The San Diego tech community celebrated the largest gathering of venture capitalists outside Silicon Valley on Thursday with displays by 30 “Cool Companies” and keynote speeches by industry leaders.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer opened the summit by praising the “ideas, ingenuity and persistence” of the companies, which were displaying products ranging from a head-up display for motorcycle helmets to portable solar chargers to online metrics for non-profit institutions.
“You learn first and foremost in politics that you always want to be associated with cool,” Faulconer said, congratulating the cool companies.
Dave Titus, president of the venture group, outlined a number of trends benefiting startups in San Diego:
- Thirteen venture-backed life sciences companies went public in the last 18 months
- There is a growing community of venture investors, already numbering over 100 firms and individuals
- More money is available from more sources for startups
- There has been an “explosion” in incubators helping new companies get started
“If you can’t find help for your company, you’re not looking very hard,” Titus said.
He noted that San Diego has world leading companies in sectors as diverse as wireless, craft beer, unmanned aircraft, biofuels and golfing equipment, among other areas.
Physicist and author Mark Mills told the group that more innovation is ahead. He said the information part of the economy— moving bits — is now three times the size of the transportation part — moving things.
“We are now in the third wave of computing,” he said, predicting that the impact will be “equal or greater than the Industrial Revolution itself.
“You are doing what is essential; what will change the world,” he told the summit.
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