Daily Business Report-April 21, 2016
The life sciences industry was propelled by a $75 million investment in Acutus Medical, which makes a catheter, called ‘The Katheter,’ — part of a system designed to construct 3-D images and maps showing electrical activation in the heart. (Photo: Business Wire)
Venture Capitalists Invested $253.5 Million
In San Diego During First Quarter 2016
Venture capitalists invested $253.5 million in 21 San Diego deals during the first quarter of 2016, according to the MoneyTreeTM Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.
Consistent with historical investment in San Diego, the life sciences industry (biotechnology and medical devices combined) was the top industry for venture capital investment in San Diego during the first quarter, capturing $180.1 million, or 71 percent, of the total amount invested. The life sciences industry was propelled by a $75 million investment in an early stage company, Acutus Medical Inc. This is the third consecutive quarter in San Diego with a single company bringing in an investment in excess of $50 million.
The average deal size in San Diego was $12.1 million, a decrease from the average deal size in the fourth quarter of 2015, when it was $13.5 million, as well as a significant decrease from the first quarter of 2015, when the average deal size was $16.2 million.
The prior year of 2015 included a megadeal ($149.4 million to Suja Life LLC in third quarter 2015), as well as several deals in excess of $50 million, giving way to a larger average deal size than what has typically been seen in the past in San Diego.
The top three industries in San Diego (in terms of dollars invested) for the first quarter were life sciences, software, and financial services, with $180.1 million, $35.9 million, and $30.0 million, respectively. These industries represented 16 of the total 21 deals that took place in San Diego during the first quarter. The financial services industry, which took in a total of $19.7 million on four deals across all of 2015 and 2014, had a single deal totaling $30 million take place during the first quarter.
Of the $191.4 million which was invested in early stage/seed companies in San Diego during the first quarter, six deals totaling $155 million were within the life sciences industry, which is an increase of $14.8 million from prior quarter and $88.3 million from the first quarter of 2015. Within the software industry, $29.9 million of the $35.9 million invested during the first quarter related to expansion and later stage companies. The single deal within the financial services industry related to an early stage company.
Carl Vinson is First Aircraft Carrier
To Get Drone Command Center Installed
The USS Carl Vinson marked a historical milestone April 13 after installing the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) command center aboard an aircraft carrier.
Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager of Unmanned Carrier Aviation program office, inspected the site and recognized Carl Vinson Sailors instrumental in the security, logistics and installation of the UAV suite.
“This marks the start of a phased implementation of the MQ-XX system on an aircraft carrier,” said Duarte. “The lessons learned and ground-breaking work done here will go on to inform and influence future installations on other aircraft carriers.”
The UAV ready room was installed during Carl Vinson’s recent Chief of Naval Operations Planned Incremental Availability. The completion of all phases of installation is scheduled for 2022.
“We are carving out precious real estate on board the carrier, knowing that the carrier of the future will have manned and unmanned systems on it,” said Capt. Karl Thomas, Carl Vinson’s commanding officer. “This suite is an incremental step necessary to extend performance, efficiency and enhance safety of aerial refueling and reconnaissance missions that are expending valuable flight hours on our strike-fighter aircraft, the F/A-18 Echoes and Foxtrots.”
The MQ-XX program will deliver a high-endurance unmanned aircraft that will replace today’s F/A-18E/F aircraft in its role as the aerial tanker for the Navy’s carrier air wing, thus preserving the strike fighter’s flight hours for its primary mission. It will also leverage the range and payload capacity of high-endurance unmanned aircraft to provide critically needed, persistent, sea-based ISR capability in support of the CSG and the Joint Forces Commander.
The MQ-XX is scheduled to be operational in the mid-2020s.
“Having a UAV asset that provides persistent, potentially 24/7, surveillance coverage for the strike group is a game changer,” said Rear Adm. James Loeblein, commander of Carrier Strike Group 1. “Putting additional ISR capacity into the warfare commander’s hands increases the flexibility and warfare capability of the entire strike group.”
