SweetLabs Raises $13M, Entropic Invests $10M, Young & Restless Prefer Other Cities to San Diego, & More San Diego BizTech News

10/3/11Follow @bvbigelow

While some tech companies said last week that they are expanding their operations, fresh concerns are emerging about San Diego’s ability to attract and retain the young entrepreneurs driving the next generation of innovation. We’ve got all that and more in our summary of last week’s tech news.

Intel Capital was the lead investor in a $13 million Series C round for SweetLabs, a San Diego-based startup developing Web 2.0 products and services. Founded in 2007, SweetLabs first created a website that enabled software companies to advertise their products while users downloaded open software from the site. More recently, the company has developed Pokki, a platform for creating mobile-style apps that enable users to easily and quickly access apps without launching their Web browser.

—Portland, OR, economist Joe Cortright talked with me about his demographic studies of young, educated, and entrepreneurial-minded adults and how they are closely linked to the economic prosperity of the cities were they congregate. Increasingly, young adults are shunning the suburbs to live within a three-mile radius of the urban core. They want to live in diverse, urban neighborhoods with different types of housing, and a nearby mix of local shops, restaurants, and bars. In a 2010-11 survey, young adults preferred 10 cities to San Diego. They are Austin, Boston, Seattle, Washington, DC, Houston, New York City, Denver, Dallas, Portland, OR, and Salt Lake City.

—San Diego’s Entropic Communications (NASDAQ: ENTR) said it formed a strategic partnership with microchip designer Zenverge of Cupertino, CA, to work together on the next generation of multimedia products for home entertainment systems. Entropic also made a $10 million investment in Zenverge, leading the company’s $20.5 million Series D round.

—San Diego’s Qualcomm [NASDAQ: QCOM) said it is continuing to work with India’s telecommunications agency, after regulators there declared earlier this month that Qualcomm and its Indian partners had not submitted proper wireless operations applications, according to a report by Mike Freeman of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Qualcomm paid about $1 billion to acquire rights to parts of India’s wireless spectrum last year.

—I had an opportunity last week to talk with Eset marketing vice president Dan Clark about the software developer’s updated security program. Eset, which maintains its North American headquarters in San Diego, debuted the fifth generation of its flagship computer security and anti-virus software earlier this month. As computer security evolves, Clark said Eset has moved to provide online security training. Combining Eset’s technology with user education is now seen as the best way to help protect consumers from malicious attacks.

—San Diego’s Connect, the nonprofit group that supports innovation and entrepreneurship, named 24 finalists for its annual most innovative products awards. In cleantech, the finalists are Genomatica, Noble Environmental Technologies, and Wildcat Discovery Technologies. In communications and IT, the finalists are Ethertronics, Kyocera, and Swarmology. The software finalists are FICO, MOGL, and SwoopThat. The finalists in general technology are Aculon, LifeProof, and Memjet. The finalists in aerospace and security are Geodetics, Langford & Carmichael, and MicroPower Technologies.

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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