Daily Business Report-Nov. 28, 2018, San Diego Metro Magazine


From left, the “VCs in a Van” crew – Mark Bowles, Neil Senturia (in van) and Tom Tullie – pose for a photo. (Photo courtesy of “VCs in a Van”)

To show off San Diego startups, 

investors hit the road with new TV show

By Sarah de Crescenzo  editor of Xconomy San Diego

First there was “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Now four San Diego, CA-based investors are debuting “VCs in a Van,” a vehicle (no pun intended) meant to spotlight local companies ripe for funding.

The show tracks the financiers—Neil Senturia, Tom Tullie, Mark Bowles, and Taner Halicioğlu—as they visit a handful of San Diego-based early-stage businesses seeking financing. The six-episode miniseries the investors produced for TV is slated to debut Dec. 2 on Cox Channel 4/Yurview 1004.

The group credits Senturia, a well-known local serial entrepreneur with a Hollywood background, for the initial idea that led to the show’s creation. The Blackbird Ventures CEO writes a column in the San Diego Union-Tribune, and it was his musings about the need to raise the profile of San Diego startups that spurred Bowles into action. He, too, had been thinking the region could benefit from something similar.

Read more…


Hillcrest 111 project
Hillcrest 111 project

Opponents sue to block Hillcrest

high-rise apartment building

San Diego Union-Tribune

Opponents seeking to block construction of a Hillcrest high-rise apartment building have filed a lawsuit contending the project would damage community character and worsen traffic congestion. Supporters say the project is a model for solving San Diego’s housing crisis because it would feature 111 units built on less than an acre and it’s near major roads, high-paying jobs, restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses.

But a small group of opponents calling themselves Uptown United say the seven-story building would be too dense and would damage community character by blocking the sun and creating a “tunnel effect” with other nearby high-rises.

Read more…


EPA gives $614 million loan to city

for innovative water recycling project

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a $614 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the city of San Diego to help finance its Pure Water project, estimated to cost $1.4 billion.

The loan will help finance nearly half that amount—up to $614 million. Because the WIFIA program offers loans with low interest rates, the city is expected to save up to an estimated $184 million compared to typical bond issuance. Project construction and operations are expected to create 480 jobs, with construction beginning in 2019 and targeted for completion in 2023.

the city of San Diego will construct a new advanced facility to produce 30 million of gallons per day of high-quality drinking water. This additional drinking water supply will save the city money through reduced imported water costs, will benefit the environment through reduced discharges into the ocean, and will provide a reliable, sustainable, water supply for future generations.

“This federal funding is validation that our Pure Water Program is cutting- edge technology and a worthy investment for San Diego’s future water independence,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “This is going to be one of the most significant infrastructure projects in San Diego history and will deliver clean, reliable water to our residents for decades to come.


Resource & Recovery Center
Resource & Recovery Center

Volunteers of America SW open

new Resource & Recovery Center

Volunteers of America Southwest CEO Gerald McFadden, left, District Attorney Summer Stephan, and Volunteers of America Southwest Board Chair Charles Hartford attended the opening.
Volunteers of America Southwest CEO Gerald McFadden, left, District Attorney Summer Stephan, and Volunteers of America Southwest Board Chair Charles Hartford attended the opening.

Volunteers of America Southwest, a nonprofit, faith-based organization with a mission to change the lives of vulnerable individuals by providing services and tools to improve their quality of life, held a ribbon cutting for its new 10,000-square-foot Resource and Recovery Center on Nov. 14 at 4525 Mission Gorge Place, San Diego, CA 92120.

The Resource and Recovery Center will serve approximately 500 individuals annually from Volunteers of America Southwest’s Renaissance Treatment Center (RTC), a substance abuse addiction treatment program. 

Clients currently in RTC treatment or who have recently completed treatment and opt to continue their recovery will find support at the Resource and Recovery Center. The center services include an active alumni club, individual and family counseling, educational workshops, job readiness workshops, employment assistance, housing assistance, computer literacy, peer support meetings, therapeutic counseling, health clinics and fitness classes.


Nutrition expert to present

public keynote on Jan. 11

David Katz
David Katz, M.D.

Consumers can learn how to separate dietary facts from fads at a keynote address by internationally recognized expert David Katz, M.D. on Friday, Jan. 11 as part of the 16th annual Natural Supplements Conference, hosted by the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

Katz is the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and the founding president of the True Health Initiative, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy, sustainable diets and lifestyles.

He has authored 15 books, including his latest, “The Truth About Food,” which uses a science-based approach to help consumers understand how to use food to help prevent and manage many chronic diseases.

Katz has also published roughly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters on topics such as preventive medicine, nutrition, epidemiology and biostatistics. He is board certified in both internal medicine and preventive medicine/public health.

Katz’s keynote address will begin at 7:30 p.m. and a book signing will follow at 8:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and will take place at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, located at 1380 Harbor Island Drive in San Diego. Admission is $20 per person.

The keynote address is the only public portion of the conference, which is a continuing medical education conference for health care professionals. The conference will run from Jan. 9 through Jan. 13.

For more information or to register to attend Dr. Katz’s public keynote, call 858-678-6400, email [email protected] or visit www.scripps.org/naturalsupplements.


