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Daily Business Report-March 14, 2014

Daily Business Report-March 14, 2014

SweetLabs Inc., an app distribution company, is one example of a successful San Diego startup company.

San Diego Cited as the Top City in

The U.S. for Launching a Startup

San Diego is the best place in the nation to start a small business this year, according to an article appearing in Forbes magazine’s website Thursday.

The publication surveyed 50 big cities and evaluated small businesses on the basis of those in high-growth industries, their numbers compared to all business, the percentage that accept credit cards, those with Facebook pages and websites and those found in online reviews.

The categories “evince community engagement and availability of relevant resources,” which are more important than a city’s job growth and income level, the magazine said. San Diego ranked in the top five in nearly every category.

“It’s no secret to San Diego’s entrepreneurs and startup community that San Diego is a great place to start a business,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “This is just a reminder that we need to continue to foster a fertile environment for small businesses to grow.”

He said he hopes the City Council will work with him “to encourage more of America’s entrepreneurs and startup community to make San Diego home.”

Denver and Austin, Texas, were ranked second and third, respectively, while San Francisco ranked sixth and San Jose 12th.

To compile the rankings, the magazine used information from Radius, a San Francisco technology company that collects small business data in the U.S. and offers a marketing platform to corporate clients selling to that sector.

Overall, Forbes predicted a revitalization of small businesses nationwide.

SweetLabs Inc., an app distribution company, is one example of a successful San Diego startup company.

SweetLabs operates a software network that enables software developers to distribute their software and earn money in the process. Its software network offers software developers’ recommendations in Windows installers. The company helps software developers to reach new users around the globe, as well as allows software advertisers to offer their products to end users. It provides analytics dashboard, recommendation console, geographical and language support, and developer support; and a software developer kit. SweetLabs was formerly known as OpenCandy Inc. and changed its name to SweetLabs Inc. in June 2011. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in San Diego.

Grand Jury Says City Council Should Fix Charter

Amendments to the San Diego City Charter for removing elected officials from office should go directly to the City Council, instead of a commission, to save time and money, the county grand jury recommended Thursday. In its first report of the year, the watchdog panel said the city charter only allows removal in the event of a death, resignation or recall, unless a provision that an official illegally spent city money is invoked.

The lack of an easier mechanism to remove an officeholder resulted in the recall effort against ex-Mayor Bob Filner, who was accused of sexual harassment by numerous women and eventually resigned under pressure Aug. 30. He later pleaded guilty to three charges and was sentenced to three years’ probation.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith called the charter a “mess,” with provisions that are “ambiguous, outdated and incomplete.” He said 48 sections need to be updated. City Council members should discuss possible amendments within their respective districts, the grand jurors said.

The city has until June 11 to respond to the grand jury. – City News Service report

New Power Sources Planned to Replace San Onofre Plant

California regulators Thursday approved a plan for two utilities to develop replacement power to help fill the void left by the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, but environmentalists warned it could open the way for more dirty energy, KPBS reports.

The nuclear plant between San Diego and Los Angeles, which stopped producing power in January 2012, once generated enough electricity for 1.4 million homes. The unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission opened the way for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to find ways to plug that gap.

Under the order, the utilities must obtain at least part of the power from renewable sources, conservation and storage. Commission President Michael Peevey said he would have preferred electricity that did not include natural gas-fired generation, but it wasn’t yet possible to rely only on solar and wind power, customer conservation and other alternative sources.

Environmentalists say the decision increases the odds of seeing more polluting energy as California seeks to address climate change, but Commissioner Mike Florio said no one in the world has managed to run a complex electricity grid without some fossil-fuel energy to handle unexpected shortages.

City Tackles Potholes

“You’re going to be seeing fewer potholes.”

That was the promise from Kris McFadden, who was tapped by Mayor Kevin Faulconer this week to be the new head of the city’s Transportation and Storm Water Department. McFadden said the goal of the crews are to fix potholes within five days a request is submitted,” 10 news reported.

