Stories for April 2021
Thursday, April 29
The ticketed package brings together for the first time a bundled discounted access to the three iconic attractions.
Speakeasy Shows Cos. How to Sell Directly to Consumers
Since last March, alcohol sales have been a bright spot in the troubled COVID-19 economy. One local company, Speakeasy Co., is bearing the fruit — pun intended.
Co. Will Move Into New Lab, Deepen Relationships
ImmunoScape, a biotech company which specializes in cancer treatment, has raised $14 million fundraising round.
TOOTRiS Has 32,000 Service Providers on Platform
One of the biggest problems for parents is finding a safe environment for their children while they work. Sorrento Valley-based startup, TOOTRiS is helping solve that problem.
Wednesday, April 28
Emjay Hopes to Serve Over 2 Million Local Households
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the cannabis delivery segment exploded in 2020. Now, in order to continue to capture some of that booming market, Emjay, the cannabis delivery company founded in 2019, has set up shop in San Diego County.
AEROSPACE: Co. Takes Firebird on U.S. Tour to Show Off Capabilities
It’s not your typical unmanned aircraft. At 35 feet long with an 80-foot wingspan, the Firebird from Northrop Grumman Corp. can fly two ways — with a pilot onboard or without.
Plans to Convert Them To Life Science Use
Harrison Street in partnership with Sterling Bay – both based in Chicago - bought two office buildings in Torrey Pines and one in Sorrento Valley for $31.3 million with plans to convert them to life science.
Tuesday, April 27
TRADE: ‘Go Global 2025’ Focuses on Increasing Global Trade and Investment
World Trade Center San Diego, the organization dedicated to growing international trade and investment opportunities for San Diego, has released a strategic plan that focuses on global engagement as an engine toward economic recovery and resilience in the region.
CONSTRUCTION: $110 Million Development to Include Housing and Retail Mix
Initial construction is wrapping up on a $110 million development in Poway that will include a mix of housing and retail space.
BIOTECH: Co. Has 500 Patents, Sells Licenses to Major Manufacturers
San Diego-based Genomatica, an industry-leading biotech firm for the chemical industry, continues to grow its team and product line after 20 years in the business.
Apple Inc. will add 5,000 new jobs in San Diego over the next five years
Monday, April 26
San Diego women who are making a difference in technology careers either working directly in technology-based businesses, or in technology roles in businesses, are being honored in this week’s Women of Influence in Technology section.
FINANCE: San Diego Firm Raises Millions, Seeks Disruptive Technologies
La Jolla-based Nocturne Acquisition, which is headed by a former Qualcomm executive and leaders in the cryptocurrency industry, disclosed in a regulatory filing April 1 that it raised more than $100 million in proceeds from an initial public offering.
BIOTECH: Co. Grows and Invests in Developing Lung EpiCheck
Nucleix, a liquid biopsy company that is innovating cancer treatment with earlier disease detection, secured $55 million to finance the development of its lead product, Lung EpiCheck.
Azzur Renovates 30,000 Square Feet in Vista for Clean Rooms
An East Coast firm that provides various services to life science companies is taking most of a Vista industrial building with plans to expand. Azzur Group has renovated about 30,000 square feet of a 48,000 square-foot building as so-called clean rooms for life-science research.
Sunday, April 25
HEALTHCARE: Addition to La Jolla Campus Reflects Future
Scripps Health has started construction of a $664 million hospital tower on its Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus on Genesee Ave.
ENTERTAINMENT: Smaller Festival to Replace Annual County Fair
From June 11 to July 4, the Del Mar Fairgrounds will host HOME*GROWN*FUN, a smaller scale alternative to the typical Fair.
PROPERTY: Leasing Activity Picks Up
San Diego’s retail market it showing signs of recovery with some experts predicting that that dramatic downturn that marked the early days of the pandemic will be reversed toward the end of this year.
EDUCATION: Sees 500 Inventions in 2020
Research, innovation and entrepreneurship remains strong at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), which continues to produce new startups at a high rate.
RESTAURANTS: $21M Co. Banking on Brand Equity in Southwest Market
The fried chicken market has been arguably one of the top trending food segments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WEALTH MANAGEMENT: Professionals Work to Make Sense of a Changing Investment Landscape
The investment landscape of 2021 has a color all its own.