The Carl Vinson Strike Group is scheduled to depart on a Western Pacific deployment in 2017. Carl Vinson is currently pierside in its homeport of San Diego.
The Navy also reported that guided-missile destroyers Spruance and Decatur departed San Diego on Tuesday. The destroyers will join the guided-missile destroyer Momsen in waters off Southern California before heading to the Western Pacific as the Pacific Surface Action Group.
Cleantech San Diego Awarded $5 Million
ToAdvance Energy Innovation Industry
Cleantech San Diego has been awarded a $5 million grant over five years from the California Energy Commission to further advance the San Diego region’s energy innovation industry.
The award represents the largest grant Cleantech San Diego has received in its nine-year history. The award will be used to develop the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster, a partnership between nine regional business organizations and academic institutions that will connect entrepreneurs in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties to facilities, training, and resources to help them successfully bring energy innovations to market.
The San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster will be a partnership of Cleantech San Diego, CONNECT, San Diego Venture Group, Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Center for Sustainable Energy, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, and University of San Diego (USD). This partnership represents the first time these organizations have come together to work under one formal directive.
Cubic Executive Chosen to Help
Develop Transportation System App
Martin Howell, an executive with Cubic Corp., has joined the board of directors for the Mobility as a Service Alliance, a group exploring a new idea in public transportation where a rider would be billed at the end of the month for all the transportation services he or she used.
Howell is director of external affairs for Cubic Transportation Systems, a business unit of Cubic Corp.
Customers pay for what they use through a provider’s subscription service and are billed one invoice per month — similar to how utility or mobile phone services are managed today. Trials in Finland and Sweden have been well received, leading to further development by the MaaS Alliance in Europe, with the potential to extend to other global regions.
Among the benefits of MaaS is it could be significantly cheaper for a user when compared to owning a private vehicle, which has the cumulative costs of finance, insurance, maintenance, parking and more. MaaS also has the potential to remove millions of private vehicles from congested freeways, lessening pollution and other environmental impacts.
“Urban mobility faces not only pressure but opportunity, where revolutionary change is necessary if we are to face the challenges of population growth and limitations on infrastructure in our cities,” said Howell. “I am extremely excited to play a part in making MaaS a reality in Europe and look forward to working with the board to achieve this vision.”More than 20 organizations joined forces to create the Maas Alliance, including universities, European ITS organizations, public authorities and industry.
Canyon Crest Academy Ranked
5th Best Public High School in California
By City News Service
Canyon Crest Academy in northern San Diego is the fifth best public high school in the state, according to rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.
The campus in the San Dieguito Union School District ranked 73rd nationally. The publication commended the school for having 93 percent of its nearly 1,900 students participating in Advanced Placement classes, and a college readiness index of 86.6.
The Preuss School at UC San Diego ranked ninth in California and 98th nationally. The students, almost entirely low-income minorities, had a college readiness index of 83.1.
The rankings were based on language and math proficiency tests; whether black, Hispanic and low-income students performed better than their peers in their states; and, for the first time, graduation rates.
“A high school education is imperative for success in both college and a career, and a school’s graduation rate is a key indicator of whether students are being effectively prepared for both paths,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News. “The 2016 Best High Schools rankings provide students and parents with data-driven information on public schools to help them make better-informed decisions about their education.”
Among other area school rankings, the San Diego International Studies program at San Diego High School was 22nd in California and 191st in the nation; Westview High in Torrey Highland was 38th and 266th, respectively; Torrey Pines High in Carmel Valley, 43rd and 284th; Del Norte High in 4S Ranch, 50th and 334th; and La Jolla High, 54th and 355th.
“This is well-deserved national recognition for our high schools,” said San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten said of the schools in her district.
“Every day, our students, teachers and staff are working hard to learn and prepare for the future,” Marten said. “Their success is a cause for celebration for not only those campuses, but everyone in our district.”
U.S. News & World Report ranked the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas as tops in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row. The best in California was Whitney High of Cerritos, in southeastern Los Angeles County.