San Diego Business Journal

SDBJ WEEKLY EDITION

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Suites at Qualcomm Upgraded in Effort to Lure Business Clients

Sports: Chargers Seek To Keep Pace With Other Stadiums’ Luxury Amenities

As the San Diego Chargers hope to upgrade their roster during next month’s NFL draft to be more competitive on the field, the team is upgrading its luxury suites at Qualcomm Stadium to be more competitive generating revenue.

Parallel Is Pursuing Office Property Bargains in Secondary Markets

Real Estate: Big-Ticket Sales Show Improving Climate

San Diego’s Parallel Capital Partners Inc. has recently picked up some trophy office properties at what it considers bargain prices by historical standards. And it’s had plenty of company in the local market so far in 2014.

Alumnify Creates Collegial Connections for Alumni and Schools

TECH: Business Model Includes Annual Fees From Schools, Donation Feature

College taught A.J. Agrawal a fair amount, but the young tech CEO said he got quite an education after graduation, when he had to cold-call hundreds of colleges.

Group Gathers Forces to Help Software Startups

TECH: Investors Get Chance for Informal Networking, Discussion

The leaders behind a new software-centric forum called Swarm, which seeks to bring local entrepreneurs and investors together, hope the event can reverse a disturbing trend they’re seeing.

Connect’s New Leader Eager to Have an Impact

Innovation: McKee Brings Experience in Biotech, Finance to Nonprofit Role

Greg McKee started his career as an investment banker and moved on to a series of executive jobs in biotechnology, before returning to banking.

Aircraft Parts Maker Branching Into Repair

Manufacturing: QCMI Lands Lucrative Deal To Rebuild Engine Parts

A Santee machine shop that produces complex parts for aircraft and gas turbines is diversifying by going into repair.

Panel Spotlights Corporate-based Venture Funding

Increasingly, the corporate world is moving in to reflate the funding ranks left behind as the number of venture capital firms continue to shrink.

DivX’s New Owners Seek New Customers

TECH: Co. Targets China, Seeks to Increase Its Patents

Change seems to be a constant at DivX LLC, which got new owners this month.

Genomatica Part of Biorenewables Pivot

Biotech: Lack of Market For Biofuels Spurs Flexibility

Biofuels don’t hold the same cachet or glamour they once had, but companies like San Diego’s Genomatica Inc. are showing that the market opportunity is still there for biorenewable products. In particular, specialty chemicals and nutritional supplements are proving to be economically viable industries in the sustainability space.

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E-Cigarettes Are Not Really a Burning Issue

LAW: Cities Move on Bans; Businesses’ Policies Vary

San Diego County and several cities in the region have moved to add electronic cigarettes to policies banning smoking in public places. But the business impact — if any — has yet to materialize.

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Turn of the Screw

Maritime: Marine Group Boat Works Is Thriving, But Uncertainty of Place Looms

Todd Roberts sits in the pilot house of a 114-foot U.S. Navy boat that his workers just built, and mentally charts his course with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

Superheroes Large and Small Raise Tons of Funds for Autism Cause

Local superheroes gathered in Balboa Park recently to make a big difference for local children diagnosed with autism. The San Diego-based nonprofit National Foundation for Autism Research, or NFAR, hosted its 10th annual San Diego Race for Autism with record attendance of about 7,000 families, runners, teachers and professionals. All of the race proceeds stay in San Diego, funding local programs, autism resources, research and classrooms.

Will Proximity Beacons Breed Contempt From Saturated Users?

Proximity beacon technology, such as that produced by Qualcomm Inc., is ready for prime time.

SBA Rule Changes Open Eligibility Door Wider for Borrowers

The Small Business Administration changed some rules covering its two primary loan programs in an effort to broaden the eligibility of borrowers and extend credit to folks who had been deemed to have too much cash to lend to.

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Executive profile: Peter Zien

AleSmith Brewing Co. owner Peter Zien bought the brewery in 2002 and has spent the last 12 years growing an internationally recognized brand dedicated to hand-forged ales and craftsmanship. Zien began as a homebrewer.

