SD Venture Group Opens Bay Area Office as Part of “Cheeky” Campaign

The San Diego Venture Group has established a beachhead in San Francisco, and it’s opening for business Tuesday.

After years of trying to persuade Silicon Valley venture capital firms to establish more of a presence in San Diego, or to at least hear more startup pitches here, the venture group has decided to open an outpost in San Francisco. The idea is to provide a home away from home for San Diego startups looking to do deals in the Bay Area.

The group’s satellite office, known officially as “The Beachhead,” is the latest move in what San Diego Venture Group CEO Mike Krenn calls a “cheeky” offensive, which includes a job fair for San Diego companies set for February 1. The job fair, and a related billboard advertising campaign that begins Tuesday, are intended to entice Silicon Valley engineers and programmers to San Diego.

Krenn conceived the broad incursion on the Bay Area’s tech turf, asking in a mountain-and-Mohammed kind of way, “Why should it be that Silicon Valley always recruits from San Diego—and not the other way around?”

The billboard campaign, which uses a big digital billboard along U.S. 101 in Palo Alto, CA, is intended to promote the job fair and tweak the dark side of Silicon Valley by asking such questions as, “Hey Engineers: Enjoying Traffic? SanDiegoIsBetter.com,” and “Hey Engineers: Did You Check the Surf Report This Morning? (Of Course You Didn’t). SanDiegoIsBetter.com”

“The billboard was just a fun idea,” Krenn explained. “It’s a little bit brazen. But we decided we should do it.”

Mock Billboard Prepared by San Diego Venture Group (Image used with permission)

Mock Billboard Prepared by San Diego Venture Group (Image used with permission)

Krenn has drawn financial support for the Beachhead office from a local nonprofit group, the Legler-Benbough Foundation, the City of San Diego, and a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign that has raised over $72,000 of a planned $100,000 target.

“It’s kind of cool to see the community coming together,” Krenn said. “We’re trying to get to $200,000, which would cover our cost [for the Beachhead] for 20 months.”

The venture group has leased space for … Next Page »

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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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