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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Big Picture San Diego Blog

December 19, 2018

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This issue covers data from Q3 2018.

Following an increase in employment in Q2, San Diego and 12 of the most populous metros, experienced a decline in total nonfarm employment in Q3. Winding down from the summer season, the region shed 4,700 jobs - a 0.3 percent decrease in employment during the quarter. Compared to a year ago, nonfarm employment was up 28,800 jobs, or 2 percent.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in Q3, down from 3.7 percent in Q2.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego closed Q3 with an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent and the tenth lowest among the 25 most populous metros.
  • With the summer tourist season coming to an end, the leisure and hospitality sector recorded the largest quarterly loss, shedding 2,300 jobs in Q3. Other contributors to quarterly employment loss were trade, transportation, and utilities, together losing 2,100 jobs. 
  • Year-over-year, the region’s median home price continued to climb, growing by 7.1 percent.
  • VC dollars in the region increased 63.5 percent compared to a year ago.

The Quarterly Economic Snapshot analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This releases includes data from July to September (Q3) 2018.

December 17, 2018

At the end of each year, we like to look back on all the good this year brought with it. And with San Diego as our home, there's much to be thankful for - from an influx of startup growth, to top rankings and thriving educational systems. Read on below to see the top themes we saw come out of 2018.

From Team EDC, thank you for being part of our #SDlifechanging story.

Not a HQ town, but now we have these....
Qualcomm aside, San Diego is not often thought of as a headquarter town; but that doesn't mean large companies don't see value in setting up operations in the region. This year, we saw these tech heavyweights plant roots in San Diego:

  • Data analytics company Teradata relocated its headquarters to San Diego from Dayton, Ohio
  • Amazon to hire up to 350 at its new UTC campus
  • Walmart Labs opened 30,000 sqft in Carlsbad; to double tech workforce
  • WrikeCloudbeds, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals made significant investments in local expansions
  • And most recently, Apple announced it will be expanding to San Diego, supporting up to 1,000 jobs

SD leads charge in the healthcare revolution
Home to more than 1,200 life sciences companies and more than 80 research institutes, the San Diego region is on the brink of scientific breakthrough each and every day. This year, we saw Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine and Illumina set the Guinness world record for fastest genetic diagnoses in newborns; Scripps Translational Science Institute was awarded a $34+ million grant for its work in digital health; Salk scientist Janelle Ayres received $1 million to fund her microbial research; Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute identified never-before-seen DNA recombination in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease; local biotechs PfenexSynthorx, and Trovagene went public; Illumina acquired Edico Genome and Pacific Biosciences in separate deals worth more than $2.2 billion; LunaDNA launched the first-of-its-kind platform that offers stock for DNA data; and much more #SDlifechanging work.

SD selected as national UAS testing center
With a continued commitment to growing San Diego’s reputation as a hub for innovation, the City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, and EDC announced that San Diego has been selected to participate in a new program by the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the testing of unmanned aircraft technology, grow the innovation economy, and create jobs. As part of the program, the Chula Vista Police Department has begun to deploy drones for public safety operations. Read more.

Local colleges expand, bolster talent pipeline
San Diego's educational institutions produce a top-tier talent pipeline for employers both here and abroad. And now more than ever, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, San Diego Community College District, and others are expanding programs and campuses to promote inclusion and support industry needs. This year's successes include:

  • CSU San Marcos announced the creation of its bachelor of science in computer engineering thanks to more than $1.5 million in donations from local companies and their employees
  • Mira Costa and Palomar colleges to waive tuition for all first-time, full-time students as part of California College Promise program
  • Philanthropist Denny Sanford made a landmark, $100 million gift to the National University System to expand its social emotional learning program
  • Southwestern College was awarded $325,000 in grants to fund services for veteran and undocumented students
  • San Diego City College expanded its cybersecurity program to include associate and certificate opportunities
  • With its first female president Adela de la Torre at the helm, San Diego State University is set to launch a new Big Data Analytics graduate program
  • UC San Diego received a record $75 million from computer science alum Taner Halicioğlu to grow its new data science institute

SD companies rake in big bucks for growth
Throughout 2018, San Diego saw more than 80 venture capital deals. While the number of deals is down from last year, the cash totals are record-breaking in more ways than one. San Diego companies raised more $1.8 billion (as of Q3), with the vast majority – $1.5 billion – going to healthcare companies. The region is on pace to have its best year for VC since 2000. Top deals include SamumedIdeaya Biosciences, Gossamer BioGrailHelix, and dozens more.

