Commerce launching tech-focused online hub for S.C.

Hitt

The S.C. Commerce Department will launch a new website Tuesday that aims to boost the technology sector by pulling together listings for jobs and events around the Palmetto State.

The goal of the website, called the South Carolina Innovation Hub, is to consolidate an otherwise piecemeal set of resources for the tech industry around the state by letting users submit news articles, event listings and job openings.

It also features a directory of tech workers and a forum.

The site, which cost about $30,000 to build, was funded by a federal grant and state funds, said Amy Love, the Commerce Department’s director of innovation. It will be announced at Dig South, an annual tech-focused conference, which runs through Thursday in downtown Charleston.

Elisabeth Kines, Commerce’s connectivity manager, said the site was developed over the last several months in consultation with entrepreneurs and university officials around the state.

“There was a need for a place where all this information comes together and a way to connect not just people running innovation centers or accelerator programs for entrepreneurs, but the entrepreneurs themselves — also the investors and people within our research universities,” Love said. “We think there’s a vast universe of users.”

The launch is a part of the Commerce Department’s efforts to lure tech-sector jobs to South Carolina and reshape the state’s image as an agricultural and manufacturing-heavy economy. The agency opened an innovation office in 2013, and has since awarded $5 million in grants to initiatives suchas the Charleston Digital Corridor and Harbor Entrepreneurship Center.

“Providing the support and infrastructure necessary for our entrepreneurial, technology-based companies to grow is critical to the future of our economy,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a statement.

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703 or on Twitter @thadmoore.