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Access to Capital & Incentives

"The cost of everything is lower in San Diego [than in the Bay Area] — including the average cost of real estate, cost of living and labor costs. If a business owner is able to reduce their operating costs, it simply makes the business more profitable.”

Andrew Ewald, VP of CBRE San Diego
Nov 17, 2017

A leading center for innovation and entrepreneurship globally, San Diego ranks sixth in the world for venture capital investment per capita. The region's businesses and research institutes successfully compete for financing, at both the local and national levels, garnering the support of VC investors and business incubators across the globe. A testament to the region's entrepreneurial climate, San Diego venture capital funding totaled $1.9 billion into 231 startups in 2017. The San Diego region is also a magnet for federal grant funding. San Diego's research institutes, universities and independent hospitals received $743 million NIH funding in total for R&D in 2014 - more than any metro in the U.S. In addition to being the top ranked metro overall for independent research institute funding from NIH, San Diego is home to three of the top ten most funded independent research institutes.

The California Competes Tax Credit, an income tax credit negotiated between the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), supports businesses that want to relocate to or grow in California. In FY 16-17, thirty San Diego companies earned more than $20 million in income tax credits – claiming 10 percent of the total tax credits awarded. In return, the San Diego companies committed to $242 million of investments and 1,408 new jobs totaling more than $340 million in wages by 2021.


Industry Highlights/Contributions

  • There are more than 25 incubators and accelerators in San Diego, lending themselves to the region's small business ecosystem.
  • San Diego County ranks second nationally in best return on investment in local public companies, according to the CNBC financial network. The 40-metro Power City Index for 2015 recorded San Diego at 15.4 percent, beating out Silicon Valley at 14.6 percent.
  • San Diego Venture Group’s annual Pitch Fest! competition provides innovative San Diego companies with the opportunity to compete for funding to enhance business development and growth.
  • “Qualcomm Labs @ EvoNexus” is a business innovation program, operating out of EvoNexus, which provides startup tech companies with the resources and connections needed to advance their goals.


CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 2,000 companies since 1985 and is widely regarded as the world’s most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for commercialization of products.


EvoNexus is the premiere, nonprofit tech startup incubator in Southern California. By partnering with some of San Diego’s biggest tech companies, EvoNexus has raised more than $675 million for San Diego companies.

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), created by Governor Jerry Brown, serves as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. 

San Diego Venture Group
SDVG is a nonprofit business association with a mission to support and promote the venture capital and startup company ecosystem in the San Diego region. Its 800 members include VCs, angel investors, entrepreneurs, startup grinders, experienced executives, and market influencers.
San Diego Workforce Partnership

San Diego Workforce Partnership funds job training programs that enable eligible adults to develop the skills and knowledge needed for emerging career opportunities within such fields as green jobs, healthcare, and clean technology.  SDWP has a network of career centers and community partners, funds programs to serve eligible youth who are interested in furthering their education and career goals, and serves as a vital source of information that analyzes workforce needs and trends in San Diego County for educators, trainers, employers and researchers.

Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels provides more than just money, TCA brings connections, knowledge, mentoring and operational assistance to bold early-stage entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas. Not limited to the technology industry, members invested in over 180 companies ranging from industries in biotech, consumer products, Internet, IT, life sciences, media, software and environmental, among others.