Signs of Resurgence in SD as EvoNexus Opens Downtown Tech Incubator---And We Map 99 Startups

2/17/12Follow @bvbigelow

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support the EvoNexus program, and there are more contributions to be announced.

“I’m a third-generation San Diegan, and I remember what downtown San Diego used to look like,” says City Councilman Todd Gloria. In touring the downtown incubator and meeting the startup teams, the 33-year-old councilman says, “I was thrilled that I wasn’t the youngest person in the room.” Gloria says he’s also encouraged by the vision of San Diego’s downtown as a “vibrant urban core where people want to come and grow business.”

In short, the new downtown EvoNexus incubator is fast becoming the needed focal point for a long overdue resurgence in San Diego’s tech startup ecosystem. But the reason it makes sense—that it seems to resonate so well—is that San Diego’s downtown already was becoming a magnet for Web startups. Companies like SweetLabs, Flud, and MindTouch have been down there for years.

Beyond EvoNexus, and beyond downtown San Diego, there is something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

To get a better idea of just what is happening in San Diego’s tech scene, Web developer Michael Bastos created an online map that shows where 99 startups have taken root. “In terms of what’s happening in San Francisco, it’s tiny,” Bastos says. Still, it shows there are a lot more tech startups here than many folks realize. (I’ve embedded his map below.)

“It’s a matter of time—or maybe of equilibrium,” Bastos says. “When you have enough startups, when you have enough VCs, when you have enough talent, then you end up with a sustainable chain reaction.”

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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