somewhat near an airport for business travel. My sister lives in the Charleston area, so I began looking in this area. I love the outdoor activities, the weather, and the people. Beaufort has been a good fit.

**What was your first job out of college and what did you learn from it? **

My first job out of college was in Washington DC where I worked for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, a non-profit where I coordinated regional educational programs. Next, I worked for the American Red Cross in Arlington, Virginia. Working for a non-profit distills the mission that guides your work and almost always has limited resources. In the non-profit world, there are not always ideal conditions, but you figure out a way to get the job done. People are relying on you. This mind set has helped me in every job since then. I always look first to what resources I do have available.

What does your company do?

Red Ventures is a performance marketing company that works to help people discover their options and make informed and confident decisions in a variety of consumer categories, including higher education. This is accomplished by providing information and resources including interactive tools, blogs, multi-media, and research reports to support the decision-making process.

How would you describe your company's culture?

Red Ventures is fast paced organization with a list of principles that we live and work by. For example, one of these tenets is "Everything is written in pencil". The idea is that we are adaptable as an organization, encouraging team members to contribute fresh perspectives and challenge assumptions. Another is "Leaving the woodpile higher than you found it." Red Ventures contributes to its local communities through a variety of programs that pay it forward. There are multiple programs, for example, focused on mentorship and skills training to support underrepresented populations.

From your total work experience, what makes a good boss? What makes for a bad boss?

Right now, I work on a team of ten people with a team leader at the helm. I think in general a good boss understands the importance of clear direction and effective collaboration and knows how to provide the right support. Good bosses also facilitate a positive culture that results in motivated team members. I am fortunate to have that with the team I am on now. It's a great group of people collaborating from multiple time zones. I think a bad boss would be someone who micromanages, doesn't know how to prioritize the work and resources, and doesn't provide the support needed to get the job done.

Do you have a daily routine?

I am a very structured person. I get up around 6 and start my day with a cup of green tea while I check the news and my email. Then I try to take a little time to read for pleasure, to get away from the news cycle for a bit. I am at my desk usually by 7:30 where I work for a few hours before I take a break to workout. Then I am back at my desk for the day. My husband and I both work from home in separate offices. Around 5 o'clock each day we check in with each other and decide when to call a halt to the day. It is an official end of the workday. Then we have a glass of wine and plan for dinner.

What is your biggest pet peeve amongst colleagues?

Not feeling comfortable saying "I don't know." We don't always know all of the answers. Responding with an honest "I don't know the answer" can lead to good discussion, discovery of new perspectives, and opportunities for team members to contribute in different ways.

What advice would you give to new graduates?

Staying current, especially in the technology industry, is always going to be an issue. It is important to find resources you can rely on to monitor the trends. The nature of technology means we all have to keep up with the changes. It is important to monitor hiring fluctuations as well as the skills required to work or advance in the industry. It is also essential to get practical experience.

How do you juggle your responsibilities?

Careful scheduling! I parcel out my day according to what time of day I am most effective for which activity. For example, there are certain times of the day when I write best, so I schedule writing then. Since I work with a team primarily based in Seattle, the time difference is also a scheduling consideration. Good communication habits and tools also help. My team does a great job of keeping everyone informed of our individual progress.

What person has been the biggest influence on your life?

For me, my biggest professional influence has been my peer network. I have a solid group of colleagues that I went through graduate school with and worked with in some of my first jobs in higher education. Even though we now work in different parts of the industry, we still find ways to work together, presenting at conferences and consulting on current projects. We have monthly check-ins to be a sounding board for each other and just catch up with our lives in general. This kind of support has been invaluable over the years.

What inspires you?

Being able to see the results of an accomplishment. What I really appreciate is getting feedback that validates work I have done.

Mac or PC?

I am Apple all the way!

What is a book you always recommend?

