Southeast’s First Tech Festival Coming to Charleston

Let the countdown begin—this April 12-14 the first and only event celebrating the Southeast’s burgeoning tech scene,20120622_crda_c8_2293

 DIG SOUTH Festival, will be launched here in the Charleston region. The three-day conference lineup will feature leading voices from Facebook, Twitter, Coca-Cola, AOL Ventures alongside Charleston’s very own TwitPic, Blackbaud and PeopleMatter, BlueIon, Benefitfocus, SPARC and more.

While the interactive digital, media and arts festival may ring South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) bells, DIG SOUTH seeks to put a more personal touch on tech conferences—serving as an platform for emerging entrepreneurs and larger companies alike. Check out the peninsula’s creative talent and get inspired visiting more than a dozen local firms at Friday’s self-guided Studio Strut.

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) has partnered with the Charleston Digital Corridor and DIG SOUTH to co-host, “Upload Charleston: Welcome to Silicon Harbor” on Friday, April 12, kicking off this premier event, spotlighting Charleston’s most innovative companies and entrepreneurs.

Charleston’s tech scene is experiencing tremendous growth and momentum and folks around the world are starting to take notice:  

  • In March, Charleston ranked #3 in’s annual “Top 30 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs” in the small-size city category.
  • Just weeks later, we learned Charleston-based Benefitfocus was looking to go public (following in the footsteps of its Charleston neighbor, Blackbaud).
  • Days later, Charleston’s HR software startup PeopleMatter, whose clients include Applebee’s, Dunkin Donuts and Pizza Hut (to name a few), announced a $19 million VC win from Silicon Valley.
  • Most recently, a feature in the Financial Times, “Southern ascent: Charleston is on the rise as a high-tech hub” showcased Charleston as a metro area that has “always punched far above its weight” noting our region’s “increasing numbers of young creatives” and “thriving high-tech sector” as major contributors.

Charleston has the data to back up the buzz: with some 250 small-scale high-tech firms as well as major players like Google and Amazon, there are currently 11,000 direct jobs from Charleston’s digital economy, according to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research. In fact, Charleston ranks as one of the top 10 fastest growing U.S. hubs for software and internet technology, despite being the nation’s 75th largest metro area.

Home to “Silicon Harbor,” now we’re home to “SXSE.”  We hope to see you in Charleston next week for DIG SOUTH and take part in this impressive group of leaders, innovators and interactive fun.

To learn more about DIG SOUTH, visit DIGSOUTH.COM. More updates to come on this inaugural Charleston conference after the show!

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