San Diego Business Journal


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S.D. Success Stories Show Way to Funding

FINANCE: You Need to Know How to Pursue VC

San Diego’s entrepreneurs shouldn’t feel pressured to book their one-way tickets to the San Francisco Bay Area to get venture backing. “We think there are great deals outside of the Bay Area,” said Peter Solvik, partner with Jackson Square Ventures, a San Francisco-based firm previously called Sigma West.

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Can Old Sempra Tower Leave Its Past Behind?

PROPERTY: Mixed-Use Plans Blocked By Zoning Designation

Property owner Sandor Shapery envisions a significant mixed-use residential makeover of the downtown San Diego high-rise building that formerly housed the longtime headquarters of Sempra Energy.

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Lining Gives Old Pipes A New Lease on Life

SERVICE: Cos.’ Solutions Save on Cost, Construction

Two San Diego pipe repair and replacement firms — Nu Flow and Bill Howe — have no shortage of business as private companies and public officials strain to modernize an aging infrastructure that some estimate could cost at least $1 billion to fix.

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Plotting The Course

BIOTECH: Co.’s Software, Data Bring Key Information To Choosing Cancer Treatments

The buzz in San Diego is that our software hub is growing, but the city’s true sweet spot is where science and software meet.

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Developers Seek Exemption for High-Rise Housing in Hillcrest

PROPERTY: Update To Community Plan Brings Clash of Interests

San Diego city planners by year’s end are aiming to resolve long-disputed issues relating to the future of commercial and residential development in the popular Hillcrest neighborhood.

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Task Mastering

BUILDING: Co.’s Software Gives Subcontractors the Technological Tools To Both Document And Do the Job

Wendy Rogers was once a consultant to subcontractors, helping them get paid for work they had done, but not clearly documented on large construction projects.

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Festival Provides Prime Product Placement

ECONOMY: KAABOO Hits Demographic Bull’s-Eye

San Diego companies are prepared to broaden their name recognition and get their products into new customers’ hands this month at KAABOO, a three-day music festival in Del Mar that is ready to kick off its second year with a commitment to return for an additional four years.

Retail in Balancing Act With Malls and Mobile

RETAIL: Properties Use Fun, Budget Buys to Draw Crowd

Retailers and shopping center operators are making major changes to their business strategies as online and mobile commerce take an increasingly big bite out of traditional store sales.

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It’s Business’s Big Word; What Does it Mean?

COMPANIES: ‘Startup’ Label Can Be Tricky to Define

The word “startup” may not mean what you think it means. The label has boomed in popularity over the past decade, evolving from a buzzword during the dotcom era to the fuzzword it is today.

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Under The Microscope

MEDICINE: Co. Shares Its Lab Expertise to Cut Costs and Improve Care

In an industry where business models often promote outsourcing of health care services, San Diego-based blood and laboratory services company Accumen Inc. is growing quickly by doing the opposite: partnering with hospitals to make the most of their in-house blood transfusion and lab-testing operations. Since its first business deal five years ago this month, Accumen says its revenue has climbed 20 percent to 50 percent per year — unremarkable for a young company until you consider it became profitable its second year, paid cash in spring for a Michigan laboratory consulting

A New Kind of Policy to Safeguard Small Business Finances

Tech: New Insurance May Protect Companies From Cybersecurity Losses

About 18 months ago, a cybercriminal tricked a Regents Bank client into transferring $150,000 out of his business account.

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Lawyer Fights for Qualcomm, Under Qualcomm in Varied Career

LAW: Strauss Led Outside Team in Big Contamination Case

High-tech and low-tech. Steve Strauss considers the contrast and smiles. The issues that cross his desk run the gamut. Strauss is a trial lawyer, a partner with Cooley LLP, with an office in San Diego.

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Cybersecurity’s Shared Concerns

Private Sector Becoming Proactive; Board Should Be Regularly Briefed

The threat of compromise by cybercriminals is far from theoretical for major San Diego businesses such as chip maker Qualcomm Inc. and medtech giant Illumina Inc.

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‘Probiotics’ for Skin Germinate Partnership

BIOTECH: Xycrobe, J&J Enter Research Deal

San Diego’s Xycrobe Therapeutics has landed a sought-after partnership with Johnson & Johnson to research how “good bacteria” can be harnessed for skin care products.

