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Economic Drivers

January 18, 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 December 2018. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

Highlights include:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in December, unchanged from a revised 3.2 percent in November, and below the year-ago estimate of 3.3 percent.
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate remains below both the state rate of 4.1 percent and the national rate of 3.7 percent.
  • The labor force shrunk by 3,000 workers during the month and is now up 37,100 compared to a year ago.
  • Total nonfarm employment is down 900 in December and up 28,400 over the year.
  • The largest employment gain over the year occurred in professional and business services, which added 12,600 jobs. Professional, scientific, and technical services were responsible for 46 percent of the increase – up 5,800 jobs.

 

San Diego's Economic Pulse - January 2019 from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

January 7, 2019
This op-ed was originally published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, authored by Nikia Clarke, Cynthia Curiel, and Patricia Prado-Olmos.
 
As high school seniors throughout the country complete final exams and eagerly await college acceptance letters, only 37 percent of Hispanic and black students in San Diego will be college-ready when they finish high school. This lack of preparedness significantly affects San Diego’s competitiveness since these groups already represent a large (and growing) part of our population. And while talent attraction efforts are an important facet of economic growth, the nationwide competition for skilled talent combined with San Diego’s high cost of living make relocating talent from elsewhere increasingly difficult. Now more than ever, San Diego employers must focus on building a strong local talent pipeline, or we — as a region — simply won’t survive.
 
The success of San Diego’s innovation economy is inextricably linked to the region’s talent pool. In fact, projections indicate that San Diego will need to double its annual production of high-skilled college graduates by the year 2030 in order to meet the demands of the future economy, ultimately developing interventions that impact today’s seventh-graders. Though this can only happen through extensive systemic changes, we can rest assured knowing that we don’t have to look far to access a viable workforce. San Diego doesn’t have a talent supply problem; it has a talent development problem.
 
San Diego is home to a large pool of untapped talent that is vastly underrepresented in the innovation economy. Hispanics represent San Diego’s fastest growing population and will become the region’s largest demographic group by 2030; yet 85 percent of Hispanics in the region do not hold a bachelor’s degree. This presents an opportunity for employers to develop this local talent and create sustainable inflows of new employees directly from their surrounding communities.
 
To address these regional challenges, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. (EDC) launched an Inclusive Growth initiative this year, and convened an employer-led steering committee to help develop and drive an agenda that maximizes economic growth through inclusion. Informing this work, EDC recently released an interactive web study — talent.inclusivesd.org — indicating that talent shortages pose a significant threat to San Diego’s economic sustainability.
 
The 40-company steering committee is encouraging other employers to focus efforts on talent development programs that directly equip the local workforce with the skills they seek in employees. The committee has endorsed “20,000 skilled workers by 2030” as a regional goal, along with a set of employer-focused recommendations around transparency, engagement and investment. These recommendations serve to build a platform in which people can track the region’s progress, as well as provide employers with programs they can adopt and implement at their own organizations.
 
As a key leader in EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee, defense technology company Northrop Grumman plans to pilot a talent pipeline program in 2019 that will link STEM education opportunities from K-12 through college. The company is creating a new pathway for high school students to obtain STEM-focused degrees through close collaboration with local community colleges and practical on-the-job experience. By helping reduce the barriers many face when considering college, Northrop seeks to empower students and their families to pursue both educational and career opportunities, while creating a sustainable source of high-skilled talent.
 
Cal State San Marcos, another steering committee leader, has collaborated with Northrop Grumman to ensure that local education systems and curriculum are equipping students with the skills required to fill these higher-paying jobs. Cal State San Marcos works closely with a range of industries to design academic programs connected to workforce needs, such as a master’s of science in cybersecurity and the university’s newly launched engineering program.
 
Inclusive growth is not just about “doing the right thing” — it’s about economics, and making sure our community is set up for success. In 2019, EDC will continue to work with its steering committee to develop employer-focused recommendations around two other inclusive growth goals: equipping small businesses to compete and addressing the affordability crisis.
 
