Robots Invading the SC Coast

This week marks the beginning of the season in which robots are among us!  Anyone who has been to a "FIRST Lego Robotics" event before can tell you that these tournaments are packed with the area's brightest, most energetic leaders of the future.  Check out any of these upcoming events to learn more about the kids in your backyard that are not only building robots, but also inventing incredible solutions to some of our world's biggest problems!

Nov 19  — Horry Regional Qualifier
Myrtle Beach High School, 3302 Robert M Grissom Parkway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Dec 3  — Georgetown Regional Qualifier 
Waccamaw Intermediate School,  320 Wildcat Way, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

 Jan 21 — East State Championship
Waccamaw High School, 2412 Kings River Rd, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

Interested in helping out hundreds of these geniuses? This program REALLY NEEDS volunteers to help on event day!  Contact Brandy Incorvia to learn more: volunteer@scrobotics.org.

Working from Home in Myrtle Beach (Pants Optional)

Imagine living on an east coast beach while getting paid a west coast salary, commuting all the way from your bed to your home office, setting your own dress code (pants optional), and absolutely loving logging in to have a morning chat with your coworkers every day.

Well this is what life is like for Amber, who lives in her Surfside townhouse and works remotely for SugarCRM, a global software company headquartered in Silicon Valley. The office that she reports to however, is in Munich, Germany.

"I wake up at 3am and send a good morning message to my team in Munich every day. I know 3am sounds early, but you get used to it.  The best part is that my workday is done at noon. I usually head down to the beach to take a nap, and then spend the rest of the afternoon however I wish!"

Lauren also collaborates with a team around the world right from her home office on the Grand Strand.  She works for On The Go Systems (a Wordpress plugin developer based in Greece), and couldn't be happier with the way that her life has changed with a remote working career.

"After having my son, I quickly realized the cost of daycare would take a large portion of any paycheck I could make working in my field.  Working from home has allowed me spend quality time with my son, forego the cost of having someone else watch him... and still have a career!"

It turns out that these careers are not as rare on the Grand Strand as one might think! There are people who move here with their remote careers to maximize on their quality of life while maintaining an affordable cost of living.

PC Matic is a security software that grossed $13M last year.  They have 42 remote employees in 10 different states, and their Founder/CEO, Rob Cheng, lives and works right here in Myrtle Beach along with 11 other PC Matic employees in the Grand Strand area.  He noted the essential detail that has contributed to the remote working explosion in the last decade: The accessibility of broadband.

Since then, companies have been building their businesses with a remote working culture in their DNA.  Most remote workers agree that it requires some intentionality to have a healthy "remote working culture." Cameron works from his home in The Market Common as a UX Designer for a software company in Northern Virginia called HRWorx. He explained how his team's communication strategy keeps everyone in sync.

"HRworx relies heavily on Skype for our primary communication. Every day we have an 11am Skype call to go over any topics that may need to be addressed that day - this helps keep our small team aligned throughout each day. We also utilize tools like Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc to collaborate on documentation."

Lauren also noted on the hiring method that her company takes on to structure for a healthy remote working environment,

"I think the employers that understand the benefit of having remote workers also have this high sense of trust. And a keen awareness of people that don’t have to be micromanaged."

Thinking about applying for a remote working career?  Well these seasoned remote workers have some advice for you:

1. Look for companies that have a good track record with remote workers. There are a lot of remote jobs available, but not all of them are quality jobs! For more on this check out remoteworking.coweworkremotely.com, and remote.co.

2. Take online certifications tests that will prove your proficiency in your field. Having a grade on your LinkedIn Profile in software proficiencies will help your chances!

3. Make sure you have a strong web presence for these companies to learn about you.  Your job market competition opens up to the entire world once you go remote! It has become even more important to showcase your talent.

Interested in meeting people in the local remote working community?  Reach out to meagan@gstechcouncil.org.

Robotics Team Engineers Creative Halloween Costumes for WheelChair Bound

The Socastee High School Robotics Team has been busy this Halloween season making costumes for three of their friends who get around using wheels.  The team wanted to give these three kids costumes that they could get about, and would fit them uniquely.

CLICK HERE to watch a video of the team fitting Knox for his baseball costume!

