Xconomy, Sarah de Crescenzo
March 29, 2019 — What does it take for a tech startup to be considered “cool?” In the eyes of the San Diego Venture Group, the key element is readiness for venture capital backing.
It’s through that lens that the nonprofit organization, whose mission is to connect local startups with venture capitalists who are looking to invest, annually vets tech companies that apply for its “Cool Companies” program. Startups that are accepted are highlighted at SDVG events, including its well-attended annual Venture Summit, and, perhaps more enticingly, invited to a private meet-and-greet with a group of about 100 angel investors and VCs, some of whom will travel to the event from out of town to meet with San Diego companies.
Past classes of “Cool Companies” prove that SDVG has insight into which companies are ready to raise (or, raise more, for those that have already taken some investment): Of the companies accepted in 2016 and 2017, for example, 25 have together raised more than $100 million in institutional Series A financing. Some of the startups, including Approved and Lymber, have been acquired.