This process is complex and will take time; San Diego’s continued growth and success will largely depend on collaboration among companies, universities, philanthropic organizations and local government to ensure that inclusive growth practices are integrated into future decision-making. As a region, and especially as an economic development organization, if we are not doing this right, we should not be doing anything at all. Our hope is that when we tell San Diego’s story in the not-too-distant future, we can tell the story of a region that not only excels in technology and innovation, but also one that includes and uplifts all of its residents — a place where everyone can thrive, no matter your ZIP code.
 
Clarke is vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. Curiel is vice president of communications at Northrop Grumman Corp., Aerospace Systems. Prado-Olmos is vice president of community engagement at Cal State San Marcos.
 
Follow along and learn more at InclusiveSD.org.
December 17, 2018

At the end of each year, we like to look back on all the good this year brought with it. And with San Diego as our home, there's much to be thankful for - from an influx of startup growth, to top rankings and thriving educational systems. Read on below to see the top themes we saw come out of 2018.

From Team EDC, thank you for being part of our #SDlifechanging story.

Not a HQ town, but now we have these....
Qualcomm aside, San Diego is not often thought of as a headquarter town; but that doesn't mean large companies don't see value in setting up operations in the region. This year, we saw these tech heavyweights plant roots in San Diego:

  • Data analytics company Teradata relocated its headquarters to San Diego from Dayton, Ohio
  • Amazon to hire up to 350 at its new UTC campus
  • Walmart Labs opened 30,000 sqft in Carlsbad; to double tech workforce
  • WrikeCloudbeds, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals made significant investments in local expansions
  • And most recently, Apple announced it will be expanding to San Diego, supporting up to 1,000 jobs

SD leads charge in the healthcare revolution
Home to more than 1,200 life sciences companies and more than 80 research institutes, the San Diego region is on the brink of scientific breakthrough each and every day. This year, we saw Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine and Illumina set the Guinness world record for fastest genetic diagnoses in newborns; Scripps Translational Science Institute was awarded a $34+ million grant for its work in digital health; Salk scientist Janelle Ayres received $1 million to fund her microbial research; Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute identified never-before-seen DNA recombination in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease; local biotechs PfenexSynthorx, and Trovagene went public; Illumina acquired Edico Genome and Pacific Biosciences in separate deals worth more than $2.2 billion; LunaDNA launched the first-of-its-kind platform that offers stock for DNA data; and much more #SDlifechanging work.

SD selected as national UAS testing center
With a continued commitment to growing San Diego’s reputation as a hub for innovation, the City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, and EDC announced that San Diego has been selected to participate in a new program by the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the testing of unmanned aircraft technology, grow the innovation economy, and create jobs. As part of the program, the Chula Vista Police Department has begun to deploy drones for public safety operations. Read more.

Local colleges expand, bolster talent pipeline
San Diego's educational institutions produce a top-tier talent pipeline for employers both here and abroad. And now more than ever, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, San Diego Community College District, and others are expanding programs and campuses to promote inclusion and support industry needs. This year's successes include:

  • CSU San Marcos announced the creation of its bachelor of science in computer engineering thanks to more than $1.5 million in donations from local companies and their employees
  • Mira Costa and Palomar colleges to waive tuition for all first-time, full-time students as part of California College Promise program
  • Philanthropist Denny Sanford made a landmark, $100 million gift to the National University System to expand its social emotional learning program
  • Southwestern College was awarded $325,000 in grants to fund services for veteran and undocumented students
  • San Diego City College expanded its cybersecurity program to include associate and certificate opportunities
  • With its first female president Adela de la Torre at the helm, San Diego State University is set to launch a new Big Data Analytics graduate program
  • UC San Diego received a record $75 million from computer science alum Taner Halicioğlu to grow its new data science institute

SD companies rake in big bucks for growth
Throughout 2018, San Diego saw more than 80 venture capital deals. While the number of deals is down from last year, the cash totals are record-breaking in more ways than one. San Diego companies raised more $1.8 billion (as of Q3), with the vast majority – $1.5 billion – going to healthcare companies. The region is on pace to have its best year for VC since 2000. Top deals include SamumedIdeaya Biosciences, Gossamer BioGrailHelix, and dozens more.

