Qualcomm’s CEO Talks Wireless Health, InLab Ventures Pioneers New VC Model, Fallbrook Technologies Tops Deals List, & More San Diego BizTech News

1/31/11Follow @bvbigelow

If there was a theme to last week’s biztech news in San Diego, it might be learning how to negotiate the complexities of technology innovation. We’ve got it wrapped up for you, from Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs to Sorenson Media’s Eric Quanstrom.

—During a panel discussion about combating chronic disease at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Qualcomm Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs indicated it might be easier for innovations in wireless health to occur first in developing countries. “Because the regulatory burden is not there, we think we can demonstrate efficacy and we can demonstrate that these [wireless health technologies] are actually self-sustaining economically, and then we can bring those cases back,” Jacobs said. A video of the panel discussion is available here.

—San Diego’s Entera Health Systems, which is deploying diabetes management technology, and San Diego-based Sotera Wireless, which has developed wireless monitoring technologies, were presented as case studies last week at a Connect Public Policy Forum on wireless healthcare reimbursement and regulation. Sotera CEO Tom Watlington advised prospective health technology developers to build a good relationship with their FDA reviewers. Some information from the forum is available here.

—I profiled InLab Ventures, which is pioneering a new business model for venture capital by taking no annual management fee—a charge that typically ranges from 2 percent to 2.5 percent of the current fund at other venture firms. InLab Ventures, which is based in San Diego and Orange County, instead takes a 35 percent share from the buyouts or IPOs of its portfolio companies—and generates some revenue by providing outsourced management services for all of its portfolio companies.

—Pervasive founder and CEO Reza Mirkhani told me the fabless semiconductor design startup, which is focused on smart grid applications for communications chips, has changed its name to EnVerv. The company’s “system-on-a-chip” technology enables a utility to transmit and receive data, using its own electric power lines as the signal carrier.

Sorenson Media Chief Operating Officer Eric Quanstrom told me the Carlsbad, CA, developer of digital video encoding software is in the middle of a sprawling strategic battle among a multitude of industry leaders. Sorenson says it’s viewed as “the Swiss Army knife” of video because of the variety of input and output formats it supports.

—San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies was No. 1 in venture funding during the fourth quarter of 2010, raising $39.2 million from Emerald Technology Ventures AG, NGEN Partners, Robeco Private Equity, and undisclosed investors. Other technology companies on the San Diego list of top 10 funding deals were EMN8 ($12.2M), Kyriba ($10.6M), and Nirvanix ($10.4M), and Ortiva Wireless ($8M), according to the MoneyTree Report.

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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