Organ transplant delivery
An Airspace organ transplant delivery. Courtesy of the company

Five-year-old startup Airspace, which bills itself as a leading global delivery network for shipments of urgent medical and healthcare-related shipments, has been making headlines of late.

The San Diego company recently secured $38 million in a Series C funding round, bringing the total investment to $70 million. And according to a spokeswoman, the 200-employee operation has now shipped more than 200,000 packages, many shipments of vital organs for transplant recipients. The company estimates that those deliveries, among other important products, have had positive impact on more than 180,000 patients.

Airspace is also assisting with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts, transporting thousands of coronavirus tests daily, and serving as a primary logistics provider for distribution of the COVID vaccine in the state. The spokeswoman notes the company, which now has a site in Amsterdam, plans to open additional offices in Europe and Asia to better serve its global customer base.

To keep up with all the changes, the startup has launched new website at www.airspace.com. The business serves more than 200 customers, including Labcorp, Frontier Airlines, Quest Diagnostics, and the American Red Cross.

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The local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, or NAWBO, recently launched the Bank of America Launch Academy, a nine-week class for nine area entrepreneurs. According to a spokeswoman, the women chosen for this — the first class — are taught the 17 steps in launching and running a business. The instructor is Felena Hanson, NAWBO’s top local executive, who is well experienced in operating a successful business; she is the founder of women’s co-working facility Hera Hub. The women selected are already on a success track, with their businesses posting at least $250,000 in sales. “As supporters of NAWBO and women entrepreneurs, we continue to invest in women-owned businesses to help drive economic growth in San Diego,” said Rick Bregman, a local executive with BofA, which is sponsoring the project. “With small businesses bearing much of the economic brunt of the pandemic, it’s never felt more important to help these businesses thrive.” Thirty-six percent of small businesses in San Diego are women-owned, said Bregman.

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We’ve got the scoop so to speak. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is opening two new stores in the county, one in North Park and one in Carlsbad at La Costa. The Ohio-based business, founded in 2002 by Jeni Britton Bauer, already has placed packaged products in local Whole Foods, Ralphs and Bristol Farms stores. But the two new retail outlets mark the first time the popular ice cream will be available by the scoop in north and south county.

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An event at San Diego Made Factory.

San Diego Made Factory, a coworking space located at 2031 Commercial Street in San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood is reopening. The site can serve up to 55 people at a single event under state guidelines recently established as pandemic shutdown conditions ease. Brittany Kaszas, one of the founders and directors of the factory, says the cavernous 12,000-square-foot event space, featuring roll-up doors for ease of access as well as ventilation, is well-suited for such gatherings as workshops, photo shoots, company parties, small weddings, conferences, seminars, as well as other group events. The factory also houses the workspaces of more than 30 artists and small business owners, providing the resources and the space for creative exploration. The Grand Opening of the Factory was in the spring of 2019. The building has been around since the early 1900s. Kaszas says the factory site is also accepting new members in its co-working space, leasing studios and offices. 

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High-profile restaurateurs Jenny and James Pyo plan to open another Harumama Noodles & Buns eatery in Encinitas later this year. The new restaurant will join sister restaurants in Little Italy, Carlsbad and La Jolla. This will be the ninth eatery operated under the pair’s Love Boat Group umbrella, and the two are planning more outposts in Southern California. Harumama offers Asian dishes derived from Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisines, but with contemporary twists on traditional ramen, noodles and buns, according to a news release. 

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When hospitality operator CH Projects temporarily shuttered its industrial-themed Neighborhood bar and restaurant for renovations in downtown’s East Village back in 2019, group founder Arsalun Tafazoli never imaged that the work would require two years. But that’s how long it took, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with regular construction delays. Well, the past is in the past, as they say. The 14-year-old restaurant reopened earlier this month with a new look, as the business climate in and around the Gaslamp and other parts of the central business district shifts back to normal. By the way, some of the other restaurants and bars Tafazoli operates include Craft & Commerce, Polite Provisions, False Idol, Ironside Fish & Oyster, Born & Raised, Morning Glory, Fortunate Son, Underbelly and Raised by Wolves. For more information about the group, visit consortiumholdings.com.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

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