Local tech entrepreneurs and investors share what it takes to be successful during San Diego Startup Month


San Diego tech entrepreneurs are gathering this month for a series of mostly virtual educational and networking sessions on topics ranging from seed fundraising to sales and marketing, to building a culture of business what it takes to become a startup unicorn.

The San Diego Boot Month – the pandemic evolution of the San Diego Boot Week Long – began on Monday and runs through October 29. It is expected to attract more than 1,000 participants to more than 160 sessions centered on thematic tracks.

While most sessions are still virtual this year due to COVID-19, an in-person event is scheduled for Friday. A Startup Fair networking event will be held at the Downtown Works Carlsbad, 2011 Palomar Airport Road, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It is sponsored by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

First organized in 2012, Startup Week / Month is organized by Startup San Diego, a non-profit organization focused on growing the local community of entrepreneurs. Thematic sessions are grouped around Customers, Data, Developers, Sales, Designers, Founders, People and Marketing.

“I’m not sure if we’ve ever had community leaders who curated content as heavily as this year,” said Neal Bloom, president emeritus of Startup San Diego. “The Data Science Alliance has taken over the data trail. The development track is organized by the Coding Career Creation group. They help ensure that the content is relevant not only to the developers, but also to people interested in developing later, because talent is a big part of what we do.

“So it’s not just about helping the founders,” he continued. “It’s helping people who might want to work in a startup, because even that is risky. “

A highlight of this week was Monday’s unicorn panel, which included executives from two of San Diego’s latest startups valued at over $ 1 billion – Flock Freight and Shield AI.

At the end of last year, Flock Freight raised $ 113.5 million under the leadership of Vision Fund 2 from SoftBank Group, Google Ventures, Volvo Group Venture Capital and others to develop its algorithm-based logistics system. for trucking which reduces the volume of partially loaded trucks on the road, saving fuel and other costs.

In August, Shield AI raised $ 210 million for its artificial intelligence drone technology that was used in conflict zones in the Middle East by the US military. The technology allows small surveillance drones to operate beyond line of sight and in environments where communication is limited, such as indoors.

Additional San Diego Startup Month events include a pitch competition and tournament. Nominated startups will compete for the opportunity to pitch in front of Tech Coast Angels, get free mentoring sessions with LogicBoost Labs and a grant to the Founders Institute Program.

A second in-person awards ceremony and closing night are scheduled for October 29 at the new Alexandria Tech Center in the Sorrento Valley, which will include around 150 founders, investors and community members.

Tickets for Startup Week range from $ 20 for students to $ 150 for full-price attendees. The full schedule is available online, most sessions 4 to 8 p.m..

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