Click here to report potholes to the Street Division…

Adam Day Appointed to Cal State University Board

Adam Day, 44, of Alpine, the assistant tribal manager for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation since 2002, has been appointed to the California State University Board of Trustees by Gov. Jerry Brown. Day was general manager at NCG Porter Novelli from 2000 to 2002 and vice president at the Flannery Group from 1999 to 2000. He was chief of staff for San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob from 1996 to 1999, senior policy adviser from 1993 to 1995 and campaign manager for Dianne Jacob for Supervisor from 1992 to 1993. Day was deputy chief of staff for San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox from 1995 to 1996, policy adviser for San Diego County Supervisor George Bailey from 1990 to 1992 and defense and foreign affairs legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. Pete Wilson in 1990. The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Day is a Republican.

BIO Announces Specialty Forums for June 23-26 Convention

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced specialty forums that will highlight the most pressing health issues facing the industry at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego. The convention is June 23-26.

The Orphan Disease Forum June 24 will focus on the international orphan drug marketplace, new and emerging funding models, the vital role of patient advocacy organizations and the scientific and regulatory considerations for orphan drug development.

The Regenerative Medicine Forum June 25 will delve into the ways stem cell science and regenerative medicine are impacting the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Spanning June 25-26, the Personalized Medicine & Diagnostics Forum and the Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics Forum will hear from business thought leaders from Ernst & Young, Roche and Foundation Medicine as well as key partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission.

Architectural School Receives Accreditation

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design announced that it has been granted initial accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission. Accreditation indicates that the school has met its standards for quality, institutional capacity,and educational effectiveness. This is the latest accreditation achieved by the school, which currently holds institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and programmatic accreditation for its professional architecture programs through the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

NASSCO Delivers USND John Glenn to the Navy

General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the USNS John Glenn, the second ship of the Mobile Landing Platform class, to the U.S. Navy. The ship is named after John Glenn for his service as a U.S. Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and U.S. senator. Construction of the USNS John Glenn began in April 2012.

The 785-foot-long auxiliary ship will serve as a floating base for amphibious operations, and operate as a transfer point between large ships and small landing craft.

NASSCO is currently building the third ship of the class, MLP 3, which will be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). It is scheduled for undocking in November and delivery in the second quarter of 2015.

 

RAD Lab team members Phillip Auchettel and David Loewenstein talk with Sumeet Parekh, the owner of a vacant lot RAD Lab hopes to transform into an urban park.

RAD Lab team members Phillip Auchettel and David Loewenstein talk with Sumeet Parekh, the owner of a vacant lot RAD Lab hopes to transform into an urban park.

‘Tactical Urbanism’ Converts Vacant Lot into Urban Park

A new trend called “tactical urbanism” has been popping up in Downtown San Diego. The term means creating quick, cheap and sometimes temporary projects that draw foot traffic to downtown spaces, KPBS reports.

It’s being put to use by the nonprofit Downtown San Diego Partnership, which set up games and live music on C Street last October and now wants to give speedy makeovers to unused spaces like vacant lots to transform them into parks or something else that can be used by the public.

One  project is under way in East Village, where commercial real estate company HP Investors is lending a vacant lot to the Downtown Partnership. The nonprofit, working with the design firm RAD Lab, decided to ask for the public’s input on what should go in the lot. So they put up a sign in front of the lot asking people to write down ideas for what they want to see in the space.

The list filled up in less than a week. Suggestions ranged from the improbable — a new Chargers stadium — to the feasible — a dog park.

David Loewenstein, the chief operating officer of RAD Lab, said one of the most popular ideas was a children’s playground and family park. He said while they are still sifting through the suggestions, it seems the lot will likely be transformed into some kind of urban park. “We definitely want to do some sort of canopy system in here, to allow for more shade when the sun’s really hot, we want to do a lot of seating, definitely some sort of art installation,” he said. “Possibly have a changing art installation so that every time you come, it’s different.”

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

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