CMEA’s Jain on San Diego’s Innovation Economy, E&Y Reports on IPO Activity, Wildcat Discovery Gets $7.5M, & More San Diego BizTech News
We saw a potpourri of tech news in San Diego last week, which included funding for an emerging cleantech startup, new technology from Tealium, and an acquisition by Qualcomm. Our briefing begins now.
—CMEA Capital’s Sumeet Jain offered his perspective on what’s missing, besides capital, from the tech sector of San Diego’s innovation community. Jain, who focuses on deals in software, consumer Internet, digital media, and mobile, says it would help if there were a better way to curate San Diego’s tech companies and entrepreneurs, because, as he put it, “screening companies is not a good use of my time.”
—The IPO window appears to be re-opening to pre-recession levels, with 140 companies nationwide registered for an initial public offering during the three months that ended June 30, according to the latest the “Ernst & Young U.S. IPO Pipeline Report.” In San Diego, the Active Network successfully raised a total of $190 million in its May 24 IPO. Meanwhile Ambit Biosciences withdrew its IPO on June 7 and Fallbrook Technologies withdrew its IPO registration on April 29. The IPOs for two other San Diego companies are pending: semiconductor design company Peregrine Semiconductor and a drug developer, IASO Pharmaceuticals.
—San Diego-based Wildcat Discovery Technologies, a five-year-old cleantech startup, has emerged after raising $7.5 million through a combination of equity, convertible debt, and securities. Wildcat is using high-throughput screening technologies to identify and develop new materials for batteries, hydrogen storage, gas separation, carbon capture, and in other technologies and processes.
—San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) acquired certain assets related to gesture recognition technology from Sunnyvale, CA-based GestureTek. The move suggests Qualcomm could be moving to develop technology to compete with Microsoft Kinect, computer vision technology developed for the Xbox 360 video game console. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
—The National Science Foundation unveiled its plans to put $5 million a year into the I-Corps, or Innovation Corps, a program that’s intended to university scientists and engineers build startups around their technologies. As Wade reported, the centerpiece of the NSF program is a $50,000 cash award for 25 teams each quarter and a nine-week crash course in technology entrepreneurship. The program is now accepting proposals and will name its first batch of 25 awardees on September 30.