Rep. Mark Sanford visits DI businesses as part of national 'Startup Day'
It’s not every day that your United States Congressman pops into your workplace to talk shop. But that’s exactly what happened last Thursday, August 4, when Rep. Mark Sanford paid a visit to Daniel Island-based tech businesses Teamphoria and InfiniteTakes, both of which are housed in the Charleston Battery facilities.
According to a press release from Sanford’s office, the session coincided with Startup Day Across America, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of entrepreneurial activity and job creation associated with start-up communities across the country. Teamphoria is an employee management software company that builds and measures an engaged workforce and company culture. InfiniteTakes is the developer of Stre.am, a live streaming video technology platform started by video enthusiasts and serial entrepreneurs. Representatives from both companies took turns chatting with Sanford inside their shared offices to educate him on what they do.
To help explain the power of technology utilized by the two startups, company staffers conducted demonstrations for Sanford using two large, flat screen televisions mounted to the wall. On one screen, the group witnessed the digital tools employed by Teamphoria to connect and engage with employees as a means to grow culture and drive performance.
“You want to make sure that employees have the opportunity to understand what their company is all about and to understand what their culture is all about,” explained Jay Burchfield, director of sales for Teamphoria. “And also to have the opportunity, and the software in our case…to engage with that organization. Organizations with engaged employees have 200 percent higher productivity.”
On the other screen, the group watched a live video taken by a Stre.am drone flying over the nearby Charleston Battery soccer field. Later, Sanford went out onto the field to witness the drone in action. Stre.am recently provided live video streaming at the 2016 Volvo Car Open and also the Fourth of July fireworks festivities at Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant. Their feeds not only offer live content to clients, but also running dialogue with users in the audience.
Afterwards, Sanford praised both companies for the strides they are making in the technology industry and beyond.
“Around the country, at the municipal level, the state government level and the national level, folks are going out and learning a little bit more about startups in their congressional districts or in their state,” said Sanford. “We chose to come to Teamphoria and Stre.am because they were representative of other startups here in the area. I think what’s important is …it’s a reminder of the technology hub that is developing in the Charleston area…. They talk about this notion of critical mass. We’re quickly getting there in terms of the real entrepreneurial high tech engine of growth in the Lowcountry.”
Sanford also commented on the “West Coast” style that is becoming more and more common in new companies here, where casual attire and open, collaborative work spaces are replacing typical business settings.
“I look at a lot of folks in shorts and flip flops and realize that that is the proper attire for work,” added Sanford. “Not exactly what I grew up with, not exactly what I experience in Congress, but it’s a reminder of how you combine neat lifestyle with real company startups and the technology world of San Francisco with the lifestyle of the Lowcountry.”
Burchfield and the other company representatives who took part in the demonstrations were thrilled that Sanford selected their site to visit.
“We really appreciate Rep. Sanford coming over and talking with us and really showing this has paramount importance in his eyes,” said Burchfield. “And really drive home the growth of jobs and the startup trade specifically here in Charleston, where it has traditionally been a hospitality and tourism sector…There is a growing momentum in the Charleston area for startups to come and meet the challenge across the country to help expand the workforce and make sure that we are in the top echelon and remain state-of-the art for new technology when it comes to fruition.”
After the session, Sanford took to his Twitter and Facebook accounts to thank Teamphoria, InfiniteTakes and Stre.am for the visit and to underscore their importance in the startup world. He posted that in 2015 “startups that were less than a year old created 1.7 million new jobs.” He also noted that “it was just five years ago that Uber was an idea, and today they’re valued more than General Motors.”