SD impact felt 'round the world'
A globally connected region is a more successful region, which is why its crucial that San Diego innovation is seen and felt across the world. This year, we saw this locally-made technology make impacts in key international markets:

  • Cubic Transportation Systems secured contracts to provide its mass-transit ticketing services to Queensland and Sydney, Australia, as well as other international cities
  • Inc. 5000 company Scientist.com announced its expansion into Japan as part of a WTC-led trade mission
  • Forge Therapeutics is set to double its local footprint due in part to an international deal signed during a WTC-led trade mission to the UK
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems secured an $81 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center for the UK
  • Carlsbad-based Viasat added AeromexicoFinnair, and EL AL Israel Airline to the list of international airlines it supplies with inflight Wi-Fi
  • San Marcos-based Ocean Reef Group donated its full-face dive masks used to rescue a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand

SD tops the charts
San Diego held its own in many of this year's top rankings. From the region's entrepreneurial culture to its commitment to sustainability and innovation, top-tier publications and organizations took notice of San Diego. Rankings include: 

 

December 13, 2018

Apple has announced it will be planting roots in San Diego, solidifying what we already knew about our region: San Diego is an innovative tech hub, home to some of the best and brightest talent in the world. While we're not a headquarters town, we continue to see an influx of local expansions from some of the world's largest companies. San Diego Regional EDC's official statement below:

“Joining an influx of other large tech firms like Amazon, Google and Teradata, Apple is setting up a significant operation in San Diego to take advantage of the region’s STEM talent. We look forward to building a stronger working relationship with Apple to help them grow and succeed in this already thriving tech hub.” Mark Cafferty, president & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC

November 29, 2018

San Diego is home to more than 350 precision health companies that hold 3,610 patents, according to a study released by yours truly: San Diego Regional EDC.  “San Diego's Precision Health Ecosystem” explores the impact of the region’s precision health cluster and quantifies the number of firms, venture capital and patents, as well the broader cluster across California.

The web-based study – precisionhealthSD.org – includes a historic timeline, cluster map, local and state overviews, and a series of video testimonials from local business leaders.

Large local companies like Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific, startups and small businesses like CureMatch, LunaDNA, and EpicentRX, as well as hospitals and research institutes are helping lead the charge in precision health and enabling people to live longer, healthier lives.

Using a person’s unique genes, medical history, and environment, the field of precision health seeks to customize effective therapies and disease treatment. More than genomics and pharmaceuticals, precision health also encompasses a wide range of related fields that allow for the collection, storage, analysis, and use of health data for more precise diagnosis of individual conditions and risk factors.

“From personalized cancer vaccines to record-breaking DNA sequencing of newborns, San Diego companies and research institutes are revolutionizing healthcare as we know it,” said Kirby Brady, research director, San Diego Regional EDC. “Consistently ranked among the top five cities for startups and life sciences, as well as the #1 region for genomics patents in the U.S., San Diego brings more to the table than its beaches – we are changing lives and curing disease from the offices and labs throughout the region.”

KEY FINDINGS

  • San Diego precision health companies secured $1.3 billion in venture capital in 2018, to date.
  • San Diego precision health companies hold 825 registered trademarks, and 3,610 patents.
  • San Diego is home to more than 350 precision health companies, 80 research institutions, 30 hospitals, and five universities.
  • Economic impact of precision health in California (2017):
    • 29,000 direct jobs
    • 99,000 total impacted jobs
    • $17 billion direct economic impact

Precision Health: Why San Diego from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

The report was produced by San Diego Regional EDC, and sponsored by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., CBRE, Kaiser Permanente, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Scripps Research.

Read the full study at precisionhealthSD.org, or the print version hereFor more research from San Diego Regional EDC, visit sandiegobusiness.org/research-center.

November 16, 2018

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers October 2018. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data & stats about San Diego's economy. 

October highlights:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in October, up from a revised 3.2 percent in September, and below the year-ago estimate of 3.6 percent.
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate remains below both the state rate of 4.0 percent and the national rate of 3.5 percent.
  • The labor force grew by 9,100 workers during the month and is now up 25,300 compared to a year ago.
  • Total nonfarm employment is up 10,700 in October and up 26,000 over the year.
  • The largest employment gain over the year occurred in professional and business services, which added 16,400 jobs. Professional, scientific, and technical services were responsible for 60 percent of the increase – up 9,700 jobs.


