San Diego’s Young & Restless: A Cross-Section of Tech Entrepreneurs

2/29/12Follow @bvbigelow

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other major craft beer markets. Gordon says the cash also would help Tap Hunter move to the next stage, which would expand into whiskey and distilled spirits, wine, cigars, coffee, teas, and other specialty markets.

TakeLessons. What began in 2006 as a lead generation website for music teachers has evolved into a Web platform and online marketplace that connects aspiring musicians with certified music instructors in more than 2,800 U.S. cities. Chris Waldron, the startup’s vice president of operations, says TakeLessons assesses the quality of instructors who use TakeLessons by collecting information on 17 different data points, and enables users to manage scheduling conflicts, billing and payments “so the teachers can teach.” The company, which raised $6 million last August, now has about 90 employees.

GOTRIbal. Founder Tanya Maslach says she wasn’t planning on starting a social network when she began searching online for a community of women recreational athletes she could join. When she could find no place “to actually help another chick,” Maslach says, “I’m one of those entrepreneurs who decides to do something when they see something wrong.”


From GoTribal Website


Maslach, a triathlete and former research scientist, says she had been working for years in executive leadership development when she began testing the concept in 2009 of a social media website for the estimated 60 million women who compete as cyclists, runners, swimmers, and triathletes. “Our product is a resource,” Maslach says. “It’s a community.”

Antengo. A mobile app startup founded in mid-2010, Antengo’s free app is billed as a mobile replacement of Craiglist and eBay classified ads. The app provides a real-time, location-based platform for listing and selling items. Co-founder and CEO Marcus Wandell, who worked previously in digital advertising at Microsoft, says Antengo has counted more than 172,000 downloads of its app and now has about 35,000 active users.

Saambaa. A mobile app available for the iPhone and Android that makes it easy to network with friends, using social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and to arrange impromptu group meetups, and to plan and schedule activities, events, parties, and other outings. Co-Founder Matt Voigt says the startup founded in 2010 was listed as a great free app for two months last year on the iPhone App Store. How is Saambaa different from apps like Forecast, Holler, and GroupMe? Voigt says Saambaa is not strictly tied to a social media site like Facebook or Foursquare, and works even if friends don’t have … Next Page »

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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  • http://embarke.com Al Bsharah

    Nice write-up, Bruce. Brant’s been killing it for a while, and even just the past year I’ve seen a substantial increase in San Diego entrepreneurial activity. I used to see the same folks all the time at events, now I’m bumping into all kinds of new people and a lot more events. It’s an exciting time for San Diego!

  • http://www.flaretag.com Daniel Arroyo

    Way to go Brant! Last year when I decided to go full time into my startup, I didn’t know if San Diego was the right place to be. A lot has changed in 1 year and there’s no doubt now. We are rocking!

  • Kimberly King

    Great event at The Evonexus downtown location with a lot of energy.

  • http://fashioningchange.com/ Adriana

    Groups like the ones facilitated by Brant, accelerators like the Founders Institute, and incubators like EvoNexus have all helped to mature the San Diego startup ecosystem. Great to come across a write up on the first large startup event in our new EvoNexus home. It’s time to put San Diego on the map!

  • http://taphunter.com Melani Gordon

    Thank you to Bruce for coming out and supporting and a huge thank you to Brant who continues to help grow the startup scene in San Diego. There’s no need to feel like you HAVE to move to SF as there is amazing support here!