Innovate78 is an economic development collaboration among the cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista to retain, expand and attract talent, companies, and investment along the 78 Corridor. The initiative is executed by San Diego Regional EDC, with financial and programmatic support from the five cities.
Innovate78 supports the business ecosystem of the 78 Corridor by further elevating the region’s reputation and assisting businesses as they evolve. The partnership between Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista helps businesses prosper in place for the betterment of all who work and reside here. The multi-city partnership furthers innovation with a shared vision to boost economic prosperity.
Startup78 is an initiative of Innovate78 to unite and amplify the resources available to entrepreneurs along the 78 Corridor with the goal of helping startups scale to become long-term, viable businesses that support our economy.
With and through a network of the five cities, Innovate78 is helping North County businesses prosper in place. Learn about the cities that make up the Innovate78 collaborative below.
Carlsbad is a seaside city with 7 miles of beaches and 113,725 residents. Home to some of the region’s most innovative companies and industries, Carlsbad is one of the more educated cities, with more than 42 percent of its population holding a Bachelor’s degree of higher.
In 2015, Men’s Journal named Carlsbad one of the top 10 places to live. With an unparralleled quality of life comes strong industry clusters such as information & communications technology, life sciences, action sports manufacturing and clean technology. These industries represent some of the most innovative companies in San Diego – from genome sequencing, to manufacturing of advanced satellites and the development of robotic vehicles used for the military and the future of transportation.
In addition to its innovation economy, Carlsbad is home to some of the region’s most iconic attractions: LEGOLAND California and the Carlsbad Flower Fields.
The most inland of the five cities, Escondido’s economy is one of the most diversified. Industries such as healthcare, specialty food and beverage manufacturing, agriculture, professional services and precision manufacturing all call Escondido home. Retail sales are among the highest in San Diego County due to the presence of the Escondido Auto Park, as well as a regional mall, Westfield North County. From computers to craft beer, Escondido is rich in the entrepreneurial spirit that defines the San Diego region.
Escondido’s excellent access to the region’s talented workforce creates a vibrant ecosystem for professional, scientific and information-focused companies. John Paul the Great Catholic University, which opened its new campus in Downtown Escondido in 2013, is a visionary teaching institution dedicated to molding students into future innovators and creators, leaders and entrepreneurs. Escondido’s millennial population, residents 18 to 34 years of age, is the third highest of the 78 Corridor.
Escondido is home to two of North County’s top tourism destinations: The world-famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Stone Brewing Company, America’s ninth-largest craft brewery.
Taking advantage of the nexus between oceanfront living and thriving businesses, Oceanside is attracting the attention of quickly growing life sciences companies. Home to biotech manufacturing giants Genentech and Gilead Sciences with career training from Mira Costa College Biotechnology Center, the industry is fueling the robust business climate. Life sciences, advanced manufacturing, tourism-resturants-retail, distribution and agriculture lead as the city’s top industries.
Oceanside’s Transit Center is the 78 Corridor’s Transportation Hub which has light rail trains running daily. Amtrak connects the 78 Corridor to the rest of the nation via Oceanside and Metrolink. Sprinter and Coaster access provide commuters with options to get to Downtown San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, as well as the rest of the 78 Corridor. In addition, Oceanside Municipal Airport offers general aviation enthusiasts and businesses, with small aircraft, a local, convenient airfield.
Oceanside has the largest population on the 78 Corridor with more than 175,000 people. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is directly adjacent to Oceanside, which has a daytime population of 68,000 enlisted, family members, and civilian personnel. The workforce in Oceanside is diverse and disciplined with about 25% of the working population having a bachelors degree or higher.
With a population of 94,042, San Marcos has the smallest yet fastest growing population along the 78 Corridor. The city’s population has grown by more than 11 percent since 2010, outpacing the other four cities along the Corridor by at least four percent and growing 1.8 times faster than the San Diego region. It is the location of the Corridor’s only public university – California State University San Marcos. Because of this, San Marcos has one of the highest concentrations of STEM degrees. Of those holding a Bachelor’s degree, more than 45 percent have their first degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field of study.
San Marcos has strong craft beer, manufacturing and information & communications technology economies. The birthplace of San Diego’s most iconic craft beer company, Stone Brewing Co., San Marcos is home to numerous other established and new breweries. With ample amount of industrial and commercial real estate available, its a hub for launching new companies.
The city also boasts a strong manufacturing economy, home to some of the region’s most internationally engaged businesses. Hunter Industries, a manufacturer of irrigation equipment, sells its products around the world – chief among these is supplying Buckingham Palace with its sprinkler system.
Located just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in northern San Diego County, the City of Vista has a perfect, mild Mediterranean climate. Residents enjoy a wide range of year-round outdoor activities in a setting of gentle rolling hills and pleasant rural surroundings. Vista is approximately 19 square miles with a population of 103,381.
Vista is 78 Corridor’s craft beer capital. As of 2016, Vista had 14 breweries, with two more in development, making it the city with the most breweries per capita in the United States. Home to Mother Earth Brewing Co., Belching Beaver Brewery, Aztec Brewing Company, Iron Fist Brewing and many others, Vista is a craft beer enthusiast’s heaven.
However, Vista is not known for just its craft beer industry. Many of San Diego County’s most prominent companies in maritime, medical device manufacturing and sports & active lifestyle are located in Vista’s vibrant 14 million ft2 Business Park. Vista is home to companies sucvh as: Applied Membranes – one of the founding companies in the membrane separation industry; DJO Global – a world leader in medical device manufacturing; and Aqua Lung – founded by Jacques Cousteau, who launched the SCUBA industry.
In addition to its entrepreneurial ethos, Vista offers an incredible amount of activities for residents. 78 Corridor residents, businesses and visitors can experience the quaint downtown, watch a Broadway production at the Moonlight Amphitheater, and visit many of its natural, scenic parks.