Four Ways to Build a Better Ecosystem for Tech Startups in San Diego
(Page 2 of 2)
build a tech company in San Diego because they believe the pool of talent is “limited.” This perception is wrong, and has caused a lot of grief to those of us engaged in the ongoing pursuit of capital.
The truth is, San Diego has an incredible supply of talent: engineers, marketers, product developers, and business leaders. Our most overlooked opportunity, however, lies in our phenomenal existing and graduating student base—a resource that the city and area startups must retain. UC San Diego ranks among the top 20 U.S. universities in computer science, and San Diego State has one of the top 10 entrepreneurial programs in California. They graduate hundreds of students every year who represent the innovation community’s greatest potential resource and talent pool. Too many of these graduates are lured away by employers outside of San Diego. To capitalize on this resource, we must develop a stronger, more collaborative effort among local universities, local government, and tech entrepreneurs to engage these students in local startups and to give them a reason to stay. That sort of collaboration is currently lacking, and needs to be fixed.
Another challenge is keeping homegrown companies in San Diego beyond the startup phase. Our efforts would be best spent on keeping existing companies here, simply because they’re already here. They’re low-hanging fruit. We don’t have to convince them to move or pay relocation fees. Keeping our growing companies here is a lot easier than convincing others to move to San Diego, and has the added benefit of attracting larger companies that are in acquisition mode.
We don’t have Silicon Valley’s capital, and never will. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find unique ways to introduce wealthy angels to San Diego’s entrepreneurs. Instead of working in silos, we must develop a systematic approach for getting startups and potential investors to connect and engage.
Speak in One Voice
Finally, we need to speak in a unified voice. Human nature teaches us that we all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. We now have a unique opportunity to define a unifying message that every member of our startup community can get behind, and to broaden that message so we’re not just talking among ourselves. If we’re realistic and sensible, we can identify the unique benefits and strengths that make San Diego a great place to build successful tech startups.
San Diego has the ability to prove itself by focusing on these four action items, resulting in significant positive changes in a short period of time. Those who want to grow San Diego, and are willing to change their mindset to help take action will make our startup ecosystem stronger than ever.
Trending on Xconomy
By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.