ViaSat Keeps Lead in Space-Based Internet, Mitek Enables Smartphone Check Deposits, AngeList Screens Biz Plans for Individual Investors & More San Diego BizTech News

Xconomy San Diego — 

We had interesting patent news that put Mitek Systems on our innovation radar screen, and that’s where you want to be. Catch up on that and the rest of San Diego’s tech news for the past week.

—The competition for satellite-based Internet service is tightening up for Carlsbad, CA-based ViaSat (NASDAQ: VSAT), which now faces a challenge from Germantown, MD-based Hughes Network Systems and others who are accelerating their service through cable and telecommunications networks. ViaSat says it is still has an 18-month lead over its rivals.

Mitek Systems (OTCBB: MITK) CEO Jim DeBello says the San Diego company has plans to turn the camera in your smart phone into a virtual banking check scanner. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Mitek a patent for technology that lets smartphone users take a picture of their check (front and back) and make check deposits.

—After graduating 12 companies from the second class of the San Diego Founder Institute, the local program (one of 13 worldwide) is now accepting applications for its 2010 Fall Semester set to begin Sept. 21. Mentors for the upcoming session include Alex Bard of, Jon Carder of MojoPages, and Dan Shapiro of Ontela. More information is available here.

—San Diego-based Proximetry, which provides wireless network performance and management software, raised more than $792,000 in equity funding, according to the list of under-the-radar deals that CB Insights collected in July.

—San Diego’s H20 Audio was close behind, raising nearly $774,000 in under-the-radar capital, according to CB Insights, which tracks VC, angel and other investments in private companies. H20 Audio makes waterproof cases for consumer electronics.

-Our roundup of small deals also included Ortiva Wireless, the San Diego developer of software to deliver video clips over mobile networks. The company says in a regulatory filing that it is raising $151,000 in warrants that can be converted into shares of preferred stock and other securities.

—Wade profiled AngeList and its co-founders Babak Nivi and Naval Ravikant. The duo solicit written pitches from entrepreneurs, winnow out the losers, and send the best ideas on to their hand-picked pool of angels.

—San Diego’s Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ: [[ticker:MXWL) says sales of its ultra-capacitors energy storage devices are up 40 percent through the first nine months of the year—primarily because of increasing orders from wind turbine power projects.

Xconomy is looking to hire a journalist to write about innovation for our website in Detroit.