TECHNOLOGY DRIVES THE SOUTH (AND BRANDWARE JOINS ETC, THE SOUTH'S EXECUTIVE TECH COUNCIL)
To succeed as a communicator, be prepared to stay in student mode. That’s been my mantra since I left academia many moons ago, and it’s one that we preach at Brandware. Unless you’re learning daily, you’re doing yourself and clients a disservice. And, what better way not to get left in the digital dust than to interact with innovators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from the one sector that arguably is the single most important influence on today’s and tomorrow’s business strategies – technology.
That’s why we’re excited to have been invited to join www.etcsouth.com whose members come from both start-up and established tech and digital companies, many of them headquartered in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte and other Southeast hubs (but by no means limited to our region). We’ll be gathering inspiration at upcoming meetings and sharing our learnings.
Whether it’s automotive, financial, health or enterprise, tech and digital advancements are changing our work and personal lives – literally daily. Silicon Valley may be the original, but today there are tech hubs coast to coast, from Silicon Desert (Phoenix) to Silicon Hills (Austin) and Silicon Harbor (Charleston). Tech delivers enormous economic impact, a fact that continues to greatly benefit those of us who live and work in the South. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2017 “Tech Cities 1.0” report, Brandware’s home office city, Atlanta, ranks 17th in the nation, with other nearby Southeastern tech hubs also making the list, including the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area (#5) and Nashville (#25). And, while the my personal hometown of Charleston, SC doesn’t (yet) make the Top 25 list, USA Today points out that the Holy City is home to 250+ tech companies and has “quietly become the No. 1 mid-sized U.S. metro area (500,000 to 1 million) for IT job growth.
Both the public and private sectors are creating resources and incubators to keep the tech economy growing and thriving, from Charleston’s Digital Corridor and Atlanta’s Advanced Technology Development Center and Tech Village. Digital and tech innovation, once the domain of big-name conferences such as SXSW have also found a vibrant stage, thanks to the annual DigSouth conference in Charleston, SC (April 25-27 this year, a mighty fine time to visit the Lowcountry, by the way).
Stanfield and Sunny Gray, the founders of DigSouth, launched the ETC late last year to allow more in-depth and personalized engagement among tech and digital leaders from multiple industries. According to Stan, “"ETC South is the region's first and foremost elite peer network for leaders who embrace disruption, scale companies and capitalize on opportunities. ETC members are insides drawn from the South’s top 500 tech companies poised for hyper-growth." You’ll find many familiar – and new names on the member list. Our notepads are ready.