San Diego Tech Roundup: Web Startups Heat Up, New Incubator Opens

2/6/12Follow @bvbigelow

We’re starting to see fresh signs of life among the Internet software startups in San Diego. Check out this news.

—During a visit last week, TechStars CEO David Cohen talked with the leaders of San Diego’s grassroots Web startup community about the factors that help to create and sustain entrepreneurial communities. One crucial issue confronting San Diego is a crying need for savvy and experienced Internet entrepreneurs who are willing to “pay it forward” by mentoring a new generation of startups.

A dozen seed-stage companies moved into the new EvoNexus incubator in downtown San Diego. EvoNexus, which was founded by the CommNexus non-profit industry group, will continue to operate its original incubator in University City, where eight startups are taking root. In both locations, EvoNexus provides office space, utilities, and other services free of charge and with no strings attached.

Sigma Partners led a $10 million round in venture funding for San Diego-based MOGL, a Web startup that has developed a comprehensive customer loyalty program for restaurants and bars, to fuel its expansion into San Francisco and New York. San Diego’s Avalon Ventures and Austin, TX-based Austin Ventures joined in the round.

—San Diego’s MicroPower Technologies named two new board members after raising $6.5 million in Series C funding in a deal that was led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and joined by an undisclosed private fund. MicroPower Technologies, which uses wireless networking technologies to create low-cost surveillance capabilities, named PacketVideo CEO Jim Brailean and former DivX CEO Kevin Hell to its board. Hell, who is now chairman of San Diego’s EvoNexus incubator, will join as MicroPower chairman.

—San Diego’s StockTwits said it has established a partnership with Toronto’s Q4 Web Systems, which provides online investor relations services for publicly traded companies throughout North America. StockTwits plans to integrate its services with the Q4′s software as a service, which includes investor relations modules that help companies properly provide information and other services to investors and shareholders.

—A spokeswoman for JOT Automation told me the private electronics manufacturer based in Oulu, Finland, is moving its U.S. headquarters to San Diego. JOT Automation, with more than 350 employees worldwide, said it plans to specialize on the design and production of disposable diagnostic medical devices and handheld readers in San Diego. Stefan Adolfsson, who leads JOTs business in the Americas, will head the San Diego office and plans to add 10 workers here within the year.

—Solana Beach, CA-based Analog Analytics, which provides technology that enables established media companies to offer daily deal-type offerings, said it will offer travel deals through a new partnership with New York-based American Marketing Group’s Travelsavers Partner Services.

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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