June 4, 2018

Beaufort Digital Corridor Hosts Student Entrepreneurs

BDC

This summer the Beaufort Digital Corridor (BDC) is hosting a team of student entrepreneurs from the College of Charleston's ImpactX, a technology startup accelerator program, in partnership with Rotary Club of the Lowcountry, the City of Beaufort, and ImpactX.

The summer live/work/mentorship program is part of a larger economic development strategy–-the Beaufort Digital Corridor serves as liaison between institutions of higher education and the business community to enable graduates to remain in the state of South Carolina. The idea was solidified after last month's TECHconnect that featured a visit from Dr. Chris Starr, Associate Professor of Information Management at the College of Charleston School of Business. The BDC-ImpactX pilot program creates a model for launching similar projects with other partner colleges in the future.

The three-person team was one of the winners in the final pitch competition. Their project, PollPit, is an impact-driven, digital square that allows people to recognize and prioritize local issues within their community. Mayor Billy Keyserling looks forward to working with them, "I think this is good for the students and wonderful for Beaufort. For the past three years I have followed ImpactX and the parallel evening program for existing and future Charleston businesses. To witness the presentations at the end of each semester is amazing as it demonstrates what students can accomplish with the right mix of inspiration and support." By connecting students directly with the BDC's technology-incubator approach, students get direct interaction with experienced professionals that can help them with the complexities of getting their businesses launched - right here in Beaufort. Council member Stephen Murray adds, "This bridges the gap that can make the difference between successful startups that stay right here and create good paying jobs, and talented students that become someone else's employee in faraway cities and states."

Talent is one of the pillars of the Beaufort Digital Corridor. The economic vitality, global competitiveness, and prosperity of our country, and of the Beaufort community, depends on the innovation and skills of our workforce. To draw in and develop talent like this is beneficial for all.