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Mayor Faulconer Introduces New Program to Help San Diego Businesses Grow by Tapping Silicon Valley Funding

Satellite Office For San Diego Startups Is Partnership Between City, San Diego Venture Capital Group And WeWork

Thursday, December 15, 2016

San Diego – To create an environment where San Diego businesses grow globally and hire locally, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today announced the launch of the first venture capital office for San Diego startups in San Francisco.

“San Diego has always been known for our beautiful weather but everyday more people around the world are hearing about our booming innovation economy and now we’re taking the show on the road,” Mayor Faulconer said. “For the first time, San Diego’s smartest startups will have an official headquarters in Silicon Valley so our local businesses can access Bay Area funding while still prospering and hiring right here in America’s Finest City.”

The San Diego startup satellite office is located at co-working space WeWork San Francisco. The network of co-working spaces also held its grand opening at its first San Diego location today.

Mayor Faulconer pledged to open a satellite venture capital office during his 2016 State of the City Address to help San Diego companies tap into new funding streams. The ”BeachHead,” operated by the San Diego Venture Group and located in WeWork San Francisco, will help San Diego businesses seek the funding they need to expand and create local jobs.

In 2015, San Diego companies received about $1.3 billion in venture capital compared to Silicon Valley businesses receiving $27.8 billion. San Diego’s entire innovation economy makes a $52 billion economic impact annually – a quarter of the region’s gross domestic product.

The San Diego Venture Group has soft launched the new venture capital office in San Francisco this month to network with more than 400 venture funds in the Bay Area. Any San Diego-based company can apply for access to the venture capital office. They can apply through sdvg.org and are vetted based upon readiness and need.

“It’s time flip the equation,” said Mike Krenn, president of the San Diego Venture Group. “For the last 10 years, people have been complaining about the lack of capital in San Diego. We’ve continually heard, ‘If x venture fund, or if y venture fund would just open a satellite office here.’ Well, it’s time to actually do something. Instead of waiting for them to open a satellite office, which brings us one venture fund, we are flipping it and we are opening a satellite office in San Francisco, which gets us access to hundreds of venture funds.” 

WeWork provides collaborative workspaces, access to a global member network and services that help businesses of all sizes to succeed. The new location on B Street in San Diego is one of the largest WeWork spaces on the West Coast and part of a global platform with locations in more than 30 cities around the world.

The spaces in San Diego and San Francisco are designed to foster collaboration and feature private offices for large and small teams, multiple commons areas, large event spaces and an outdoor terrace with built-in bar for professional and community events. All WeWork members have access to health care, payment processing, IT support, payroll, legal, educational programs and other kinds of training.

“WeWork is helping to create the future of work,” said Jon Slavet, WeWork General Manager for the West Coast. “Our members work in all industries and in companies of all sizes – from freelancers to Fortune 500s. WeWork B Street reflects our commitment to San Diego, and to creating new opportunities as a global community.”

Derek Barclay, co-founder and president of LoanHero, a local financial technology startup, said he is looking forward to utilizing the new offices.

“As a startup in San Diego, having access to Grade-A space, in the heart of San Francisco, in a facility like WeWork – it’s amazingly helpful and powerful,” Barclay said.  “It's very much appreciated, and is a vehicle we can and will leverage. And more than just space, having access to the resources and connections that come through the facility – it is something very tangible that we believe will make a meaningful difference to many great San Diego startups.”

Leaders of the San Diego innovation economy see the new downtown office as a way for San Diego businesses to leverage WeWork’s global network of locations.

“WeWork’s stunning new space will be a hotbed for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in our urban core,” said Kris Michell, Downtown San Diego Partnership President and CEO. “I have no doubt that it will serve to strengthen our blossoming tech ecosystem.”

CONTACT: Jen Lebron at (619) 384-5289 or [email protected]


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