_The Mayo Clinic's Guide to Stress Free Living  _by Dr. Amit Sood, MD. Dr. Sood combines neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy to outline five principles that can help you develop resilience. It is a user friendly, easy to read book where you feel like the author is in it with you. The principles address the concept of intent, helping you focus on what is important. The tips and strategies are applicable at work and in other aspects of everyday life.

What outside of work keeps you busy?

I like to run. Especially during the pandemic, running has been my outlet. I've been following a structured program since May to increase my distance and work on my pace. My husband and I used to travel a lot for work and pleasure. Now my daily run is my travel.

Nate Schaub Leapfrogs into DMS

**BEAUFORT DIGITAL CORRIDOR **

Nate Schaub Leapfrogs into DMS

Beaufort, SC – September 9, 2020 – A company owned in part by Nate Schaub, a member and resident at the Beaufort Digital Corridor, was recently acquired by Digital Media Solutions (NYSE: DMS), a publicly-traded performance marketing company that helps some of the world's biggest brands expand their reach and acquire new customers.

Nate originally moved his company, MINDFLINT, to Beaufort during the summer of 2018 and immediately became part of the Beaufort Digital Corridor (BDC) as a resident entrepreneur. After 18 months of mentorship and collaboration at the BDC, MINDFLINT was acquired by SmarterChaos, a mid-size digital marketing agency based in Denver, Colorado. Then, just 6 months later, SmarterChaos was acquired by DMS.

Schaub had this to say about the recent acquisitions: "2020 has definitely been a wild year so far. After 15 years of building a small business, it's rewarding to have that hard work recognized by a leader in our industry. I'm grateful for all the support we've received at the BDC over the past 2 years, and I'm excited about this next chapter, both for our incredible team and our clients, especially those here in Beaufort."

Kevin Klingler, BDC Chairman, commented, "We are proud of Nate. He is one of our own here at the BDC, and he has worked hard to get where he is. To have been acquired not once but twice in less than a year is an incredible show of how mentorship and hard work pay off."

The Beaufort Digital Corridor is a community-sourced business initiative to attract, nurture and promote the city's technology economy through an array of impactful programs, products and events while leveraging the city's renowned livability.

Survey Results Press Release

Beaufort Digital Corridor Finds Strong Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Lowcountry

Beaufort, SC – September 1, 2020 - A new survey from the Beaufort Digital Corridor revealed an interest in developing a diverse economy and fostering an entrepreneurial climate in the Lowcountry. More than 60% of the residents in Beaufort who responded to the survey consider themselves entrepreneurs and want to take a chance and pursue a dream. "The BDC was created for just such a purpose. As Beaufort's premier business incubator, the BDC offers tech entrepreneurs collaboration, mentorship, and a place where dreams meet reality," said Nicie Phillips, Executive Director of the BDC.

The survey, conducted during the last half of July and first half of August, gathered input from 232 Beaufort residents. The findings were an exciting mixture of new information and best kept secrets. Here are some key points:

* Over 85% of the replies showed that people either want to begin or support a startup business. "Empowering localized efforts for the innovation community is crucial as South Carolina's knowledge economy continues to grow," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt when speaking about offering grants to diversify the economy in South Carolina. The BDC is here to empower Beaufortonians.

* Not surprisingly, almost 60% were concerned about finances and having access to capital. But did you know that the Beaufort Digital Corridor has dedicated investors with committed funds for curated technology startup businesses? "The reason the Beaufort Digital Corridor exists is to help technology entrepreneurs become growing, hiring companies, and part of that process is helping to source capital," said BDC Board Chairman Kevin Klingler.

* As one would expect, 95% of Beaufort's respondents think it is a good idea to diversify the economy in the Lowcountry by creating more tech-oriented job opportunities. The BDC can help with startups by providing mentors with solid industry experience, planning next steps in business development and budgeting, and furnishing a collaborative environment in which to work.

* Over 75% are familiar with the BDC either by having heard of it or attending events such as the Fridays @ the Corridor, TECHconnect, CODEcamps, or having visited the Art Gallery. It is no secret that the BDC is open to helping others achieve their dream of starting a tech business. BDC's BASEcamp is a place where minds engage with each other as well as the community to create a thriving ecosystem here in Beaufort.