In the article above, Kyle Myres (math teacher and robotics coach at Socastee HS) told the Sun News: 

“We were looking for some things that maybe we could do in the off season, and I had been looking around at sort of things that might be sort of robotics related and found … making Halloween costumes for kids with wheelchairs."

Every school in Horry County School District has a robotics team.  These teams build and program a robot for 6 weeks in the spring to compete in challenges with teams from around the world, right here at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center each year.  

The competition draws thousands to this area each year, and is a display of some of the best tech and engineering creativity, ingenuity, and talent of this future workforce generation.

Some schools, like Socastee, go above and beyond as a team to put their skills to work during the off-season and make our community a better place with their contributions.

The robotics programs in each school are supported by teachers, local engineering mentors, businesses in the community, and an initiative of the Grand Strand Technology Council called the Robotics Support Committee. 

To learn more about robotics, email robotics@gstechcouncil.org

New Micro Lending Program for Startups on The Grand Strand

There is now a new way to get funding for your startup if you live on the Grand Strand of South Carolina, and it is all thanks to the 5th T Innovation Group, CIC, GIC, and Community Works.

Micro-loans will be available in amounts up to $50,000 for startups and small businesses that are unable to obtain funding through traditional lending institutions.  Loan applications and one on one business coaching to sustain and grow businesses will be available through the Georgetown and Conway Innovation Centers.

Dr. Michael Roberts, President of the Board of the 5th T Innovation Group said: “the addition of a micro-loan portfolio to our existing business-development activities, will allow our organization to further develop economic opportunity in the region.  We are extremely excited by our partnership with Community Works, and look forward to helping expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the greater Grand Strand region.”

To qualify for a loan, the business must be located in South Carolina and the owner of the business must reside within the state.  Loans may be used for equipment, machinery, inventory, lease improvements and/or working capital.  In addition to helping small businesses through the application process, staff of the Innovation Centers will provide training and coaching sessions designed to equip owners with tools necessary to achieve business success.

The management of the loan process will be based out of the Georgetown location, but individuals seeking loans can apply at either of the two locations. The Georgetown Innovation Center is located at 901 Front St. in downtown Georgetown, SC. The phone number is 843-527-6636, and they can also be reached by email at: jkenny@gicinnovation.com. The Conway Innovation Center is located at 1119 3rd Ave in downtown Conway.  The phone number is 483-488-2783, and they can also be reached by email at: jsilverman@cicinnovation.com.  

Myrtle Beach-based WetStone Technologies Named “Hot Cybersecurity Company to Watch” in 2016

WetStone Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allen Corporation of America, and a global provider of innovative cyber security solutions for the digital investigator, announced it has again been recognized by Cybersecurity Ventures as a Hot Cybersecurity Company to watch in 2016.  WetStone was ranked 319th in its Q3 2016 Cybersecurity 500 listing of the world’s top cybersecurity companies. The Cybersecurity 500 list recognizes the hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies.

Cybersecurity Ventures recently announced its Q3 2016 Cybersecurity 500, a directory of the 500 hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies to watch this year. According to Steve Morgan, founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures, thousands of potential companies were considered by soliciting feedback from CISOs and end-user security practitioners and researching hundreds of security events and news sources.  Companies were evaluated on their security market category, problems solved, customer base, feedback, VC funding, company growth and published reviews, among other factors.

Cybersecurity Ventures publishes a new edition of the Cybersecurity 500 each quarter. The revised quarterly editions have new companies coming on the list, others dropping off, and changes to the listing order, to accurately reflect the current hottest and most innovative companies. For the complete list and more information about the Cybersecurity 500, visit http://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-500/.

Carlton Jeffcoat, Senior Vice President of Allen Corporation’s Cyber Security Division and WetStone Technologies stated that "For almost two decades WetStone Technologies has been at the forefront in providing the research, technologies, training, and services that are needed to defend against today’s cyber criminals.  We are pleased that Cybersecurity Ventures has again named WetStone Technologies to its Cybersecurity 500 list.”

