Home Podcast San Diego Tech News Weekly – December 19, 2021

San Diego Tech News Weekly – December 19, 2021

by Neal Bloom

Neal: Welcome everyone to the weekly San Diego Tech News by Neal Bloom and Jonah Peake from Fresh Brewed Tech. Every Friday at 12:30pm Pacific on Clubhouse and now we record them for you to enjoy as well. Find these episodes on Freshbrewedtech.com and favorite podcast player for Tacos and Tech Podcast.

I’m Neal Bloom, entrepreneur, investor, and community builder 

Jonah: Hey I’m Jonah, ops guy building marketplaces spent time at Lime, Handy, and Postmates and I enjoy helping startups throughout San Diego. Let’s dive into our five stories of the week:


For Dec 19, 2021:

  1. San Diego/Tijuana wins World Design Capital, defeating Moscow
    1. spearheaded by the San Diego-based Design Forward Alliance – Michele Morris is the President – the main year of showcase will be in 2024
    2. The distinction means a global spotlight with a year of events to promote the region, including a street festival, a one-day celebration highlighting the winner’s designs and a design conference that should bring people from around the globe. In addition to putting the region on the world stage, it is also expected to be a boost to the tourism industry hit hard by the pandemic.
    3. Previous design capitals have been Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town, Taipei and Mexico City. This bid was unique in that a binational region decided to apply together and marks the first time a binational region has won.
    4. The competition goes beyond just buildings and also looks at how cities use design to create change to improve the quality of life for its citizens. He said that can be in an environmental, cultural, social or economic way.
  2. San Diego’s JuneShine pulls in $24M to drive hard kombucha better-for-you alcoholic beverages
    1. Better for you booze growing like a tech company
    2. San diego companies are getting big money this year
    3. Juneshine wants in closing $24m
      1. Led by
        1. Amberstone Ventures
        2. Litani Ventures 
          1. New Aged Meats
          2. Spacex
          3. Liquid death
    4. Founded in 2018 by 2 USD guys
      1. Greg
        1. Some investment banking experience
      2. Forrest
        1. Freelance videographer 
      3. They’ll ramp up production at their 30k sq ft facility
        1. Purchased from ballast point 2 years ago
      4. They are the leader in Hard Booch
        1. Carbonated fermented tea
          1. Trending because
            1. Lower cals
            2. Some probiotics (depending on alc content)
            3. Less sugar
      5. Hard booch is well known to have originated in SD
      6. The category was created by boochcraft out of Chula
      7. Hard kombucha is growing compared to seltzer
        1. Up 50% yOy
        2. Seltz is flat or around single digit growth
          1. Easier to commoditize 
      8. Easier to commoditize 
        1. 40% market share
        2. 10 million cans sold
      9. Curious to see how expansion goes outside of CA
  3. Pfizer to Acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals
    1. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4475793-pfizer-arena-acquisition-makes-sense
    2. Both Public
      1. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)
      2. Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA)
    3. Arena feels a little like a AAA or minor league team with a ton of prospects that could make it to big leagues
    4. RnD by acquisition
    5. Expanding offering for immuno-inflammatory diseases
      1. immuno-inflammatory diseases a few categories
          1. inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and eosinophilic esophagitis
        2. DERMATOLOGY
          1. atopic dermatitis and alopecia
          1. acute heart failure and coronary microvascular obstruction
    6. $100/ share
      1. Or $6.7 billion in cash
  4. Study: AI helps catalyze 10% employment growth in San Diego Transportation cluster through the pandemic – San Diego Regional EDC
    1. San Diego has a major transportation cluster
      1. Growing thanks to AI/ML
    2. As people get more comfortable with AI this might grow further
    3. 1 in 3 transportation related companies developing or adopting AI
    4. Local startups:
      1. Logistics tech
        1. Airspace
        2. Boxton
      2. Transportation safety
        1. TuSimple
        2. Lytx
      3. Travel and commutes
        1. SANDAG
        2. Cubic
      4. Defence / mobilizing troops / supplies 
        1. BAE Systems
        2. General Dynamics
    5. Outlined by Booze Allen
      1. Key Findings in the report
        1. The cluster is massive
          1. $11b economic impact
          2. 90,000 local jobs
          3. +10% despite pandemic
        2. Much more than just Autonomous Vehicles 
        3. Leveling SD up to a global stage
          1. Creating advanced manufacturing jobs
    6. Find the full study at
      1. transportation.sandiegoai.org
  5. Fast food bundle: San Diego’s Jack in the Box to acquire Del Taco for $575 million – The San Diego Union-Tribune
    1. Big Taco in SoCal
      1. Marrying 2 “fast food for surfer” brands
      2. $575m
        1. including the assumption of debt.
    2. Del Taco is out of OC
      1. Founded in 1964
      2. 99% operate drive through
      3. 600 locations across 16 states
        1. 50% franchised
    3. Interesting acquisition
      1. Focused on improving supply chain
        1. They are getting $15m in cost saving
      2. Mexican food options for Jack franchises
      3. Lower development costs for new stores
    4. Jack in the box by numbers
      1. 2218 locations
      2. 21 states
      3. 93% franchised owned 
    5. Both brands operate in similar regions
      1. Jack is not getting new territory from this acquisition
      2. Adding only 4 states
    6. Did you know Jack owns Qdoba?
      1. Purchased in 2003
      2. Grew to 700 locations
      3. Selling to PE a few years ago

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