November 13, 2018

During World Trade Center San Diego’s Trade Mission to Tokyo and Yokohoma, Japan,  Scientist.com, the world's leading marketplace for outsourced scientific services, announced it will expand to Japan, opening an office in Tokyo.

“Scientist.com has recently created enterprise marketplaces for several Japanese pharmaceutical companies,” stated Dan Kagan, PhD, Scientist.com’s Chief Operating Officer. “WTC San Diego’s trade mission will help Scientist.com continue its rapid expansion into the Asian-Pacific region.”
 
The San Diego-based ecommerce marketplace will open an office at the Nihonbashi Life Sciences building, where UC San Diego and other major life sciences companies also house international offices. Scientist.com has recently seen growth in its Japanese clientele; it currently operates marketplaces for several large Japanese pharmaceutical companies.
 
Japan is the third largest economy in the world and a hub for scientific research and exploration. It is also a top-five export market for San Diego goods and services.
 
Scientist.com has more than 70 employees worldwide. In addition to its San Diego headquarters, it also has offices in the UK and Boston. The Japanese expansion announcement comes on the heels of several accolades recognizing Scientist.com’s growth. In August 2018 Scientist.com was ranked #9 on the Inc. 5000 list of fasting-growing privately owned companies in the US.
 
Scientist.com is joining a San Diego delegation of local politicians, industry executives and academic leaders. The company is also one of twenty San Diego companies awarded a $10,000 grant as part of WTC San Diego’s MetroConnect program, a comprehensive export assistance program designed to help local companies accelerate their global growth.
November 12, 2018

In an effort to create a connection between vital economic trading partners, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) and World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, are leading a delegation to Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan. During the trade mission, local companies and organizations will promote key San Diego industries, establish and develop business relationships and explore opportunities for San Diego companies to tap into Japan’s expertise in urban planning and life sciences.

“In today’s global economy, San Diego’s success depends on fostering international relationships that bring investment and jobs to our region,” said Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52). “Japan shares our commitment to life sciences and our startup culture, creating opportunities for collaboration every day. Strengthening our partnership will foster innovation and economic growth in both our regions.”                                                

Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world, and one of San Diego’s most vital trading partners. According to World Trade Center Los Angeles, nearly 12,000 San Diegans are directly employed by Japan-based companies including SONY, Takeda and more. Additionally, there was more than $3.4 billion in economic activity between San Diego and Japan from 2016 -2018.

“Ever since the launch of Japan Airlines' direct service from San Diego, we have seen an influx in foreign investment from the Japanese market,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional EDC. “As the rhetoric around global engagement shifts, now, more than ever, it is essential that we reinforce San Diego’s brand so it is top of mind for investors and companies.”

Over the three day trade mission, San Diego will look to bolster its tech and life sciences industries through various meetings and partnership deals with Japanese counterparts. Some crucial agenda items include:

  • An announcement from a San Diego-based biotech startup that is expanding to Tokyo.
  • A ‘trends in venture capital forum’ with Qualcomm, Yahoo! Japan and others at Plug and Play, the world’s largest technology accelerator.
  • A celebration of more than 60 years of a “Sister City” relationship with Yokohama, Japan.
  • An immersive visit to Takeda’s Shonan Health Innovation Park, one of the first collaborative academic and private sector research centers in Japan.
  • Panels and programming surrounding best practices and ideas exchanges on climate change with Scripps Institute of Oceanography as well as leadership and gender equity.

Delegates will participate in upwards of 15 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and formulating collaborations across many verticals. The 31-San Diego delegates include representatives from Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm Takeda California and more.  Also in attendance are key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as the Port of San Diego, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego State University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego and more.

Additionally, many small businesses and startups, including FoxFury Lighting Solutions, Planck Aerosystems and Scientist.com, will have the opportunity to engage in business development opportunities with Japanese counterparts.

As Tokyo looks to modernize infrastructure and grapples with key issues ahead of the 2020 Olympics, San Diego leaders have the unique opportunity to learn from counterparts across the globe, while also maintaining ties that create jobs and boost the regional economy.

