S.D. sees surge in startups aiming for VC attention

The number of San Diego startups angling for investor attention has spiked this year thanks to a warming climate for entrepreneurs. 

A record-breaking number of startups have applied for a spot on San Diego Venture Group’s roster of Cool Companies — a hand-picked group of young companies chosen to meet local and out-of-town venture capitalists. About 30 companies get picked each year, but many more apply. During 2017 and 2018, 150 to 180 companies submitted applications. For the 2019 list, however, that figure spiked to 255 — a 42 percent bump. 

“It was a huge jump for us,” said Mike Krenn, the venture group’s president. Krenn said the uptick is likely due to San Diego’s startup scene gaining steam in the past year.

“It’s a much more vibrant community right now,” Krenn said. “Money is coming in and that’s raised enthusiasm all the way from Carlsbad to downtown. The vibe is permeating the city.”