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Saturday, Feb 4, 2023

Downtown Works Co-Founder Launches Startup Accelerator

The co-founder of new coworking space Downtown Works is launching a startup accelerator to drive urban modernization in San Diego.

The accelerator is called SCALE San Diego, which stands for “Smart Cities Accelerator, Labs and Environment.”

Candace Vanderbilt, the community manager at Downtown Works, said the organization’s goal is to “tackle some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in our city and community using technology, open data, sensor platforms, and artificial intelligence.”

SCALE is co-founded by Wolf Bielas, co-founder of Downtown Works and managing partner of Wolfpack Ventures.

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Bielas is teaming up with SCALE’s other co-founder, Daniel Obodovski, a long-time executive, advisor, and investor in technology companies. Obodovski is co-founder and managing partner of DND Ventures, a San Francisco investment firm that focuses on internet-of-things and machine-to-machine investments. Before DND, Obodovski worked as an executive at Qualcomm and Motorola, and was an advisor to Samsung.

Accelerators, although loosely defined, generally invest a small amount of capital into companies that make up each cohort. The organizations normally educate and mentor their startups for a short period of time, culminating in a demo day or pitch event to investors.

Downtown Works has not yet responded to an inquiry as to whether SCALE San Diego will make equity investments in startups.

To the chagrin of many local entrepreneurs, only one startup accelerator in San Diego actually makes equity investments — Canopy San Diego, a cannabis-focused accelerator run by former Tech Coast Angels executive Jack Scatizzi.

SCALE San Diego putting on an event Tuesday evening, February 7, called Smart Cities and The Climate Action Plan in San Diego. Vanderbilt said the event will be hosted by Downtown Works, and is “connected to” the launch of the new accelerator.

Find out more about the event here.


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