Thursday, April 22
DEVELOPMENT: Construction Has Reached Halfway Point on $145 Million Project
Construction has reached the halfway point for a $145 million downtown East Village apartment tower with a twist. Unlike many of its neighbors, the target market for Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa are some of the same people who may now sleep in the shadows of the steel shell of the rising building – homeless or recently homeless individuals, veterans and families.
BEVERAGES: San Diego’s Athletic, Two Roots and Drink Monday Among Cos. Spearheading Growth
With COVID-19 encouraging healthier habits among Americans, many beverage categories that offer “better options” are experiencing a significant uptick. One such is the non-alcoholic beverage industry.
DINING: Ranch 45, Luna Grill Say Affordability and Convenience are the Appeal
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the restaurant industry as we known it. With closures and/or indoor dining at a limited capacity the last year, operators have turned to other methods in order to generate interest and revenue.
New Cos. Tackle Problems in Tech, Hotels, and Real Estate
Startups tackle problems in tech, hotels, and real estate in San Diego County.
Wednesday, April 21
ENERGY: $3.37 Billion Cash Will Fund Growth
Sempra Energy has agreed to sell a minority stake in a new business entity, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, to investment firm KKR for $3.37 billion cash.
FINANCE: Co. Raised $190M to Expand its Geographic Footprint, Adds Partner
Anzu Partners, San Diego’s fourth largest venture capital firm, has added a partner from the international investment banking sector.
TRANSPORTATION: Airport Improvements to Benefit Business Travelers
A $10 million construction project has been completed at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport for Coast Flight that includes new hangars, a new flight school and fueling facility for private jets and prop planes.
Satellite Co. to Get Federal Perspective
Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) has named former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to its board of directors.
$98M Projects to Transform La Jolla Elementary and John Muir
C.W. Driver Companies has started construction on an estimated $98 million in school renovation projects at La Jolla Elementary School and John Muir Language Academy that will transform the look of the two schools.
Tuesday, April 20
TECH: COVID Navigator Helps Cos. Manage Risk
MediKeeper launched a new addition to its COVID Navigator mobile app that helps employers track COVID-19 vaccinations within their workforce as businesses plan their return-to-work strategies.
STARTUPS: Co-Sponsor to Help Young Companies Develop Business Models Around 5G
San Diego startup incubator EvoNexus has secured Verizon Communications as the co-sponsor of its program for young companies to develop business models around the fifth-generation wireless data standard known as 5G.
Historic Loma Club Being Renovated with New Look and Feel
The Loma Club in Liberty Station is being renovated to give it a new look and feel with the addition of an 18-hole miniature golf course – Tappers Mini Golf & Cocktails.
MANUFACTURING: Increased Computer Use Means Growth for Gunnar Optiks
With the majority of Americans working from home or virtually learning the past year, the blue light glasses category has seen a significant boost as a result.
REAL ESTATE: Sales Mark a Hopeful Sign and an Ongoing Trend
A Mission Valley office building has been sold for $25.3 million with plans to convert it to medical office use – highlighting what has been a steady bright spot in the commercial real estate market.
Monday, April 19
Advancing San Diego, a collaboration effort to expand access to diverse talent for San Diego companies is helping the region meet inclusive growth goals by strengthening relationships between local industry and area education systems.
FINANCE: Executives Who Have Made the Switch Will Share Their Stories in Free Event on April 20
Employee ownership … what’s it all about? A panel of executives who have made the journey to employee ownership will join other experts to offer their thoughts on the topic during a virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 20.
SERVICES: Firms Help Business Leaders Perform and Transform
Despite some challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been a busy time for executive and career coaches, as business leaders seek guidance on everything from managing layoffs to navigating racial issues at work to handling uncertainty.
Launched in March, Firm Has Invested in Six San Diego Cos.
Neal Bloom, a local technology investor and chief executive at Rising Tide Partners, has co-founded a new venture capital firm and is leveraging a community-driven angel syndicate model.
October Showcase Expecting 1,500 Online Viewers
After taking its events completely virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19, Fashion Week San Diego is making a return in a hybrid format.