"Nurturing Beaufort's technology entrepreneurs is something we take very seriously at the BDC," said Kevin Klinger. "This survey helps us understand the Beaufort entrepreneurial climate plus the findings potentially help other education and commerce initiatives here in the Lowcountry."

Jessica Duke: Insight on Health Tech

Leadership Technology Profile on resident of Beaufort Digital Corridor, Jessica Duke

Jessica Duke, healthcare technology manager, works for Huron based out of Chicago, IL. Huron is a global consulting firm that collaborates with clients to drive strategic growth, ignite innovation, and navigate change. Jessica joined the healthcare business two and half years ago.

Where did you grow up?

I am a true Beaufortonian. I was raised in Beaufort and actually was born at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. I grew up running the streets of Mossy Oaks and graduated from Beaufort High School. When attending Beaufort High, I preformed often with the Beaufort High Theatre Department. On stage, I blossomed as a person and truly discovered my own personality. I gained strength and communication skills playing different characters.

What is your most memorable first job? What did you learn from it?

Fresh out of high school, I worked as an intern for the Arts Council of Beaufort where I had my first experiences with project management. During my internship, artists from around the country would arrive to practice and display their crafts. The executive director would assign me projects and tasks to complete. The whole experience was eye opening for this Beaufort girl.

In your own words what does your company do?

I am part of Huron's healthcare technology services group. My team and I design and implement technology solutions for our clients. Within the healthcare technology services group, different teams provide hospitals and clinics with different technology solutions focused on optimization and improvement. Our clients range from small rural hospitals or clinics to large academic health centers and hospital systems.

What drew you to this company?

Well, that is an interesting story. I was encouraged by my mentor to update by LinkedIn page with my current job experience. Shortly after, I received a private message from a recruiter at Huron. I did not think I was interested because I was not sure what consulting was. But then I thought, every door opens for a reason. I responded to the recruiter and everything flowed organically from there. The next thing I knew I was on an airplane to Chicago. It was a great opportunity that I could not deny.

How would you describe your company's culture?

Huron is an organization that believes in collaboration amongst its employees. One of the things I love about Huron is its culture. They believe in the key points of integrity, encouraging intellectual curiosity and facilitating continuing education. Even during COVID, the culture at Huron has not changed. The collaborative approach continues to be re-iterated through the stay-at-home orders and migrating to virtual meeting spaces. Huron has provided me the tools and resources to get through some of the toughest days.

What is your management style?

The technical term would be transformational. Transformational leaders work with teams to identify change, drive with vision, and equally work with team members. When working with my current team, I like to have open communication and encourage transparency. I have regular meetings to make sure we are all on the same page. I value my team's input. I think that is the way Huron approaches all projects. That is certainly how I feel when I am on a project with another leader. My company has also challenged me to grow in my management skills.

What lessons have you learned from good bosses?

Donna McHale, my current leader, has provided me an opportunity to grow in my position. She fully trusts my abilities. She has taught me how to be a constructive communicator and best of all, how to delegate! I am one of those people who thinks I need to do everything myself. I am learning to delegate. I am not there yet, but I am trying to learn.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in business?

At the end of the day, I need to step away and have personal time. Work/life balance is a difficult concept for me as an overachiever. The good thing is that Huron supports and encourages this. With COVID creating the "new normal" of working from home and not traveling, it is very easy to work 14- or 16-hour days. Therefore, burn out is still inevitable for remote workers. Work/life balance is a huge component and a hard lesson to learn. It has been one the most important lessons I have learned as a healthcare consultant. One factor that has enabled my work/life balance was the office at the Beaufort Digital Corridor (BDC). During COVID, I was able to continue to virtually meet with clients in a safe and still effective space. When my workday is completed, I can securely walk away from my workday. The atmosphere at the BDC also supports the technology growth. Kudos to Councilmen Stephen Murray for telling me about the opportunities at BDC!

