As a native Southern Californian, I’ve always had a soft spot for companies down south. Therefore, I recently joined the San Diego Venture Group (SDVG) to actively network and build relationships. While innovative entrepreneurs with exciting start-ups are a big part of the San Francisco/Silicon Valley culture and economy, they also play a role in other parts of California such as San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles. Furthermore, they are all across the country, including Chicago, Columbus, and Minneapolis.
This week I attended the San Diego Venture Group 16th Annual Venture Summit. It was a two-day affair where VCs from all over the nation came to learn what’s happening in the San Diego Startup scene.
700 attendees and 120 venture capitalists flooded the streets of San Diego to meet and greet, network and pitch. Pitch, pitch, pitch for those coveted VC dollars.
I met all sorts of great people and encountered many of the organizations SDVG named to its 2018 Cool Companies list.
I would like to do a shout out to those brands that made the list…and congratulate their founders and team members. The list includes companies with exciting technology or missions. Some of the highlights of that list are:
DTx Pharma, a company that uses short strands of RNA as therapy for those with autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease, cancer, glaucoma, or metabolic disease.
eSUB, a company developing construction project management software. BOCA specializes in B2B technology clients, but we rarely see clients with focuses on spaces like construction. eSUB is particularly interesting because they are innovating in a space we don’t usually associate with software platforms.
Gryphon, makers of “the most powerful WiFi system to protect your family.” Gryphon is tackling the incessant nature of screen time in most households today. With Gryphon, your kids might actually have to put down the iPad and read a book once in a while. Imagine that!
Iteros creates energy management software for a “smarter, more reliable, more sustainable energy grid.” If there’s one thing that impacts us all today it’s the ever-present threat of climate change. Any company working toward sustainability is and creating benefits for the greater good is one with which we’d like to work.
SDVG had a number of female VCs on stage, which is always a nice sight to see. Nice job!
Speaking of females at the event, I was excited to meet Dafina Toncheva, partner at US Venture Partners. There was a long line of people looking to glean her knowledge and get in front of her. I was one of those people.
My one regret is I didn’t get to meet Bill Maris, Google Venture’s (GV) founder who recently set up shop in San Diego. As one SF Bay Area entrepreneur to another, I would love to network.
I also want to say thank you to Bill Eigner. He is on the board of SDVG and was just a really nice guy. We chatted during the conference and he gave me some solid advice.
Terry Moore of MVP VC Funds, I saw you passing but you looked to be on a mission so I opted to not bother you. I will ping you when I am back in San Diego.
And, the biggest shout out should be Mike Krenn, President of SDVG. Thank you for recognizing this beautiful city and the entrepreneurs within it.
I look forward to networking with you all.