San Diego
Innovation Report

The San Diego Regional Innovation Report produced by Connect is undertaken annually to reflect startup growth in the region and the impact on the economy. Connect has been monitoring this impact since 2005, in technology and life sciences sectors.

Innovation is key to sustainable regional growth and development, requiring strong participation in open and collaborative networks. Flourishing ecosystems consist of collaborative organizations working together and interacting frequently to support a common goal of economic success. Connect is focused on supporting entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, incubators, universities, government agencies, and other key market influencers in order to benefit great companies in San Diego. 

A few of the top takeaways from this year’s report include:


in Venture Capital

(the highest on record)


in total Payroll, and

164,000 Jobs

at Innovation Companies


in sales

or 24% of San Diego’s GDP


The 2019 San Diego Innovation Economy accounted for a $61 Billion impact, 24% of the county’s total GDP.

An average of at least 164,000 jobs were supported by San Diego’s Innovation Economy in 2019, the highest amount in all of the 2010’s.

Each job in the Innovation Economy supported 2.66 other jobs in our community through indirect and induced effect, resulting in an estimated 436,438 jobs 

239 New Innovation Startups were created in San Diego County in 2019.

The average innovation economy wage in 2019 was $127,032. The average wage in the rest of our local economy was $64,139.

Venture Capital

2019 Venture Capital funding to San Diego eclipsed $3.4 Billion across 232 deals.

Life Sciences companies accounted for about 64 percent of the total value invested in 2019.

In 2019, the software sector saw Venture Capital investment nearly double from the amount invested in 2018.

Expansion and Later Stage deals in 2019 eclipsed $2 Billion in total deal value.

San Diego companies raised more than $99 Million in 2019 from Angel and other Non-Venture Capital Investment.

Public Offerings

San Diego companies raised nearly $645 Million across 9 Initial Public Offerings in 2019.

In 2019, four companies raised $178 Million through follow-on public offerings.

Mergers & Acquisitions

2019 Mergers & Acquisitions of San Diego companies accounted for over $5 Billion in funds exchanged

Federal Research Grants

Federal Agencies invested $5.3B in the San Diego region in 2019.

The city of La Jolla ranked as the #1 in California in 2019 by total grant funding received from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Over $92M awarded in Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR-STTR) grant funding.

Over $780M awarded in National Institutes of Health & National Science Foundation (NIH & NSF) grant funding.


San Diego county ranked as the #1 county in Southern California for patents granted and applications published in 2019.

San Diego county ranked as the #5 county in California for patents granted in 2019.

San Diego county ranked as the #4 county in California for patent applications published in 2019.

2019 San Diego Innovation Report

Previous San Diego Innovation Reports

2018   |   2017   |   2016   |   2015