Charleston ranked ninth among the country's 20 best metro areas for the gig economy and opportunity, according to a recent report by CommercialSearch...Read more →
Who we are
Andrade Economics (ae) is an economic development practice focused on positioning communities for sustainable economic prosperity. We accomplish this by crafting fruitful public-private partnerships in support of high-wage tech and knowledge-based communities. ae helps clients identify the issues they seek to address, optimize their assets and provide them a comprehensive set of tools and professional services to succeed.
ae is based on the professional experience and proven track record of Ernest Andrade, a practitioner with over twenty years of experience serving the tech community in Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston's comprehensive approach to developing its high-wage, low-impact and diversified economy is due in large part to a practical, "no studies required" approach. The focus on quality over quantity and substance over marketing hype has catapulted Charleston to a diverse tech and creative hub.
- EXECUTION VS. TIME SPENT IN DISCUSSION
- HITTING SINGLES VS. HOME RUNS
- COMMUNITY-SOURCED INTELLIGENCE VS. CONSULTANT REPORTS
- CONVENING ADVISORY GROUPS VS. COMMITTEES
What we do
Economic development has traditionally focused on business recruitment - attracting companies from outside the local area to support their economic base. While this approach has been successful with regard to industrial development, communities are now scrambling to diversify their economies to compete in an environment where a focus on high-wage business formation, education and a sense of place are the most valuable, long-term assets.
Recognizing that approximately 80% of job creation occurs from within a community, ae helps clients canvass the region to identify and showcase their existing businesses and relevant resources. ae then implements a set of proven open source tools that allow communities to build their own, sustainable high-wage economy. Since companies considering locating to a community will ultimately be subject to the same business climate as those that are already there, this "take care of who you have" approach is attractive to businesses considering relocation to a community. Our core areas of business focus are:
Cheap land, financial incentives and low cost labor were the economic drivers for yesterday's economy. Progressive American cities seeking to diversify into an innovation economy, must recognize that skilled talent is the currency for the 21st century economy and is at the heart of high-wage job creation. ae is widely considered to be a leader in talent development strategy through the successful implementation of a CODEcamp - a code education initiative, company showcase platform and curated talent portal.
Facilities optimized to support tech/knowledge-based companies must operate differently from traditional office buildings to be effective centers for job creation. Due to the flexibility built into the operating model, banks don't like financing them and the operators of many self-proclaimed innovation centers are just real estate investors. ae has several years of operating experience and financial data to demonstrate how to develop and manage facilities that are the job factories for the 21st century economy.
Community is the most important pillar of a business strategy focused on developing a knowledge-based economy. The relationship between an organization tasked with developing a knowledge economy and relevant companies and professionals from within a community typically stimulates timely discussions, supports continued learning, and leads to the development of key initiatives. Community engagement should not be measured by the number of attendees, but rather the quality and passion of professionals engaged. ae can demonstrate the value of implementing a community-driven business model.
Capital is highly opportunistic. While almost every community claims to be "start-up capital starved", the question is two fold: Is there a capital shortage of lack investment opportunities worthy of external capital? Recent changes at the federal and state level, including the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, along with crowdfunding platforms have eased restrictions on capital formation, making it easier to address this issue. ae sheds light on how companies are raising capital in spite of a tough lending environment and why the development of a local source is helpful with attracting entrepreneurs.
Community engagement is an essential component for successAndrade
Ernest Andrade is the principal of Andrade Economics and the founder and Executive Director of the Charleston Digital Corridor, a successful public-private business development partnership launched in February 2001 to attract, nurture and promote tech companies in Charleston, South Carolina.
Andrade brings a value and results-oriented mindset to his various professional endeavors. His accomplishments include positioning Charleston as a premier destination for tech companies by growing the Digital Corridor from 18 companies in 2001 to almost 700 companies today, launching a year-round CDCu education initiative, developing five tech-focused business incubators in Charleston and one in Beaufort, and developing practical and effective software products for use by other communities and business development agencies.
Prior to a focus on high-wage business development, Ernest was responsible for growing the city of Charleston from 38 to over 100 square miles, increasing Charleston's tax base by over $2.5 billion and 30,000 residents and executing a strategic plan to recruit competitive economic development projects with a capital investment of over $500 million.
Ernest was born in Kuwait and lived in Bangalore, India prior to emigrating to the United States in 1981. He became a naturalized citizen in 1996. He holds a BS in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston.
Today, workspaces must inspire and stimulate creativityAndrade
NEWS + INSIGHT
These items reflect the news and insights that are part of building a successful knowledge ecosystem as well as the recognition by the media of the effort.