SD impact felt 'round the world'
A globally connected region is a more successful region, which is why its crucial that San Diego innovation is seen and felt across the world. This year, we saw this locally-made technology make impacts in key international markets:

  • Cubic Transportation Systems secured contracts to provide its mass-transit ticketing services to Queensland and Sydney, Australia, as well as other international cities
  • Inc. 5000 company Scientist.com announced its expansion into Japan as part of a WTC-led trade mission
  • Forge Therapeutics is set to double its local footprint due in part to an international deal signed during a WTC-led trade mission to the UK
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems secured an $81 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center for the UK
  • Carlsbad-based Viasat added AeromexicoFinnair, and EL AL Israel Airline to the list of international airlines it supplies with inflight Wi-Fi
  • San Marcos-based Ocean Reef Group donated its full-face dive masks used to rescue a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand

SD tops the charts
San Diego held its own in many of this year's top rankings. From the region's entrepreneurial culture to its commitment to sustainability and innovation, top-tier publications and organizations took notice of San Diego. Rankings include: 

 

December 13, 2018

Apple has announced it will be planting roots in San Diego, solidifying what we already knew about our region: San Diego is an innovative tech hub, home to some of the best and brightest talent in the world. While we're not a headquarters town, we continue to see an influx of local expansions from some of the world's largest companies. San Diego Regional EDC's official statement below:

“Joining an influx of other large tech firms like Amazon, Google and Teradata, Apple is setting up a significant operation in San Diego to take advantage of the region’s STEM talent. We look forward to building a stronger working relationship with Apple to help them grow and succeed in this already thriving tech hub.” Mark Cafferty, president & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC

December 12, 2018

Together in 2018

EDC put San Diego on the global stage; made the case for inclusion as an economic imperative; and helped catalyze company growth here and abroad. Watch our full story below.

With and through EDC's investors and partners, we will continue to build a thriving and inclusive San Diego. Here's to another year, in it together.

December 5, 2018

Saving the best for last, project management software company Wrike celebrated the opening of three office locations worldwide: Melbourne, Dublin, and San Diego. The celebration took place back-to-back over the course of just 16 hours, in what the company called a #WrikeRelay.

Named among Deloitte's 500 Fastest Growing Companies in North America, Wrike has grown from 300 employees in 2015 to 700 today (and hiring), serving customers across 130 companies. 

This marks Wrike’s third location in San Diego. The first San Diego office opened in February 2016 with the company well on its way to meeting its goal of creating 150 jobs in three years. The new office in UTC will accommodate the increasing number of sales and customer success roles that make up the bulk of its local team. Wrike has grown its customer base in North America by 362 percent and its total annual recurring revenue in the region by 287 percent over the last three years. 

“The collaborative work management market has really taken off in the last few years as a variety of trends from digital transformation to the rise of the remote workforce and the consumerization of IT all converged,” said Wrike Senior Director of North American Sales Alex German. “It has been exciting to witness firsthand as high-growth companies have discovered how Wrike could help them increase productivity, improve collaboration, and create new revenue opportunities. Moving into this new space will give us the room we need to expand our team and continue driving exponential growth for the company.”

JLL, a world leader in real estate services, represented Wrike in the search and negations for its new San Diego office.

 

November 29, 2018

San Diego is home to more than 350 precision health companies that hold 3,610 patents, according to a study released by yours truly: San Diego Regional EDC.  “San Diego's Precision Health Ecosystem” explores the impact of the region’s precision health cluster and quantifies the number of firms, venture capital and patents, as well the broader cluster across California.

The web-based study – precisionhealthSD.org – includes a historic timeline, cluster map, local and state overviews, and a series of video testimonials from local business leaders.

Large local companies like Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific, startups and small businesses like CureMatch, LunaDNA, and EpicentRX, as well as hospitals and research institutes are helping lead the charge in precision health and enabling people to live longer, healthier lives.