New Downtown Restaurant Located Next to Petco Park
City Tacos, the 2014-founded taco-focused food chain, has expanded.
The cannabis holiday is celebrated as much now as it was when it originated 50 years ago.
Sunday, April 18
BIOTECH: Fast, Serial COVID-19 Testing Can Help Reopening Effort
Becton, Dickinson and Company, a global medical technology company also known as BD, has developed the BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS‑CoV‑2 which can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.
BIOTECH: Annual Revenue Up $451 Million
Dexcom Inc. expects to crack the $2 billion mark when it is time to report revenue for 2021.
Pentagon’s Advanced Projects Office Awards Contract Worth $22M
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded General Atomics a $22.2 million contract for the initial phase of the DRACO program. The program’s goal is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NPT) system above low Earth orbit in 2025.
Puesto was founded in 2012 by brothers Eric, Alan and Alex Adler, their cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo alongside Luisteen Gonzalez, executive chef.
Thursday, April 15
FINANCE: Demand for Smart Mobile Device Services Grows, But Brick-and-Mortar Banking Will Remain
During a challenging business climate brought by the pandemic, many banks were forced to shift services to online platforms, restricted access to their branch lobbies and required customers use drive-up methods or make appointments.
13 Businesses Sign Up for Free Program
The first business accelerator program in southeast San Diego, has selected 13 businesses for its fourth cohort.
More Than $500,000 Invested in Third Year
San Diego Angel Conference, which pairs investors with early-stage startups seeking capital, has awarded over $500,000 in funding to five companies.
DEFENSE: Certain Work Will Be Local; Kratos Defense Is Among the Subcontractors
Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) has taken a first step toward building the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).
ENERGY: Sempra Energy Subsidiary Also Set to Purchase Part of Manzanillo Terminal
IEnova, the Mexican energy infrastructure subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) said on March 19 that it closed its acquisition of 50% of the Energía Sierra Juárez project owned by Saavi.
GAMING: Theresa Grady Has Spent 4 Years at Jamul, 14 Years in Casino Settings
Theresa Grady has been promoted to chief financial officer of Jamul Casino.
On March 17, we reached the one-year mark since our community and world experienced an unprecedented shift. ... On this anniversary, I acknowledge the loss we have each experienced and felt. Loss of loved ones, of connection, of routine, and of key moments and milestones.
As part of its mission to make art accessible to everyone, the Museum of Photographic Arts is offering guests the option to choose their admission price through the Pay What You Wish Program.
Wednesday, April 14
REAL ESTATE: Redevelopment Project to Focus on History and What Once Was
When it opened in 1946, Bob Hope was the first guest at the Historic Lafayette Hotel in North Park and Ava Gardner was among the many Hollywood luminaries of the era who stayed there.
NONPROFIT: Biggest Distribution Ever Supports 3,038
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Challenged Athletes Foundation, a San Diego-based organization that helps physically challenged athletes get back into sports, has had its biggest grant distribution year to date.
Two Contractors Get Work on LCAC Vessels Based at Camp Pendleton
The U.S. Navy tapped two small businesses from San Diego to provide services for its fleet of LCAC landing craft.
In addition to the partnership with Total Power, Wonderbus plans to install solar panels, among other environmentally conscious efforts.`
Tuesday, April 13
BIOTECH: Codex DNA Hopes It Will Accelerate Innovation of Therapies and Vaccines
Codex DNA released the world’s first full-length synthetic genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 variants with the goal of helping researchers develop the life-saving therapies and vaccines needed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
BIOTECH: Antibody-Centric Company Grows
Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRNE) will acquire ACEA Therapeutics in a deal that offers ACEA’s equity holders approximately $38 million in common stock, the company announced on April 5.
LEADERSHIP: Top Urban Strategist Sees New Technology Working to Enhance the Public Realm
Jack Illes, CEO of Smart City Labs, and managing partner of Urban Strategies, helps cities get connected with three different strategies. Each has its own business model.
One project, Affirmed Housing is downtown. The other is in Mission Valley
San Diego’s supply of affordable housing is getting a boost with the completion of a Mission Valley complex in Sudberry Properties’ Civita development and the start of construction of a high-rise apartment building on the edge of Little Italy.
