Qualcomm Gets its Technology in EV Chargers, Aptera Makes Finals in $10M Automotive X Prize, & More San Diego BizTech News
It wasn’t a busy week for news about San Diego technology innovation, but it wasn’t a slow week either. It was jus-s-s-t right. And here is our summary.
—You’re going to start hearing a lot about Ecotality in coming months. The San Francisco-based company is heading efforts to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout San Diego, as well as other major cities in five states before the end of 2010. Last week, Ecotality (NASDAQ: ECTY) and San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced an agreement that will use Qualcomm’s wireless technology to add cellular connectivity to Ecotality’s charging stations.
—An all-electric vehicle built by Carlsbad, CA-based Aptera Motors is one of nine finalists in the running to win the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. After completing track tests at the Michigan International Speedway last week, the finalists are moving to the Argonne National Laboratory for technical laboratory tests.
—As I noted in 2009, Daylight Solutions has been developing high-power laser technology that can be used in medical diagnostics, in environmental and industrial monitoring, and even to thwart anti-aircraft missiles targeting a commercial jetliner or military aircraft. As if to prove the point, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory awarded a $5.7 million contract last week to Daylight’s subsidiary, Daylight Defense, for “emerging requirements for directional infrared countermeasure systems,” i.e. thwarting anti-aircraft missiles.
—Connect CEO Duane Roth discussed several new initiatives at San Diego’s non-profit organization for technology and entrepreneurship. The plans include forming an “Innovation Institute” to be headed by Peter Cowhey of UC San Diego’s International Relations and Pacific Studies and opening a Connect office in San Francisco to help San Diego startups meet with Bay Area VCs.
—I profiled Crescent House Publishing, an 18-year-old publisher in Carlsbad, CA, that has developed Scentsa, a technology software and services platform designed to help retailers market fragrances and perfumes. The company recently raised less than $5 million in financing from San Diego’s Huntington Capital.
—Sapphire Energy, the San Diego algae biofuels startup backed by Bill Gates, is in the early stages of using genetic engineering to develop algae that are optimized to produce natural oils that can be used to produce gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
—Two San Diego tech companies got funding in June, based on a roundup of small funding deals provided by CB Insights, a New York firm that provides financial information about private companies.. San Diego’s Envision Solar, which develops energy-producing shaded parking structures known as “solar groves,” raised almost $207,000 of a planned $2.65 million round. And Poway, CA-based Ambient Control Systems, developing solar-powered sensor technology, raised $205,000.