Home Podcast This Week in San Diego Tech News – July 22, 2022

This Week in San Diego Tech News – July 22, 2022

by Neal Bloom

Neal: Welcome everyone to the weekly San Diego Tech News by Neal Bloom and Sesha Machiraju 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.

Sesha: Hey I’m Sesha, former biotech data person, currently working on cyber & cloud evangelism at Microsoft Azure. SD transplant by way of Seattle, fond of all things tech, startups, and data.


For July 22, 2022:

  1. NAWBO, BofA Team To Help Female Firms Launch, Grow
    1. Hera Hub owner Felena Hanson launched Launch & Growth Academies for Female Entrepreneurs with Nat. Assoc. Women Business Owners.
    2. Helping mostly non tech companies
    3. Partnered with Bank of America to form and fund
    4. 9 companies first cohort
    5. Paired with a “business buddy” whose goals are closely aligned with their own to create further support and connection throughout the program.  
    6. The Bank of America Growth Academy is currently enrolling for its second cohort. Like the Launch Academy, it is a nine-week course for nine women entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, however, run later stage companies – those with $200,000 in annual sales, at least one fulltime employee and two years in business.  
    7. According to Bank of America research, women own an estimated 13 million businesses, employ more than 9 million people, and generate $1.9 trillion in annual revenues, which is nearly five times the national average.  
  2. GigTown’s post pandemic reboot
    1. “Yelp for local music”
    2. GigTown connects musicians with fans and venues, bought by Brian Wahlstorm & Joe Cardillo from the OG founders Steve & Andy Altman 
    3. Leaning into the online music model by adding a Zoom link feature pointing directly to musician pages to encourage tipping 
    4. Generated $550k during pandemic times, mostly from corporate clients – even for weekly live performances!
    5. Profitable through the pandemic by staying lean and focusing on ideating new features i.e. mobile signups as opposed to only through web interface
    6. New focus is to build out backlog of features – created a Wefunder campaign and is currently 50% of the way to their $50k goal
  3. Illumina loses court bid to halt European antitrust review of Grail acquisition
    1. Illumina loses bid to halt EU antitrust regulators from reviewing $8B acquisition of Grail, which enables early detection of several types of cancer using gene sequencing
      • On the grounds that this acquisition harms competitors ie. horizontal merger
      • Particularly complex as many Grail competitors use Illumina gene sequencing tech
    2. Also facing an administrative challenge to the Grail acquisition by the FTC, but is still pending 
    3. If regulators find the Illumina deal anticompetitive, they could issue fines, require Illumina to sell off assets
  4. SD Biotech, ViaCyte, acquired by rival Vertex Pharmaceuticals for $320M
    1. ViaCyte, which is developing therapies to help patients with Type 1 diabetes produce their own insulin, was acquired by rival Vertex Pharmaceuticals for $320M in cash (!)
    2. As of 2019, 1.6M people over the age of 20 have Type 1 diabetes and would need to take insulin
    3. ViaCyte uses stem-cell derived islet cell replacement therapy to treat Type 1 and insulin-required Type 2 
      • Currently in clinical trials for a credit-card sized implant of pancreatic cells inserted under a patient’s skin and early studies have shown these cells are successfully triggered to secrete insulin
    4. Vertex has an injectable therapy for diabetes called VX-880 which has seen positive signs for insulin production 
    5. Sale is expected to close later this year – is this a horizontal merger too? 
  5. Qualcomm joins forces with Swedish and French firms to build satellite-driven 5G Network
    1. Ericsson (Sweden), Thales (France), and Qualcomm will jointly develop a satellite driven 5G network to improve terrestrial connectivity 
    2. Tech being developed would allow 5G devices to connect to satellites, making communication possible even on the remotest corners of the globe & provides failovers in the event of major outages/disasters 
    3. Rivals Elon’s Starlink
    4. Still in testing phase – satellites move at high speeds meaning that the link would be susceptible to change – expected to continue into 2023 and may include tests on the ISS


  • SD Comic Con is here!

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