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Three Startups Compete for PitchFest Cash

It must be entrepreneur week in San Diego, given the spate of developments emerging from San Diego’s venture community. First up, three area startups — Blurtopia, which has developed a social media app for the iPhone that allows users to get feedback about any question they pose; Cypher Genomics, which is developing the technology to help clinicians and researchers delve into the nitty-gritty of a human’s genome; and GroundMetrics, which is developing new detection technologies for the oil, gas and geothermal industries — are competing as finalists in the San Diego Venture Group’s 2012 Pitchfest set for Dec. 13. The three emerged from a roster of 11 startups seeking $17,500 in prize money. Go to sdvg.org for dinner reservations … and to learn about the businesses that didn’t make the final round. Those eight all have interesting stories, too … Meanwhile, Silicon Valley-based incubator Plug and Play is seeking area entrepreneurs who would like to participate in a startup camp program, which will be administered by Startup Circle, a San Diego booster club of sorts for local entrepreneurs pursuing their business plans. Entrants will be invited to a pitch event locally where a panel of judges will select those accepted into the startup camp as well as receiving $25,000 in funding. Submit applications at startupcircle.com … But wait, there’s more! StartupCircle recently announced a number of goals, including $1 billion in growth and $100 million in investments for local startups over the next five years. The 1500-member nonprofit group is also seeking 200 student entrepreneurs to create 50 startups generating $30M, with an emphasis on getting more women into the mix of entrepreneurial activity … Frothy finale? Escondido’s Stone Brewing Co. has created a new beer to celebrate the controversial end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21. The beer, “Enjoy By 12.21.12 IPA,” features 11 hops, which gives it a bitter flavor. The brewer said it will pull the product from the shelves the day after the Dec. 21 expiration date… Finally! Check out the latest world premier from the La Jolla Playhouse, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” now playing through Dec. 16. It’s not only music for the ears (it’s an adaption of an early 2000s hit album from the cult psychedelic rock bank The Flaming Lips), but also a feast for the eyes, with the lead character battling a dozen or so pink-lit robots on a space age set. Playhouse officials said it is the most technologically challenging production ever staged at the ground-breaking theater. Details and ducats at LaJollaPlayhouse.org. 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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