San Diego Business Journal

Technology Drives Change in Model For Car Insurance

Big changes are ahead in how you pay for auto insurance in California. San Francisco startup Metromile launched pay-per-mile car insurance and has updated its connected car platform, which provides operational data that could have a huge impact on traffic patterns in San Diego and other metro areas in the state.

No Surprise, He’s Rolling the Dice On Home Auction

Las Vegas high-roller Billy Walters, who brags he’s wagered as much as $1 million on the outcome of a single hole of golf, hasn’t been able to sell El Milagro, his 9-acre, 21,000-square-foot Rancho Santa Fe estate, for a listing price of a tad under $20 million.

Local Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists ‘Partying Like It’s 1999’

FINANCE: Recent Successful IPOs Expected To Fuel More Investment

David Titus was in a great mood when he delivered the opening remarks for the recent San Diego Venture Summit.

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New VC Firms Finding Lots of Deals In San Diego’s Startup Ecosystem

VENTURE: Region Lured 7 Firms To Set Up Shop and Invest

The money men — and women — are venturing back to San Diego.

Two Locals Among Five Accused of Insurance Fraud

Two San Diegans were included among five men arrested by California Department of Insurance detectives on multiple felony charges alleging a complex scheme to defraud insurers.

Manufacturing Among Binational Region’s Strengths

A new economic study from the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, along with the Colegio de la Frontera Norte and the Cali-Baja Mega-Region Initiative,

UC San Diego to Lead State Brain Research Initiative

The University of California, San Diego is taking the lead in a statewide initiative to drive research into the rapidly evolving area of neurotechnology, thanks to $2 million included in the new state budget just signed into law.

Tomorrow’s Titans Show Their Skills at UCSD Challenge

The University of California, San Diego’s annual Entrepreneurial Challenge, which promotes commercialization of student research, announced the winners of its recent competition.

Local Search Firm Lands Rare Google Partnership Status

CPC Strategy — a San Diego-based, retail-focused search agency that uses a proprietary optimization process to drive online sales — was named an official Google shopping partner, only the 10th business to be so recognized since the program was launched in 2012.

30 ‘COOLest’ Cos. Chosen for SDVG Venture Summit

A select few of the region’s startups have been chosen for the next gathering of venture capitalists.

VCs Add M2M To the Equation At Venture Summit

iego Venture Summit set for June 19 features “machine-to-machine” expert Daniel Obodovski, the former director of business development at Qualcomm Inc. and author of “The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things.”

Tech Startup Out To Teach Old Dogs A Few New Tricks

San Diego-based startup CleverPet LLC, which is developing a Wi-Fi-enableld device to help entertain, train and feed your pet when you’re not home, launched a 33-day crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.

S.D. Crime Rates Drop, According To Sandag Report

Crime rates dropped in 2013 after an uptick in 2012, regional planning agency Sandag reported. For example, the 2013 rate for violent crime — 3.66 incidents per 1,000 residents — was 5 percent less than 2012.

No. 2 National Ranking Shows S.D.’s Solar Flair

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and some local solar energy industry leaders held a news conference to unveil a report that ranks San Diego No. 2 in the nation behind Los Angeles for the amount of solar panels installed and No. 4 for installations on a per-capita basis.

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.

S.D. Rated No. 1 By Forbes for Launching Cos.

Move over Silicon Valley, there’s a new champ in town. Forbes magazine ranks San Diego as the best place to launch a new startup out of the 50 largest metro areas nationwide.

Big Data Makes For Big Forum Topic at UCSD

SDBJ Insider

Members of the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego will examine the impact of the big data phenomenon when they gather March 12 at the University of California, San Diego.

Economist to Address Housing Outlook for 2014

Selma Hepp, a senior economist with the California Association of Realtors, will offer an outlook on housing for 2014 at the San Diego-area trade group Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors’ next meeting March 6 in Chula Vista.

Weather Draws Conference of Climate Experts

The lack of frigid conditions locally — while more than 80 percent of the U.S. was covered in snow and ice in late January — might be one reason why organizers are holding the Climate Leadership Conference here Feb. 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay.

