Mt. Pleasant working to grow Silicon Harbor business in East Cooper

VIDEO: Mount Pleasant working to grow Silicon Harbor business in East Cooper

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The town of Mount Pleasant partnered with Dig South, VAGA and area tech companies for a networking and co-working event at Alhambra Hall Wednesday.

Town officials want to bring more of these companies to East Cooper and hope the event demonstrates such commitment to the industry.

"There's been a lot of focus on the tech companies that are downtown," Amy Livingston said.

Livingston serves the town as the recently appointed business development officer.

"There really are quite a few of them in Mount Pleasant. They're hidden," Livingston said. "They keep to themselves. They don't use a lot of resources."

"Mayor Page and our Economic Development Chair Mark Smith have been very focused on diversifying the economy in Mount Pleasant, really looking towards growing those creative and tech companies here," Livingston said, adding the event is focused on bringing together such companies as well as generating industry conversation and brainstorming.

"Today's a really good example of what Mount Pleasant is doing for tech," Dayel Ostraco, of Qonceptual, said. 'Being a business owner, especially with the growth curve we have, we can't do what we're doing and grow to the level we're growing, unless we have the support of the town."

According to 2014 data, the Mount Pleasant area is driven by medical, retail and the construction industry.

Ostraco called the Lowcountry's Silicon Harbor a hidden gem—and it's growing.

"When you think of what Silicon Valley had 20, 30 years ago, with the crossroads of military, the space race and talent in general. You had the funding, you had the money to make it happen," Ostraco said. "I think we're at that crossroad," he said, adding several local companies have gone public, demonstrating Silicon Harbor's potential.

Livingston said the town is well-positioned to offer a live/work/play experience to such companies.

"We understand that a component of quality of life is short commute time so we want to provide jobs in our community," Livingston said. "Every time I'm in a meeting, someone is asking 'what is the town doing to reverse the trend of traffic crossing over the Ravenel bridge?' Well, this is it. This is one of the things that we're doing, and we're very excited about it," Livingston said. "We want people to know that Mount Pleasant is open for business."

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