About Allen Corporation of America and WetStone Technologies

Headquartered in Fairfax, VA, Allen Corporation of America (www.allencorp.com) is a dynamic, rapidly growing company that provides expertise in several major technology areas, including: Cyber Security, Logistics, Training Systems, and Digital and VOIP Communications. Our Cyber Security Division, which includes wholly-owned subsidiary, WetStone Technologies (www.wetstonetech.com), is an industry leader in the research, development, deployment, training and services for cutting edge cyber security and digital investigator customers around the world.  Allen Corporation has major offices in Myrtle Beach, SC, South Chesterfield, VA, Cortland, NY, and Ft. Worth, TX.

Call for Nominations: Technology Innovation Awards

The 2016 Technology Innovation Awards is now open for nominations.  Please take a few minutes to nominate your colleagues, coworkers, and leaders for these distinguished awards.

The six award categories are: 

Innovation in Technology Advancement, Adaptation or Services

Technology Integrated in Education

Application of Technology in Charity and Community Service

Business Growth and New Marketing Initiative

Student Innovator of the Year

Business Growth and New Marketing Initiatives

The Awards will be announced at an annual celebration in January.

To learn more and make nominations click here.

        Pitch Night Summer Edition 2016 was a Huge Success

        paulpitch.jpg

        The Grand Strand Tech Council, Conway Innovation Center, Georgetown Innovation Center, Coastal Carolina University, and the Grand Strand Angel Network worked together to pull off another successful Pitch Night. 

        The event started earlier than usual with an exclusive pre-party at 4pm at Tupelo Honey.  This is where the event partners launched their newest and most collaborative entrepreneurial initiative, titled Entrepreneurial Explorers. One of the leaders of this initiative, Bill Stanton, explained that this was to support local community members get from an idea to a minimally viable product.  A few local startups then provided information about their idea and got feedback from the group of invited guests.

        Then Pitch Night started at 6pm at the Grand 14 Theater - where five new companies pitched their products and services to an audience of 150 people in under 10 minutes.

        When the pitches were done, everyone in attendance was invited to a free reception for food and drinks to network and discuss opportunities with the entrepreneurs one-on-one.

        To read about the companies that pitched in an article from the Sun News, click here.

        To watch a short video about the evening from WMBF, click here.

        To view pictures from the event, click here.

        To check out more events like this, click here.

        Things You Need to Know about Financial Theft via Email

        Small and medium businesses around the world are increasingly being targeted for financial theft via business email compromise (BEC). Using malware and man-in-the middle tactics, criminals are able to hijack normal business-to-business payment transactions, often totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

        The Grand Strand Technology Council is hosting a TechConnect seminar + happy hour to discuss the THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FINANCIAL THEFT VIA EMAIL

        In this talk, James Bettke, CCU graduate and security researcher with SecureWorks, will share the results of a months-long investigation into a criminal BEC operation, and tips for businesses to avoid becoming prey to this latest cyber threat.

         

        The seminar is on September 21st at 4pm at The Grand Strand Tech Hub. Click here to learn more and register.

        New Wordpress Meetup Launches on the Grand Strand

        To say that WordPress is a CMS powerhouse would be an understatement. In June of this year, it was noted that 26% of websites around the world are made with WordPress. Needless to say, for a large portion of businesses on the Grand Strand and around the world, WordPress is the website management system of choice.  

        WordPress is favored by businesses because it is customizable, easy to use for the non-developer, and can easily sync with other pieces of your daily operations. 

        So how does one dive into using WordPress?

        One explorative step at a time. 

        Enter Lauren Jeffcoat, founder of the Grand Strand's brand new Wordpress User Group. Lauren works remotely from Surfside, SC for an overseas WP Plugin development agency - and is excitedly launching this Meetup for Grand Strand locals of any experience level!

        "If you are experienced in WordPress, we'd love to have you come share your knowledge. If you are new or have never even heard of WordPress, stop by and see what the buzz is all about." - Lauren Jeffcoat

        Your can find the details of the launch party (hosted at the Grand Strand Tech Council) here: https://www.meetup.com/Myrtle-Beach-WordPress-Meetup/

         

        Statistics Source: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/wordpress-statistics/

        CCU MBA Student Creates Concept for Educational Game Application

        "It's all about having the opportunity to pick subjects that matter to you, and run with them as far as you wish."

