Qualcomm Strikes Deal With China’s Largest Cell Phone Maker, Volcano Moves to Buy Axsun, Life Technologies Buys Visigen, & More San Diego BizTech News

1/5/09Follow @bvbigelow

Innovation never sleeps, but the pace of San Diego business and technology news yawned a little over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Still, there were plenty of noteworthy developments to round up for the first Monday of 2009. Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year!The end of December brought news from faraway China that the world’s largest telecom market is starting a long-delayed upgrade to 3G, or third-generation, wireless technologies. That could be good news for San Diego’s Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), which said it signed a licensing agreement with China’s largest cell phone maker, Beijing Tianyu Communications Equipment Co.

Was anyone surprised when Dow Jones VentureSource announced that liquidity events for venture-backed companies fell to their lowest level in five years in 2008? The data shows that only seven venture-backed companies in the entire country completed IPOs, raising a total of $551 million. San Diego’s CardioNet, which raised $54 million in March, was the region’s sole IPO of the year. And for all of Southern California, the data show only 27 buyouts, generating a total of $919 million.

San Diego venture capitalist Kevin Kinsella became “The Big Man in Town,” and left the rest of us feeling like a “Rag Doll,” after becoming a major financial backer of Jersey Boys, the smash Broadway hit. Our account of how it all happened is here.

San Diego’s Volcano (NASDAQ: VOLC), which makes vision systems for detecting artery blockages and other problems, says it plans to buy Axun, a privately held laser maker in the Boston area, for $21.5 million.

Christmas came a little early for San Diego’s CalciMedica, which got … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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