This marks the company’s third concept in the historic area; the last restaurant Good Time Design launched was The Presley in July of 2020.
Monday, April 12
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Sony Electronics with a 2020 Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Management Award.
BIOTECH: Medical Device Maker's Rise Influenced by COVID-19
ResMed Inc. (Nasdaq: RMD), which offers technology to help people breathe better and connect them to their caregivers, grew its net income by $18.9 million in its second quarter, which ended Dec. 31.
Four New Artists Join Staff for Two-Year Residency
The Old Globe hasn’t announced a reopening date yet, but the Balboa Park theatre is already preparing for its anticipated return.
After 2020 Cancellation, Second Annual Event Planned for October
After being cancelled in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic, the second annual Blended Festival, a unique outdoor event that combines live music, culinary stations, wine and craft cocktails, is returning to San Diego.
U.S. Army’s Gray Eagle Passes The 1 Million Hour Mark
Gray Eagle, an unmanned aircraft flown by the U.S. Army, surpassed 1 million flight hours on March 16.
Shore House represents the final piece of Hotel Del’s $400 million Master Plan, a multi-year renovation and expansion project.
HEALTHCARE: Hospital Wins Best of Show and Earns More Than Any Other Regional Institution
Oceanside’s Tri-City Medical Center was honored recently with 18 awards from the Health Care Communicators of Southern California for community outreach and its public engagement efforts.
Sunday, April 11
BIOTECH: 2021 Could Be Turning Point as Grail Matter Is Decided
Illumina Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN) expects a $4 billion year in 2021. The gene sequencing specialist increased its financial guidance on April 5, saying it expects year-over-year revenue growth of 25% to 28% from the $3.24 billion that it brought in during fiscal 2020.
SERVICE: Intrusive Sports Agency Launches Industry Initiative
Intrusive Sports Agency, a Black-owned full-service sports agency, has launched a university-focused initiative that helps more students land opportunities in the sports industry.
LIFE SCIENCE: Co. Collaborating With Emory
Exagen Inc. (Nasdaq: XGN), a commercial-stage life science company, is joining forces with Emory University to conduct a new study on the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection in the development of autoimmune diseases.
LEADERSHIP: First Task Is Terminal 1
As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out and air travel picks up as a result, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA), the organization that owns and operates the San Diego International Airport (SAN), is also ramping up its team.
EVENTS: Co. Projected to Reach $15M in Revenue in 2021, $23M in 2022
Show Imaging Inc., a Vista-based events company, prides itself in being a one-stop shop for companies looking to create unique live experiences.
Kitchens for Good Uses Part of Salvation Army Campus
White Construction of Carlsbad has finished renovating part of a Salvation Army campus in Kearny Mesa as the new home for Kitchens for Good, a nonprofit that provides food for the homeless, the elderly and at-risk youth while offering culinary training people who were homeless, are out of work or formerly imprisoned.
HOSPITALITY: California Restaurant Foundation To Award Grants to Single-Unit Establishments
San Diego’s restaurant workers will soon be able to receive additional financial help thanks to a donation from SDG&E.
Friday, April 9
Explore the potential benefits your company can derive from risk assessment, effective internal control design, and regular monitoring
Explore the potential benefits your company can derive from risk assessment, effective internal control design, and regular monitoring
Thursday, April 8
ENTERTAINMENT: San Diego’s Outdoor Venues Can Reopen at 20% Capacity, Operators Optimistic
Late last month, the California Department of Public Health issued a new set of guidelines for live outdoor events and gatherings. This also includes graduation ceremonies and theme parks.
Co. Will Enter Commercial Market Later This Year
San Diego-based CommSafe AI, a technology company which specializes in conflict and violence prevention, has closed a $1.8 million pre-seed round, adding new investors Blu Venture Investors and City Light Capital.
Co. Grows Stronger Despite COVID-19 Headwinds
San Diego-based Wrapify, an advertising startup helping some of the nation’s largest brands, is seeing significant growth this year after overcoming severe tailwinds caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Wednesday, April 7
LEADERSHIP: Nonprofit Brings Together Entities Facing Common Challenge
The San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence has named Lisa Easterly its president and CEO.