        This was the response from Michael Rives when asked where the brand name SubjectMatter came from.  Michael Rives is an MBA student at Coastal Carolina University, and his undergraduate degree was in business and entrepreneurial management.  He made some waves at last year's pitch competition hosted at the Wall College of Business.

        That wave-maker was SubjectMatter: A brand of mobile board games that would allow kids to play with their favorite subjects at school.  The product that he proposed as his first was a personal finance management game.  

        This game would simulate real world experiences that would develop or diminish your cash as you make rounds through the board's path.  These experiences include paying for tuition, which later in the game would boost your income when you land on a job.  It also includes a bank and options to gain interest by making your cash unavailable for the next round on the board.

        Michael's inspiration for building this game was a lesson learned the hard way:  "I worked at an airbrush shop at Broadway at the Beach one summer when I was in high school.  The hours were long but at the end of the summer I had made about $10k.  The only problem was that I had already blown it all on dinners out and purses for my girlfriend."

        Design objectives for the game are to keep it consistently engaging, competitive, and strategic.  Players can choose to compete with friends, or classrooms could even compete with other classrooms around the globe.  When bringing it to market, Rives plans to target middle and high school classrooms.

        When asked about revenue, Michael replied that he "wants to make something that adds value, and then figure out a way to make money from it later."  He is currently looking for technical partners to develop the game.

        To meet Michael, or learn more about the game attend Pitch Night on September 14th at 6pm in the Grand 14 Theater at Market Common.  Click here to register. Seats are filling up!

        A Unique Breed of Creative Company Lands in Little River, SC

        Little Spider Creations is a set design and creation company that moved to the Grand Strand in April of 2015. The business is run by the Brawner family, native to Denver, Colorado.

        Jordan Brawner is the CEO and one of three sons of the artistic founder and patriarch. "We love Colorado, but the cold winters were hard on our mother who struggles with multiple sclerosis," Jordan told us while giving a tour of their eclectic Little River "office" with builders whooshing by on the shop floor on skateboards.

        How did they end up on the coast of South Carolina? Around the same time that their rent in Colorado was taking a hike, Marc Brawner (father) was traveling between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington and saw a quality of life that he would like to have for his family.

        "We worked with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce to figure out the details of the move, and soon we were hiring a new local crew of creatives and makers," shared Jordan.

        The Little Spider Creations uses their family's talented artistic backgrounds and technical tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite, SketchUp, and 3D Modeling software to craft interactive haunted houses and intricate entertainment sets. Some of their clients have been Six Flags parks as well as some amusements in Madrid, Spain.  They produced the North Myrtle Beach Christmas Celebration as one of their first contributions to their new community.

        Jordan explained that even though they are fairly new, he is really excited to get more connected throughout the Grand Strand and learn more ways that he can work with the local tech community to expand Little Spider Creations.

        "We are extremely interested in creating a shared MakerSpace for locals with all kinds of trades to use. It could be anything from 3D printing or CNC cutting to sculpting or painting."

        Also motivated to start a MakerSpace is LivelyPlastics owner, Seth Alcorace. The two of them met at a GS Tech Free Coworking Friday, and plan to work together to make it happen in the near future.

        Want to learn more about the MakerSpace Project? Email Jordan Brawner: jordan@littlespidercreations.com 

        Interested in Myrtle Beach's coworking space? Check out coworking.gstechcouncil.org.

        Myrtle Beach Entrepreneur Invents a Personal Shopper that Watches TV With You

        Have you ever been watching your favorite TV show and thinking, “Can I have those shoes?” or “How much would those kitchen lights cost in real life?”

        What if your TV responded and gave you the opportunity to get them for yourself by sending the product information directly to your phone?

        This is the reality that EyeBuy has created.  This new company has invented technology that will silently talk with your TV and send push notifications of products that fit your customized buying preferences.

        “Much like you would experience on Pandora, your consumer profile will help EyeBuy make better recommendations every time it gets a chance to learn about your buying behavior.  Not only will it change what buying opportunities are placed in front of you, but it can also change the frequency that it talks to you. This way it always feels helpful and never feels like spam.  The nice part is that we function as an invisible app.  After first install you never have to worry about turning it on and off,” said Paul Mijac, one of the co-founders of EyeBuy.

