Angels Launch New Seed Capital Fund, DoCoMo Acquires PacketVideo, St. Bernard Gets Red Condor, & More San Diego BizTech News

A couple of deals topped the tech news last week, but the development most worth watching might be the formation of a new type of fund by Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels. Find out why, and catch up on the rest of San Diego’s tech news here.

—The angel investor group Tech Coast Angels is creating a new fund that will allow non-members to pool their money to collectively invest in seed stage startups, a move that could prove to be the most important news of the year for San Diego tech entrepreneurs in need of seed capital. This Angel Capital Entrepreneurial Fund (ACE Fund), which will be at least $3 million, is one more sign of the rising importance of angel investors.

—Japanese communications provider NTT DoCoMo said it was paying $111.6 million to acquire the stake in PacketVideo it didn’t already own. DoCoMo paid $45.5 million last year for a 35 percent stake in PacketVideo, a 12-year-old San Diego company that provides software and multimedia services for mobile devices.

St. Bernard Software (OTCBB: [[ticker:SBSW), which specializes in hybrid hardware and software network security technology, acquired the assets of Red Condor, an e-mail security technology specialist in Rohnert Park, CA. St. Bernard did not disclose terms of the Red Condor acquisition.

Ecotality (NASDAQ: ECTY) CEO Jonathan Read unveiled his company’s plans for a network of 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations that will be installed throughout San Diego County. Ecotality has been working on the charging infrastructure for six months with regional transportation planners, San Diego Gas & Electric engineers, and city and county officials.

SG Biofuels said it is establishing an advanced research and development center near its Encinitas, CA, headquarters that will include a 42,000 square-foot greenhouse. SG Biofuels is developing its biofuels business on oil extracted from the seeds of the Jatropha, a non-edible shrub native to Central America.

—MaxLinear (NYSE: MXL), the Carlsbad, CA-based wireless chip design company, was the only venture-backed technology startup in the San Diego area to go public through an IPO during the first half of 2010, according to a VentureDeal survey. While the overall market for IPOs seems to be opening up somewhat, VentureDeal CEO Don Jones says the quality and performance of new IPO-candidate companies is still weak.

—A demographic survey of seed stage Internet startup founders by New York-based CB Insights shows that Asian founders of Internet startups in California got a higher median level of venture capital funding than others.

—San Diego’s tech community might be interested in knowing that former Gateway computer CEO Rick Snyder won the Republican gubernatorial primary in Michigan last week. Gateway founder Ted Waitt hired Snyder to run the company in Sioux City, SD, from 1991 to 1997, when Gateway mushroomed from a private $600-million concern into a $6-billion, publicly traded behemouth. Waitt moved Gateway’s headquarters to San Diego after Snyder’s reign ended. Xconomy’s Detroit correspondent Howard Lovy provided a personal look at Snyder, who now faces Democrat Virg Berneo in the November general election.

—A profile of San Diego-based Rayspan, which specializes in meta-material antennas used in wireless routers, caught my attention in The San Diego Union-Tribune. After shipping more than 25 million antennas to Netgear, its biggest customer, my friend Mike Freeman reports that Rayspan is turning its attention to the smart phone market. He notes, for example, that Apple has had a little trouble with the antennas on its new iPhone 4.

—In a wireless innovation that’s off the grid, the secretive Point Loma laboratory run by SPAWAR, the Navy’s San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, has developed technology that gives U.S. troops “Wi-Fi on the run.” The advance provides a mobile wireless network that moves with Marine ground forces as they travel throughout regions of Afghanistan that have no wireless or cellular infrastructure.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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One response to “Angels Launch New Seed Capital Fund, DoCoMo Acquires PacketVideo, St. Bernard Gets Red Condor, & More San Diego BizTech News”

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