Xconomy Guide to Best Sessions at Startup Week San Diego

Startup Week San Diego, like a lot of other places that host similar events, has been billed as a weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship.

Seattle’s UP Global, now part of Techstars, oversees the operation of Startup Week and other programs for tech entrepreneurs across the U.S. and abroad. But while Startup Week San Diego has always collaborated with UP Global, San Diego entrepreneur and Startup Week organizer Austin Neudecker said, “We’ve always been an independent entity.”

Startup Week San Diego is intended to showcase local startups that are focused on innovation in such areas as Software as a Service (SaaS), consumer Internet, mobile technology, hardware, and defense technology.

“The vision I’ve always had for Startup Week San Diego is to be the voice of the entrepreneur, and to be building the community and identity to be able to get the resources and help they need to build companies faster,” Neudecker said.

In the four years since he organized San Diego’s first Startup Week, Neudecker said the tech summit has grown from 10 events that drew about 300 people to this year’s spectacle, which features 143 events and is expected to attract between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees.

This year’s Startup Week also has added five new tracks intended to highlight San Diego’s strengths as a startup ecosystem. The new tracks are: biotech (BioSD); craft beer (BrewSD); cybersecurity and defense (SecureSD); graphic design (DesignSD); and San Diego’s crossborder synergies with Tijuana (CrossSD).

The business sessions and workshops begin Monday at 8:15 am, but the opening day celebration won’t begin until later—at 6 pm, to be precise—with the kickoff launch party on the Broadway Pier. The event will feature live music, networking, food, and drinks.

Tickets for this year’s entrepreneurial showfest are available online here.

With 10 tracks and 143 events, however, it can be hard for even dedicated entrepreneurs to know which panel discussion or startup success story to attend. So we’ve decided to highlight some of the Startup Week sessions that entrepreneurs would really want to attend. The events really cover the waterfront—downtown San Diego’s waterfront—and many, if not most of the best events are at night.

Our list is below. For a complete list of the week’s events, you can find the schedule here.

—Monday 6/17 at 4:30pm. A Fire Side Chat with San Diego’s Tech Coast Angels
1 Columbia Place, 401 West A Street

Angel investors from San Diego’s Tech Coast Angels discuss how entrepreneurs in the San Diego-Tijuana region can position themselves to win seed-stage and Series A funding. The speakers, who hail from different industries, also will talk about programs being developed to improve deal flow and the overall startup ecosystem.

—Tuesday 6/14 at 4 pm. Taco Tuesday with Taner
Downtown San Diego Partnership, 401 B Street, #100, 92101

San Diego angel investor Taner Halicioglu, a UC San Diego computer science graduate and one of the early employees at Facebook, has emerged in recent years as one of the region’s most active individual investors. Halicioglu worked with Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Andreessen, and Ben Horowitz, and is a co-founder and partner at Seed San Diego, an informal group of angel investors. Seed founders Allison Long Pettine, Eric Gasser, Kelly Abbott, and Doug Hecht also plan to attend.

—Tuesday 6/14 at 7 pm.  Keynote Talk by Upfront Ventures Partner Mark Suster
Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B Street, 92101

As a partner at Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures, Mark Suster has acquired a reputation for smart, early-stage investments in software and Web-based startups. His interests include digital content and distribution, adtech, consumer Internet, and SaaS-based businesses. Recent exits include Maker Studios, TrueCar, Burstly, Gravity, Envestnet, and Ulta Beauty. |

—Wednesday 6/15 at 4:45 pm. Technology Development at the Intersection of Clinical, Genomic, and Computer Science
1 Columbia Place, 401 West A Street, 92101

Human Longevity CTO Ashley Van Zeeland is scheduled to talk about the opportunities emerging for technology innovation at the confluence of genomics and computer sciences. Large numbers of technology innovators and biotech scientists will have to collaborate to make personalized medicine a reality.

—Wednesday 6/15 at 4:45 pm.  Shit Startup Founders Don’t Talk About
EvoNexus, 101 West Broadway, Second Floor, 92101

Startup founders Mel Gordon and David Warren are breaking an unwritten code of silence to tell their raw stories and their experiences from the front lines of entrepreneurship, including the good, bad, and ugly.

—Wednesday 6/15 at 6 pm. Startup Crawl
225 West Broadway Plaza, 92101

Organized shuttles for hundreds of attendees, who will break into groups and visit San Diego startup companies offering beer tastings and presentations of their offices and products.

—Thursday June 16 from 8 am to 5 pm. Mini-Summit on Transformative Role of Design
Broadway Pier Pavilion, 1000 North Harbor Drive, 92101

Civic leaders, industry innovators, and designers come together to explore the potential and power of human-centered design in driving San Diego’s economic growth and global identity. The all-day event will highlight how effective user interface, graphic design, and designing with data represent critical components of San Diego’s resident expertise in tech innovation.

—Thursday June 16 at 6 pm. Fuckup Nights, Binational Edition
1 Columbia Place CR 300 401 West A Street, 92101

A night where entrepreneurs share their failures so that others might learn from them. This is the binational edition wherein speakers from both sides of the border will share their experiences. It is part of the Crossborder Track, which is intended to highlight Tijuana and San Diego as an entrepreneurial mega-region, with unique startup resources, talent, business opportunities, and collaborations.

—Thursday June 16 at 7 pm. Demo Night
Broadway Pier Pavilion, 1000 North Harbor Drive, 92101

Seven local startup founders are scheduled to present their companies, outline their technologies, and explain their business models. The companies are: Tourrs, Gofer, TeamVibe, Democracy Counts!, Optisom, Obrary, and Airbitz.

—Friday June 17 at 1:30 pm. Startup Culture and Growth
          701 B Street, 16th Floor, 92101

A startup’s corporate culture can become a limiting factor for growth. But the right culture can help resource-constrained companies get past challenges, meet difficult milestones, and gain momentum for growth. This session is focused on the ingredients that help make that happen.

—Friday June 17 at 5 pm. Startup Festival and Awards Ceremony
Quartyard urban park and community space, 1102 Market St., 92101

Startup Week culminates in a festival that is intended to show all the cool things startups are building in San Diego, accompanied by live bands, and provisioned by food trucks and craft beer. At least 75 local companies will be accepting resumes, and leaders of San Diego’s startup ecosystem will be recognized with community awards.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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