        Paul Mijac lives in Myrtle Beach, SC with his wife.  He originally moved to the Grand Strand to open a laser tag arena after engineering a new laser gun product.  Many years down the road he met a man named Todd Coulter while at a conference in Puerto Rico.  They started working on new technologies together, beginning in the electronic wallet industry.  They still own patents in that space, and have applied some of those technologies to the beta version of EyeBuy.  Together Todd and Paul built the team that is now creating the future of shopping at home.

        Now, instead of having to go to the computer and research the products that you plan to purchase, the information will be pushed to you and accessed at your convenience.

        “We are aware of the creep factor that is always in question with new technologies that use personal data like this.  What makes us safe is the fact that we are not interested in gathering data on what you do and see.  We are first and foremost interested in serving you the information that you are interested in having.  Even though, people are getting more and more used to having a microphone on culture, we are still building a product that only functions in a consent environment.” Mijac explained.

        Paul shared with us that the process of developing a good product that will do such an abstract thing as communication between you and the TV was more like a series of bang-your-head-against-a-wall-prototypes.

        “Talking to a television is like talking to an elephant. It is incredibly interesting, but also very slow moving,” he mentioned.

        To learn more about EyeBuy or get a firsthand experience of this new technology, attend the upcoming Grand Strand Tech Pitch Night at the Grand 14 Cinema at Market Common on September 14th at 6pm. To register, visit gstechcouncil.org/pitchnight.

        Originally published in September 2016 VIP Magazine.

        Grand Strand Retail Tech Company Launches New Data Security Division

        C&K Systems, a global provider of secure, cloud based retail point of sale technology, announced today the launch of, InDefense Security,  a new Cyber Security division to help combat the growing cyber and data security threats that all businesses face today. With malware, viruses and ransomware affecting small businesses to large corporations here in the Grand Strand and across the globe, InDefense’s security products and services provide a first line of defense both before and after a data breach or compromise.  Computers are an integral part of our everyday lives," notes Tom Pires, CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) for InDefense.

        "InDefense helps it's clients understand the need for security and helps design and deploy secure solutions. Our experiences based in helping retailers cope with the difficult credit card regulations, provide a baseline security that can be applied to all businesses. "

        InDefense products and services go beyond a reactive, “clean-up” approach to cyber data security. Their services also assist business owners in understanding their current security risks and vulnerabilities as well as provide a path to a stronger overall security posture for conducting business with security best practices in place.  These include cyber risk and vulnerability assessments, regulatory compliance assistance, and on-going security awareness education, to name a few. 


        “Our real world experience and security training has provided us with an opportunity to provide these valuable data security services to a diverse group of businesses here in the Grand Strand and beyond,” notes Kevin Bowden, CEO and Founder of C&K Systems. “These include the payment card industry, other retail technology providers, the banking industry, as well as cyber defense law firms.”

        To learn more about InDefense Security, visit www.indefensesecurity.com or contact Eileen Hickey:  EileenH@cksystem.com

        FORMING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL EMPIRE ON THE GRAND STRAND

        The Myrtle Beach, Conway, Georgetown area is not widely known by the rest of the world as a place for raising large rounds of venture capital or for bootstrapping new inventions.  However in recent years there have been several groups forming in various locations around the Grand Strand to change that very perception.

        This isn’t just any one group of formerly successful entrepreneurs.  It is actually a collection of existing groups coming out of their silos to build the entrepreneurial community together.  You may have even heard of some (or all) of them.

        The Conway Innovation Center and the Georgetown Innovation Centers are both initiatives of 5th T Innovation, and are partnered with academic institutions across the state – including Clemson and Coastal Carolina University.

        The Grand Strand Technology Council is a nonprofit organization that has been serving Horry and Georgetown County for the past eight years.  They are most popular in the entrepreneurial community for the packed out movie theater “pitch nights” and Startup.SC initiative.

         
         

        The South Carolina Angel Network is an affiliation of the leading angel investing groups in South Carolina. These groups consist of more than 200 individual angel investors that meet frequently to analyze the best early stage companies from around our region - and support them with their financial and intellectual capital.

