By Mike Graney
As many of you know, I lived in Massachusetts for over 40 years before relocating to Charleston two years ago. Of course I have been back to visit family and friends, but last month I went back for the first time on business. If you have paid any attention to the Charleston business scene, you are aware of the explosive growth in our metro’s IT and creative economy sector. Last year, the Milken Institute named us #4 in the US for high tech GDP growth. Of course, we are starting at a small base compared to mega-technology markets like Boston, San Francisco and Seattle, or even markets farther along the growth curve like Denver and Austin.
The Charleston Regional Development Alliance and many of our colleagues in the local tech scene, like John Osborne of the Harbor Entrepreneur Center, believe that we have reached a tipping point, and Charleston now has enough critical mass to attract the attention of companies in the more established technology markets. It was time for a reality check. So, John and I headed to Boston, and we spoke to eight technology companies ranging from $10 Million to over $1 Billion in sales. And our optimistic expectations about how Charleston would be perceived were exceeded.
CRDA has partnered with a dozen local tech companies to jointly promote a national talent attraction campaign called Charleston Open Source. Now we are confident that we can aggressively recruit companies with the same success we’re having recruiting talent. One will reinforce the other, and our combined efforts will help turbocharge the growth of Charleston’s technology sector.
Michael J. Graney
Vice President, Global Business Development
843.760.4526 | Michael Graney