From April 28 to May 2, our hustlin’ and bustlin’ city of Charleston, SC, was home to Dig South 2015, hosted by Cinebarre. Organized by one of Mount Pleasant’s own, Stanfield Gray, Dig South Festival has become an annual gathering in Charleston since 2012 and provides a brilliant channel through which leading brands can meet the smartest startups and participants can network, share innovative ideas, raise capital, and launch new businesses. Featuring more than 200 presenters, 1,500 conference-goers, and 5,000 total attendees, sparks went off in Mount Pleasant over the span of just a few days. I gained a lot of knowledge through attending seminars, soaking in all the success stories, and just being in the company of some of the greatest business innovators and owners out there. Mostly, the event caused me to realize how red hot Charleston has become as a center for emerging tech-related businesses in the Southeast, including Google, Boeing, Benefitfocus, Blackbaud, SPARC, PeopleMatter, Blue Acorn, BoomTown, Amazon, and many others. My entrepreneurial lightbulb was lit.
Charleston has a reputation for balancing work and play, so not only did the week consist of seminars, conferences, and keynote speakers, but there was also an abundance of after-parties, happy hours, shindigs, mash-ups, and some great music along the way.
“Mexo-Americana” folk indie-rock band David Wax Museum playing some great tunes like “Yes, Maria, Yes” with unique instruments, including the quijada, the jarana, the accordion, and the fiddle
David Wax Museum drum solo
CofC student Collective Disparity pinning and beatboxing, creating an uplifting musical experience and a pleasant atmosphere for lunchtime after a morning full of seminars and keynote speakers
DJ Party Dad spinning some old-school funky vinyl for happy hour under the tent full of networking businesspeople
Art & Music trailer—crafts inside!
Networking with Sparc
Bo Birmingham of Inc. magazine telling the story of the exit strategy of a San Francisco ranch owner
An interview with Brandi Temple, founder and CEO of Lolly Wolly Doodle
Stanfield Gray thanking Dig South's sponsors and attendees
Charleston is proving to be an emerging city for startup software and tech companies. Dig South Interactive Festival is a wonderfully beneficial event that will continue to draw more attention to the Holy City as a big player in the startup, entrepreneurial, and tech industries, which will continue to boost our already growing economy. Dig South isn’t just a tech festival, though, as founder Stanfield Gray said in an interview with LowcountrybizSC. “The vision for the Festival is to operate at the intersection of business, technology, culture and quality of life.” I encourage you to check out the schedule for Dig South 2016 and to never stop buiding connections. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, you should buy your tickets now and save some money.
Photographs by Big Funk Photography