         
         

        Entrepreneurial Explorers is serial entrepreneur Bill Stanton’s Meetup.com Group of local independent business owners, investors, and local idea enthusiasts.  They are a group focused on fueling that passion and drive that it takes for a person to execute a great idea.

        Each of these groups bring a unique specialty to the table: Manufacturing resources, micro lending, technology intelligence, access to capital, and the entrepreneurial spirit.  However there is one common core that all of these groups share:

        They believe that the Grand Strand is perfectly positioned to be a hub for startups, technology, and innovation.  They all believe that this unifying effort will be the difference maker in our coastline’s budding entrepreneurial economy.

        This collective initiative will keep the name Entrepreneurial Explorers, and aims to be a high-energy initiative of challenging and inspiring entrepreneurs into action along with the resources and support network that they need.  This group will debut their plans for supporting the local community’s business ideas at the Summer Edition of their favorite community-wide event: Pitch Night.

        To learn more and register for this event visit www.gstechcouncil.org/pitchnight

        (Original article published in VIP Magazine)

        New Hyper Local Vacation Booking Platform Launches on Grand Strand

        On June 27, 2016 - Justin Urich launched SoCoastal.com.  It is a vacation platform that, unlike VRBO or AirBnB, is focused on one region: The Grand Strand of South Carolina.  The team at SoCoastal.com is made up of "Travel Experts" who will serve the customer in planning for their vacation however they wish.  Instead of just booking a condo in North Myrtle Beach, customers can also ask their local travel expert to make dining recommendations, book attractions, or even service any issues directly on-site.

         
         
        Justin Urich with fiancé Ashley.

        Justin Urich with fiancé Ashley.

        "The goal of SoCoastal is to focus on serving people to our fullest potential in one area," says Justin Urich, who has a career background in travel platforms within this same area.  He is not only the founder of the business, but also the developer of the platform.

        SoCoastal also brags that there are no booking/service fees or added costs to the listing price the customer sees while browsing. This is just another way that SoCoastal intends to tell the customer that their first priority is bringing them the most ease and convenience during their vacation.

        From here, they do intend to scale by expanding to new regions, but not until they feel like they have perfected their capabilities through the customer experience in this area.  To learn more about this business, visit www.SoCoastal.com.

        About PriorPoint - Disaster Recovery and Cloud Computing

        Much of the crucial data concerning our personal and professional lives exist as fragments of gigabytes inside the hardware of a computer.

        Unfortunately, we cannot delink the reality that information is prone to loss or damage due to natural calamities, crashed storage devices, sudden fire, or cyber thefts. Hardware drives can fail without warning, heightening the critical need for pre and post recovery backup solutions.

        The emphasis is on speedy recovery solutions that are cloud based, virtual and easily available. Myrtle Beach-based Priorpoint addresses these challenges and specializes in cloud backup, private or semiprivate cloud hosting and virtualization services along with proper documentation, and periodic liability testing while ensuring privacy and adherence to security standards.

        “In our experience, treating backup and recovery as a managed service, provides a much more reliable and positive experience for our customers,” notes Jason A. Casey, CEO, Priorpoint.

        Casey’s two decades of experience in the IT space has helped him leverage his rich knowledge and explore avenues in disaster recovery solutions, storage architecture, and network design.

        Since Priorpoint’s inception, the firm has been a pioneer in the cloud back up and disaster recovery market offering a wide range of services.

        “We build relationships with our clients that allow us to function as an extension of their team in our core competency: service,” says Casey. Priorpoint’s cloud back up services for virtual servers can recover entire servers in as little as two minutes. “Priorpoint is able to deliver an incredibly short Recovery Time Objective (RTO) at a very cost effective price point,” adds Casey. The service also enables the recovery of individual files or entire directories from the same backup set. The firm also facilitates recovery of application specific data such a MS Exchange Mailboxes, databases and individual mailbox items, MS SharePoint, Oracle databases and can encompass local and cloud copies. 

        Moving forward, the firm is ardent about continuing to improve their virtual and cloud based disaster recovery services. “We constantly seek to enhance or add feature sets that improve the reliability and scope of data recovery,” concludes Casey.

