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Why San Diego missed the first wave of tech ‘unicorns,’ and what’s changing now

San Diego Union Tribune, Brittany Meiling

March 8, 2019After years of stagnation, San Diego is seeing a barrage of startup activity in the tech scene. In recent months, two tech startups earned billion-dollar valuations, making them the first software “unicorns” spotted locally in decades. 

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Rivaling dot-com boom, 2018 breaks record for San Diego startups raising cash

San Diego Union Tribune, Brittany Meiling

Jan 7, 2019 — San Diego’s startup scene made big gains in 2018, hauling in nearly twice as much money as the prior year. That’s record-breaking attention from investors, and it’s an impressive performance compared to state and national averages.

Local companies raised $2.5 billion from venture capitalists in 2018, up 94 percent… 

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3 Startups take home $75K in San Diego’s largest pitch event

San Diego Business Journal, Brittany Meiling

Oct 24, 2018 — Ten local startups went head to head in a Shark Tank-style competition Wednesday night, attempting to impress a panel of judges and an audience of hundreds for a total of $75,000 in cash prizes.

Finalists were only allowed 2 minutes on stage to make their case. In front of a packed house at Qualcomm Hall.  […]   The John G. Watson Quick Pitch competition is the biggest startup pitch event in the city, with three nonprofits joining forces this year to boost the event’s profile and prizes. 

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Reporter’s Notebook: Startups Make Wise Investment Of Time at Venture Summit

San Diego Business Journal, Sarah de Crescenzo

 — Earlier this month, an oft-heard refrain in San Diego startup circles — “there aren’t enough venture capitalists in town!” — rang false, at least for a couple of days.  The San Diego Venture Group’s 16th annual Venture Summit was a two-day affair which kicked off Aug. 15 with an invite-only get together at Petco Park where about two dozen early-stage companies made their pitches for Series A investment to dozens of investors.

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San Diego Venture Group Names 30 Startups to 2018 ‘Cool Companies’ List

San Diego Business Journal, Sarah de Crescenzo

May 24, 2018  —  San Diego Venture Group on May 24 announced the latest batch of startups to make its “Cool Companies” list.  The organization, which works to link local early-stage companies with investors, said 180 companies applied for inclusion this year.  Founders of the companies are invited to meet in late June with roughly 100 venture capitalists and angel investors at a private event hosted by SDVG.

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SDVG Press Release: San Diego Venture Group Continues to Bring Capital 
to Southern California

San Diego Venture Group, Nicole Leandra

April 20, 2018  —  San Diego Venture Group, a nonprofit association with a mission to support and promote the venture capital and startup company ecosystem in the San Diego region, is in full swing of its annual Cool Companies program.

Each year, SDVG opens applications to the community, gathering hundreds of the most exciting businesses, ready to raise Seed, Series A and Series B funding.  Then with an expert selection committee sourced from the community, SDVG picks the top 30 to 40 companies with greatest potential and revolutionary to their industry — and dubs them ‘cool.’  Startups selected to be Cool Companies are invited to attend private settings with Venture Capitalists.

SDVG’s Cool Companies from 2016 and 2017 have collectively since raised over $100M.  In terms of companies attracting capital, the 30 SDVG Cool Companies of 2017 outperformed the 200 companies in last year’s TechCrunch program in San Francisco.

“SDVG is laser focused on making an impact for regional startups. While Silicon Valley programs can cost companies upwards of $2,000 to display their wares, for example, the Cool Company program costs absolutely nothing for startups” said Mike Krenn, President of SDVG.

“Last year alone, we brought more than 150 VCs to San Diego to meet with selected startup companies.  An outrageously amazing number.” 

SDVG invites Venture Capitalists from all over the country to attend the exclusive VC Roadtrip in the June and Venture Summit in August.  Events are curated on both sides of the experience and meet in the middle for structured startup-investor ‘speed-dating,’ pitching and demos, and one-on-one meetings.  Last year’s Venture Summit hosted Keynote, Bill Maris, founder of Google Ventures and the new SoCal VC Firm, Section 32, and drew more than 800 people for the general sessions.

Past Cool Companies include: EcoATM, Seismic, Tealium, Empyr, TakeLessons, Edico Genome, Cordial, Wrapify, Skysafe, Cloudbeds, eSub, PetDesk, Guru, Doctible, LoanHero, Measurabl, Nanocellect, Zesty, Attack IQ, Lymber, Mindtouch, and Forge Therapeutics.   

San Diego Venture Group is uniquely positioned as 100% neutral in the regional marketplace. The group takes no equity, and takes no fees from either startups or investors, with all the work they do.  With an extremely lean team, and a working volunteer board, the group is making a meaningful impact in the regional economy.

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Venture Summit Shows Continuing Evolution of San Diego Scene

San Diego Business Journal, Brittany Meiling

Sept 4, 2017 — Due in part the cameo appearance of a former Google executive, San Diego Venture Group saw record attendance at its annual Venture Summit last week. The crowded two-day affair was markedly different from previous years, signaling the local startup scene is picking up steam.

This year, the summit attracted 700 attendees and over 120 venture capitalists from startup hubs across the country, including many visitors from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“These were real, active VCs who are writing checks as opposed to individuals who write one check a year,” said Mike Krenn, president of the San Diego Venture Group.

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San Diego Startups Compete for $100,000 in Qualcomm Funding

Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego

June 15, 2017 — Hundreds of people from the San Diego and Silicon Valley technology communities crowed into a downtown music venue Thursday to watch nine startups compete for $100,000 in funding from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of San Diego wireless giant, sponsored the SeismicSD event to bring together all parts of the local tech ecosystem, including startups, investors, incubators and support organizations.

Guru, a San Diego startup that created a smartphone app to help people navigate museums, received the $100,000 award from Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

“Big ideas create big opportunities,” Faulconer told the crowd at the Music Box. “You all represent the San Diego success story.”

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San Diego (SDVG) Sets the Stage for Tech Cities

Andrew Gazdecki, TechCrunch

Feb 02, 2017 —  Startup ecosystems are taking root across the country — UtahSeattle, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, New York City — and they’re all looking to copy the formula Silicon Valley made so successful.

 

San-Diego-Venture-Group-SDVG-The-BeachHead-TechCrunch-Article-Blurb-Nicole-Leandra

This article features our actual work at SDVG, and even uses a few of our graphics.  Learn more about the initiative sdvg.org/beachhead.

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As Costs Soar in Silicon Valley, San Diego Looks for Startup Gains

May 10, 2016  — Venture capital continues to gush into Silicon Valley, but is the Bay Area’s decades-long startup boom sustainable? Talk in the valley has turned increasingly gloomy amid signs that its phenomenal tech boom—like Moore’s law itself—is bumping against its upper limits.

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Why I Moved my Startup from San Francisco to San Diego

March 29, 2016 — San Francisco has long been hailed the home of the tech startup — the place to be for entrepreneurs looking to lay the foundation for the next big thing. As a mobile app platform with high aspirations, we joined the mix, sharing an area code for four years with the lauded engineers of Silicon Valley and inserting ourselves into the supposed center of the tech world.

It seemed like the best possible move. And for a while, it was.

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Making Millions in Tech, and Keeping it in San Diego

10/18/2015

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