Home Podcast San Diego Tech News Weekly – September 24, 2021

San Diego Tech News Weekly – September 24, 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. 

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

Jonah: Hey I’m Jonah, serial marketplace operator, having built & launched Lime, Handy, and Postmates in multiple cities and have helped incubate startups throughout San Diego. Let’s dive into our five stories of the week!

This Week in SD Tech: Cue and Tyra go public, Water batteries, Fortune 500 VC Fund and Super Computers

For Sep 24, 2021:

  1. IPO ALERT!!
    1. Cue Health went public today – $16 @ $2.4B – up 27% and nearly at $3B
      1. Local investors Section32 and big name – Marc Benioff
      2. Digital at home diagnostics test – covid, plus flu, etc
  2. San Diego biotech raises $199M in arms race against cancer
    1. Carlsbad biotech Tyra Biosciences
    2. gone public
    3. Drugs targeting Tumors
      1. Specifically: patients who aren’t responding to current therapy
    4. Selling 12.4 million shares for $16
    5. Symbol: TYRA
    6. Pretty new company: founded in 2018
    7. drugs against mutated proteins that allow cancer cells to multiply uncontrollably
    8. What’s cool about this approach is that it’s more targeting
    9. Traditional Chemo kills everything
      1. Normal and cancer cells
    10. So here’s the crazy part:
      1. A Turmos mutate
      2. They change key proteins
      3. Making drugs less effective
    11. Tyra comes in when a tumor has mustasted and therapies are not effective
    12. TYRA-300, targets bladder cancer
      1.  Other potential products:
        1. bile duct,
        2.  Lung,
        3.  thyroid and
        4. Liver
    13. 2020: $9.3 million loss
      1. Research cost
  3. Rep. Peters: Lower Drug Costs Today, But Keep Incentives to Develop New Cures
    1.  Opinion piece by Rep Peters
    2. the Build Back Better Act is currently being debated
    3. Covers a wide variety of topics:
      1. air pollution,
      2. energy,
      3. public health,
      4. wireless connectivity,
      5. drug pricing 
      6. among many others
    4. lawmakers are in the midst of finalizing the elements in this bill
      1. Specifically size and scope
    5. One piece to cap out of pocket costs for drugs
      1. Insulin etc
      2. Allow medicare to negotiate better pricing 
      3. Close patent loopholes abused by manufacturers and help with access to generics
    6. Hard to know if capping pricing will impact investment and innovation in the space
    7. A few stats
      1. 95% of drug ideas don’t make it to market
      2. Each drug that makes it cost around 1 billion
    8. Flu vaccine might be an example of this
      1. Hard to profit from making it
      2. But we need it
  4. San Diego looks for partner to build $1.5B San Vicente hydro energy project
    1. Where are you partners?
    2. Looking to build and operate a pump energy storage facility
    3. In Cuyamaca mountains near Lakeside
    4. RFP issued
    5. To add flexibility to the grid
    6. It’s a pretty simple concept really
      1. Water is pumped up hill into a reservoir
      2. Held until power demand increases
      3. Then water is released back down hill
    7. Not much different from typical hydroelectric except for the reversal step
    8. Another way to think about this is like a rechargeable battery
    9. Pumped hydro part of the grid for 100+ years
    10. With CA goal of being 100 renewable by 2045
      1. This is a solid option
    11. The goal is to provide power for 135K households
      1. 500 megawatts of long-duration energy storage
    12. Picture this, excess daytime solar can be used to pump water
      1. Essentially charging the battery
    13. We have no issues with daytime solar generation
      1. However nighttimes when solar is offline can be an issue 
    14. Fun fact, this is not the first unite in CA
      1. Lake Hodges already has a hydro storage facility
      2. But this facility is 10x smaller than the proposed San Vincente Hydro
  5. San Diego Supercomputer’s ‘Expanse’ formally enters production
    1. Really love the name Expanse
    2. Funded by the NSF (national science foundation)
    3. 2x the performance of Comet
      1. Their older model
      2. On fire with the names
    4. “Computing without Boundaries”
      1. increasing the capacity and performance for thousands of users of batch-oriented and science gateway computing
    5. with powerful CPUs, GPUs, and a data-centric architecture that supports a wide range of scientific workloads
      1. experimental facilities, 
      2. edge computing,
      3. public clouds.
    6. Substantially reduce the times to discovery
    7. In December
      1. crowds in Chile and Argentina donned masks
      2.  a two-minute solar eclipse
      3. Only visible in those regions
      4. A week earlier Expanse was able to simulate what it might look like
      5. Generated by solar physicists at Predictive Science Inc in SD
      6. Model aimed to display solar corona (only seen during eclipse and how they pitch off the sun and become solar wind)
      7. how supersonic solar wind is accelerated in interplanetary space
  6. Intuit Ventures & Corporate VC
    1. https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/22/intuit-launches-venture-arm-to-invest-in-startups-with-innovation-for-small-businesses-consumers/
    2. vcs in SD – 
      1. qualcomm, 
      2. Resmed, 
      3. Sony, 
      4. Dexcomm, 
      5. now Intuit: Intuit Ventures
        1. Startups that are innovating in the small business space
        2. Just purchased mail chimp (help SMB get customers)
          1. Credit Karma
          2. Mint
        3. Some industries
          1. Ecomm
          2. Fintech,
          3. enablement (AI/ML, Virtual/Digital), Defi/crypto)
        4. This enables them to accelerate innovation
        5. While learning from companies
        6. Sometimes red tape the bigger you get
        7. This does benefit startups too
          1. Not only $$
          2. Massive sandbox to test and play in
        8. They are looking pretty late stage
          1. B or C rounds
          2. Potential to lead

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