        Interested in learning more about PriorPoint? Check out this Grand Strand Tech Event!

        Myrtle Beach Summer Robotics Camp still has Openings

        The Grand Strand Technology Council is gearing up for a week long summer lego robotics camp in August.  

        This summer camp is for kids age 10-13 who are on a robotics team, or are interested in joining one!  Come and learn techniques to build a better robot – no matter how much experience you have!

        There are still about 8 spots left in the camp! Click here to learn more and register your kids! 

        Local Artists hold Creative Session on Free Coworking Friday

        Every Friday in the summer, the GS Tech Council holds Free Coworking Friday.  They open up their office to anyone who would like to have meetings, be productive, or network- regardless of their coworking membership status.  

        On these special days the office is buzzing with activity as the Grand Strand's brightest freelancers, entrepreneurs, remote workers, and tech employees come and go as they please.

        One thing, however, has been slightly off. The walls of this office have been solid orange and gray. 

        "We wanted everything in the space to be a collaborative effort of our local community, so we organized an art-making party with some friends in creative professions here in Myrtle Beach," said Meagan Nowacoski, Marketing Director at GS Tech. "It was a huge success and we hope to have more in the future! We owe a big thank you to Aubrey Plum, Dustin Glendinning, Justin Michal, Rachael Harrell, and Maria Yeremin for all of their contributions!"

        Interested in getting connected? Schedule a tour of the coworking space! Email meagan@gstechcouncil.org.

        Whether you need conference space to meet with clients, a Monday to Friday office, or opportunities to meet new people in tech and creative fields - GS Tech can help you!  

        PermitZone Graduates from TechStars Austin

        Ray and Rebecca Antonino are Grand Strand locals and serial entrepreneurs.  They have recently returned to Myrtle Beach after completing TechStars, an intensive 13-week accelerator program in Austin, Texas. This is no ordinary accelerator, they have an acceptance rate of 1% and have produced many successful technology companies, most recently, Twilio that just celebrated a successful IPO on June 23rd. When a company becomes a part of the program, they gain access to a network of successful startups, mentors, and CEO's from Google, Dell, Hulu, Amazon, and much more. 

        Ray and Rebecca came back with a different company than they left with - literally.

        "Our team entered TechStars as Fieldvine, a construction task management software.  in the 4th week, we laid to rest 13 months of hard work in an effort to pursue the one thing that made our software different, construction permitting. Now we are permitzone." - Ray Antonino

        PermitZone “provides contractors and do-it-yourselfers with the information and resources needed to stay compliant with local building departments and pull permits online, from anywhere.” As CEO Ray Antonino said in his pitch at Techstars, “knowing if you need a permit is a nightmare — getting a permit is even worse.”

        Antonino claims that they are creating the most valuable dataset for construction permitting nationwide, companies like Lowe's, Home Depot and Sears can use this information to inform sales professionals to get the required permits and make sure their customers don't get fined or worse yet, have to remove the work and start over. To learn more, watch the TechStars demo day pitch they gave recently (CLICK HERE to watch the video.)

        Along with their co-founder, Adam Michel (another Grand Strand native), they plan to focus on setting up 22 municipalities in and around Myrtle Beach, SC and Fort Walton Beach, FL. They are also working with Austin city leaders to realize more opportunity in Texas.

         

        TechStars Class of 2016

        TechStars Class of 2016

        Want to learn more about PermitZone? Join 1 Million Cups Grand Strand on July 6th to hear from Ray himself!

        IBM Podcast with Archetype SC: A Guided Tour through the Data Distillery

        Archetype SC is a Myrtle Beach headquartered agency that delivers Security, Big Data Analytics, and UX Design Services.  A UX Designer at the firm, Daniel O'Sullivan, recently came up with a design methodology to help others design better dashboards.  Soon after, Data Analyst Patrick Nord noticed that this method was not just useful in the User Experience, but could also be a fantastic tool for data analytics. 

        This new "Data Distillery" is catching the eye of the entire big data industry, and up until now has only been shared with exclusive audiences.  Listen to them explain the methodology on IBM's popular podcast titled "The New Builders."