This is the last newsletter of the year, and of the decade! There is a lot to cover. First off, we are thrilled to announce Startup San Diego has hired a new Executive Director. Alexa-Rae Navarro , a UCSD alum, has spent the last eight years immersed in the Los Angeles startup world and is coming home to help us grow our early stage ecosystem. Welcome Alexa-Rae and expect to see a lot of her in 2020.
In 2019, Fresh Brewed Tech embarked on a new early tech founding story, covering the tech mafia of Active.com and a lot of local companies that have come from it. Get ready for new origin stories we call the SD Tech Mafia in 2020, including HNC. We also have a new UCSD TritonTech spinout story with Shiv Shukla’s Neuralace . What other stories should we tell in 2020? Fill out our survey to let us know.
Meanwhile, it’s been a busy year in San Diego’s tech ecosystem. We just had some recent big acquisitions worth noting, many of them foreign-based acquirers. Pacific Beach sunglass maker, Blenders, sold a majority share of the company to an Italian brand, valuing the business at $90 million. Biotech PR firm Canale Communications sold to an Irish company, with the deal worth up to $31 million with earnouts. Continuing on the biotech megadeals of the year, La Jolla-based Synthorx, already public, was acquired by Paris-based Sanofi for $2.5 billion. Ballast Point was acquired again (!!!) by a Chicago craft brewery, bringing the company private again. A company I co-founded, Portfolium’s parent company, Instructure, got a $2 billion offer to be taken private by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Congrats to all the companies, especially with keeping your teams local in these acquisitions. We look forward to further seeing the capital trickle down to the community. Do I hear new angel investors, and maybe even some more tech mafia pieces?
Speaking of angel investing, local entrepreneur Al Bsharah is looking for feedback on how to create solutions to enable more entrepreneurs to invest earlier in their careers. Can you help by filling out this 3 minute survey?
We will have a lot of continued great momentum going into 2020. A very happy and warm holidays to you and your family. Our team looks forward to continuing to spread the San Diego tech gospel in 2020. See you next decade!