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

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supported his Guide to Customer Development), Lean Startup author Eric Ries, and KISSmetrics CEO Hiten Shah.

But as Cooper puts it, “I heard from some of the entrepreneurs that it was great having these speakers, but they wanted a chance to make presentations on their own and to learn from that.” So “Demo Night” was born and Cooper says he’s been riding a wave of enthusiasm ever since. Close to 250 people registered for a recent Tech Founders Demo Night, including a few curious investors like Greg Cortese of New York-based PAR Technology (NYSE: PAR), which provides software services for the hospitality industry.

Take Lessons' Chris Waldron

So who are these young and restless Web entrepreneurs? Of the seven local companies that were invited to speak, Cooper says he wanted to present a cross-section of San Diego Web startups, from companies that are little more than early stage ideas to more established companies that, as he likes to say, “are just crushing it.” Here’s a summary:

Tap Hunter. The startup launched its website in 2009 and has been expanding its capabilities as a Web and mobile app to help craft beer lovers find their favorite breweries as well as the places pouring a particular draft (which are often produced in relatively small batches). Co-founder and CEO Melani Gordon says the U.S. beer market is $7.4 billion a year, and “fizzy yellow beer sales are down 2 percent [while] craft beer is up 16 percent in volume and dollars.” Tap Hunter’s free mobile app provides GPS-based listings of beer, taverns, and breweries, and can push notifications when certain batches become available. The startup, funded so far by friends and family, is looking to raise $500,000 in seed funding to expand into … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!