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Big Picture San Diego Blog

April 9, 2019

From inclusive growth to San Diego: Life. Changing., many of EDC's most high profile initiatives have a similar origin story: they started with bringing the right people around the table. Looking to spur similar programs and initiatives on the 78 Corridor, Innovate78, a program funded by the five cities along the 78 Corridor (Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista) and managed by EDC, hosted its first Innovator Dinner in March 2019.

 The Innovators Dinner Series is designed to bring together a diversity of people, engaging in meaningful conversations about how we can all grow and build a more prosperous North County. Bringing together 25 individuals from every corner of the 78 corridor, the wide range of industries represented—from technology to manufacturing to brewing to life sciences—reflected the strength of the corridor.

As the event got underway, the conversation gravitated toward natural themes of mentorship, access to capital, the viability of the local talent pool and more. The idea around remote work came up as well. With North County's strong quality of life and abundance of coworking spaces, many have noted a rise in remote employees based in North County. However, one entrepreneur at the Innovators Dinner bucked that trend. Although his company is located on the 78 corridor, many of his employees are remote, and live as far away as the Midwest. 

April 9, 2019

Launched in September 2018, Defense Innovation Voucher Program (DIV) is a comprehensive business initiative designed to build resiliency in small, local defense companies and help find pathways to diversify its revenues. Since the beginning of the program, Propel San Diego partners—guided by the San Diego Regional EDC—have provided hands-on services to assist 15 San Diego-based companies.

Continuing these efforts, in Q1 2019, EDC hosted three executive education boot camps for cohort companies. Collectively, these boot camps had more than50 people in attendance and covered topics including branding and marketing, small business contracting at SPAWAR, and cybersecurity standards.

Each session brought in regional experts and gave companies a chance to ask specific questions about their businesses. Presenters included Mark McLain the Director of Small Business Program at SPAWAR, James Sly the Vice President of the East County EDC, with organizations including California Manufacturing and Technology Consultants (CMTC), National Defense Industrial Association, Raindrop Marketing, and Seer Interactive also participating.  

On May 23, five DIV companies, chosen by an independent judging panel and EDC staff, will have the opportunity to compete for a $25,000 Grand Prize at the inaugural DIV Pitchfest. Be a judge at this first-ever event, where attendees will be voting on the innovative defense company that’s most deserving of additional funding! Learn more and reserve your ticket to DIV Pitchfest here

DIV is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton along with Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Reductions in Defense Industry Employment funds provided by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to the City of San Diego.

April 9, 2019

The Broken Token, a company that has permeated the board game market, creates custom gaming accessories and kits. While the manufacturer's products are distributed globally, its 8,000 sq. ft. headquarters is located in Escondido. Since The Broken Token's venture into tabletop gaming in 2013, the company has grown to 30 employees. And with more employees, comes a need for more space.

 

Now, the company has the potential to anchor the craft manufacturing sector in Escondido. The Broken Token is looking to expand into a larger building that would spark new life into the western edge of downtown Escondido. Additionally, the company is a key workforce development asset in North County. It provides opportunities for entry-level skill jobs where workers can develop new hands-on skills.

 

Through a referral from the City of Escondido, EDC guided the company through the process of applying for a $150,000 tax credit through the California Competes Tax Credit Program. Granted by the State of California, if approved, this credit will offset the company's tax liability for the hiring of 14 new employees and investment of $350,000 over the next five years. Additionally, with the potential lease of a larger city-owned building on the horizon, EDC provided an introduction to CDC Small Business Finance, so the firm can arrange financing to complete necessary renovation on its potential future Escondido home.

April 5, 2019

Welcome to our first Board Member Spotlight. Every week, we'll be introducing you to a new EDC board member, so you can learn about the people that are helping support and drive our organization forward. Meet Tom Turner, commercial real estate attorney turned vice president of CBRE. After a 35-year career in law, the last 25 with the firm of Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, Tom has joined CBRE as vice president and will fill the firm’s seat on our board. We caught up with Tom to learn more about this unique career transition, and here is what we learned: 

What is your “day job”?

As a member of the CBRE tenant representation team, I specialize in helping secure favorable real estate deals for law firms, technology companies, and other commercial real estate users throughout Southern California, with a focus on San Diego. I joined CBRE after a 35-year career in law, the last 25 with the firm of Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, where I was managing partner and a trusted commercial real estate advisor to countless local companies. I am excited to step into the brokerage world and combine my real estate law insight, deal-making skills, and business perspective to create successful outcomes for my clients.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

EDC’s board is a cross-section of executives from every part of the region, and nearly every industry, as well as nonprofit leaders and elected officials, making it possible to hear from diverse stakeholders on a broad spectrum of economic development issues. I find direct value from EDC’s work helping businesses expand their presence in the region and raising the region’s profile to attract investment.  Our respective research teams partner on products like The Economic Pulse and studies such as a recent project about precision health. We’re also proud sponsors of the EDC’s Annual Dinner at SeaWorld every year –our signs are as big as billboards!

