The iconic tech event of the Southeast returns to Charleston May 11 through 13 for the tenth year as the tech-savvy converge on TD Arena for the DIG SOUTH Tech Summit.
The extravaganza is offering the region’s best contacts, content, and capital opportunities and celebrating a decade on the cutting edge with all of the benefits participants have come to love … and much more.
DIG SOUTH Tech Summit connects leading global brands to the South's most scalable startups. The conference features prominent speakers like Robert Tercek, Founder & CEO of General Creativity and author of Vaporized, which predicted the digital transformation that has taken place in the last decade. As an original Year One DIG SOUTH speaker, he is back to share his take on the metaverse, crypto, NFTs, blockchain, and all things Web 3.0.
Other featured speakers include Melissa McGhie Proctor, EVP & CMO of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, whose players are turning their renown into digital value using social media and NFTs; Jay Bailey, CEO & President of the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the nation’s most successful Black entrepreneur center; and Tim Minahan, EVP of Business Strategy & CMO of Citrix, a Fortune 500 company.
“It’s a great balance,” notes DIG SOUTH founder Stanfield Gray. “These are four unique but relatable perspectives, and stay tuned for a fifth speaker on crypto and blockchain”
Dubbed by Charleston’s CODE/+/TRUST founder Sam Staley as the playground of tech, the Summit showcases emerging technology, scalable businesses, and leading tech executives. Programs include:
- DIG SOUTH NFT Gallery sponsored by Atlanta-based creative company Elevation;
- “Speed-dating for Startups,” in which founders meet with investors in lightning rounds to get reviews on their pitch decks and introductions to sources of capital;
- The Investor Lounge, where startups and investors can network;
- Digital projection mapping throughout TD Arena, where images in motion react to the contours of the physical space for an otherworldly experience; and
- Wild Pitch, a “Shark Tank”-style event where early and growth-stage companies pitch to a live audience of top-shelf investors, entrepreneurs, and executives.
What DIG SOUTH envisioned a decade ago has come to fruition. Many wondered about the need for a tech conference in 2012 but no one does now. "This is one of the only conferences in my life that I’ve been to more than once,” said Gary Vaynerchuck, the influential early adopter and tech business builder.
Chris Bernat, formerly of Vapor Apparel, loves DIG SOUTH too. His company struggled to get an interview with Walmart until he met Liza Landsman, President of Jet.com, at the Summit. Jet.com was being acquired by Walmart as their e-commerce platform and she helped Bernat navigate Vapor’s way onto Walmart online. “The networking at DIG SOUTH delivered the opportunity to create success,” said Bernat.
Participants at the Summit routinely find clients and vendors they need, like tech-focused accounting and legal firms and app developers. They learn about the latest trends; this year it’s blockchain, crypto, NFTs, business scaling, and digital advertising. They raise capital from investors, find promising investments, and scout out new clients.
“A lot of people come to DIG SOUTH to get deals done,” says Gray.
The festivities begin this year on Wednesday night with Upload Charleston, a shindig sponsored by Charleston County Economic Development and hosted by the College of Charleston under the Spanish moss-flecked oaks at the Cistern Yard. Tickets for this networking event can be purchased separately from the rest of the Summit, so you don’t have to attend the entire conference to get a taste.
It’s been a wild 10 years since DIG SOUTH began showcasing Charleston and the entire South’s tech economy. Unlike then, nearly every company today sells through e-commerce and social media, manages its supply chain online, and meets virtually. “Every business is tech-based or tech-enabled,” says Gray, which means any business might dig DIG SOUTH.
For information about DIG SOUTH Tech Summit and to purchase badges, visit digsummit.com.