Using a person’s unique genes, medical history, and environment, the field of precision health seeks to customize effective therapies and disease treatment. More than genomics and pharmaceuticals, precision health also encompasses a wide range of related fields that allow for the collection, storage, analysis, and use of health data for more precise diagnosis of individual conditions and risk factors.

“From personalized cancer vaccines to record-breaking DNA sequencing of newborns, San Diego companies and research institutes are revolutionizing healthcare as we know it,” said Kirby Brady, research director, San Diego Regional EDC. “Consistently ranked among the top five cities for startups and life sciences, as well as the #1 region for genomics patents in the U.S., San Diego brings more to the table than its beaches – we are changing lives and curing disease from the offices and labs throughout the region.”

KEY FINDINGS

  • San Diego precision health companies secured $1.3 billion in venture capital in 2018, to date.
  • San Diego precision health companies hold 825 registered trademarks, and 3,610 patents.
  • San Diego is home to more than 350 precision health companies, 80 research institutions, 30 hospitals, and five universities.
  • Economic impact of precision health in California (2017):
    • 29,000 direct jobs
    • 99,000 total impacted jobs
    • $17 billion direct economic impact

Precision Health: Why San Diego from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

The report was produced by San Diego Regional EDC, and sponsored by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., CBRE, Kaiser Permanente, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Scripps Research.

Read the full study at precisionhealthSD.org, or the print version hereFor more research from San Diego Regional EDC, visit sandiegobusiness.org/research-center.

November 16, 2018

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers October 2018. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data & stats about San Diego's economy. 

October highlights:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in October, up from a revised 3.2 percent in September, and below the year-ago estimate of 3.6 percent.
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate remains below both the state rate of 4.0 percent and the national rate of 3.5 percent.
  • The labor force grew by 9,100 workers during the month and is now up 25,300 compared to a year ago.
  • Total nonfarm employment is up 10,700 in October and up 26,000 over the year.
  • The largest employment gain over the year occurred in professional and business services, which added 16,400 jobs. Professional, scientific, and technical services were responsible for 60 percent of the increase – up 9,700 jobs.


November 13, 2018

During World Trade Center San Diego’s Trade Mission to Tokyo and Yokohoma, Japan,  Scientist.com, the world's leading marketplace for outsourced scientific services, announced it will expand to Japan, opening an office in Tokyo.

“Scientist.com has recently created enterprise marketplaces for several Japanese pharmaceutical companies,” stated Dan Kagan, PhD, Scientist.com’s Chief Operating Officer. “WTC San Diego’s trade mission will help Scientist.com continue its rapid expansion into the Asian-Pacific region.”
 
The San Diego-based ecommerce marketplace will open an office at the Nihonbashi Life Sciences building, where UC San Diego and other major life sciences companies also house international offices. Scientist.com has recently seen growth in its Japanese clientele; it currently operates marketplaces for several large Japanese pharmaceutical companies.
 
Japan is the third largest economy in the world and a hub for scientific research and exploration. It is also a top-five export market for San Diego goods and services.
 
Scientist.com has more than 70 employees worldwide. In addition to its San Diego headquarters, it also has offices in the UK and Boston. The Japanese expansion announcement comes on the heels of several accolades recognizing Scientist.com’s growth. In August 2018 Scientist.com was ranked #9 on the Inc. 5000 list of fasting-growing privately owned companies in the US.
 
Scientist.com is joining a San Diego delegation of local politicians, industry executives and academic leaders. The company is also one of twenty San Diego companies awarded a $10,000 grant as part of WTC San Diego’s MetroConnect program, a comprehensive export assistance program designed to help local companies accelerate their global growth.
November 12, 2018

In an effort to create a connection between vital economic trading partners, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) and World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, are leading a delegation to Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan. During the trade mission, local companies and organizations will promote key San Diego industries, establish and develop business relationships and explore opportunities for San Diego companies to tap into Japan’s expertise in urban planning and life sciences.

“In today’s global economy, San Diego’s success depends on fostering international relationships that bring investment and jobs to our region,” said Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52). “Japan shares our commitment to life sciences and our startup culture, creating opportunities for collaboration every day. Strengthening our partnership will foster innovation and economic growth in both our regions.”                                                

Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world, and one of San Diego’s most vital trading partners. According to World Trade Center Los Angeles, nearly 12,000 San Diegans are directly employed by Japan-based companies including SONY, Takeda and more. Additionally, there was more than $3.4 billion in economic activity between San Diego and Japan from 2016 -2018.

