Welcome to the innovation hub, a series celebrating the extraordinary companies that span across the entire San Diego region. From software to healthcare tech, precision medicine, electronics, AI, cybersecurity, manufacturing and more, this series takes a deeper dive into the innovative clusters that make up the collaborative culture of this diverse ecosystem.
Software developers-turned-entrepreneurs Sam Rosewall and Joseph Pedroza launched Vista-based AppStudio35 in February 2015 when they began noticing a serious shortage in mobile development talent to fill all the open positions available on the market. “So we came together and decided to stop focusing on individual contracting and start building a larger team and training them to be experts in our field,” Rosewall said. “Originally we set out to focus on client/server mobile development apps, but within a couple years, we were swamped with desktop, website, APIs (application program interface), and bluetooth development opportunities.”
What’s App: AppStudio35 specializes in optimized, large data, and scalable practices for client/server and embedded applications for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices. Besides mobile apps, the company also has extensive expertise in developing for embedded devices in the auto, avionics, consumer, and medical industries.
Who’s Who: In just the last few years, the software firm has chalked up a notable list of clients, including Intel, Google, Apple, Blackhawk, 3M, Sonos, Tyco/Johnson Control, Hanna Labs, Juul, Six Flags, Abbott Medical and Clerio.
“We were fortunate enough to do projects for some pretty large companies. We have built Lasik surgery software, brain scanning software, firefighter equipment enhancement software, and we even had one product appear on Shark Tank from one of our clients.” Rosewall said. “It was pretty exciting to see something we poured into show up on TV.”
Tight-Knit Team: “We’ve had our ups and downs like any software firm. In our peak, we had 19+ engineers on our team,” Rosewall said. “Today, we are running steady at 13 engineers. We love what we do and try to make our Vista location as fun of a place to work as possible. Being a small team allows us to really bond, hangout, and work well together.”
Vista Headquarters: Rosewall said he and Pedroza chose Vista as AppStudio35’s headquarters primarily because the price of office per square-foot and driving distance to their nearby homes.
“The location has great access to the interstate,” he said. “Vista is beautiful; who wouldn’t want to have their office here? Customers constantly like that we are located in Vista because they can stop in our office on the way to their downtown locations or on their way home. Sometimes, they will even use us as an excuse to work remotely from our office just so they can avoid their commute.”
“The prices (in Vista) are also fair, and the talent nearby is good,” he added. “People really want to live in North County, but sometimes it’s hard to find software companies in these less-than-crowded areas. So it enables us to be a great option for these workers when we have an opening. Plus, we have plenty of places to walk, eat, and play when we aren’t working.”
Vista Software Stats: AppStudio35 is one of roughly 28 innovative software firms in Vista that create everything from mobile apps to service portals, remote weather monitoring, machine learning-driven analysis, cyber threat analysis and more. These companies are part of the City of Vista’s information technology and analytics instruments cluster, which employs nearly 2,700 workers, according to 2016 stats.
North County San Diego as a whole is home to 37.5% of all software cluster jobs in the region, according to the San Diego North Economic Development Council. There are about 12,485 jobs in this industry in North County, which is about 9% above the national average. These workers earn an average of $130,000 a year.
Regional Attraction: For the City of Vista, attracting and retaining more companies like AppStudio35 adds to the vibrant industry clusters and economic base of the city, as well as provides quality jobs for residents around the region.
“We want to build a robust environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in Vista,” said Kevin Ham, the city’s Economic Development Director. “The city offers various incentives and programs such as Vista CARES to foster business development and to encourage companies to move to or set up shop in Vista. We are fortunate to be working with some of our existing innovative companies and leaders to continue building entrepreneurial talents in the city and beyond.”