San Diego Business Journal

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. Well, good idea or not, what does it mean? For answers, the San Diego Venture Group will offer insights into the phenomenon of crowdfunding with an expert panel discussion on Feb. 27 at the Del Mar Marriott. Jon Carder, founder and CEO of San Diego-based startup MOGL, will discuss his experience in using two of the leading Web portals for high-net worth individuals to raise capital. Scott Jordan, founder of Healthios Exchange; Ted Roth of OpenRound; and Jeffrey Belk, managing director of ICT168 Capital, will join Carder in the program titled “Equity Crowdfunding: Myth vs. Reality.” Details are at sdvg.org. … Feb. 28 is Plug and Play San Diego’s application deadline for its third pitch competition. Since the last competition was held here Dec. 3, six early-stage ventures have received $25,000 each in funding and have entered startup camp at the Sunnyvale Plug and Play Technology Center in Silicon Valley. The six include Raynforest, REEL Qualified, Stretchr and Intentive Communications. Meanwhile, local Plug and Play founder Alex Roudi is organizing a group trip to the original Silicon Valley incubator on Feb. 25 for a grand tour. Roudi said startups that have gone through the center’s program have raised more than $1.8 billion since 2006. Go to sandiego.plugandplaytechcenter.com for more details and applications. … U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honored Taylor Guitars President Bob Taylor with the State Department’s 2013 Award for Corporate Excellence. Kerry lauded Taylor and his El Cajon-based workers for helping develop a sustainable forestry practice and fair trade market for fast-disappearing ebony wood. ... On Feb. 27, East County public issues group Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, or C3, will discuss the statewide drought and the fact that we could begin receiving more of our water supply from Northern California in the future. Dennis Cushman, assistant general manager of San Diego County Water Authority, and Andrew Poat, consultant to California Resources Agency, will lead a panel discussion. Urban planning expert and new C3 board member Cary Lowe will moderate the discussions. The panelist are set to explore a number of pressing questions, according to a news release, including how much water would be available and how much users will have to pay for it. Details are at c3sandiego.org.

Tom York, who writes the SDBJ Insider each week, can be reached at tyork@sdbj.com, or tom.york@gmail.com.