At a time of mounting global uncertainty, World Trade Center San Diego conducts periodic trade missions to drive long term relationships for San Diego’s economy. In 2017, World Trade Center San Diego and Congressman Peters led a trade mission to London, which enabled startup Forge Therapeutics to double its headcount in San Diego and expand to a new facility.

This trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC.

Follow along during the trade mission: #SDinJapan.

October 15, 2018

On October 5, America celebrated Manufacturing Day. This national day of recognition was created in 2012 by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association to change negative perceptions across the United States regarding the modern manufacturing industry. Through coordinated events, manufacturers connect with consumers, students, job seekers, and media to address growing concerns such as the skilled labor shortage and career opportunities for younger generations.

Here in San Diego, the manufacturing industry employs more than 113,000 people, accounting for 7.7 percent of employment in San Diego. This number is up 3.7 percent from last year, exceeding the national growth of 2.2 percent.* To celebrate this local impact, countywide events were held throughout the first week of October.

The details:

  • October 2: East County EDC hosted its third annual Manufacturing Expo at Allen Airways Flying Museum, where more than 500 people explored 59 manufacturing and resource booths. This was East County EDC’s best turnout yet.
  • October 3: Viasat, Open Source Maker Labs, Hunter Industries, Mira Costa College, and more joined forces at CSU San Marcos to welcome busloads of students and teachers to North County’s manufacturer’s showcase. This event highlighted the manufacturers in North County curating scientific and technological solutions to global challenges.
  • October 3: San Diego City College’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) hosted its Educational and Resource Expo. This downtown event featured a startup panel,  job fair, tours, and a manufacturing expo. CACT provides training that help San Diegans get ahead in the manufacturing industry.
  • October 4: San Diego Regional EDC hosted a Manufacturing Day Reception in Liberty Station. Ten manufacturers from around the region showcased their work including Taylor Guitars, Chuao Chocolatiers, and Planck Aerosystems. We also heard from Congressman Scott Peters (52nd District) and Congresswoman Susan Davis (53rd District), who discussed trade opportunities for San Diego’s manufacturing industry.  We are proud to host the only MFG Day event in the country that celebrates the opportunities afforded by binational manufacturing.  For the past three years, Samsung has underwritten EDC’s MFG Day festivities along with sponsorship support from CMTC. We would also like to thank our other sponsors: Solar Turbines, San Diego County Water Authority, and San Diego City College. EDC also partnered with Junior Achievement to organize tours of manufacturing facilities for high schools from Vista all the way to Santee.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsor shout outs:

Located in Chula Vista, Samsung is a digital leader in TV & audio, computing and appliances. Samsung has maintained the number one position in the global television market for 10 consecutive years. The SAMEX plant is the largest maquiladora in Tijuana, manufacturing approximately one million televisions and monitors every month. With the success of its electronics business, Samsung now ranks as a top 10 global brand.

California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), is a private nonprofit corporation. In 2016, The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded CMTC a five-year agreement to be California’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center. This agreement makes CMTC the lead organization for delivering services to small and medium-sized manufacturers with support of partners throughout the state. CMTC helps enhance operational performance, new product development, market expansion, and technology adoption for manufacturers in both urban and rural centers.

We appreciate the support of our investors and partner organizations that help make events like Manufacturing Day possible. If you are interested in getting involved next year, please contact our Investor Relations Coordinator, Taylor Dunne, at td@sandiegobusiness.org.

Follow along with #MadeinSD all year long.

*Data sources: CA Employment Development Department, August 2018 (SD) and Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2018 (U.S.)

September 26, 2018

San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and World Trade Center San Diego (WTC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. and business and civic leaders unveiled the 20 companies selected to participate in the MetroConnect program, a comprehensive export assistance program to help local companies accelerate their global growth.

“Expanding San Diego’s global reach is vital to creating more local jobs for San Diegans and boosting our regional economy,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “The MetroConnect program and their growing companies are introducing innovative products and services to new international markets and sharing San Diego's story with the rest of the world."

