If we’ve learned anything on this journey to change the way people work, connect and create, its that a community’s core is its people. Movements, organizations, startups, and other game changing efforts are all driven by passionate people on a quest create better lives for themselves and others around them. SOCO is no different. We’re so excited to share some of our community’s wins over the past year and we hope they inspire you to think bigger.

Moultrie Ball (RumbleLab wins Ignite Ideas Competition) – Congrats to member RumbleLabs on winning the EngenuitySC Ignite Ideas Competition 2016. Don’t spend all that money in one place.

Terrance Smith (Hacker Ferret Survives 1st Year) – Huge congrats to SOCO member Terrance Smith on launching and surviving his first year as a software business with Hacker Ferret. Check out his year in review here.

Sarra Cannon (Indie Author Reaches 500,000 books sold) – Being an “indie” anything is hard work. Being an indie author is about has hard as they come. So, when SOCO member and self-published author Sarra Cannon reached her 500,000th book sold, we couldn’t resist celebrating this HUUUUGE accomplishment. Sarra has penned some incredible work for teens with The Shadow Demons Saga, the Sacrifice Me Series and the Eternal Sorrows Trilogy. Keep rocking Sarra!

Colin Griffin (Krumware Sets Sights on World Domination w/ growth) – Krumware was born when member SOCO Colin Griffin exited out of the Mariner Group, a software company that was acquired while he was an employee. In less than 2 years, Krumware has made a name for itself as a leading progressive web applications company providing software solutions that can enable real time data and content distribution for both the enterprise and the individual. A team of 1 has become a team of five and we’re super excited to see what the next 5 years holds for Colin.

Christiaan Burner (Quicket Solutions lands in SC) – Quicket Solutions is an Illinois-based startup company providing data & analytics software for law enforcement. In 2016, they decided to enter the South Carolina market and join the SOCO Nation right here in Soda City. They picked Columbia because it’s centrally located, they love the market and think it’s “an excellent city to attract/retain our team”. #truth. Welcome to the Dirty South, Quicket Solutions!

Andrew Askins, Austin Price, Bill Brower – We’re especially proud of the Kritters, who started their company while still in college. Soon after all three graduated, they transitioned KRIT away from product development to focus on being a full time digital studio. In the last year, they brought on a 4th teammate, increased their revenue FIVE times over, and moved their company headquarters to Charleston. We’re anxiously waiting to see what this talented crew comes up with next.

While many of our members had major wins for their companies, we know that winning isn’t just about work. Some of our members shared wins that were both professional and personal.

Gaile Brown

The one thing I’m proud of this year is my commitment to being a Roadie for the AIDS/LifeCycle event, which consists of bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS, fundraising and spending a week of 12 to 15 hours a day supporting the cyclists from SF to LA along the California coast.

Secondly, after finally getting a contract at BCBSSC, and being thrown into the fire for my first project, which was previously owned by two developers over a total of 4 – 5 months, I completed it within five weeks. I continually ask my client if there are any problems, and each time he responds, ‘none so far’.

Sean Alan Boyd

Sold my small company that I started 5 years ago. Coordinated a large festival. Managed the first half of a large commercial renovation project. (2nd half is in 2017). Ran my first 5k. Ran my first 10k. Lost 14 lbs.

Amy Wise

It’s a long drawn out story, but my big win came after taking a chance with a small company that went bankrupt after 1 month of me being hired. I left the cozy comfort of a corporate company to work for this small company. I was worried, anxious, and scared being out of a job so soon after leaving a corporate cushion. Then a friend offered me a job with her growing internet marketing firm. I took the leap and joined her 1 man team to give her breathing room to think about growing her company. Now, I would never look back! I love working for FGM Internet Marketing, LLC and helping to use my creative voice that has been caged for 8+ years at my previous job.

Rachel Napolitano

My WIN for 2016 was taking the leap. I began the year still at a job that was not right for me, but it was a way to pass the time and it brought home a steady paycheck. After a trip to Yellowstone, I came back to work, sat in the conference room for our weekly meeting, and within 5 minutes knew I needed to get out of there. That afternoon I left that job, and by the end of the week was at SOCO, working on my first freelance gig among a community of movers and thinkers. People joke that 2016 was awful between the election, killer clowns, and beloved celebrity deaths, but I will always look back at it as the summer I found the drive to pursue a creative career! I’m not sure why this year was the year to make it happen, but all of a sudden all paths led to writing, and it was something I just had to do.

Joseph Lemmons

My biggest win was getting hired by an agency I’ve admired since landing in Columbia. Going from an independent back to agency life has been just as big a change as stepping out on my own, but I have been rewarded with a great work family, strong support, amazing clients with awesome projects, and more stability for my family. I don’t feel like I’ve compromised myself in any way, and I can see a growth path — so as the year winds down, I am still quite confident that I made the right move.

Zoltan Borbely

No client wants to deal with an irritable cranky vendor with bags under their eyes. Exhaustion can lead to missed details, a lower quality product and an unpleasant experience for customers. Being well rested is a critical component of being able to perform at the highest level.

We’re proud that this incredibly talented bunch of people call SOCO “home” and we look forward to cheering along with them on their journeys to the top.

Tell us – what were your big wins in 2016? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #SOCOWins2016. We want to celebrate with you, too!

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