What is your morning routine?

I typically get up at 4:40am and walk with my dear friend, Kristin. Kristin and I walk through the Old Point and over the Woods Memorial Bridge. This is my time to jump start my brain and to hear the latest Beaufort News. Next is my first cup of coffee and prepping for work. Then, I drive about a mile to the BDC and log in to my computer by 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. It is important for me to have quiet time prior to starting my day and get organized before other people start flooding my inbox.

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

I recommend having a well-rounded knowledge base. It is important to not limit yourself to one technology. I often see others that limit their expertise. Always seek out additional knowledge. Do not be afraid to expand into other fields. For me, having both the clinical components and technical perspectives have been useful in these fields. Also, I encourage new graduates to not just be a leader in their field but a doer. It is equally important to be versatile and a contributor as a team member.

What is your biggest pet peeve amongst colleagues?

My biggest pet peeve is when people do not actively listen during conversations. When I am having a conversation or bouncing ideas back and forth, the other person needs to be actively listening. Good listening skills are imperative to business and the healthcare field. If you can learn the skill of listening, I think you can do anything.

How do you juggle your responsibilities?

Lists! We have been very busy lately, so I make to-do lists daily. During the early morning time I make a to-do list and start checking things off throughout the day. I also keep a good calendar to make sure I am well organized. I block out times for quiet time, meeting times and constructive work time. Oh yeah, as my leader keeps telling me, delegate! I am still working on that though.

What person has been the biggest influence on your business life?

Donna McHale is a senior director in our healthcare technology group and has been in the industry for many years. She has been my manager for the last year and has steered me in the right direction. She has been my biggest champion and coach. She has taught me how to grow in the market and expand in my career.

What inspires you?

Success inspires me! As I said before, I am an overachiever and I always am striving for more. I want to be successful. I think a lot about how my accomplishments can impact my family, my community, Huron, and the healthcare industry. This is what inspires me to succeed.

Mac or PC?

PC for business and I am a Mac girl in my personal life.

What is your favorite movie?

The Goonies. I am an 80's kid!

What is your favorite go to restaurant/order?

Breakwater is my go-to. I have a thing for their calamari and the pimento cheeseburger.

Outside work, what keeps you busy?

Family, friends, and food. Being from Beaufort, I like anything on the water, the river, the pool.

FAQ regarding Relentless Challenge grant

Frequently Asked Questions about the Relentless Challenge grant:

1. What is the Relentless Challenge grant?

The South Carolina Department of Commerce Department of Innovation awards grant funds to projects that focus on fostering the relentless pursuit of transformational ideas specifically in area of entrepreneurship, talent development, and access to capital.

2. If the Beaufort Digital Corridor (BDC) is awarded this grant, what are their objectives?

To facilitate insightful programming around technology product development training for qualified applicants who understand how they will develop their idea, what they need to accomplish that goal, and do so in a timely manner.

3. What kind of ideas are you looking for?

The technology product development idea should be scalable, innovative, and sustainable. To be scalable, the product should create an incrementally wider audience that translates to the marketplace. To be innovative, it needs to be transformational and not already in existence. To be sustainable, once the idea is developed into a product, it should be able to support itself.

4. How will the BDC choose the entrepreneurs that will work with in this project?

Entrepreneurs will be selected based upon product concepts that have the best commercial potential in order to get the concepts closer to product realization. The BDC will work with USCB to identify those with quantifiable product ideas that could go to market.

5. If my product is chosen, what will the programming and training look like?

Training will be delivered through in-depth multi-hour sessions and experiential learning through video conferencing or safe social distancing. A specific methodology for developing software technology products that solve a quantifiable need in the marketplace will be engaged. Area industry experts will contribute to training on relevant commercial concepts.

6. What do I need to do to apply?

Fill out the Technology Product Development Training application located on the BDC website at Application for RC grant project. Please return to the BDC by August 25, 2020 for immediate consideration.

For further information please contact us at info@beafortdigital.com.

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