Tech News

Hot San Diego startups want to attract the best and the brightest

December 1, 2011 Srinivas Rao

There are many startups in San Diego doing exciting stuff. There is also abundant talent in the city with major schools and talented people from around the world. However these two don’t always cross paths. A San Diego startup called SweetLabs inc is joining 9 of the hottest startups in town, to create awareness in the local tech community and to attract the best and brightest people. Here is their first event called ‘Startups Are Better’, on Dec 1st 2011, with the tagline “10 Startups. $100 Million Raised. 100 New Jobs Created”. I spoke with SweetLabs co-founder Chester Ng for this post.

SweetLabs was founded in 2008 by 6 guys all of whom came from another successful San Diego startup called DivX.  3 years later, SweetLabs is 65 people strong and looking to double their work force in the months to come. With their products called OpenCandy and Pokki, they want to build the next generation of desktop app development and distribution platform.

Here is Chester Ng about the other participating startups : “We looked for other local startups who were looking to aggressively scale their teams and in particular, had plans to recruit/hire a lot of product development talent (engineers, designers, product managers) over the next six months. We think it’s critical for the community in San Diego to realize that even in the midst of these rough economic times, there are innovative startups that are creating new opportunities for the best talent in the best city, San Diego. Hence the tagline for the event – 10 Startups. $100 Million Raised. 100 New Jobs Created.”

Besides SweetLabs, the startups are Brightscope, Bump Network, Deal Current, Flud, Lockerz, Mogl, Mojo Pages, Slackers, Stock Twits and Take Lessons. Startup are going to introduce themselves and there will be ample opportunity to communicate with them one-on-one. There will be also be a Fireside chat with two tech veterans. Joe Kraus is a two-time entrepreneur turned VC currently with Google Ventures. Michael Robertson is a San Diego entrepreneur with a great track record of building disruptive startups and taking them to profitability and acquisition.

San Diego needs a stronger startup community similar to the one in San Francisco’s SoMa district or the one in downtown Palo Alto. There also needs to be more awareness about startups among talented people, who might otherwise consider only bigger and more established corporations for opportunities. An event such as ‘Statups are better’ is a great step in this direction.

So if you are a techie, designer, marketing buff or a product guy, RSVP and head over to Dec. 1st event ‘Startups Are Better’ where you will have a chance to meet with 10 of the great San Diego startups, listen to veterans speak about their startup exeperiences and have a drink and a bite to eat. And hopefully you will find a great match for your talent.

Co-Merge Makes a Splash in the Coworking Community

August 10, 2011 Jennifer Newell

Co-Merge-logoAugust 9th was National Coworking Day, prompting entrepreneurs all over San Diego county to celebrate by filling area coworking spaces. Mayor Jerry Sanders helped introduce the day to San Diego with a proclamation at the grand opening of Co-Merge, a new coworking space in downtown San Diego, in July.

We spent National Coworking Day at Co-Merge, chatting with partner Robert Conrad about the buzz surrounding the new coworking venture, Mayor Sanders’ appearance, and the events that will be coming to the venue in the coming months.

As a new player in the San Diego coworking community, Co-Merge is now working on building its profile in the San Diego community. With some decent exposure in publications like San Diego Magazine, the space has generated some buzz for its forward-thinking design, high technology, and fresh presence in downtown.

“We offer sophisticated space and community,” says Robert, who often works among Co-Merge members. “We want to build a community here that adds value to someone’s business, someone’s work/life balance, someone’s day.”

Co-Merge has also played a part in bringing attention to National Coworking Day. As part of the San Diego Coworking Alliance, the Co-Merge partners learned about the August 9th date and wanted to make it a part of their grand opening ceremony. They reached out to Mayor Sanders’ office, and the mayor came out to the party to proclaim the day and acknowledge the coworking trend in San Diego.

“We were really pleased with the turnout,” Robert says about the ceremony. “[We were] happy to see the mayor here supporting the collaborative workplace and coworking effort in San Diego, which seems to be growing substantially.”

Co-Merge is looking forward to a full calendar of events being held at the space, many of which have been scheduled through the Coworking Alliance and SD Tech Scene. “We think they’re going to add a lot of value to our members, having these regularly-scheduled events in how to be a better working professional, and certainly [the same for] the outside events, the [Skillmasters] iOS training, anime events, and Startup Weekend.” The events aimed at improving professional skills will be included in membership packages but are available to others on a per-session basis.

In addition to the convenient features Co-Merge provides in its community events and functional space, parking is now easier for downtown coworkers — four-hour parking and a card-reading meter are being instituted on the street in front of the facility’s building, and the $10/hr drop-in fee includes free parking at a neighboring Ace lot.

For more information about becoming a member at Co-Merge, which is located at 330 A. Street in downtown San Diego, visit their website at For a list of other coworking spaces in San Diego county, check out this guide.

August 9 is Coworking Day

Mayor Jerry Sanders (center) declares August 9 Coworking Day in San Diego with Co-Merge's managing partner Michael Kenny (left) and the President of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ruben Barrales (right)



Startup Weekend Comes to San Diego

August 11, 2010 Phelan Riessen

Entrepreneurship will be in overdrive when Startup Weekend comes to San Diego August 20th – 22nd, gathering area entrepreneurs for a weekend of collaboration and creation at downtown coworking space Hive Haus 770.

Startup Weekend San Diego brings together energetic developers, graphic artists, business-minded startup enthusiasts, and stellar marketing and PR creatives to bring an innovative new business ideas from inception to launch in 54 hours. Teams form on Friday and will present their business models and prototypes to a panel of experts on Sunday night.

Startup Weekend San DiegoTeams will have access to experienced entrepreneurs and angel investor mentors including Mike Afred, CEO of BrightScope, Inc., Frank Peters from, and Charlie Jackson, founder of co-founder FutureWave Software. On Sunday night teams will present their businesses and prototypes and the winning team will receive $2,000 in legal services from Platinum Sponsor Cooley Godward Kronish.

Registration is currently open and slots for development, marketing/PR/business, design & UI, attorney/legal and social media are available, as well as student tickets and demo night tickets. Other contributors are welcome to join as well.

Follow @sdtechscene on Twitter to get the latest updates on Startup Weekend San Diego, or visit the website at for new blog posts about speakers, attendees, and sponsorship.

When: August 20 – 22nd, 2010
Where: 770 11th Ave. San Diego, CA 92104

About Startup Weekend: Startup Weekend is a non-profit based in Seattle, WA. Startup Weekend has traveled the world, hosting events in more than 100 cities in over 25 countries around the world. It has helped educate over 15,000 entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses. Website:

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