San Diego County’s innovation economy grew to $52 billion last year, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the region’s gross domestic product, according to CONNECT.
The report from the organization that nurtures high-tech startups also found that 405 startup companies were created in the San Diego area in 2015, the third year in a row that the total exceeded 400. Last year’s startups created over 1,600 jobs.
“This is further proof that San Diego’s innovation economy has matured to a point where it’s a vital part of our economic future,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who released the report at a co-working space in Little Italy. “It’s no wonder why more and more smart, creative people and businesses are choosing San Diego as their home.”
CONNECT’s 11th annual Innovation Report showed San Diego County ranked first in California for life sciences startups, and fourth overall for tech startups after Los Angeles County and the two counties in Silicon Valley.
“For the past 11 years, CONNECT’s Innovation Report has acted as a roadmap for corporate leadership and policymakers to identify the region’s most pressing needs,” said Greg McKee, CEO of the nonprofit accelerator. “It’s no secret that the innovation economy is critical to the region’s prosperity, but more importantly innovation is the cornerstone to ensuring that San Diego keeps its place on the global stage long into the future.”
The startup companies launched in 2015 included:
- 255 software companies
- 82 life sciences companies
- 50 communications, computer and electronics companies
- 8 aerospace, navigation, and maritime technology companies
- 7 environmental technology companies
- 3 recreational goods manufacturing companies
Of the startups over the past two years, 63 were set up in Carlsbad, 54 in downtown San Diego, 52 in Sorrento Valley, 46 in Carmel Valley and 44 in La Jolla, according to the CONNECT report.
Other findings were that San Diego tech companies received $1.2 billion in venture capital, raised $187 million in initial public offerings, and received over $1 billion in federal grants for scientific research.
City News Service contributed to this article.
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