Employees offered stock for new ideas by Benefitfocus

Founded in Mount Pleasant, Benefitfocus is now based on Daniel Island.

Benefitfocus is looking to trade equity for good ideas.

The Daniel Island-based maker of benefits management software is launching a new employee competition to drum up ideas to add to its products. Teams that win the Benefitfocus Accelerator will receive $100,000 worth of company stock. Based on the trading price of about $38 Friday, that would be about 2,632 shares in BNFT.

The competition will be an annual event, and it’s expected to wrap up in August, said Kevin Hamilton, senior vice president of marketing. Teams can compete in a handful of categories, including helping the company increase product sales, adding new features for clients and suggesting new services.

The program was announced last week by chief executive Shawn Jenkins during the company’s first-ever “innovation week” for engineers and designers — a series of in-house sessions on topics such as artificial intelligence and chatbots.

Benefitfocus had previously held a one-day session, but decided to expand the effort to go more in-depth on emerging technologies, said Jessica Brewer, senior vice president of engineering.

Plans for the Charleston Digital Corridor’s new Flagship 3 will head back to the city’s Board of Architectural Review this week.

The five-story, 63,000-square-foot technology incubator development is up for approval at the board’s Wednesday meeting. A smaller version was previously approved, but plans have since firmed up — and grown, said Ernest Andrade, executive director of the corridor.

The review panel will also look at plans for a six-story parking garage for the facility, which will break ground this summer at 999 Morrison Drive on the peninsula. Plans call for two retail and restaurant spaces on the ground floor of the garage. The corridor plans to sell the garage to the city once it’s completed.

The new development will be the third building owned by the Charleston Digital Corridor, which aims to boost the region’s technology economy in part by offering startups low-cost office space.

The Navy’s Hanahan-based engineering center is getting a new executive director next month, but the new boss won’t need an orienation.

Chris Miller will return to the Lowcountry to head up the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, a.k.a. SPAWAR. He was previously director of the Naval Weapons Station-based command between 2010 and 2013. He left when he was assigned to lead the Defense Department’s acquisition of a new electronic medical record system.

SPAWAR isn’t much of a household name outside of military circles, and much of its work is classified, but it’s a major player in South Carolina and one of the biggest employers of technology engineers in the state. The command claims a $3.7 billion annual economic impact in the Charleston region.

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