SD Venture Group Opens Bay Area Office as Part of “Cheeky” Campaign

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five desks in the WeWork co-working space on California Street in downtown San Francisco. Krenn said local startup leaders can use the space as a temporary office and to host meetings with Bay Area venture firms and industry VIPs.

To use the Beachhead, San Diego companies would apply to the venture group. Krenn said startups would be selected according to their readiness and need, and what they’re trying to accomplish.

As part of the stratagem, which is intended to benefit San Diego’s startup ecosystem as a whole, Krenn says the venture group also would allow San Diego entrepreneurs and CEOs to access a proprietary database on more than 80 Bay Area angel and VC investors. Each investor profile includes such details as deal size, stage of development, and investment preferences—and Krenn said the San Diego Venture Group can make high-level introductions in a targeted way.

Under a related initiative billed as “Tacos + Tech #UltimateLifeHack,” Krenn has helped organize a job fair for more than 40 San Diego technology and life sciences companies on February 1 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. The event, which includes a keynote talk by Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob, is aimed at recruiting engineers and software developers, especially those who graduated from UC San Diego and were lured away by job offers in Silicon Valley. They understand that in San Diego, you can make a respectable living, work at an industry-defining company, and embrace the coastal Southern California lifestyle, Krenn said.

Participating companies include San Diego-based heavyweights like Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), ViaSat (NASDAQ: VSAT), Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), ResMed (NYSE: RMD), and Mitchell International; San Diego area divisions of Teradata (NYSE: TDC), Amazon (NASDAQ: ticker:AMZN]]), and ThermoFisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO); and local startups like MindTouch, SmartDrive, Seismic, Human Longevity, Portfolium, and GoFormz.

“People want out of Silicon Valley,” Krenn said. “It’s a relatively new phenomenon, and we’re in front of it. Let’s cherry-pick their best and brightest. Cost of living is too high, traffic is ludicrous. We want San Diego to be choice number one.”

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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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