Panel to Discuss Crowdfunding Phenomenon

Come this spring, the “above-average Joe” investor will be able to invest modest sums through equity crowdfunding and online Web portals, just like VC firms, thanks to the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act.

No Bites for FitDeck’s Pitch To ‘Shark Tank’

SDBJ Insider

For the past couple of weeks, the Insider has been following the exploits of former Navy SEAL Phil Black, the entrepreneur behind FitDeck, a brand of exercise cards sold at his website.

Former SEAL Tests Investment On ‘Shark Tank

Last summer, the Insider wrote about Phil Black, founder and CEO of Coronado garage-based startup FitDeck, which sells exercise playing cards to fitness buffs via its website.

UPS Store Ready To Deliver Good Business Advice

San Diego-based franchise operator The UPS Store teams with the nonprofit counselors at SCORE to offer guidance to small business customers about finding a mentor. The campaign at UPS’s 4,300 stores is part of National Mentoring Month.

‘Fortune Tellers’: Panelists Present The VC Outlook

2013 proved to be a boon year for professional investors as the value of initial public offerings on Wall Street hit $11.25 billion, the highest total since 2007.

$1.4B Expected From Convention Business in 2014

SDBJ Insider

Happy New Year! The convention business is on a nice growth curve after a five-year lull due to recent economic turbulence.

OnMyBlock Wins Top Prize At Pitchfest

SDBJ Insider

The holidays came early for one of San Diego’s newest businesses, OnMyBlock.

Technology Gives Palomar Lifesaving Link

SDBJ Insider

This announcement shows the changing doctor-patient relationship: North County’s Palomar Health — including its $1 billion Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, which it touts as the “hospital of the future” — has deployed a 21st century wireless network from Silicon Valley-based AirStrip that enables doctors and other providers to access patients’ near real-time clinical data from mobile phones, iPads and other digital devices.

Default Rate on Student Loans Prompts Survey

SDBJ Insider

With the two-year federal student loan default rate touching 10 percent, San Diego financial literacy website iGrad decided to survey college and university administrators nationwide to see if their students have the skills to survive the expense of higher education.

Three Still Vying To Be the Last Startup Standing

SDBJ Insider

The three finalists in San Diego Venture Group’s annual PitchFest have been selected from a list of more than 90 contestants: student housing search service OnMyBlock, “focused ultrasound” medical device startup Sonrgy Inc. and trust fund service provider TrustEgg.

Local Supplement Retailer Pleads Guilty to Charge

SDBJ Insider

News from the police blotter. Local dietary supplement retailer Ultimate Fitness Nutrition Inc. pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors, including the selling of dietary supplements stuffed with steroids and caffeine and questionable advertising practices, according to a news release from the city attorney’s office.

PitchFest Top 10 To Make Startups A Spectator Sport

SDBJ Insider

The San Diego Venture Group released the names of the 10 startups that will battle for $25,000 in cash at its annual PitchFest set for Dec. 12 in La Jolla. The semifinalists were chosen from more than 90 applications.

Catering Company Readies for Role At Winter Games

SDBJ Insider

Here’s a local angle to the upcoming Winter Games. Behind the Scenes Catering, a Sorrento Valley-Mira Mesa-based catering firm, will be cooking meals for 5,000-plus members of the U.S. broadcast and international media, as well as corporate sponsors and athletes, at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, come February and March.

Website Brings Accredited Investors, Startups Together

SDBJ Insider

Startups in need of angel funding have a new source to possibly tap here in San Diego. Michael J. Kinkelaar, senior partner in the downtown office of Procopio Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, has been working with Orange County investment bank Roth Capital Partners plus member organizations Connect and Orange County’s Octane to launch a new website, openround.com.

This Lecture Is A Life-Changing Experience

SDBJ Insider

What is life? One famous San Diegan might have the answer, if you attend his upcoming book party. J. Craig Venter, the scientist who first sequenced the human genome, will be on the University of California, San Diego campus Oct. 28 to promote his new book “Life at the Speed of Life: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life.”

