Well, at least one local economic indicator is positive. The Tech Coast Angels, who invest in very early stage startups, say the economy is on the upswing based on the group’s placement activities during the past year. It has funded 31 investments, with 12 new deals and 19 follow-on investments in 2010, up significantly from 2009 when 24 deals were completed. The group raised more than $40 million for its entrepreneurial companies, including $6 million through direct TCA investment and $34 million through other sources of money. Though based in Orange County, the group has a very active chapter here in San Diego … Speaking of new business formations. Kristine Currier, a San Diego mother of two, recognized a need for a comfortable way to travel while pregnant with her children, so she came up with the Owie Pillow, selling for $35 on her Web site, owiepillow.com. The pillow helps spread out the force of the lower lateral lap belt against the pregnant belly, thereby reducing stress and pain in this area … More sun power arrives. The county’s largest solar panel system went online Feb. 23. Officials from the county and San Diego Gas & Electric gathered at the county’s new facilities on Overland Drive in Kearny Mesa to flip the switch on the solar arrays, which will generate enough juice to power 107 homes for a year. Officials claim the solar system will prevent the release of 376 tons of greenhouse gases … The cirque is coming — with a twist on what we’ve seen in previous years at the county fairgrounds. This is the Cirque du Soleil’s new venture, arena shows, appearing at the Valley View Casino Center (formerly the San Diego Sports Arena) for eight shows March 30 to April 3. The arena-sized performances feature popular pieces from original shows, such as “Quidam,” re-sized into venues that can’t host the big tent. Browse on over to cirquedusoleil.com/quidam for details and ducats … Shea Homes, which has a number of new-home developments in the county, has invited a number of experts to a “Homebuying 101” seminar on March 5 at its Windingwalk community in Chula Vista. The seminar will target first-time and move-up buyers. Mosey on over to SheaHomes.com for details … A media move. Ron Donoho, who was the editor of popular Web site sandiego.com, has moved into the editor’s chair at San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine … Finally. Pam Stompoly, owner of The Costume Shop in North Park, is designing the outfits for the king and queen who will lead the Gaslamp Quarter Association’s annual Mardi Gras parade down Fifth Avenue on March 8. Stompoly, who’s been designing the king and queen costumes for the past nine years and who’s been in business for 21 years, says her designs will be all new for 2011, including a full feathered headdress for the queen. Navigate on over to gaslamp.org/mardi-gras for more details. Seeya!