Daily Business Report-March 27, 2015
EvoNexus CEO Rory Moore, left with Sonic VR CEO Jason Riggs. (Photo/Chris Jennewein)
Headphone Startup Big Winner
In Competition for Investors
Sixteen San Diego startups with innovations ranging from first responder drones to an automated pet-training system competed for the investment brass ring Thursday night at EvoNexus’ Demo Day.
Sonic VR, which is introducing radical new headphone technology, was voted the best, and its team left immediately for dinner at Estancia La Jolla with a group of 20 potential investors.
The company wants to “change the way the world experiences audio,” said CEO Jason Riggs. “We have the breakthrough technology to capture this market.”
The third and largest Demo Day to date drew a crowd of 350 to the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego.
Each startup was introduced and given five minutes to make its pitch. The audience then voted via an online site.
Typical of the pitches was Obrary, a startup developing software for custom manufacturing. “We’re solving a problem that most people don’t know even exists,” said Scott Austin, CEO and co-founder of the company.
PartySpark is trying to automate the process of planning parties, letting consumers plan an event through an online interface.
Lab Fellows is offering a scientific laboratory on demand, allowing researches to perform experiments at one-tenth the typical cost.
Each of the startups had gone through a four-month program during which they develop a minimum viable product and validate the market for it.
CEO Rory Moore said that in the six years since the incubator program began, EvoNexus has graduated 81 companies. Those companies have raised $227 million in funding and received $376 million through acquisitions. “We had no idea this would be so successful,” Moore said.
EvoNexus now has incubator locations Downtown, in University City and in Irvine in Orange County, all contributed by the Irvine Co.
— Times of San Diego
City, County May Pledge $250K
Each For Chargers Stadium Experts
San Diego city and county officials Thursday unveiled a proposal for each to contribute up to $250,000 to retain consultants, attorneys and other experts to prepare for upcoming negotiations with the Chargers over a new stadium.
“Through this partnership, we will bring on the experts to make sure that San Diego taxpayers are getting a good, and a fair deal with a proposed new stadium,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
“These expert consultants will assist us in developing possible stadium financing options, advise us on related developments and legal matters, and improvement in financial issues,” he said.
The deal calls for the city and county to split the consulting costs 50-50. The proposal will go before the City Council and county Board of Supervisors next month for approval.
Supervisor Ron Roberts said “negotiations are clearly coming” with the Chargers.
“We want to have a positive result, but we also want to have a fair result,” Roberts said. “We want something that the residents of our communities will feel comfortable (with) and have some pride in.”
Roberts previously floated the idea of the county floating a “bridge loan” to assist with financing a stadium, which would provide a playing home for the Chargers, San Diego State University, the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, high school championships and special events.
Faulconer said he plans to take any final stadium proposal to voters next year, though it’s now unlikely that a ballot measure would require two-thirds approval. Roberts said it still hasn’t been decided whether such a vote would go before all county voters, or just those within the city of San Diego.
— City News Service
Chamber and Labor Partner
To Help Spread Word on Tax Help
United Way of San Diego County has brought together two often warring organizations — the business friendly San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, to help spread awareness of free tax services and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is considered the largest and most powerful anti-poverty program, offering free tax assistance.
“Last year, the program brought back $10.5 million to local San Diegans. We’re pleased that the Labor Council and Chamber agreed to jointly participate to help families countywide,” said Kevin Crawford, United Way president and CEO.
Free tax preparation is available to San Diegans with low- and moderate-income households through a United Way partnership with the IRS, county of San Diego and other funders. Most households that earn $53,000 or less are eligible to file their taxes for free, and many will also qualify for EITC and receive money back to support their families. The Earned Income Tax Credit can be up to $6,000 based on income and the number of qualifying children.
“Last year, the program helped file more than 48,000 federal and state returns,” said Chamber President and CEO, Jerry Sanders. “The tax credits filed in these returns bring a significant amount of money back into our economy, driving our region forward.”
Study: San Diego Second in Nation in Solar Energy
San Diego ranks second nationally and fourth per capita in solar installations, according to a study released Thursday by the nonprofit Environment California.
At the end of 2014, 149 megawatts of solar capacity was in operation in San Diego, behind only the 170 megawatts in Los Angeles. The category includes all kinds of solar installations, whether rooftop or utility scale, the environmental organization said.
Environment California said 110 watts of solar was produced per person in San Diego, which ranked behind Honolulu, Indianapolis and San Jose.
“San Diego is leading the way in solar energy, and that’s going to help us meet many of our city’s environmental goals and put San Diegans back to work,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “Solar energy is a key element to the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan, which calls for 100 percent renewable energy use in the city by 2035.”
Environment California credits a commitment to solar energy among city leaders statewide, and streamlined and predictable permitting fees.
The study found that the U.S. had 20,500 megawatts of solar electric capacity at the end of last year, enough to power 4 million homes.
— City News Service
Police Report Drop in Use of
Force When Body Cameras Worn
The San Diego Police Department says the use of body-worn video cameras by officers has led to fewer complaints by residents and less use of force by officers.
The report that was developed by the Police Department for the City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee showed that complaints fell 41 percent, total allegations were reduced by 60 percent and use of “personal body” force by officers dropped by 47 percent. The use of pepper spray was also reduced by 31 percent. The results from this study reflect comparisons to prior periods in which body-worn cameras were not deployed.