Panel Explores Ways To Find Funding Off the VC Path

SDBJ Insider

As the number of venture capital firms continues to decrease, some local entrepreneurs are in a quandary about where to find much needed cash.

US Grant Still Something to See At 103

SDBJ Insider

The US Grant hotel, a grande dame of local hostelries, turns 103 years old this month, with a series of tours scheduled Oct. 15 to celebrate the anniversary.

Study Estimates SDCC’s Economic Impact in Billions

SDBJ Insider

The San Diego Community College District’s three campuses generate $4 billion in overall activity, which accounts for 2.3 percent of the region’s economy, according to the district’s recently released economic impact study.

Chinese Hackers Reportedly Target U.S. Drone Makers

SDBJ Insider

Could San Diego’s drone-building defense contractors be under a hack attack?

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Zero Tolerance

LAW: Employers Would Do Well to Take Heed of City’s Sexual Harassment Scandal

Bob Filner’s resignation as San Diego mayor after less than a year in office over allegations of sexual harassment can teach all employers to be prepared and act swiftly.

Employment Lawyers Discuss Future Trends Affecting Business

LAW: Employers Are Advised to Keep Watch On Significant New Laws

The San Diego Business Journal asked six local lawyers specializing in employment law to comment on trends and recent court decisions that will impact California businesses.

For Entrepreneurs, Time Is Money On Kickstarter

SDBJ Insider

Popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter has apparently emerged as the go-to source to raise capital for small San Diego businesses. The latest is watchmaker Original Grain, which used the $390,000 raised from 2,200 people in 30 days to launch a new line of wood and stainless steel watches using a Japanese quartz movement.

Crowdfunding Could Put Butlers In Many Homes

SDBJ Insider

La Mesa product designer Curtis Micklish — creator of “The Butler” organizer used to stash cellphone, glasses, keys, wallet and other personal items — is nearing his goal of raising $25,300 at crowdfunding website kickstarter.com.

Self-Employed Get an Assist on Affordable Care Act

SDBJ Insider

The Washington, D.C.-based National Association for the Self-Employed says the arrival of the Affordable Care Act portends dramatic changes ahead for San Diego County’s 238,000 self-employed starting Jan. 1.

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The Trade Routes

TRANSPORT: Improving Cross-Border Routes Is Key Part of Increasing Commerce

A handful of infrastructure projects related to cross-border transportation are expected to improve congestion at the three San Diego-area ports of entry, officials hope.

Business Forecast Aims to Bring Future into Focus

SDBJ Insider

Health care, technology and business consulting are the three fastest-growing industries in the region, according to a new business forecast launched by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Silvergate Bank.

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Off to the Races

SPORT: A Successful Breeders’ Cup Bid Could Pay Big for the Region

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships, a 30-year-old horse racing event featuring a series of races over two days, could bring the largest crowds Del Mar’s landmark racetrack has ever seen while giving tourism in the area a boost during a typically slow part of the year.

Stone Brewing Ranks 2nd in National Poll

SDBJ Insider

Hoist one for San Diego’s craft brewing industry. Escondido’s Stone Brewing Co. ranks No. 2 on a list of the top 15 craft beer makers in the U.S., according to a tabulation of 11,500 voters asked to choose from a select field of 72 brewers by a USA Today poll.

Farming Acreage Increases in The County

SDBJ Insider

Agriculture, already an important activity in the region, has been growing, so to speak. The county’s crop values increased 4 percent to $1.75 billion, according to the annual agricultural report released by the county Farm Bureau and the county’s agriculture commissioner.

Domain, Rusano Put Big Money Behind ReVision

SDBJ Insider

In partnership with RusanoMedInvest, a Russian government agency focused on commercializing nanotechnology, local VC firm Domain Associates has participated in a $55 million investment in OC-based private biotech concern ReVision Optics.

Local Company Sees a High-Tech Harvest in Future

SDBJ Insider

Sorrento Valley-based Vision Robotics Corp. is mentioned in a recent Associated Press story as part of the ongoing revolution in the use of robots to work the country’s orchards and farms. The ag-tech business is perfecting a robotic lettuce thinner, which can also be used in vineyards that produce wine grapes.

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