San Diego Business Journal

SDBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Company’s Software Grades On Curve, Hills and Highways

TECH: It Piggybacks On Telematics Systems To Rate Drivers’ Safety

Just how good a driver are you: Excellent? OK? Not so great?

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Several Options Being Considered for Former Sempra Building

PROPERTY: Speculation Includes City Hall, Hotel, As Manchester Gets Stake

As Sempra Energy completed its move into a brand-new headquarters tower in East Village, the owners of its former downtown home were mulling the next life for the 46-year-old Ash Street building.

‘Next MacGyver’s’ Engineering Feat Is to Inspire

Beth Keser of San Diego is one of 12 finalists in “The Next MacGyver” competition in Beverly Hills. The contest was created to introduce a new iconic TV series starring a female engineer and developed in conjunction with MacGyver creator Lee Zlotoff and The MacGyver Foundation.

Notre Dame, Navy to Clash At the Q in ’18

The U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Notre Dame will face off in a regular season football game at Qualcomm stadium in 2018, the San Diego Bowl Game Association said recently.

Biotechs Insulate Region as IPO Market Cools

BIOTECH: Surge in Private Financing Allows Some Cos. to Put Off IPO

The once white-hot market for initial public offerings in the U.S. has cooled in recent months as private companies stay private longer or opt to be taken out by larger rivals. But the local biotechnology scene may be insulating San Diego from the trend.

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Qualcomm Strategy: Cut Employee Count, Costs

ECONOMY: Investor Pressure Changes Board; Split Is on Table

Wireless communications giant Qualcomm Inc. said July 22 that it plans to lay off 4,500 employees as part of an effort to streamline its business.

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No Doom Seen in S.D.’s VC Gloom

FINANCE: Activity Drops in Late Round, Seed Stage Grows

Venture capital investments slowed significantly in San Diego last quarter even as private equity dollars surged nationwide, according to two prominent reports.

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DJO Muscling In Consumer Market

FITNESS: New Device First Of Its Kind to Get FDA OK

DJO Global is launching a new device for fitness buffs that uses electricity and wireless technology to activate muscles.

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WATER HAZARD

SPORT: Golf Courses Make Changes, Redesigns To Survive the Drought

100-year-old oak trees rise above impressive boulders and chaparral to frame the lush tees, greens and fairways at Meadow Lake Golf Club northeast of Escondido.

AB 525 Will Bring Fairness Back to Franchising

When I came to this country, I had $20 in my pocket and little else but dreams. Now I have a home; I own my own business with three stores; I have one son who just earned a master’s degree and another in college.

Fundraising Fete Brings Big Amount to Voices for Children

Voices for Children held its annual Wine Women and Shoes fundraiser, which raised a record-breaking $225,000. The proceeds will provide many more foster children in San Diego County with the caring support of a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA volunteer. The event was held at the Mission Hills home of Marina Marrelli, a former board member and longtime supporter of VFC. Guests enjoyed wine tasting, shopping, fashion vignettes, and a live auction. The top seller in the auction was a pair of floor tickets to the Rolling Stones and an overnight stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

National Investment Firms Buying into Carlsbad Office Market

The city of Carlsbad has emerged as San Diego County’s hot hub for big sales of existing office properties so far in 2015.

The Headquarters Getting Flour & Barley Restaurant

Operators of The Headquarters at Seaport commercial center in downtown San Diego recently signed a lease with Block 16 Hospitality to operate the region’s first Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza restaurant, set to open this fall.

Industry Leaders Forecast Higher Demand, Rents

The San Diego Business Journal recently spoke with top local regional executives of the larger commercial real estate brokerage companies. Here are some of their takes on what happened in the year’s first half and what’s likely ahead for the rest of 2015:

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Speculating On What’s Next

With Few Spec Projects Underway, Market Conditions Continue to Drive Up Tenant Costs

Halfway through 2015, San Diego County’s commercial real estate market is reaping the benefits of continued new-job creation and an unemployment rate that had dipped to 4.9 percent as of late spring, down from around 6 percent at the same point of 2014.

