Tag Archives: san diego

Come listen to IR/PS alum, Eliot Peper talk about the whirlwind process of publishing his first book, a “startup thriller” called UNCOMMON STOCK 1.0

BooksBeersBuzz

BooksBeersBuzz

An adventure for anyone who’s dreamed of starting something in their garage.

Come celebrate the new tech startup thriller Uncommon Stock with author/entrepreneur Eliot Peper.

We’ll talk entrepreneurship, fiction, creative process, and the future of publishing (plus we’ll drink some delicious craft beer!).

WEDS, APRIL 23 @ 8PM @ The Public House (830 Kline St, La Jolla, CA 92037)

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Forbes Ranks San Diego as #1 Startup Location in USA

Gaslamp District, San Diego

Gaslamp District, San Diego

If you live in San Diego like I do, this headline surprises you. San Diego, #1 startup location, really? Was there a mistake? If you live in Silicon Valley, you are probably saying the same thing as you wisp across a Fortune-500 tech campus on a Segway. Put your iPads down, folks, San Diego is trying to rid itself of the “sunshine discount” by creating a vibrant quality-of-life business community for boomers and millennials alike.

An article in Forbes earlier this month titled, The Best Places To Launch A Startup In 2014, gave SD startup gold using the following criteria:

  1. Small businesses as a percentage of total businesses.
  2. Percentage of small businesses that accept credit cards.
  3. Percentage of small businesses in high growth industries.
  4. Percentage of small businesses with Facebook pages and websites.
  5. Percentage of businesses with online reviews.

As a freelance consultant with more clients in Latin America than in San Diego, I often gripe about the need to have a more robust community here locally. I remember past conversations with friends and mentors where, after a trip to SXSW, I’d say, “Have you been to Austin lately? Now they are doing it right!”; or “Seattle is the place to be right now as a young entrepreneur.” Now, after reading this article, I am saying to myself, “There is a lot of good happening right here at home! Maybe I should check the surf a bit less and pay closer attention to the temperature of the SD business community.” Since my background is in international affairs, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility there is a strong professional pull to Sacramento, San Francisco, DC,  New York, and (in my case) Rio de Janeiro. My goal is still to make San Diego my home base — which makes mom and dad happy up in Oceanside. For any young professional in San Diego, I believe patience and creativity on the professional front will provide big returns in the long run… and the timing is right.

Despite our Port, our proximity to the border with Mexico, our industries (defense, bio, tourism, beer making, renewables, etc), and our weather; I’d still say San Diego punches below its entrepreneurial weight. Yet, there is a real sense of a turning point. I remember when Nathan Fletcher was running for mayor after Hugs-Too-Much Filner got canned. Nathan proposed San Diego change its name to hint at something more innovative than America’s Finest City. “FINE” sounds like “ok”; but truth be told, we are doing exceptionally well.

America’s exceptional city is creating a gravitos thanks to organizations like CONNECT, CleanTECH San Diego, The San Diego Venture Group, CommNexus, UC San Diego, SDSU, and the list goes on. We’ve also got a pair of Fortune-500 HQs — Qualcomm and Sempra — as well as a benevolent global NGO called Project Concern International and a wonderful, community-focused institution called The San Diego Foundation. My favorite international environmental organization,  Citizens Climate Lobby, was founded and is headquartered here in Coronado Island just outside downtown San Diego. I volunteer for them about as much as I receive paid work for my clients, seriously.

(On a side note: I was saddened to see Nathan lose in his electoral bid for mayor, but am encouraged by what he did next: He took a trip to put it all behind him and got back to doing his innovative work for Qualcomm and UC San Diego.)

Here’s the list of other top cities:

  1. San Diego
  2. Denver
  3. Austin, TX
  4. Seattle
  5. Portland, OR
  6. San Francisco
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Boston
  9. New York City
  10. Chicago

Well, that’s it for now. It’s 75 degrees and sunny. Time for a quick surf before I get back to work. Maybe I’ll see Craig Venter out in the water 😉

Friend & Mentor Byron Washom Orchestrating 100% Renewable Energy Initiative for Billionaire’s Hawaiian Island

Byron and I at UCSD in 2011. He was and continues to be such an incredible mentor.