Invested Advisors launches on-site

child care program for busy professionals 

Crystal Sargent
Crystal Sargent

Invested Advisors Inc., a San Diego-based business consulting firm started in 2016 by marketing executive Crystal Sargent, has launched an on-site child care program for children between 6 months and 12 years of age, for organizations looking to boost attendance at conferences, meetings and events. 

The program was developed in response to interest from clients that wanted to accommodate employees with children who are required to attend mandatory business meetings.

The on-site child care supports event hosts, attendees, and meeting planners, as well as other niche segments such as cruise ship guests, group travelers, vertical, social networks and busy professionals like CPAs and event planners during tax or holiday party season. The company has already provided these services for full-day and two-day meetings in San Francisco, Fresno and Orange County, with additional programs scheduled for December.

“We believe our on-site child care program will continue to help clients differentiate their brand and reflect the value they have for their employees and customers. Our goal is to help them cut through the clutter and accelerate positive momentum and growth,” said Sargent.

Sargent will be a speaker for the U.S. Department of Transportation DBE conference in Los Angeles on Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Hotel at LAX.


Entrepreneur Jennifer Barnes

launches new accounting firm

Jennifer Barnes
Jennifer Barnes

Jennifer Barnes, an award-winning CEO and co-founder of Pro Back Office, announced the launch of Optima Office, which aspires to become the largest managerial accounting firm in the region. Barnes left Pro Back Office after experiencing a takeover in late September. The result of the split is now a contentious legal battle.

“I’m looking forward to realizing our vision of being the standard by which competing service providers must emulate,” said Barnes. “We’ll do so by putting people over profits and will offer unparalleled outsourced accounting services with a personalized approach for every client.” 

Optima Office is located at 5120 Shoreham Place, Suite 280. San Diego, 92122. More information is available at www.optimaoffice.com.

Barnes started Pro Back Office from her living room and built it into $7 million in annual revenue within six years. Under her leadership, Pro Back Office was named among the area’s 20 best workplaces by The San Diego Union-Tribune. Barnes also received the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Connected Women of Influence 2017 Women Leaders to Watch award.


General Atomics opens new office in New Delhi

General Atomics announced the opening of a new office in New Delhi, with Pratesh Gandhi serving as director of India strategic development with responsibilities for directing business and strategic outreach efforts for General Atomics in India.

Gandhi brings a breadth of experience in defense acquisition to support General Atomics strategic initiatives in India. He is a veteran naval aviator with over 3,000 flying hours on a variety of aircraft, and has held flying, staff, and project office positions in the Indian Navy. He is also qualified in flight safety and investigation. Gandhi has authored and edited books on naval aviation history, and is a contributor to military journals.

“Establishing an office in New Delhi positions us to better collaborate with our Indian customers to deliver capabilities that address emerging security challenges in the region,” said Linden Blue, CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.


VIVO Agency opens new office in San Diego

Philadelphia-based VIVO Agency, a health care marketing agency specializing in health technology, announced the opening of a new San Diego office at 600 B St., Suite 300, in Downtown. The new location will be fully staffed with account, strategy and creative departments, making this San Diego office the agency’s new West Coast base.

“San Diego is sitting at the center of a revolution in the health tech industry and as one of only a few marketing agencies specializing in health tech, this move positions VIVO to better serve the community while expanding our client base,” said Jeff St. Onge, VIVO Agency’s group account director responsible for overseeing the West Coast office. “Being in close proximity to so many health tech companies, we see an opportunity to help health tech companies shift from old sales models that push price and product features to marketing driven organizations with value-based models focused on patient outcomes.”


Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar and Coronado make

PropertyShark’s list of 100 priciest ZIP codes in U.S.

Three ZIP codes in San Diego County have made PropertyShark’s annual ranking of the 100 priciest ZIP codes in the country, based on closed home sales.

  Moving up from last year, 92067 in Rancho Santa Fe claimed the No. 29 spot on the list, up from No. 32 last year. Median sale price: $2,275,000.

  Del Mar’s 92014 jumped 23 spots, from last year’s No. 92 to No. 69 this year. Median sale price: $1,640,000.

  Coronado’s 92118 claimed the No. 77 spot compared to last year’s No. 95. Median sale price: $1,595,750.

California continues as the unchallenged leader of pricey ZIP codes, featuring 82 entries in PropertyShark’s top 100.

Located just 20 minutes from the headquarters of tech giants like Tesla, Google and Facebook, it isn’t surprising that Atherton’s 94027 remained the most expensive ZIP code in the U.S. (median sale price $6,700,000).  Atherton is located in San Mateo County. It’s news to no one that Silicon Valley is home to some of the most expensive residential real estate in the country – or world, for that matter.


City Attorney to announce criminal charges

 in ivory trafficking case

San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott is scheduled to announce this morning the filing of criminal charges against the Carlton Gallery in La Jolla, its owner, and an employee for trafficking ivory in defiance of California law. The prosecution follows the largest seizure of ivory products by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife since a state law banning their sale took effect in 2016. More than 300 pieces of ivory and items containing ivory, valued at $1.3 million, were seized from the gallery and its warehouse.



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