San Diego is different and, as a result, so is the startup ecosystem here. San Diegans don’t make contacts, they make friends. Unsurprisingly, coming together as friends to showcase the best that San Diego has to offer is exactly the genesis of San Diego Startup Week.
Beginning as ‘SD Tech Week’, everything got started when a few local leaders in the ecosystem decided that it was best to join forces and put on an event that would showcase to visiting Venture Capitalists and the like the true San Diego startup lifestyle. A few people hosted events around town, there was a startup crawl, and all said and done a few hundred people were accounted for and the organizers were already thinking of the next year’s Tech Week.
Fast-forward 5 years later and a few things have changed. We are now San Diego Startup Week. In addition to a new name, the 2017 San Diego Startup Week by the numbers is an incredible difference, as well. Building on the momentum of each year past, this year’s attendance is expected to top 5,000 people. Growing from just a few events in year 1, we now are expecting over 200. Most importantly, Startup San Diego, the organization that runs San Diego Startup Week, has become an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
What hasn’t changed, however, are the many volunteers that offer their time and resources to make Startup Week come to life. Dozens of people align themselves with Marketing, Communications, Social, and Logistics tracks. This is all before an event track comes to life. From Idea, Seed, and Scale tracks to denote the stage an attendee is interested in, we also have Craft Beverage, Cyber Security, Cannabis, Design, and developer tracks (in addition to several others) where countless volunteers work tirelessly in the trenches to make ideas come to life.
In addition to human capital, companies around town are doing just as much. Countless dollars in sponsorship have been given, hundreds of companies have offered their spaces for events and the Startup Crawl, dozens of companies have offered free services to help out, especially Irvine Company which has been incredibly generous, providing The Vine (EvoNexus and co-working), which have served as the host for hundreds of meetings and planning sessions in the months leading up to the event.
Why do so many people and companies work so hard to make this happen? Because we all have a common mission of coming together as a village in this large city and show that San Diego is the strongest contender for success in the startup space. We all believe in this mission because of everything that San Diego has to offer, and we know that it is second to none for lifestyle.
With 4 top universities and a reported 33.7% of the population holding a Bachelor’s degree, we are at no shortage for top talent. In fact, UCSD has so many Engineering students graduating each year that companies nationwide vie for the ability to recruit their graduating seniors. As well, the business programs at USD, SDSU, and PLNU are top-tier and produce some of the strongest leaders in the nation.
We’re friendly! San Diegans are open and engaging and this shows throughout any event that you may attend. In San Diego you see people hug each other to greet one another. Furthermore, the people here take a general interest in who you are and exercise great care in listening just as much as they speak.
From the laid back beach cities along the coast to the to the hustle and bustle of downtown, the great coffee shops from North County to North Park and every neighborhood in between, there is a San Diego for you. This is very important when starting and growing a business, as one wants to have surroundings that are conducive to their achievement. San Diego as a whole is certainly a village, but there are dozens of villages that make up this village where everyone can find a perfect fit.
People come here on vacation and they usually don’t leave because they witness how we live. San Diego is a place where the concept of a work-life balance is not just marketing. We work hard and grind all day while at work and then we go have fun. A lot of fun. Furthermore, our weather is impeccable! Being sunny and an agreeable temperature most of the year has always allowed San Diegans to have great experiences and maximize their leisure time. Lastly, we are minutes from beaches but just around an hour from mountains and deserts so you can get your fix there, too.
Success in San Diego is not a zero-sum game. There are people everywhere that are willing to help you get started or introduce you to a great mentor. Companies that compete in the same space here are even friendly because we understand that no one company is doing anything that is the exact same as another. Sometimes a good fit for one company prospect is not great for another, and that is where a lot of great referrals happen. We understand our mission to boost what we have here, and we work to see everyone make it.
So, you see, we really do have it all. San Diego Startup Week is the premier amalgamation of all of these aspects, and we can’t wait to see you there. Tickets available here.
It Takes A Village
Written by Brandon Christopher
A Big Thank You to Our 2017 Sponsors!
If you would like to be a Startup Week sponsor, fill out the form below.
UPDATE: 2020 brought us Covid-19, but it also brought us an opportunity to be innovative and challenge the status quo. Coming to you virtually, October 1- 30, 2020, is the inaugural San Diego Startup Month, a[...]