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Software Firm Realizing Big Power in Microgrids

ENERGY: CleanSpark Seeks Solar Sweet Spot

The recently acquired Poway energy software company that developed the microgrid running Camp Pendleton’s power system has completed the initial phase of a larger version serving a commercial client in Borrego Springs.

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Some See Employers as Part of Housing Solution

HOUSING: Cos. May Have to Act to Keep S.D. Competitive

It didn’t sound like real estate advisor Gary London was toning things down in his recently published assessment that San Diego’s housing shortage has become an impending crisis for local employers and that the latest approach to solving it could backfire and contribute to an “unprecedented economic challenge.”

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Engineers Race to Develop Lucrative Software

Automobiles are not just a Detroit thing. The auto industry has been in Southern California for decades — several automakers have designed cars in San Diego — and Detroit’s marquee industry could very easily have a future in the region.

Driving Change

Driverless Cars’ Off-Road Impact Will Be Big

Major business players in the automotive sector are now placing multimillion-dollar bets on a future where self-driving cars take people wherever they want to go.

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Building A Powerhouse

Tijuana’s Manufacturing and S.D.’s Medical Cos.’ Interests Should Align, But Will They?

Cali Baja has become the world mecca of medical device manufacturing, and yet many companies — even here in San Diego — are choosing to do their manufacturing elsewhere.

Marketing Division Gives SDG&E Voice on Issue

ENERGY: CCA Energy Buying Option at Center of Utility’s Move

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has become the first investor-owned utility in California to create a shareholder-funded marketing division to speak up about the growing number of local organizations being proposed to sell electricity to residential users.

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The Employees Benefit

ECONOMY: Millennials, Changing Labor Market Make Work Perks a Must

It’s sad, but true: many workers feel disposable, and employers do little to discourage the feeling, according to market research.

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Know Hitters

Co. Combines Hardware and Software to Evaluate How Your Form Is Functioning In Baseball and Other Sports

Justin Goltz gets into position to hit a baseball perched on a stand in front of him. A knot of bystanders feels the powerful whap of wood hitting leather as the ball sinks deep into a net.

Illumina Reportedly Gets $30 Billion Offer From Thermo Fisher

San Diego medtech giant Illumina Inc., the world’s largest developer of DNA sequencing machines, reportedly has received a $30 billion takeover offer from global firm Thermo Fisher Scientific.

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TMD Stays Neutral; Study Hits Convadium

The San Diego Tourism Marketing District will not formally campaign against the San Diego Chargers’ November ballot measure aimed at financing a downtown stadium and convention facility, despite issuing a consulting report that negatively critiqued the project.

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Hotel Could Bring Big Changes to Escondido

TRAVEL: Stone’s Project May Rev Up the Business Climate

“We’re already getting emails from people saying they want to hold the first wedding at Stone Hotel,” said Steve Robbins, director of hospitality at Stone Brewing Co., describing public reaction to the recent announcement that the brewer is moving forward with plans for a full-service, 99-room hotel adjacent to its flagship Escondido brewing facilities.

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Selling Solo

PHARMA: Orexigen Readies for Contrave’s Make-or-Break Sales Push

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. should stand among the elite in San Diego’s life science community as one of the few local companies that has an approved drug on the market — and real revenue filling its coffers.

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Seize The Momentum

Hot Spots Heat Up Commercial Markets, But Caution Is in the Air Despite Fairly Solid Forecast

In their recent twice-yearly survey gauging California commercial real estate sentiment, researchers at UCLA Anderson Forecast and the law firm Allen Matkins found investors and developers generally bullish on their prospects through 2019 — even if some expressed a twinge of caution about a coming “topping out” in optimism related to the office and retail markets.

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Partners Take Holistic Approach to M&A

FINANCE: New Investment Bank Won’t Parcel Out Process

An investment banker and the head of marketing operations for a division of the nation’s largest energy retailer have teamed up to open a Del Mar-based investment bank focused on mergers and acquisitions.

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Teens Targeted With Subscription Skincare

RETAIL: E-Commerce Tactics To Open Up Market for Adigica

One of the biggest names in local biotech, David Hale, is joining forces with an e-commerce expert to bring the sale of skincare products into the digital age.

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Hotels Get In-Room Help Saving Energy

POWER: Co.’s System Adjusts Environment in Empty Rooms

Hotels waste a lot of energy when they heat and cool the booked — yet empty — rooms of travelers. And those sky-high utility bills end up taking a sizable chunk from the hotel’s bottom line.