TAPPING THE TALENT

ECONOMY: Programs Aim to Staff Region’s Craft Brewing

Craft beer is brewing up significant economic benefits for San Diego County, not to mention national buzz created by a growing array of local brands now being sold at stores, bars and restaurants across the country.

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Home of the month: The Crescent

The “Crescent” is a home designed by world famous San Diego-based architect Wally Cunningham.

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The Leucadia Vibe Is Creative Enclave’s Connection to Its Roots

The small coastal community of Leucadia has a particular idiosyncratic vibe, and the real estate found within its original boundaries reflects a spirit of individuality and creativity different from most other California beach towns. It’s different even from the four other areas — Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Olivenhain and Cardiff-by-the-Sea — that join it as part of the city of Encinitas.

Craft Beer Wave Is Headed for New Eatery at Belmont Park

These days a San Diego restaurant opening or menu update is hardly complete without craft beer somewhere in the mix, and local brews will soon play a big role in the ongoing renovation of the iconic Belmont Park in Mission Beach.

Forget the Box, Genomic Advances Open Pandora Herself

In this brave new world of genome sequencing, where some San Diego companies are venturing, the promise of society-changing science comes with undeniable ethical issues.

High-Rises Dominate Downtown Office Space Leasing for 2013

Real Estate: Vacancy Rate of ‘Skyline 20’ Up, But Below Downtown Overall

Downtown San Diego’s 20 largest high-rises accounted for 70 percent of all signed office lease deals in that neighborhood during the past year, according to brokerage services company JLL.

New World of Mobile Advertising Spurs Business Unit Creation

Marketing: Digitaria Hoping Big on Mars Will Make Big Impact on Clients

Digitaria, a digital marketing and advertising agency based in San Diego’s East Village, is developing a business unit that will specialize in software applications for mobile devices.

Cell Towers Are Technological ‘Tenants’ With Deep Pockets

PROPERTY: Experts Can Help in Negotiating Equitable Placement Deals

The continuing push among major wireless carriers to boost local infrastructure is bringing opportunities and challenges for commercial property owners who lease space — or may be considering leasing space — to the carriers for their towers.

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Zogenix Getting a Heaping Dose of Criticism for Zohydro

PHARMA: Stock Takes Hit, But Co. Defends Painkiller

Zogenix Inc. is in damage control mode as it faces a maelstrom of criticism for its newly launched narcotic painkiller.

Co. Gives Financial Professionals A Clear Picture of Clients’ Needs

SOFTWARE: Marketing Videos and Analytics Used To Determine Best Prospects

Kim Folsom has blended two areas she knows well — video marketing technology and financial education — to create a software platform for helping financial professionals gain small-business clients.

Investor Group Seeking 2 Novatel Board Seats

TECH: Concerns Over Shareholder Value Said To Be Driving Campaign

Novatel Wireless Inc., a San Diego maker of wireless modems and other communication components, was notified by a shareholder group that it’s unhappy with the way the company is managed and wants two seats on its board of directors, setting up a possible proxy fight.

Board Votes to Postpone Planned Opera Closure

ARTS: Additional $10M Needed for 2015 Season Productions, CEO Says

Apparently the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. The San Diego Opera Association, the nonprofit that has been producing first-class operas for nearly a half century, voted to postpone an earlier decision to shut down the organization because of financial constraints.

They’re Back: 33 Million Tourists Visit S.D. in 2013

The number of visitors to this region surpassed 33 million in 2103, the San Diego Tourism Authority reported, reversing a downward trend over the past three years due to the recession.

LPL Growth Creates Jobs, Need for Space

Finance: Co. Builds Tower Aimed at Motivating Workforce

LPL Financial LLC’s new 13-story office building in University City is a tangible symbol of the company’s overall growth as well as a strategy to foster its people in San Diego.

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Cohn’s Main Course Seems to Be Expansion

DINING: Group Hits the Spot With Multiple Locations, Menus

San Diego’s growing reputation as a foodie paradise is also helping to feed the expansion appetites of locally based Cohn Restaurant Group.