Since the founding of the Charleston Digital Corridor in 2001 we have sought unceasingly to understand the unique challenges inherent in developing a...Read more →
In the past twelve years, acquisitions of local tech companies by both publicly traded and privately held companies have exceeded a billion dollars...Read more →
The Beaufort Digital Corridor is pleased to announce the launch of CODEcamp, a project-based, introductory code education program designed for busy...Read more →
Former Mayor Mark McBride said he wants to model Myrtle Beach after the Charleston Digital Corridor, a tech business development program.He has...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce the release of the new CODEcamp Kids platform. This platform, developed exclusively for middle...Read more →
As a parent, do you know about the upcoming code camps for your middle schooler this summer? Or that Clemson University is now offering a Ph.D. in...Read more →
If you don't have school-aged children, you may be tempted to ignore this piece – but don't. Innovation in education directs our future because...Read more →
Ian Leslie has lived in the Lowcountry for 15 years, and he's pretty tech savvy. "We heard the Digital Corridor was coming to Beaufort.... it's...Read more →
The Beaufort Digital Corridor formally opens its doors to the BASEcamp business incubator on January 12, 2017. This recently renovated facility...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce a partnership with Purdue's Agile Strategy Lab to host an immersive workshop focusing on Agile...Read more →
In its 13th annual Wage & Job Growth survey, the Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to report an average wage of $88,066 for companies...Read more →
The new chief technology officer of Boeing Co.'s worldwide operations flew into Charleston a few days ago for a review of where the region's...Read more →
The meteoric rise of software coding boot camps over the past few years caught many people by surprise, including two College of Charleston...Read more →
Starting this fall, the Charleston Digital Corridor will take its popular web development courses into middle school classrooms in hopes of...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor announced a partnership with the City of Beaufort to launch an implementation of its highly successful tech business...Read more →
It was about 15 years ago that the city launched the Charleston Digital Corridor, an initiative to help expand the technology economy and attract high...Read more →
In April, I was invited to speak in Charleston's third annual DIG SOUTH – the Southeast's first and foremost event celebrating the digital...Read more →
As economists lament the jobless economic recovery and our public leaders and communities scramble to find answers, most people on the street...Read more →
If you didn't know what Ernest Andrade did for a living, you might assume he was a stock broker or a high-dollar sports agent. His phone is constantly...Read more →
Ernest Andrade, head of the Charleston Digital Corridor since its founding in 2001, will leave his post to become the director of the Charleston...Read more →
The sense of calmness projected from the environs of Florida State University's Reservation provided an idyllic backdrop for Tallahassee city...Read more →
The first few years of starting a company are often very challenging. You cannot predict exactly where the challenges will come from, how big they...Read more →
CHARLESTON, S.C. (January 15, 2014) – Ernest Andrade, principal of Andrade Economics and Executive Director of the Charleston Digital Corridor...Read more →
Surprisingly, the questionable practice of economic development groups pouring large amounts of public and private funds into chasing companies from...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor has improved one of its main tools for luring new technology talent to the region. CharlestonWORKS, an online listing...Read more →
Charleston, South Carolina – December 31, 2014 - The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce the release of its updated...Read more →
In 2001, while the national economy was in the grips of a major recession, Charleston, SC launched an effort to attract, nurture and promote her...Read more →
Charleston, South Carolina – December 18, 2014 – The Charleston Digital Corridor, along with title sponsors Benefitfocus and Google, is...Read more →
As the head honcho of both the Charleston Digital Corridor and Andrade Economics, Ernest Andrade has stood at the helm of bettering Charleston for...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor's Flagship3 development is headed toward final approval following a vote Wednesday by the city's Board of Architectual...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to announce the launch of CODEcamp Version 3.0. In the summer of 2012, the Digital Corridor extended its...Read more →
As technology research analysts we can locate our company's headquarters anywhere in the world as long as that location provides access to telephone...Read more →
The local tech sector is growing –- and it's growing fast, according to seven tech executives speaking to about 400 attendees today at the...Read more →
In the twenty-first century, the crucial element of a more-perfect society is innovation. Or so think tanks, urban planners**,** and entrepreneurs...Read more →
The city of Charleston is considering using land near 995 and 999 Morrison Drive for a tech hub that would enable tech companies to cluster and grow...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor is one of a number of "innovation centers" in metro regions around the U.S. that promise to transform the...Read more →
The Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation was among 14 recipients statewide to receive a grant from the S.C. Department of Commerce as part of its...Read more →
Ernest Andrade, principal of Andrade Economics and the founder and executive director of the Charleston Digital Corridor, will speak at the 2014 MIT...Read more →
CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 14, 2014) – Ernest Andrade, principal of Andrade Economics and founder and director of the Charleston Digital Corridor...Read more →
Ernest Andrade has a vision for Morrison Drive. He's not alone. Downtown Charleston's industrial stretch has become a kind of creative development...Read more →
Ditch the consultants and reports; mine ideas and talent already available within your community if you want to create a successful technology sector...Read more →
CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 7, 2014) – Ernest Andrade, principal of Andrade Economics and founder and current director of the Charleston Digital...Read more →
Budding tech hubs could take a page or two from the playbook of Charleston, S.C. With a population of a little more than 125,000, Charleston is a...Read more →
Charleston, South Carolina, December 6, 2013 Silicon Harbor Ventures (SHV) has launched its investor managed venture capital fund targeting...Read more →
Silicon Valley The original tech hub and birthplace of the some of the world's most influential technology companies like Google, Apple, Facebook...Read more →
Charleston, SC – October 25, 2013 – In its 2013 annual list of 500 fastest growing companies, Inc. Magazine named several Charleston...Read more →
Charleston, SC – August 22, 2013 – The Charleston Digital Corridor announced CODEcamp's Fall 2013 schedule today, including an expanded...Read more →
First there was the Flagship, the business incubator the city opened in a former video store at the corner of Calhoun and East Bay streets in June...Read more →
On a 73-degree day, a steady stream of people walked around Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston where, at the brink of summer, children began...Read more →
Tiny red lights blink in a curious but steady rhythm; a quiet, consistent hum purrs or whirs, maybe both. These tall banks of computers sit still and...Read more →