Sony Consolidates Gaming, San Diego’s Slow Recovery, Connect’s Hall of Fame Inductee, & More San Diego BizTech News

4/4/11Follow @bvbigelow

As part of the anticipatory celebration for today’s official debut of Xconomy’s sixth website in New York City, I profiled New York’s Enterproid, which was Qualcomm’s grand prize winner in its 2011 QPrize competition. Get that and catch up on the rest of San Diego’s innovation news.

—Andrew Toy, Alexander Trewby, and David Zhu founded New York-based Enterproid last year to roll out technology that enables mobile customers to combine the features of their mobile consumer system and a secure enterprise system on the same Android-based device. Enterproid launched a private beta version of the technology, called “Divide,” on Feb. 28—the same day they were named as the 2011 QPrize grand prize winner by San Diego’s Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM).

—San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment is stopping work on an undelivered game called “The Agency,” and closing its game development offices in Bellevue, WA; Denver, CO; and Tucson, AZ. A total of 205 jobs are being eliminated as SOE consolidates operations at its San Diego headquarters.

—San Diego’s Connect, the non-profit group created to support innovation and entrepreneurship, officially inducted Titan founder Gene Ray into its Hall of Fame at a luncheon celebration last week. Ray started Titan in 1981 to provide information technology services and communications products to the military and government agencies. Under Ray, Titan grew to more than 15,000 employees and $2.5 billion in annual sales before it was acquired by L-3 Communications in 2005.

Connect reported that 84 high tech and life sciences startups were formed during the fourth quarter of 2010, a 13 percent increase from the same quarter of 2009, when 74 new companies were started. It was one positive sign amid many mixed signals as San Diego’s innovation economy continues to slide mostly sideways. Connect issues a report on San Diego’s innovation economy every quarter.

A broader study of local leading economic indicators from the University of San Diego for February shows a big increase in economic activity, driven by an improving job market. But USD economist Alan Gin, who compiles the local index of economic indicators for the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, cautioned that San Diego County still has a long way to go to regain the 100,000 jobs lost after the recession hit in 2007.

—Randy Franks, who is managing director for the human resources firm Modis in San Diego, told me he’s been seeing a release in the pent-up demand for information technology workers. Franks says most of the programming in San Diego is done for software embedded in medical devices, wireless devices, and other electronic equipment.

—San Diego’s VMIX said it has adopted its video platform technology in a way that now makes it possible to rent videos on Facebook, and watch them on the social networking site, or on a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Internet-connected television.

NASA halted work on an advanced zoom 3D camera system that was under development at San Diego’s Malin Space Science Systems for “Curiosity,” the name given to the Mars Science Laboratory rover managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. There isn’t enough time left to finish the work before launch. Michael Ravine, the advanced technology manager at Malin, told me by e-mail, “It was pretty disappointing to get that close but not quite finish them. The cameras we do have on the rover are still pretty good.”

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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