Digital Gift Card Business Transaction Wireless Inc. Is Sold

A subsidiary of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has acquired Transaction Wireless Inc., a San Diego firm that specializes in prepaid digital gift cards for mobile devices such as phones, as well as social media.

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Small Loans Become Profitable With Employers on Board

FINANCE: Payroll Deductions Are a Key Part of Lowering Risk

Borrowers looking for a loan of $1,000 or less typically have limited choices. Banks say the interest and fees often aren’t enough to make the loan profitable, as the origination and servicing costs are just as high as more traditional loans. Payday loans require fast payback and carry high annualized interest rates.

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Zodiac Pool Systems Always Looking for Next Good Buy

PRODUCTION: The Co. Finds Success in Preserving Its Brands’ Identities

There aren’t many Southern California companies that can claim they’re connected to a 19th century French aeronaut.

Viviano’s Departure Won’t Slow UCSD Health’s Building Boom

UC San Diego Health System is losing its well-respected chief executive officer, Paul Viviano, but hospital officials say the loss won’t delay its building boom.

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Serving Appetite for Healthful Restaurant Fare

DINING: Company’s Main Focus is on The National Chains

As the restaurant industry caters to the increasingly health-conscious consumer, tweaking menu items to reduce calories and promote super foods, a company in San Diego is making it easier to find the closest and healthiest spot for dinner.

Submaran Can Dive Right Into Missions Without a Crew

TECH: Seagoing Craft Carries Sensors, Operates Autonomously

Ocean Aero Inc. builds sailboats, but its product is unlike any sailboat you have seen before.

RF Surgical Is Being Acquired By Medtronic

Carlsbad-based health tech firm RF Surgical Systems Inc. will be acquired by Dublin-based Medtronic for roughly $235 million, according to a recent news release.

Survey Finds CEOs Expect Hiring Slowdown

WORKFORCE: More Than 70% of Small Firms Expected Revenue Gains

CEOs plan on adding fewer workers to their payroll despite cautious optimism about economic improvement, according to the second quarter 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index Survey of small- to mid-sized businesses.

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Qualcomm Still Gets ‘Buy’ in Challenging Times

TECH: Earnings to Be Reported July 22; Critics Call for Change

Earnings season is one of the few times in a year when Qualcomm Inc. executives break their usual silence to offer a glimpse of how the company is faring.

Daily Transcript to Shut Down After 130 Years

MEDIA: Increasing Costs, Uncertainties Prompted Closure

The Daily Transcript, San Diego’s daily business newspaper, will print its last edition on Sept. 1 and cease operations later that month, the publisher of the nearly 130-year-old publication announced Wednesday.

Receptos Sale Is a Familiar Story for S.D.

The tally is now 20. That’s how many of the largest companies in San Diego County in the past 11 years have been sold, relocated, went private or liquidated. Now another prominent, young biotech bids adieu.

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Aztecs, Bowl Games May Need New Home if Chargers Bolt

SPORT: Stadium Said To Need a Pro Team To Be Viable Venue

The conversation over San Diego football in Mission Valley and a replacement for the aging Qualcomm Stadium has naturally focused on how to keep the Chargers in town.

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Sale of High-Flying Receptos Could Fuel More Innovation

BIOTECH: Talent Likely to Start New Ventures

In one of the largest sales of a San Diego biotech to date, New Jersey-based drug maker Celgene has agreed to purchase Receptos Inc. for $7.2 billion.

Behind the Innovation Is Lots of Patent Power

ECONOMY: IP Prowess Seen In Region’s Rankings

If patents are a measure of brainpower, the region is awash in gray matter.

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The Aftermath

What Price Would S.D. Pay If the Chargers Leave Town?

San Diego native Rafael Alvarez remembers coming across a homeless person in Barrio Logan a few years back, and recalls that despite having a hard life, the man proudly sported a San Diego Chargers cap.