Cymer Sees Growth in Chip-Making, Northrop Grumman Combat Drone Takes First Flight, TurboTax Launches Mobile Tax-Filing App, & More San Diego BizTech News

2/7/11Follow @bvbigelow

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its target market of small business and consumers since 2008, when CEO Brad Smith set a new strategy that calls for developing “connected services” software. The latest example is SnapTax, a mobile tax-filing app that came out of the company’s San Diego-based TurboTax division.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: [[ticker: QCOM]]) named six finalists for its Q Prize competition for early stage startups focused in wireless technologies or services. The finalists, who were selected from North America, Europe, China, India, Israel, and South Korea, will get to compete at Demo to win the innovation incentive prize.

Scale Venture Partners co-founder Kate Mitchell, who also is this year’s chair at the National Venture Capital Association, predicted that venture investing in 2011 will be more like the mid-1980s than the mid-1990s—or the mid-2000s. IPOs, M&As, and pre-money valuations have all been gradually increasing.

Verve Wireless, which is based in Encinitas, CA, and Bethesda, MD, acquired a Washington D.C. mobile advertising technology company called Deconstruct Media. No financial terms were disclosed.

—Jackson, MS-based SmartSynch launched a wireless communications platform for utility smart grids, giving San Diego’s Qualcomm a fresh opportunity to develop a vast new market for its Brew MP mobile operating system.

—San Diego’s Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ: MXWL) said it reached settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice following an investigation into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other securities laws. The company, which makes ultracapacitor energy storage cells, agreed to pay $6.35 million to settle civil charges with the SEC, and $8 million to resolve criminal charges with the Justice Department.

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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