Bluffton resident David Nelems, founder and former president of an Atlanta-based technology company, has been chosen to lead the Don Ryan Center for Innovation.
The center is a Bluffton nonprofit organization that helps startup companies and entrepreneurs.
Nelems, who was recommended by the center's board of directors, was selected by town manager Anthony Barrett to be the center's new executive director. He begins starts Aug. 19.
"This is a perfect fit for my skill set," Nelems said in a statement. "I have walked the steps myself of establishing an Internet startup, guiding my company through road shows for institutional investors, developing and selling cutting-edge technology and, ultimately, selling the company."
Nelems founded ActiveGroup, a private company that provided video-streaming services for marketing-research businesses. The technology allowed marketing clients to view their focus groups in nearly 450 different locations in real-time, eliminating the need for clients to travel, according to a town news release.
Nelems will earn $70,000 a year from the center, a partnership among the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, CareCore National and the town. It offers a technology incubator program to assist entrepreneurs, inventors and small-businesses.
Other finalists for the job were Maryann Bastnagel of Hilton Head Island, the founder and principal consultant of IT Matters LLC, and Jennifer Bonnett of Atlanta, a community catalyst with the Advanced Technology Development Center, according to a town news release.
Nelems will replace Jordan Berliner, who resigned in May. Deputy town manager Marc Orlando has been serving as interim director since Berliner's departure.
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