San Diego’s Innovation Economy Had ‘Banner’ Year In 2013
By Erik Anderson
A new report from business accelerator CONNECT says 2013 was a good year for San Diego’s innovation economy with 412 new companies being created in the area.
“We average about 300 per year, so this was a banner year," CONNECT CEO Greg McKee said. “Four hundred and twelve startups. This was the highest we’ve seen since 2007. So this was a very, very strong year in the county for startups.”
San Diego ranked fourth among California counties, behind Los Angeles, Santa Clara and San Francisco for new businesses. McKee says the local startups were directly responsible for 1,213 new tech jobs. Total employment in that sector now tops 140,000. He says the region’s world-class research hubs are breeding the innovation.
“It’s not just purely academic, per se. We’re taking that work and we’re creating products and we’re creating real viable companies out of that,” McKee said.
Lori Steele founded Everyone Counts, a San Diego-based company that develops electronic voting software.
“These are both actual tablets and I’ll take off the pretty part and show you that it’s off-the-shelf hardware,” she said, handling one of her voting devices. “Any tablet at all will do. This is just for security purposes. But you could also vote from home, on a mobile device or on a PC. We’re hardware agnostic and operating system agnostic,” Steele said.
Steele says she’s hoping to tap into the nation’s $31 billion voting industry. She says her software is already used in several states and foreign counties.
The majority of new tech jobs in San Diego are software-related, but pharmaceutical, communications and defense companies are also well represented.