Byron and I at UCSD in 2011. He was and continues to be such an incredible mentor.

 

 

 

Congratulations to my great friend and exceptional mentor, Byron Washom, on his newest adventure! He is charged with the admirable work of powering Lanai with 100% renewable energy. The island was recently purchased by Larry Ellison for $500 million. As he would say, it’s going to be a game changer. Byron on 10 News San Diego

Here he is when we first met. I was interviewing him on a climate change initiative I started on campus at UCSD while I was a grad school student.

The Green Week Ahead (Mar 19 – 25)

Here’s what I am planning to attend this week. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment.

Wed Mar 21

The Institute of the Americas (IOA) will host the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Matt Rooney from 4:30-5:45pm. IOA tells, “Rooney manages U.S. relations with Mexico and Canada. He is also responsible for economic and trade policy with the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The goal is to increase U.S. exports and facilitate the participation of small and medium sized business in the globalized economy. Mr. Rooney will highlight how, in a difficult global environment, the interests of the U.S. are linked to the economic success of our neighbors.” I will be in Sacramento during the day. If I can get back in time, I plan to attend.

Thur March 22

This is the UN’s World Water Day. Surfrider Foundation informs us, “Founded in 1993 by the United Nations, this global day of observance highlights the need for the care and management of the world’s water resources.” Here in San Diego, we are all aware of our limited water resources. On the bright side, we had plenty of rain (and hail) over the weekend.

From 7:30-9:00 am the Clean Tech Open will host a Business Briefing. The host says, “Join us for an introduction to the Cleantech Open, the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. You will learn about our annual Business Competition, an opportunity to accelerate your cleantech startup with expert training, national visibility and up to $250,000 of cash and services. Beyond great networking, the event will include a brief presentation about how you can get involved as a volunteer, mentor, judge or more. Anyone should attend who is interested in learning more about competing in the Cleantech Open business competition or volunteering, mentoring, judging, partnering with or sponsoring with the organization.”

From 5:00-8:00 pm the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) presents the 8th Annual Energy All-Star Awards. CCSE says “These prestigious awards recognize the most outstanding projects, programs and applications in creating integrated approaches to energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation and water efficiency during 2011. We encourage you to nominate your clients, employer, yourself or any community business, organization or agency.

As always, if you know of any additional events that may be of interest, please post them here as a comment. Have a great week – get out there and meet new people… They’ll teach you something new.

Green Week Ahead (Feb 13-19)

Well, last week was a whirlwind. I attended both the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) and the CADEM 2012 convention. I was at the Hilton Bayfront and the SD Convention Center everyday. Hence, my tardiness in this post. Additionally, it looks like there is simply less going on in town this week. I have a few personal meetings lined up, but not many big events like the week before.

Here’s what I (attended and) am planning to attend this week. If anyone has any additional events that they would like to share – this week or next – please feel free to comment!!!

Feb 13

Grid Alternatives Orientation from 3-5pm. If you are interested in helping to install solar panels for a family in need, you must attend this orientation (offered regularly). Check out the organization’s webpage for details regarding upcoming events.

Feb 15

I’m heading over to the local offices of Itron, a “leading provider of energy and water resource management solutions for nearly 8,000 utilities around the world. We offer end-to-end solutions that include electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services. With nearly 9,000 employees doing business in 130 countries, Itron empowers utilities to responsibly and efficiently manage energy and water resources.”

Feb 17

I’ll be visiting Duane Roth and his entrepreneurial team at Connect to see who’s driving innovation in our region. “CONNECT is focused on delivering the fundamental programs that the innovation community depends upon.  At the same time the organization is creating new services to meet the needs of the evolving economic and policy landscape and the new clusters that are developing within the region.  Challenges include attracting investment capital and engineering and experienced management talent.”