Favorite quote?

"Reject the tyranny of the 'or.' Embrace the genius of the 'and.'" - Jim Collins, Good to Great.

We know San Diego is a life changing place, what was your life changing moment?

Summer Soltice of 1980, the day I married my beautiful and amazing wife Jennifer, the mother of our three wonderful kids and the best Nana our grandkids could ever hope for.

 

April 1, 2019
 
On March 7, WTC San Diego in partnership with Tendy LLC hosted a roundtable event which facilitated proactive conversations between business executives from San Diego’s innovation economy and representatives from the Consulates General of Ethiopia, South Africa, and Zambia. Discussions centered around opportunities and innovations within the healthcare, energy, infrastructure, mobility, and tourism sectors, as well as ways in which each region could grow and improve upon their economic development strategies. This event, a first of its kind here in SD, is a follow-up to a similar event organized by Tendy LLC in New York City, during UN General Assembly Week, with the goal of demystifying what it means to do business in various African countries, educating businesses and organizations on the opportunities present and growing in these nations, and facilitating a venue through which partnerships and deal flow can be established. Takeda Research, the premiere biotech-like research center for the Japan-based pharmaceutical company, hosted this event which drew attendees from local companies and organizations such as Cleantech San Diego, the City of San Diego, UC San Diego, Kaiser Permanente, FoxFury Lighting Solutions, PKL Services, IPS Group Inc, and Viasat.
 
In the healthcare and medical roundtable Zambia’s Honorary Consul, Robert Sichinga, noted that countries are seeking committed, long-term international partnerships. In the past, large companies have come in, conducted their study, helped a limited number of individuals from the hosting country, and departed. The hope is that in the future, these companies look for more long-lasting, sustainable, relationships to truly increase the availability and efficiency of modern medicine on the continent, while also allowing for knowledge transfer, training, and education of local populations, as well as potential job increases. 
 
According to the Ethiopian investment agency, foreign direct investment is booming in the East African country. This is primarily a result of its increased focus on manufacturing and agriculture. As trade frameworks such as AGOA emerge and receive resounding support from African nations, countries are realizing a renewed energy and focus on inter-African trade as well as increasing their partnerships with other trading blocks to boost investments in agriculture, agri-processing, transportation infrastructure, and renewable energy.
 
Like anywhere else, life in Africa is not without challenges. In 2014, the World Bank estimated that nearly 600 million people were without electricity. Access to clean water and medical care also remains an issue. However, with challenges come great opportunities for innovation, change, and collaboration. The CEO of FoxFury Lighting Solutions, Mario Cugini, provided the delegates with a demonstration of how products such as its scene lights—high intensity, highly functioning LED lights which could greatly aid hospitals and operating rooms and other critical infrastructure whose efficacy is reduced by unreliable power supplies. The potential for such lighting applications is endless in sectors such as wildlife management, first responder/emergency operations, healthcare, infrastructure and construction. IPS Group, the leader in smart meter technology and implementation, was also on hand for a joint conversation with Viasat around how investments in solar energy, wireless infrastructure, and banking solutions are all imperative to taking their technology abroad.
 
For more information on how you can tap into business opportunities within the African continent, please contact Lucas Coleman at the World Trade Center San Diego. 
 
The image above is from the roundtable. Pictured Back L to R: John Reeves (Viasat), Robert Sichinga (HonConZambia), Oscar Adley (PKL), Berthran Ugeh (Tendy LLC), Cem Hacioglu (West African LNG Group), David Pasquini (UK Gov’t Office SD), Erik Caldwell (City of San Diego), Blake Erickson (unaffiliated); Middle: Hilda Mwangi (WTC San Diego at time of picture), Brian Webber (IPS Group Inc), Kimberly Robling (PKL Services), Valerie Achieng (UCSD MBA Student), Mario Cugini (FoxFury); Bottom: Shakira Motan (South African Consulate Chicago), Betelehem Abera Haile (Ethiopian Consulate Los Angeles), Muktar Mohammed Ware (Ethiopian Consulate Los Angeles), Patience Onyegbule (Kaiser), Runa Tarannum (self employed consultant)
 
 
 
March 29, 2019

San Diego took home some serious hardware at the California Association for Local Economic Development Awards of Excellence. The awards recognize outstanding contributions to the field of economic development throughout the mighty state of California. 

Awards of Merit include:

The City of San Marcos was also recognized with the Award of Excellence - Collaborations, for its California Competes Tax Credit Collaboration with EDC. And of course, EDC didn't leave empty-handed either, taking home the Award of Excellence - Promotions for San Diego: Life. Changing. Make sure to check out SDlifechanging.org, and give them a follow on social to learn more. Share your story using #SDlifechanging.

