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Entrepreneurs Will See If They Are Up To the Challenge

Entrepreneurialism is alive and well in the region if if the number of events on the horizon is any indication of a hubbub of activity. Two deadlines are approaching for the seventh annual UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge, sponsored by the Rady School of Management. The competition is worth $150,000 to the winners taken from the eight finalists competing in two categories. The biotech/med-tech finals will be held May 31; the tech/innovation finals, June 7 — both at the Beyster Auditorium on campus. Each finalist presents a 10-minute pitch, with a 5-minute Q&A from the judges to follow. Those judges will be looking for students or faculty who propose a viable business. Details and ducats at http://challenge.ucsd.edu/ … Meanwhile, the San Diego Venture Group will take a closer look at how funding is changing for area life science companies at its next breakfast meeting May 22. For more information go to SDVG.org … Gabriela Dow from Startup Circle reports that eight startups have won $25,000 in cash — in exchange for 5 percent of their company — and a valuable seat in the recent StartupCamp competition. The eight winners selected in the Qualcomm Labs-sponsored program are: eFinancial Communications, DrivAd, Pcsso, Portable Genomics, Rock My World, Santech, Tip Network and Viooz. More than 70 local startups were involved in the competition. The winner might get to pitch at the Plug and Play Center in Silicon Valley … UCSD sophomore Johnson Zhen takes first prize in the national Live Nation Battle for the Band Design Competition sponsored by Adobe Inc. Zhen won for his video of a concert by pop band All Time Low using software products from the San Jose-based consumer-tech concern … A binational business forum is all set for May 23 in Tijuana, the gathering sponsored by the San Diego Center for International Trade Development and the Tijuana Economic Development Corp., among other agencies in Mexico. Attendees will learn more about how to conduct business with businesses south of the border, and the gathering will offer lots of opportunities for networking. Details at sandiegocitd.org/binational … Finally, this item of note. Family-owned Baker Electric Inc., which is based in Escondido, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The publicist for the firm notes that the electrical contractor, now led by President Ted Baker, representing the fourth generation of the family, has endured more than 10 recessions since its founding in 1937 in the depths of the Great Recession. The 21st iteration of BEI, which does business all over the state, generates sales in excess of $67 million a year, and employs more than 80, not including 300 electricians in the field. Till next week.

Tom York is contributing editor of the San Diego Business Journal. If you have interesting tidbits or news worthy ephemera, send them to tyork@sdbj.com or tom.york@gmail.com.

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