From visual-aid tech startup Aira, to soap manufacturer Dr. Bronner’s, to top 10 Inc. 5000 company Scientist.com, the 2018 MetroConnect companies represent a diverse cross section of San Diego’s innovation economy.

Now in its fourth program-year, the MetroConnect program equips small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a suite of financial and programmatic resources in their efforts to bring their products and services global. Program resources include:

  •  $10,000 in matching grants to cover up to 50 percent of the costs associated with international expansion, made possible by JPMorgan Chase and the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment and EDC’s 501(c)(3) Foundation
  • Dedicated WTC San Diego staff manager to support company participants in deploying overseas strategies during the grant period
  • Free export consulting with JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc. on ITAR/EAR regulations and other export activities; in-kind support by San Diego International Airpor
  • Access to workshops that address export compliance, financing and fundraising and more
  • Reduced airfare on the Japan Airlines direct flight from San Diego to Tokyo, and on Air Canada direct flights from San Diego to Canada. Assigned Lufthansa agent for direct flights from San Diego to Frankfurt, Germany
  • Access to country representatives at the Japan External Trade Organization and the United Kingdom Government Office in San Diego
  •  Free access to SYSTRAN software for website translation and customer service needs
  • Consideration to compete for an additional $35,000 during the MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest in June 2019

“JPMorgan Chase is proud to continue supporting the global expansion of San Diego businesses,” said Tim West, Executive Director and head of JPMorgan Chase’s Middle Market Banking practice in San Diego. “MetroConnect will empower these 20 local companies to grow in targeted international markets, and help them navigate many of the complex nuances of global business. MetroConnect’s track record speaks for itself, and we’re looking forward to seeing the program’s continued impact on the San Diego economy.”

Since the program’s debut in 2015, 45 MetroConnect alumni have collectively generated $15 million in new export sales, signed more than 116 new contracts, added 161 new jobs to the region, set up nine new overseas facilities and seen four successful company exits. Past participants include Calbiotech (now ERBA Diagnostics), Rough Draft Brewing, Deering Banjo Company, Cypher Genomics (acquired by Human Longevity Inc.), Planck Aerosystems and many more.

“Amid increasing uncertainty over national trade policy, ensuring that local companies get the tools they need to be successful overseas is more important than ever.  We know that companies that export pay higher wages, are less likely to go out of business, and become more competitive and resilient,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. “Thanks to JPMorgan Chase, the MetroConnect program helps San Diego companies export their innovation around the world, which creates jobs and opportunities back here at home.”

Against the backdrop of rapid changes in global production, a newfound ‘trade war’ with China, and renegotiations of trade agreements, it is more important than ever to support SMEs in going global. In 2015 alone, San Diego exported more than $17 billion in goods overseas, as well as billions more in services like software, cybersecurity, engineering and research. SMEs produce 92 percent of those goods – driving home the point of programs like MetroConnect. According to the Brookings Institution, companies that are global pay higher wages, are less likely to go out of business and increase productivity of the domestic market.

For more information about MetroConnect, please visit MetroConnectSD.org.

The 2018 MetroConnect companies are:

1.       Aira

2.       Allett

3.       Arctic Zero, Inc.

4.       AtYourGate

5.       Bitchin' Sauce

6.       Cloudbeds

7.       Conectric Networks

8.       Dr. Bronner's

9.       Eddy Pump Corporation

10.   Epitope Diagnostics Inc.

11.   Hookit

12.   IPS Group Inc.

13.   KULR Technology Corp.

14.   LRAD Corporation

15.   MRP Training Solutions

16.   PKL Services

17.   Quality Controlled Manufacturing, Inc.

18.   Raveon Technologies Corporation

19.   Scientist.com

20.   Telaeris, Inc.


The MetroConnect program is highly competitive, with just 20 companies selected based on a variety of criteria, including interest in new markets, interest in targeted metro markets, assessed impact of funds, current international traction and more. This is up from just 15 companies in the first three years of the program. Applicants were assessed by a panel of judges, including representatives from Qualcomm Ventures, Biocom, U.S. Commercial Service, Tech San Diego, Rough Draft Brewing, San Diego State University, Tech San Diego, UC San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC and WTC San Diego.