September 1, 2020

Survey Results Press Release

Nicie Phillips

BDC Finds Strong Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Lowcountry

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."