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A career-focused technology startup and a USC Beaufort computer science professor are among the first tenants of the Beaufort Digital Corridor’s BASECamp, a renovated office space in downtown Beaufort. The initiative seeks to bring technology companies and entrepreneurs to the city in an effort to draw high-paying jobs and boost the local economy.
The Digital Corridor planned to celebrate its grand opening Thursday at 500 Carteret St.
Vireo Labs is the corridor’s first technology startup and plans to launch its first application — called C’reer — this month. The app will be available for iOS and Android and seeks to match students with the right colleges and careers.
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Vireo Labs co-founder Ian Leslie previously directed interactive services and social media at Savannah College of Art and Design and is a former journalist at The Beaufort Gazette. The app has been submitted to Apple and will then be offered to Google Play.
C’reer should be live by the end of next week, Leslie said.
USC Beaufort will also have an office in the space for its computational science program, which will allow students to work with entrepreneurs, assistant professor Brian Canada said in the release.
Another early Digital Corridor member is CityTrex owner Burton Sauls. His media company provides digital downloads of locals telling stories of the Lowcountry for walking tours or other purposes.
Sauls said he was excited about working with the Digital Corridor after meeting with program manager Karen Warner, and that he has encouraged kids to participate in planned camps to teach coding.
Sauls plans to expand his business into other markets such as Asheville, N.C., and Nashville. But after launching the company in 2007 with partners, he is the sole remaining owner and has had to take on a number of roles there.
The Digital Corridor could help with networking and crowd-sourcing answers to problems or soliciting ideas, Sauls said.
“I think you’ll be able to network with other folks and be able to find some of the resources I’m lacking in the area,” he said. “Instead of sustaining the business, the plan is to scale it up.”