“Ever since the launch of Japan Airlines' direct service from San Diego, we have seen an influx in foreign investment from the Japanese market,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional EDC. “As the rhetoric around global engagement shifts, now, more than ever, it is essential that we reinforce San Diego’s brand so it is top of mind for investors and companies.”

Over the three day trade mission, San Diego will look to bolster its tech and life sciences industries through various meetings and partnership deals with Japanese counterparts. Some crucial agenda items include:

  • An announcement from a San Diego-based biotech startup that is expanding to Tokyo.
  • A ‘trends in venture capital forum’ with Qualcomm, Yahoo! Japan and others at Plug and Play, the world’s largest technology accelerator.
  • A celebration of more than 60 years of a “Sister City” relationship with Yokohama, Japan.
  • An immersive visit to Takeda’s Shonan Health Innovation Park, one of the first collaborative academic and private sector research centers in Japan.
  • Panels and programming surrounding best practices and ideas exchanges on climate change with Scripps Institute of Oceanography as well as leadership and gender equity.

Delegates will participate in upwards of 15 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and formulating collaborations across many verticals. The 31-San Diego delegates include representatives from Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm Takeda California and more.  Also in attendance are key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as the Port of San Diego, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego State University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego and more.

Additionally, many small businesses and startups, including FoxFury Lighting Solutions, Planck Aerosystems and Scientist.com, will have the opportunity to engage in business development opportunities with Japanese counterparts.

As Tokyo looks to modernize infrastructure and grapples with key issues ahead of the 2020 Olympics, San Diego leaders have the unique opportunity to learn from counterparts across the globe, while also maintaining ties that create jobs and boost the regional economy.

At a time of mounting global uncertainty, World Trade Center San Diego conducts periodic trade missions to drive long term relationships for San Diego’s economy. In 2017, World Trade Center San Diego and Congressman Peters led a trade mission to London, which enabled startup Forge Therapeutics to double its headcount in San Diego and expand to a new facility.

This trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC.

Follow along during the trade mission: #SDinJapan.

November 1, 2018
Today as part of its local expansion, software startup Cloudbeds unveiled its new San Diego headquarters alongside Congressmember Scott Peters and San Diego Regional EDC. Reflective of its company culture and of the region’s innovative technology cluster, the company’s newly expanded office space is vibrant – chock-full of art, a game room, outdoor working space and picnic area, and a 12-foot willow tree and turf in its common area.
 
Founded in 2012 by native San Diegans and UC San Diego Rady School of Management MBA graduates Adam Harris and Richard Castle, the company creates cloud-based hospitality management software and employs nearly 25 in San Diego, with plans for further growth.
 
“We’re extremely proud of the team across the world for making our growth so far possible, and we plan to continue in a much bigger way,” said Adam Harris, CEO at Cloudbeds. “We plan to have grown by 50 percent globally over our current size at the end of 2019.”
 
Some of that growth will be focused in San Diego. Cloudbeds is currently looking to fill technical positions to support the continued development of its hospitality software. Additionally, Cloudbeds was recently selected to take part in MetroConnect 2018, an export assistance program run by World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) – an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC – and designed to help San Diego companies accelerate their global growth. Over the next year, Cloudbeds will work directly with WTC and EDC to expand into more global markets – specifically targeting India and Southeast Asia. The company currently supports 200 jobs across 28 countries.
 
“We’re thrilled Cloudbeds is expanding in San Diego. Its new headquarters is truly reflective of the region’s tech ecosystem – creative, innovative and collaborative," said Nikia Clarke, VP of Economic Development, San Diego Regional EDC. "As part of our MetroConnect program, EDC and WTC San Diego look forward to supporting Cloudbeds’ continued growth here and abroad.”
 
“Congratulations to Cloudbeds – a product of San Diego innovation that started right here at UCSD’s Rady School of Management. Their new headquarters fits right in with our top technology sector and thriving hospitality sector,” said Congressman Peters. “I’m proud to support growing startups, like Cloudbeds, that are changing the way we approach business solutions and I look forward to celebrating their success.”