San Diego Seeks to Remedy Scarcity of Homegrown Venture Capital

4/2/09Follow @bvbigelow

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about 20 out-of-town venture firms that were assessing their funding needs—but nothing from local VCs. “Enterprise hasn’t called,” said Chedrick, who retired in 2004 after working for many years as Enterprise’s chief financial officer.

The relative lack of VC activity also helps explain why Connect and the San Diego Venture Group have organized an event that’s intended to showcase San Diego’s research and entrepreneurs for an invitation-only audience that includes 50 out-of-town venture capitalists. The two-day event, which begins today at a La Jolla resort, is billed as The La Jolla Research & Innovation Summit.

Roth told me he wants the meeting to serve as an intimate gathering for both local and out-of-town VCs, featuring presentations by some of San Diego’s most prominent researchers and entrepreneurs. “The VCs have told me, ‘We’d like to hear where your strengths are, we’d like to meet your serial entrepreneurs and local VCs,’” Roth says.

The Summit’s agenda includes presentations in four categories, including cleantech, biotechnology, IT and wireless technology, and convergence innovation. Also scheduled are keynote addresses by gene sequencing pioneer J. Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institute and advanced computing guru Larry Smarr of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Technology at UCSD.

“For the sake of the San Diego community, we need to work to get more attention, and when we get more attention, more money will follow,” says Peter Shaw, current president of the San Diego Venture Group’s board of directors. “What this event is trying to do is introduce these VCs to the science and innovation that exists in San Diego.”

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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