Meet the 31 People Who Are Changing the South

Source: TIME

As founder of the DIG SOUTH Tech Conference, Stanfield Gray is making sure his part of the country doesn’t get left behind in the digital revolution.

July 26, 2018

As founder of the DIG SOUTH Tech Conference, Stanfield Gray is making sure his part of the country doesn’t get left behind in the digital revolution. Gray says his two kids helped inspire him to leave the world of strategic communications and pursue the idea back in 2012, because he didn’t want them to grow up feeling like they “basically had to leave the state” in order to succeed in the startup world.

From humble beginnings—the conference was launched out of Gray’s garage in Charleston, with about $20,000 in Kickstarter funding—the confab grew to attract more than 2,000 attendees in 2018. Although a visit to Charleston is part of its appeal, Gray aims to put a spotlight on the entire area. By forming bonds among tech hubs in cities from Chattanooga to Raleigh, he thinks the region can compete with the likes of Silicon Valley. “Our mantra is ‘Succeed in the South,’” Gray says. —K.S.