HEALTH: Larger Focus on Boosting Immune Systems
As more Americans focus on boosting their immune systems and overall health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, complementary and alternative medicine appears to be on the rise.
Contract Worth $13.2M Will Support Battle Simulator for 1 Year
The U.S. Army awarded Valiant Global Defense Services Inc. of San Diego a $13.2 million contract to provide personnel, equipment and other items for the Korea Battle Simulation Center.
ClickUp, the all-in-one workplace productivity platform, has partnered with the San Diego Padres.
Tuesday, April 6
CONSTRUCTION: From Industrial to Biotech, Co. Makes Magic Happen
In recent years, San Diego has seen big increases in venture capital investment, and booming construction of new lab spaces around the region. Burger Construction has made a name for itself as one of the leading construction firms for the life science industry — having recently completed projects for Cue Health and GenMark.
RESTAURANTS: Patrons to Eat Blindfolded, 8 out of 10 Weeks Sold Out Already
Dining in the Dark, a gastronomic activation through which patrons eat with blindfolds on, is coming to San Diego.
LIFE SCIENCES: Lab Shows the Important Role of Real Time Data in Diagnostics Reports
In business, they say “cash is king,” but in science, consider data the king. At Millennium Health, a specialty laboratory focused on drug testing and medication monitoring, they are providing data resources to help clinicians understand important health care issues and nationwide drug use trends.
Monday, April 5
The Conrad Prebys Foundation announced last week that it was donating $1 million to the Rady Children’s Hospital Heart Institute.
TECH: Self-Driving Truck Co. Taking Traditional Route
TuSimple, a startup developing self-driving technology for heavy-duty trucks, has filed an initial public stock offering to become a publicly traded company.
Eclectic North Park Shop Will Now Offer Breakfast and Lunch
Nomad Donuts, the North Park shop best known for its artisanal donut creations, has expanded its food offering.
Number of Wineries in County Rose From 142 to 150 Since Late 2019
Like most industries, the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on local wineries during the last year. But, despite the recent economic downturn, a report on the industry has some positive findings.
Kratos Defense Product Judged A Traffic Safety Breakthrough
Kratos Defense's driverless version of a crash barrier truck has been recognized as an “Infrastructure Gamechanger.”
Sunday, April 4
TECH: Co. Will Occupy All 4 Floors of Sorrento Mesa Building
Google has announced ambitious, nationwide growth plans that include an expansion in San Diego.
BEVERAGE: Headquarters Move to Help Revive Downtown Economy
Infinium Spirits, a spirits portfolio management company, already has a strong presence in San Diego. Last month, the 2005-founded company with roughly 200 employees, relocated from Orange County to Gaslamp Quarter.
REAL ESTATE: Area Sees Strong Demand
Longfellow Real Estate Partners has acquired a Sorrento Mesa business park, bringing the company’s San Diego holdings to more than a million square feet.
TECH: Bidding War Drives Original Price Up
The acquisition of Cubic Corp. (NYSE: CUB) has turned into a bidding war which at the end of March steadily drove up the price of the San Diego electronics company.
ENTERTAINMENT: HiDef Plans to Hire Aggressively, Ramp Up Development
HiDef Inc., a video game startup founded by entertainment and gaming industry veterans, has raised $7.5 million in a Series A round of venture capital funding.
REAL ESTATE: Strong Sellers’ Market Limiting Rental Opportunities
Rapidly rising housing prices in San Diego County have temporarily pushed one company that buys and leases single-family homes out of the market.
Thursday, April 1
DEFENSE: Local U.S. Navy Leaders Talk About Defense Contracting and Old Town Redevelopment
A changing landscape occupies Rear Adm. Douglas Small and John Pope.
Despite Some Challenges Most Firms See Uptick in Business
While most construction, architectural and engineering firms were deemed as essential during the pandemic and were allowed to remain open, the global pandemic created unexpected impacts for the industries.
STARTUP: Co. Prepares for Scale and Growth
Carlsbad-based Iridia has raised $24 million to build the world’s first high-density DNA-Based memory chip.