We'll see you next year, CALED. 

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March 27, 2019

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This issue covers data from Q4 2018.

Recovering from a decrease in employment during Q3, San Diego, and 24 of the most populous metros, experienced an increase in total nonfarm employment during Q4. Ramping up for the holiday season, the region added 21,500 jobs – a 1.4 percent increase in employment during the quarter. Compared to a year ago, nonfarm employment was up 25,400 jobs, or 1.7 percent. 

Meanwhile, San Diego’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in Q4, unchanged from Q3.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego closed Q4 with an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent and the sixth lowest among the 25 most populous metros.

  • With the holiday season in full bloom, the retail sector continued to grow, adding 8,500 jobs in Q4. Other strong contributors to the quarterly employment growth were education and health services, and transportation and utilities, together adding 4,100 jobs.  

  • Year-over-year, the region’s median home price continued to climb, growing by 2.6 percent.

  • VC dollars in the region increased 21.4 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Quarterly Economic Snapshot analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This releases includes data from October to December (Q4) 2018.

San Diego's Quarterly Economic Snapshot - March 2019 from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

March 22, 2019

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers February 2019. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

Thank you to Manpower San Diego for making this possible.

Highlights include:

·         The region’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, down from a revised 3.8 percent in January, and unchanged from the year-ago estimate of 3.5 percent.

·         San Diego’s unemployment rate remains below both the state rate of 4.4 percent and the national rate of 4.1 percent.

·         The labor force grew by 3,700 workers during the month and is now up 24,600 compared to a year ago.

·         Total nonfarm employment is up 9,700 in February and up 19,900 over the year.

·         The largest employment gain over the year occurred in educational and healthcare services, which added 6,900 jobs. 

March 20, 2019

Duane Roth was a beloved San Diego community leader and friend. He knew San Diego was destined to do incredible things and pushed us every day to fulfill our potential. To honor his legacy, we created the Duane Roth Renaissance Award in 2014 to honor an organization whose work is creating outstanding inventions, innovations or breakthroughs that have changed and improved the world around us - the same way Duane looked to improve San Diego. 

We are deeply honored to announce ResMed as the 2019 Honoree of the Duane Roth Renaissance Award, presented by Pradeep Khosla, Chancellor of UC San Diego.

ResMed was founded in San Diego in 1989 and has become a world leader in cloud-connectable medical devices and software, transforming care for people with sleep apnea, COPD and other chronic diseases. Meanwhile, its comprehensive out-of-hospital software platforms support the professionals and caregivers who help people stay healthy in their home or care setting of their choice. ResMed has quickly become the gold standard in remote and self-monitoring software, with more than eight million patients worldwide remotely monitored by clinicians. Its monitoring tools are shown to increase patients’ therapy adherence rates and clinicians’ business efficiencies.
 
Revenues for ResMed's first fiscal year in 1990 were less than $1 million, and there were only 9 employees. Today, ResMed is an S&P 500 company with a market cap exceeding $10 billion and yearly revenues above $2 billion. It employs more than 6,000 people globally and operates in more than 120 countries.
 
Dedicating seven percent of annual revenue to research and development, ResMed is committed to advancing innovative technology in sleep and respiratory medicine, to commercializing innovative products that incorporate these technologies around the world, and exercising the highest standards of ethics and quality at all times.
 
Please join us at SeaWorld on May 2 to celebrate ResMed and more. Get your tickets.
 
 
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March 14, 2019

In a world where Internet-enabled devices have become embedded in everyday objects, the need for cybersecurity has never been more vital. San Diego's roots in wireless technology, combined with its top tier engineering talent and military presence, make it a fertile ground for cybersecurity talent. And that's exactly what EDC's most recent economic impact study found.

cybersecurity economic impact numbers in SD

Commissioned by San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the region’s cyber economy, the study found that San Diego had more than 150 core cyber firms that employ 4,920 people in the region. The Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) provides an additional3,530 jobs to San Diego’s cybersecurity industry. In total, there are 8,450 direct jobs – up 11 percent from 2016 (faster than the regional employment growth of 3 percent). 

"Too often San Diego worries about falling behind Silicon Valley or the East Coast, but this study conveys we have the talent and workforce to punch above our weight," said Rear Admiral (Ret), Ken Slaght, CCOE chair and president of Cyber Center of Excellence. "San Diego's premier educational institutions, existing industry base and robust federal assets, seed not only the cyber workforce but the innovation needed to protect our nation."

The study was launched at Qualcomm on March 13, and featured a keynote from Dr. John Zangardi, CIO at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as an in-depth look at the interactive research tool, presented by EDC's Research Director Kirby Brady.

View the interactive tool here.