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Apr 2, 2021

A Note from Mayor Sulka

Lisa Sulka

Photography By

Krisztian Lonyai
Get in the Loop: Join the Don Ryan Center for Innovation

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I hope the new year is off to a good start for all our readers. This year I will write in a bit more detail on the many great initiatives within the town. The first will be the ongoing programs of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. I ask all of you to take a look at the website at, and if you would like to be included in these sessions or receive information on what is happening at the center, join as a member. It is affordable and will get you in the loop with the opening of the HUB as well as with the innovators who are involved at the center.

In 2019, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation launched “Sessions,” a monthly networking event for the DRCIcommunity and public. The events are held at 8 a.m. on the last Thursday of each month at the Corner Perk in Old Town Bluffton. Members of the Don Ryan Center can attend free or charge. The public is welcome to attend for a small fee of $10. This fee is waived for all monthly events if you become a supporting member of the DRCI.

Monthly topics covered included marketing SEO, design thinking strategy and more. Attendees also learned lessons from local entrepreneurs as they shared their experiences building their businesses. Featured speakers included Laurie Brown, founder and owner of Aunt Laurie’s and Billy Watterson, owner of Burnt Church Distillery and Watterson Brands.

The last Sessions of the year was held on November 21, featuring Lucy Rosen, owner of Smart Marketing Communications. It drew a record crowd to finish the year with strong momentum heading into 2020.

The first Sessions of 2020 was held on January 30, featuring Matthew Nikravesh, founder and owner of Solarus Technologies. Nikravesh discussed the importance of company culture and how the right culture can lead to success in any organization.

The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is looking forward to 2020 and the opening of its new location, The HUB at Buckwalter, which will serve as the home of the Don Ryan Center. Having the new space will allow DRCI to expand its networking events and opportunities for members. Some of the events in the pipeline are monthly evening networking events, pitch events, lunch-and-learns, and even student-friendly learning opportunities.

The DRCI will be the “HUB” for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Lowcountry. We encourage you to stop in and learn how we can help you.

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