San Diego Business Journal

The University of California, San Diego’s annual Entrepreneurial Challenge, which promotes commercialization of student research, announced the winners of its recent competition. The team from SymbiO2, which is working on technology to provide physicians with new tools for treating damaged or diseased tissue, took first place in the life science category, while ProductBio, an automatic product meta-data capture and reporting platform, took first place in the technology and innovation category. The two startups were also the audience choice award winners, selected from the 200-plus members attending the competition on campus. ProVazo, which has developed a new device to ease the task of blood sampling in hospitals, won second place in life science, while Aqua Design Innovation, which uses mint and basil to filter aquarium water, won second place in technology and innovation. The winning teams gave 10-minute presentations to judges, and more than $100,000 in prizes were awarded. … If you’re wondering why the streets and the restaurants seem so crowded this week, consider this: The 2014 BIO International Convention, which regularly draws more than 15,000 executives, leaders and scientists from 47 states and 60 countries gets underway June 23 and runs through June 27 at the San Diego Convention Center. BIO, which is the world’s largest gathering of life science professionals across many sectors, will also showcase for the first time the latest developments in wireless technologies to improve health care and reduce costs. Indeed, the first ever Digital Health Forum and Digital Health Zone will feature BIO’s first “app bar,” with the presentation of a new app every hour on the hour, a spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, the mother of all San Diego conventions is still a month away. Comic-Con International will hold its annual gathering July 24-27 with an expected 125,000-plus attendees. … Belated mention: San Diego City College held its 100th-year commencement May 21 at the outdoor organ pavilion in Balboa Park. City College was founded in 1914. … Steve Fisher, San Diego State University’s award-winning men’s basketball coach, will speak at the North San Diego Business Chamber’s next Leaders of Change lunch June 24. His most recent team finished in first place in the Mountain West Conference with a record of 16 -2 and advanced deep into the recent NCAA basketball tournament in March. Fisher will explain how he transformed a losing program into one of the top programs in the nation. Details are at Till next week.

Contributing Editor Tom York writes the SDBJ Insider. Email Tom at or Tweet to him at @toms2cents.