San Diego’s Good News of the Year 2023

In business and in life, our ability to plan is only as effective as our understanding of the circumstances we are working through.

Despite ongoing uncertainties, EDC remains both optimistic for the future and continuously amazed by what San Diego business, academic, community, and civic leaders are building, sustaining, and improving all around us. Looking back at the highlights and headlines of the year that was, our vantage point remains an amazing one.

See what San Diego accomplished in Good News of the Year:

Growing and planting roots in San Diego

This year, several companies moved into and expanded within the region, creating jobs for San Diegans across life sciences, manufacturing, and other industries. Some highlights include:

Major acquisitions and IPOs

Local companies continue to prove that San Diego competes on a global stage. Here are some of our region’s standout acquisitions and IPOs throughout the year:

Startups nab big venture investments

Despite the slowdown in VC investment, San Diego startups continued to secure millions of dollars in funding across sectors including life sciences, AI, agtech, and other innovation industries. More than $3.7 billion flowed into the region this year, including these notable investments:

  • Unicorn Shield AI with $2.7B valuation raises additional $200M to build AI ‘pilots’ for military aircraft
  • Boundless Bio snags $100M to continue oncogene-amplified cancers clinical trials
  • Measurabl lands $93M to expand real estate ESG tool to new geographies
  • Lenz Therapeutics raises $83.5M to replace eye-glasses with eye drops
  • Fabric8Labs secures $50M to triple staff
  • Kneron raises $49M to scale up AI chip R&D
  • Cultivated seafood startup BlueNalu lands $33.5M to scale up San Diego facility

Higher ed institutions double down on research and innovation

Home to the best and brightest—as noted in Clarivate’s highly-influential scientists list—San Diego education institutions continue to foster life-changing innovation. This year we celebrate:

  • Forbes names UC San Diego #3 and San Diego State University #16 on top public colleges in the U.S.
  • Wexford, UC San Diego partner on a 23-acre Science Research Park
  • SDSU, LPC West partner on 1.6M sq. ft. Mission Valley Innovation District
  • USD to launch AI-ML boot camp to address labor demand
  • CSUSM professor secures $2.5M grant to expand Quantum Information Science and Technology education
  • MiraCosta College secures more than $1.6M in NSF grants
  • Miramar College awarded $1.4M grant for math, engineering, science program
  • National University receives $400K National Science Foundation grant to integrate visual and fine arts with STEM education
  • City of Chula Vista breaks ground on UniverCity with 6M sq. ft. academic, innovation space

Defense contracts abound

A cornerstone of our regional economy, the military represents almost one-quarter of all jobs in the county and a quarter of the local economy with more than $36 billion in direct defense spending in 2023. Home to global defense innovation powerhouses, new contracts include:

San Diego to the world

San Diego expanded connections to Tijuana, and to the European and Asian markets. Increased access to these markets facilitates the exchange of talent and expands opportunities to strengthen economic ties. In 2023, global wins include:

Making strides in cleantech

San Diego continues to respond to California’s bold commitments to a clean energy future where battery and other sustainable technology will play a major role. It’s no wonder Wallet Hub ranked San Diego #1 on its “Greenest Cities in America” list. Here are some of the locals leading the charge:

Premier travel, sports destination

San Diego remains a top spot to live, work, and play…sports! A few of the many wins we’re proud of in 2023:

EDC’s own good news

Top 10 in 2023
San Diego’s good news is EDC’s good news. With and through our investors, our year in review includes support to 117 local companies, more than $3.1 million in export growth through WTCSD programs, 30 new Verified Programs of Talent, and much more.

See OUR YEAR in review