The San Diego Police Department currently deploys 600 AXON body and flex cameras to their police officers and uses TASER’s cloud-based platform, Evidence.com, to efficiently store and manage the data from their cameras and other digital devices. The department plans to have nearly 1,000 officers, including patrol officers, gang-unit officers and motorcycle officers equipped with body cameras by the end of 2015.
Assembly Members Lead Delegation to Cuba
Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) will lead a trade delegation of legislators, academics, and representatives of the state’s agricultural industry to Cuba from March 30 to April 3 during the legislative recess.
The purpose of the delegation is to establish relationships with Cuban policymakers, farmers, and businesses and to explore the various options for collaboration on matters of mutual benefit for California and Cuba. Legislators will also have the opportunity to discuss new opportunities for a wide range of California businesses, including telecommunications, construction, and banking, which are opening due to developments in the U.S.-Cuba relationship.
“With the federal government moving forward with efforts to normalize diplomatic, economic, and commercial relations, it is important for California to also engage with Cuba and expand economic relationships that create new opportunities for businesses in our state,” Atkins said. “The Assembly wants to do everything we can to create more jobs and business in California, and this trade delegation is one way to help California companies gain a competitive edge.”
San Diego Nation’s 5th Most Populous County
San Diego County is the nation’s fifth-most populous with 3.3 million residents, and added the fourth-highest number of residents between 2013 and 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday.
According to the Census Bureau, San Diego County added 41,000 residents between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014.
Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, had the largest increase in the nation at 89,000, while Maricopa County, Ariz., which includes Phoenix, added 74,000 people to place second. Los Angeles County was third, adding 63,000 residents.
Four of the top 10 counties are in California. Here is the list in terms of population on July 1, 2014:
Los Angeles County — 10,116,705 residents
Cook County, Ill.– 5,246,456 residents
Harris County, Texas — 4,441,370
Maricopa County, Ariz. — 4,087,191
San Diego County — 3,263,431
Orange County — 3,145,515
Miami-Dade County, Fla. — 2,662,874
Kings County, N.Y. — 2,621,793
Dallas County, Texas — 2,518,638
Riverside County –2,329,271.
Riverside County added 32,000 people between 2013 and 2014, overtaking Queens County, N.Y., to land in the top 10.
Shea Homes to Unveil Two Model Homes
Shea Homes San Diego will unveil two new model homes at Everly in El Cajon on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Showcasing Spanish and Craftsman architecture in four floor plans, homes at Everly range from 1,709 to 1,957 square feet with three to four bedrooms, 2.5 to three baths and a two-car garage. Prices are expected to range from the $420,000s to the $520,000s when sales begin on April 4.
Everly was designed by Starck Architecture + Planning to appeal to first-time homebuyers or homeowners ready to make their first move-up purchase. Features include kitchen islands, granite and cultured marble countertops, Schlage chrome hardware, Delta faucets, GE stainless steel appliances, tankless water heaters and high-efficiency gas heating and air conditioning. Dulce Design handled interior design and merchandising for Everly’s two model homes.
Everly is located at 334 Dahlia Way near the intersection of West Chase Avenue and Avocado Boulevard. For more information, call (619) 201-8288 or visit www.sheahomes.com.
Broadstone Corsair Open for Leasing
Alliance Residential Co. has opened for leasing the first phase of Broadstone Corsair, a 360-unit rental housing project in Kearny Mesa. Leases start in the $1,800s.
The project will offer one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 648 square feet to 1,251 square feet.
Amenities include 32 electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop photovoltaic solar panels to power common areas, swimming pool and two-story fitness club.
Toria Watson Heads Moonlight Cultural Foundation
Toria Watson has been named the executive director of Moonlight Cultural Foundation, the fundraising arm and producing partner of Moonlight State Productions.
Watson will provide organizational and strategic leadership to move the foundation forward, as well as to enhance the relationship between the foundation, donors and the community. She is also charged with raising the visibility of the organization and growing corporate and foundation giving.
Watson has been a part of the nonprofit and arts industries for more than 10 years. Prior to this position she served as director of corporate development and special events for the San Diego chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Watson is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is a Fieldstone Foundation Emergent Leaders’ graduate and has a certification in fundraising management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy-Indiana University.
Watson studied classical ballet under Louise Glenn of San Diego Civic Youth Ballet and Jacqueline Hepner of Ballet Society San Diego, receiving scholarships to both School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet Theatre. She has toured with the Santa Barbara Ballet Company as a guest artist performing in a variety of roles.
Terry Salyer Joins BioNano Genomics
BioNano Genomics Inc. announced the appointment of Terry Salyer as chief commercial officer. Salyer has more than 20 years of experience building
worldwide sales teams in life sciences.
Salyer will oversee the commercialization of BioNano’s Irys System, a genome-mapping platform to assemble a comprehensive view of complex genomes to help discover and investigate structural variations. To date, 32 institutions located in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, already own an Irys System, and BioNano recently expanded its existing Asia-Pacific distribution to Japan.
Prior to joining BioNano Genomics, Salyer was the vice president of worldwide sales at ProteinSimple where she doubled the revenue growth. Previous to ProteinSimple, she was vice president of worldwide sales at ForteBio, where she held a role in successfully selling the business to Pall Corporation.