Daily Business Report-Nov. 5, 2014
California Water Bond Wins Passage
California’s aging water infrastructure and collection of ecosystems will receive a $7.5 billion injection of taxpayer dollars, as voters on Tuesday approved a sizable bond that had become a priority for lawmakers and the governor.
Voters were backing Proposition 1 by 67.5 percent to 32.5 percent with 35 percent of precincts reporting.
A drought that has withered water supplies, imperiled farms and deprived some Californians of reliable drinking water placed the water bond atop the Legislature’s agenda this year. Lawmakers barreled through deadlines as they sought to craft a bond measure that could win broad support and replace a previous bond measure, passed in 2009, that most came to reject as too large.
From the moment in August that the Legislature passed bond legislation and Gov. Jerry Brown affixed his signature, backers projected confidence about the measure’s chances. They unified in a coalition that included environmental groups, agricultural entities and organized labor.
The governor campaigned heavily for the bond — more assertively, it seemed at times, than for his own re-election (He won an historic fourth term). Brown had vowed to oppose an $11.1 billion measure that lawmakers passed in 2009 and then delayed twice. Lawmakers discarded that bond and substituted the $7.5 billion measure that, while higher than the $6 billion total Brown initially floated, still represented a slimmed-down alternative.
The breadth and financial might of the pro-bond coalition easily eclipsed the opponents. A small group of environmental groups, funded largely by donations from the Stockton area, decried what they called an emphasis on building new dams and warned the bond could quietly aid Brown’s intent to build two massive water pipes beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
— Sacramento Bee
Samsung Acquires San Diego-based Proximal Data
San Diego-based Proximal Data, which specializes in server-side caching software with I/O intelligence for virtualized systems, has been acquired by South Korean tech giant Samsung. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Proximal Data’s AutoCache software, a virtual cache storage solution, is supposed to increase virtual machine density and performance by eliminating I/O (Input/Output) bottlenecks. Virtual machines on server-attached flash drives thus execute faster.
Proximal Data was founded in 2011 by CEO Rory Bolt. According to its management page, Bolt has more than 25 years of experience in data storage systems, data protection systems, and high performance computing. This is his fourth startup, and it’s also not his first successful exit. In the previous one, Avamar Technologies, he played a key role in selling the business to EMC for $165 million.
A report in The Register estimated Proximal Data had raised a total of $8 million to date.
More Start-Up Companies Selected
For Law Firm’s LaunchPad Incubator
A second group of start-up companies has been selected to participate in LaunchPad, the Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP start-up incubator.
The companies selected for the program will move into the LaunchPad headquarters inside Procopio’s Del Mar Heights office where they will be able to take advantage of free office space, a suite of legal services, access to business training and mentorship, as well as networking and investor introduction opportunities.
The companies selected to join the incubator are:
• Onramp BioInformatics: A company focused on enabling Personalized Medicine through streamlined genomics analysis.
• Visual Mobility: A developer of a new generation of mobility software products to address the growing mobile needs of customers.
At least one additional company is scheduled to join this group in the near future.
LaunchPad opened its doors in 2012 with the purpose of creating a space where technology entrepreneurs, C-level mentors, and sources of capital mix to grow successful companies.
“As strong supporters of a community that is based on innovation, we recognized a unique niche we at Procopio could fill in establishing one of the first incubators tied with a law firm,” said Paul Johnson, a Procopio partner and administrator of the LaunchPad incubator. “Our goal is to find the best companies out there that are using technology to make a difference in the market.”
For most law firms, representing start-up companies is a risky investment as more fail than succeed, but to date Procopio’s efforts are paying off, according to Johnson. He said two of the four companies that were part of the first LaunchPad class have secured significant financing.
One of those companies was Bretelon, which describes itself as a stealth technology company developing products in the IoT (“Internet of Things”) space. Entrepreneur Christopher Williams, Bretelon’s president and chief operating officer, said their experience with Procopio’s Launch Pad had been one of complete and professional support.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.
Renews Lease for 3-Building Campus
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has renewed a lease for a three-building office campus totaling 182,870 square feet. The property is located in the Kearny Mesa Spectrum Center at 9326 and 9356 Spectrum Center Blvd. and 4830 Ruffin Road, both San Diego. Colliers International represented the lessor, American Fund US Investments LP. CBRE represented Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.is the property’s original tenant and has occupied it for nearly 10 years. The office campus, built in 2005, is comprised of two, two-story buildings and one, three-story building. The property features a large data center, 608 surface parking spaces, electric vehicle charging stations, fully fenced and gated lot, and cafeteria with multiple outdoor eating areas
Torrey Pines Bank Hires Senior Loan Officers
Torrey Pines Bank announced the hiring of Whitney Price and Larry Gutting as senior loan officers at the vice president level. They work at the bank’s Downtown San Diego office at 550 West C St.
Price is responsible for the development and management of financial relationships by helping local business owners with their credit, deposit and cash management services as well as helping the bank grow its market share in the San Diego area. She has more than 18 years of financial and banking industry experience and was most recently vice president and senior relationship manager at a private bank.
Gutting is responsible for helping the bank grow market share in the San Diego area by developing and managing comprehensive financial relationships and helping local business owners and professionals access the financial instruments they need. Gutting has more than 50 years of banking industry experience in the San Diego area and has held several high profile positions.
Air Force Hero Inducted Into
San Diego Air & Space Museum
Pavilion of Flight
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Fitzhugh L. “Fitz” Fulton Jr., a decorated Air Force and civilian pilot, was among several aviation pioneers who were inducted into the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Pavilion of Flight as the “Distinguished Class of 2014.” Guests from around the world joined the honorees at the induction ceremonies Nov. 1 in Balboa Park.
While in the service, Fulton flew in the Berlin Airlift and Korean War, tested the Air Force’s newest bombers, launched every X-Plane from the X-1 to the X-15 and tested the Mach 2 B-58 Hustler and triplesonic XB-70 Valkyrie.
After retiring from the Air Force following a 23-year career, he flew for NASA, piloting aircraft such as the YF-12 (later the SR-71) Blackbird and 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and after leaving NASA, he became a test pilot for Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites. Fulton is the recipient of numerous aviation awards, including four Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Harmon International Aviation Trophy.