San Diego Startup Week Takes Over Carlsbad Village for the 11th Annual Conference

Posted: October 26, 2023

By Ella Napata

Carlsbad Day 1 SDSW2023

When San Diego Startup Week first came to Carlsbad in 2022, the conference was held in an abandoned auto garage on State street. Even though the space was tight, the team completely renovated the area to accommodate more than 30+ exhibitors, 300+ attendees, and 25+ speakers for the kick-off event. Fast forward to this past Monday, October 23rd, 2023, San Diego Startup Week completely took over Carlsbad Village! We closed down Christiansen Way to host over 50+ exhibitors featuring startups from North and South Counties, 500+ attendees,  hosted panels in the New Village Arts Theater and filled the entire Carlsbad Village Theater with startup enthusiasts for the Vuori Story keynote. 

This past Monday was an absolutely monumental event in Startup Week history! Not only did we highlight the startup scene in North County, but we also got to spotlight the founders who are building stellar startups and inspiring entrepreneurs and future founders. A huge shout out to our day sponsors, The City of Carlsbad and Aleph One, for helping make day one of SDSW unforgettable for the community! 

Building Startups, Brands, and Ecosystems in North County

San Diego Startup Week 2023

The programming for Day One of San Diego Startup Week focused on Celebrating the Creative Coast, which meant celebrating companies, founders, startups leaders, creators, designers, and entrepreneurs that were creating impactful solutions while also growing the local economy. 

The featured panels and speakers included: 

“Built in North County,” moderated by Jennifer Schoeneck, Deputy Director of Economic Development, City of Escondido


  • Todd Harris, Founder & CEO at Tyra Biosciences
  • D’ontra Hughes, Founder & CEO at Spare
  • Sandra Carter, Founder at M2 Ingredients OM Mushrooms Superfood 
  • Sashee Chandran, Founder & CEO at Tea Drops

“Building the Startup Ecosystem,” moderated by Maisha Cobb, Startup San Diego Board Member & Founder


  • Kimberly Davis King, Director at StartR at UCSD Rady School of Management
  • David Graham, Chief Innovation Officer at the City of Carlsbad
  • Paul OrlandoPaul Orlando, Director of USC Incubator Program

“Building the Brand,” Bob Rief, Executive Director at San Diego Sports Innovators


  • Brianna Showell, VP of Marketing at prAna
  • Ronan Galvin, Co-Founder of Sunday Golf
  • Mike MateyMike Matey , VP of Sales at Reef

These panels touched on a variety of topics, from strategies to best practices, and leaned into the power of community, innovation, and creativity in order to help their startups succeed. 

The Vuori Story Featuring Joe Kudla, Founder & CEO

Vuori Story

We ended the programming at the Carlsbad Village Theater with an inspiring keynote from Vuori Founder and CEO Joe Kudla. Joe told his whole journey from graduating college, being a CPA, traveling as a model, failing with two previous apparel businesses, and building Vuori from the ground up. The entire keynote will be uploaded on our Youtube Channel this week, so make sure to subscribe. 

Simple Custom Wild: The Guide For Non-Technical Entrepreneurs On How To Build Tech Products

Simple Custom Wild by Stanislav Synko

With programming done, the crowd headed back to New Village Arts for the official Kick-off remarks and the book launch of Simple Custom Wild: The guide for non-technical entrepreneurs on how to build tech products by Stanislav Synko. 

This is more than just a book, it’s an accessible gateway into the tech world, curated from Stanislav’s wealth of knowledge and experience, especially for those without a technical background. 

Through this book, you’ll discover how to:

  • Classify your startup idea as Simple, Custom, or Wild to pursue optimal tech strategies
  • Avoid over-engineering or under-delivering on your product’s technology
  • Determine when you need a technical co-founder vs outsourcing development
  • Transition your product smoothly as it evolves from Simple to Wild
  • Make smart decisions about APIs, blockchain, AI, and other emerging tech
  • Choose the best mix of tools and platforms for your product
  • Manage technical debt and prevent your platform from breaking
  • Scale your startup’s tech smoothly as you grow

The book is now available on Amazon. If you would like to read more, you can check out the first chapter for free here.  

Hear What Attendees & Carlsbad Leaders Had to Say About The Event

Paul Seibert“Outstanding programming and event management for #SDSW2023 in our hometown of Carlsbad for “Creative Coast” Day. Thank You to the City of Carlsbad for venue (and parking!) management; It was super, without a hitch. Awesome food and beverages from the local Carlsbad Village merchants loved the expo hall and the local NCSD entrepreneurs on the panels: Todd Harris from Tyra Biosciences, D’ontra Hughes from Spare, Sandra Carter from Om Mushroom Superfood, Sashee Chandran from Tea Drops. Jennifer Schoeneck was an excellent moderator; no one else better to do that moderator job than her.

Great panel discussions with Rylie Jennings and Taryell Simmons going on all day throughout the exposition. Also enjoyed David Graham talk about Carlsbad’s municipal efforts to foster the local tech and startup scene. Thanks to Startup San Diego for hosting the event in Catrlsbad again this year, hope we get one day every year at #SDSW.” –  Paul Seibert, SDSW Attendee and Founding Member of the San Diego Tech Hub


Matt Sanford“We were thrilled to welcome over 400 attendees to the kickoff of San Diego Startup Week in Carlsbad. The energy was palpable, with enlightening panels, inspiring speakers, and a dynamic showcase of startups. This event not only highlighted the growing entrepreneurial spirit in North County but also underscored the importance of fostering such activities to strengthen our local ecosystem. The turnout and engagement demonstrate the vibrant future we envision for our North County startup community. The City of Carlsbad was proud to play a role in this journey and looks forward to the continued growth and innovation throughout our region.” – Matt Sanford, Economic Development Manager at City of Carlsbad


View the Carlsbad DAY ONE Pictures

The Future of SDSW Will Grow in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Proclamation Day

What first started as a 1st Mondays in Carlsbad now has grown to two consecutive years hosting SDSW kick-off days in the beautiful coastal city. We’re excited to strengthen the connection between the North and South counties, and we will continue to host San Diego Startup Week and other Startup San Diego events in Carlsbad. We are proud to announce that the City of Carlsbad has proclaimed October 23-27 “Startup Week.”

Cathy Pucher, Board Chair of Startup San Diego, can be seen holding the new Proclamation!

Thank you for Joining Us for Day One Of San Diego Startup Week 

Day One of San Diego Startup Week is officially in the books, and we’re stoked to have had it in Carlsbad celebrating the Creative Coast. Make sure to tune into the final days of #SDSW2023. See you at Startup Week!