San Diego has emerged as a prime location for startups to succeed, securing its position as the 9th best startup ecosystem in the United States, according to a recent report by Startup Blink. In the latest Business of San Diego article, Fred Grier, Founder and Tech journalist, writes, “In the last 12 months, San Diego-based companies have raised nearly $4 billion in venture capital across 170 deals.” This thriving local startup ecosystem provides founders with the necessary investors, resources, and talent to build successful teams and grow their ventures.
At Startup San Diego, the epicenter of all things startups, 2023 was a year of transition for the organization. At the beginning of the year, we bid farewell to our second Executive Director, Alexa-Rae Navarro, as she transitioned to her own business ventures and welcomed Lisa Barnhouse as the third Executive Director of the organization. With years of non-profit and startup experience, she continues to lead our team into 2024.
Startup San Diego 2023 by the Numbers
Thank you to the amazing community that came together for an unforgettable year! Here’s our impact for 2023:
- Total Attendees: 2,488+
- Student Entrepreneurs: 481+
- Volunteers: 117+
- Sponsors & Members: 100+
- Speakers: 83
- Exhibitors: 66
- Pitch Competition Startups: 18
- Events Across the SD-Baja Region: 9
- Diverse Attendee Representation: 58%
Here’s a Quick Wrap-up of Startup San Diego’s Events from 2023
March 6th: We kicked off 1st Mondays in Tijuana, Mexico, for a collaborative event with Arkusnexus and the SD/TJ startup community. More than 110+ San Diegans and Tijuanans came together at the ArkusNexus MIND Hub to build up the startup community and learn how both sides can collaborate and work together. Panelists include: Angel Sanchez, Founder at ArkusNexus, Marc Barron, Co-founder at CourseKey, Gustavo Fernández De León, Founder of the ENBC Escuela de Negocios de Baja California and co-founder of Geeks Academy, and Cruz Vargas, Founder at nice2chat.
June 5th: 300+ startup community members came together for a curated event on AI and networking at HomeLab Powered by LabFellows. Featured panelists include Vincent Paquet, Chief Product Officer at Dialpad, Elisette Carlson, Partner at Boyden, Julio de Unamuno IV, Founder and CEO at HomeLab Powered by LabFellows, and Andy White, Startup Operations at Keshif Ventures, LLC.
August 7th: 280+ community members came together for a packed event at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation for August 1st Mondays. Featured panelists: Chad Lohrli, Founder of ETH SD and SDx San Diego AI Hackathon, Olivia Green, CEO at HerGrind Ventures, and Armando Santana, Head of Product at Stealth Startup
October 23 – 27: During the last week of October, 1,500+ people converged at the annual San Diego Startup Week. This event took place all throughout the SD-Baja region. The first day kicked off at Carlsbad for an exhilarating startup fair, panels, and a keynote. The following day, we headed down south for another panel and networking event at the ArkusNexus Mindhub in Tijuana. For the third day of SDSW2023, we had a B2B SaaS-focused networking event at The LOT. The fourth day of Startup Week took place at San Diego State University, a true startup day with hands-on workshops and the Intercollegiate Pitch competition. We wrapped up the week at the Qualcomm headquarters where we held tech demos, AI panels and workshops, and a grand finale, Founders Fight Club.
December 4: As the last event for Startup San Diego, we held a 1st Mondays Startup Market and Holiday Party in collaboration with Aquillius. Over 160+ community members came for a night of celebrations, and 10+ startups got to exhibit and showcase their products/services.
What’s Next for 2024?
Our team at Startup San Diego is already organizing for 2024. We have a lot planned for the startup community! Expect robust programming for 1st Mondays and San Diego Startup Week, more networking, mentorship opportunities, workshops, and more ways to showcase unique startups in the San Diego and Baja region. We’re also growing our board and leading community-first. Support us year-round by becoming a member of Startup San Diego. See you at our next in-person event, 1st Mondays, March 4th at the ClickUp office in Downtown San Diego. We can’t wait to see you in 2024!