Yesterday, along with over 700 fellow San Diego tech folks, I attended the San Diego Venture Group’s 12th Annual Venture Summit in downtown San Diego.
Key takeway: The startup environment in San Diego is vibrant, for cool apps, for anything touching the life sciences, and even an inkling of companies actually MAKING tangible things.
The keynote speaker, Mark Mills (Manhattan Institute and Digital Power Group), spoke eloquently about the coming age of “ambient computing,” and how the opportunities today can rival and potentially exceed the “industrial revolution.” I agree that we are at the tip of the iceberg, and as Dave Titus, President of the SDVG stated, San Diego will be leading the way in wireless, life sciences, wearables and sensors, genomics/big data, and mobile apps. As well as craft beers!
Here’s their list of 2014 Cool Companies…
Some of the ones that stick out….Electrozyme, doing leading edge sensors for high performance athletes,Independa, let by the tireless Kian Saneii, which has raised two successful venture rounds for their Aging In Place platform for seniors, TakeLessons, which has branched out from music to a broad range of services and is rapidly ramping revenues.
Following the AM Venture Summit, Eric Otterson of Cooley, Godward LLP, oops, I mean Silicon Valley Bank hosted a “Demo at the Docks,” where ten great companies did speed-date demos, including:
Housecall…to paraphare founder Roland Lightenberg if Uber and Angie’s List had a love child, it would be Housecall, a marketplace for household services.
Rock my Run…Chief Rocker Adam Riggs-Zeigen presented a very interesting mobile app that changes your music to optimize your workouts. Check out their ‘intelligent music’ app.
StackIQ: These are a bunch of brilliant engineers out of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography with an insanely great software platform for accelerating provisioning and management of Big Data hadoop installations and HPC (High Performance Computing). Like this one so much I invested in them in their last round!
Finally, not a company, but for anyone interested in the “quantified self”, personal genomics, wearables, sensor, or where medicine is heading, Larry Smarr, the director of the CALIT2 Institute at UC San DIego gave a typically mind-blowing speech. Larry is arguably THE father of the quantified self movement, and anyone interested in this space need to do their homework on his efforts.
Dave Titus, great event! And it will be even better next year, and I predict to see a couple of Kickstarter or crowdfunded companies in the COOL list for 2015.