After selling his first cybersecurity startup, service-disabled veteran and former NSA hacker Christopher O’Rourke moved from Silicon Valley to Charleston to pursue new opportunities. Since moving to Charleston in 2014, Chris has invested his time and talent into our community to be a catalyst for economic growth and a champion for our future generation of tech and entrepreneurial talent.
Chris first visited Charleston years ago for the raising of the Hunley, and he immediately appreciated Charleston’s beauty.
“Charleston’s charm and sense of unity among the entrepreneurial community was also a big reason to want to relocate. Charleston is my new home, and I am passionate about doing my part to create economic growth and educational opportunities for all.”
Within a week of moving, Chris began volunteering as a board member at College of Charleston’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He continues to judge local pitch competitions and serves as a business mentor for local startups. Through his community involvement, Chris met his current business partners with whom he co-founded Soteria, a full-service cyber security consulting firm.
He simultaneously launched and funded NodeSC, a non-profit designed to be a “digital YMCA." The vision is to create a cyber school of excellence which will help educate students in cybersecurity and technology skills, as well as educate certified teachers on how to teach those skills in their classrooms.
“What better way to grow the talent pool than by giving people access to technology? If you have an idea, passion, and the desire to work, there’s nothing that can hold you back. We like to have fun with technology and teach students in a way that excites them. Aspirations have no limits."
Chris is passionate about creating opportunities for those who have the desire and drive to reach new heights in fields of technology and cyber security.
“Passion is a force multiplier. A great program can be scaled. If we all build a collective that wants to make a difference, then we will create a lasting impact for generations to come.”
Words by Claire Gibbons
Photo by Kip Bulwinkle