Invest in San Diego

Welcome to San Diego, California.

With roots in the life sciences, telecomm, and defense, and home to
numerous world-class research institutions, San Diego is consistently
recognized as an R&D powerhouse and one of the most innovative
cities in the U.S.

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San Diego: Where California Begins

Sandwiched between the U.S. Mexico Border and Orange County, San Diego is quintessential California. In fact, San Diego is considered the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California and the birthplace of a state that is considered the 5th largest economy in the world.

Home to 3.3. million people, San Diego is comprised of 18 cities that offer a wide variety of geographic and lifestyle offerings.

Cali-Baja: Two countries, one region

San Diego and Baja California – or Cali-Baja – work together to produce high-value goods and offer their residents a superior quality of life.

The Cali Baja binational region (San Diego – Imperial County – Baja California) is a global leader in advanced manufacturing, including:

  • Medical devices
  • Electronic/semiconductor components
  • R&D services
  • Wireless communications
  • Navigation instruments

Additionally, $6.2 billion of the binational region’s exports stay within the CaliBaja region.

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FDI in San Diego


in total exports from the San Diego region (2022)


in foreign direct investment into San Diego County (2022)


employed by FOEs (Q1 2023)


in VC funding (2022)

Why San Diego?

Home-grown companies such as Qualcomm, Sempra, Illumina, and Viasat are further evidence that the region is constantly innovating and reimagining the world that we live in. San Diego’s beautiful landscape and vibrant communities amplify the region’s boundless opportunities for career and personal growth. This is the place where life-saving research, life-altering innovation, and life-changing opportunity all come together.

San Diego’s Innovation Economy

Life Sciences

#1 concentration of life sciences lab space in the U.S.
#2 recipient of NIH funding for life sciences research in the U.S.
#2 genomics cluster in U.S.
#3 life sciences cluster in the U.S.


#1 expected tech job growth in the U.S. for 2018
#2 patent intensity among 25 most populous U.S. metros
#4 hottest city in America for startups


#1 concentration of military assets in the world
#2 for defense funding in the U.S.
$17.5B in procurement contracts in 2020

We are Collaborative, Educated, Mission-Driven

#1 in California for bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering and computer science
#2 biomedical engineering/bioengineering program in the U.S.
#2 concentration of workforce in science and engineering jobs in the U.S.
#2 return on investment for public companies in the U.S.
#3 best city in the U.S. to launch a startup
30+ incubators and startup accelerators
80+ research institutions

Upgrade Your Quality of Life

San Diego Has Changed the World…And We’re Not Done Yet

  1. A cure for Ebola

    Researchers at Scripps Research – the #1 most influential research institute in the world (Nature Index) – discovered a vaccine for Ebola and continue their work to cure cancer and HIV.

  1. The $100 genome

    Illumina, the world’s leading genomics technology provider, is well on its way to sequencing the human genome for $100, down from $10 million a little over a decade ago, opening new possibilities in the field of precision health and giving greater access to patients everywhere.

  1. The creation of 5G

    Wireless semiconductor and telecommunications
    company Qualcomm connected the phone to the internet for the first time and is now pioneering the use of 5G technology across the globe, powering smart cities, robotics, and connected devices.

  1. Smart Mass Transit

    Cubic Transportation Systems simplified how millions of people move through the biggest metros in the world, including London and New York. And, now it’s leading the way on a new  generation of mobility solutions.

Learn more about living and working in San Diego

Interested in investing  in San Diego?

WTCSD works with businesses to help them grow and set up in San Diego, almost entirely free of charge. Get in touch.

  • Please note, all inquiries are treated as confidential
  • Feel free to ask any questions and provide any details so we can best serve you and your project. Everything is considered confidential