Xconomy Launches in San Diego—One of the World’s Great Innovation Clusters

10/6/08Follow @bbuderi

Just over three months ago, Xconomy took its model of hyperlocal coverage of key innovation clusters—which we launched here in Boston in June 2007—to Seattle. This morning, I am pleased to announce, marks the official debut of Xconomy San Diego.

The editor of Xconomy San Diego is Bruce Bigelow, an award-winning business and technology journalist who spent the last 18 years with the San Diego Union-Tribune and was part of the team that won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for uncovering bribes paid to Republican U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Bruce over his career has covered life sciences, information technology, venture capital, energy, and defense, among other fields—many of the same core areas Xconomy covers. We’re extremely fortunate to have him, and his presence gets us off to a running start in one of the country’s most important, and, we think, unappreciated innovation clusters.

But Bruce will hardly be alone. He will be teamed with National Biotech Editor Luke Timmerman, who, although based in Seattle, will be covering San Diego life sciences companies as part of his beat. And, of course, the rest of Xconomy’s editors will also be contributing to our San Diego site when circumstances warrant.

As our regular readers know, Xconomy was founded on the simple tenet that growth in the economy is driven by high-tech innovation—and that therefore a great need exists for timely, credible, authoritative coverage of this arena. We believe, too, that innovations often take rise at the boundaries of different fields, and from the interplay of people in startups, large companies, research universities, investment firms, government, and so on—which is why our coverage spans a host of industries and institutions, rather than focusing just on life sciences companies or Internet startups, say.

Most importantly, we believe that the best stories and insights come from being close to the areas and people we cover—hence our strategy of putting first-class journalists like Bruce on the ground in key innovation clusters around the country and concentrating our efforts on those clusters, rather than trying to cover all aspects of innovation all across the country or world. Smart, in-depth local coverage of an innovation community is, we think, central to the health and vitality of that community. But we also believe that good local stories—the ones we aim to tell in each of the three cities we now cover—can yield important insights into national and global trends. So far, our readers seem to agree on both scores. Despite being barely a year old, Xconomy has some 100,000 unique visitors each month. And while 75 percent of our traffic comes from inside the U.S., we are read in more than 200 nations around the world.

If you’re not one of the readers who’s visited us before, welcome. You’ll find that we’re not quite like any blog, daily newspaper, or magazine you’ve read before (though we try to combine the best elements of all three). The one thing about us that is utterly traditional, however, is our respect for and adherence to the highest journalistic principles and practices (more on our ethics policy, as well as our mission and team, can be found on our About page). With one exception, all the stories you find on our site are written by highly accomplished professional journalists. The exception: our Xconomist Forum, where we feature guest articles, essays, and sometimes just musings from some of the world’s leading innovators and business leaders—many of whom are supporting our efforts by serving as advisors, or “Xconomists.”

We are extremely pleased to have assembled a distinguished group of Xconomists in each of the cities we cover. Our rapidly growing group of San Diego Xconomists (listed here) includes Larry Smarr, founding director of Calit2, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology; Larry Bock, a leader in commercializing nanotechnology and the founder and organizer of the San Diego Science Festival; Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center; Fred “Rusty” Gage and Ron Evans of the Salk Institute; Evan Snyder at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research; pioneering local venture capitalists Drew Senyei and Ivor Royston, and more.

We are also extremely fortunate to be supported in San Diego by a group of visionary underwriters and partners. These include Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Biogen Idec, EMC (the new owner of Iomega), Enterprise Partners, the Science & Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the leading high-tech and life sciences trade organizations in the area: BIOCOM, CleanTECH San Diego, CommNexus, CONNECT, the San Diego Software Industry Council, and the San Diego Venture Group.

We’re extremely excited to come to San Diego, and have been thrilled by the enthusiasm with which we’ve been welcomed by the business and university innovators, executives, and administrators we’ve met over the course of preparing to add this important hub to our network. We really hope you like what Xconomy is doing too and, as always, welcome your comments and suggestions at editors@xconomy.com.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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