Echovate, a start-up company focused on helping businesses make smarter hiring decisions, has selected Charleston for its new venture.

The company looked at many known tech cities including the San Francisco Bay area; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Boston before choosing Charleston, according to Echovate CEO Matthew Gough.

"Looking at the numbers, Charleston rose to the top from the standpoint of livability, cost of living and climate," Gough said.

Gough believes being in Charleston will be an asset to his employees, customers and investors.

"What I especially appreciate about Charleston is people are making a coordinated effort to develop the digital economy, and I can contribute to this effort," he said.

Echovate will start operations at the Charleston Digital Corridor's flagship business accelerator in downtown Charleston, a business facility targeted toward early-stage software start-ups, and one that has graduated 78 companies since it opened in 2009.

"I am confident our Charleston Digital Corridor can provide Echovate with all the tools they need to become a highly successful business in our community," Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said.

The Charleston Digital Corridor is a creative initiative to attract, nurture and promote Charleston's knowledge economy through a combination of technology-enabled initiatives and business incentives, private business support and member-driven programming.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or