Ten startups on board, call for applications is underway and group trips to Sunnyvale and Mexico
SAN DIEGO, CA – Plug and Play San Diego has announced February 28, 2014 as the application deadline for its third startup pitch competition. Applications are available online at:
Working in partnership with StartupCircle and other regional organizations, Plug and Play San Diego founder Alex Roudi is organizing a group trip to the original Silicon Valley incubator on February 25.
This trip will allow San Diego entrepreneurs to visit with Plug and Play Tech Center founder, Saeed Amidi, and see first-hand hundreds of startups and VCs working under one roof to grow their ventures. Amidi, an early investor in Google and other technology giants, has seen startups like Paypal and Dropbox go through his technology incubator, which is one of the largest in the world.
Since 2006, Plug and Play startups have raised over $1.8 Billion in funding. In 2012, San Diego was selected as the first Plug and Play satellite program in the United States. Other satellite StartupCamp programs are in Russia, Canada, Spain, Poland, Jordan and Singapore.
“Our program in San Diego has come full circle and continue to build momentum,” explains Roudi, “with one group of startups back from StartupCamp and raising significant funding, another group just starting their program in the bay area and the next group getting ready to be selected after the February 28 applications.”
Ten startups are now part of the Plug and Play San Diego program. Since the last pitch competition, held December 3, the following San Diego startups received $25,000 each in funding and have begun the StartupCamp program at the Sunnyvale Plug and Play Technology Center in Sunnyvale: Raynforest, REEL Qualified, Stretchr, and Intentive Communications.
The following six startups were selected in May 2013, completed the StartupCamp program in September, raised over $2 million collectively and are back in San Diego continuing to grow: eFinancial Communications, Vioozer, Santech, Tip Network, Pcsso and Rock My World.
“The bridge to Silicon Valley that we often describe is one that flows in two directions,” continues Roudi. “There is investment money that is flowing down to San Diego and a desire to explore the advantages that our region can provide, along with the fresh talent here in quality startups, educational institutions and entrepreneur community.”
StartupCircle founder Robert Reyes describes a “San Diego advantage” as, “the unique benefits that come from close proximity to Silicon Valley and strength in different sectors that complement software development, like hardware manufacturing, drone and wearable tech, action sports, health care delivery and biotech/genomics. We’re also on the border with tremendous resources for outsourcing and collaboration with Mexico.”
Reyes and Roudi led a group of entrepreneurs and investors to Tijuana, Mexico in late January and plan to continue collaborating with the startup community south of the border. This includes Mexican founders raising significant US VC funding and Mexican investors and VC groups funding US startups, and software development and hardware manufacturing options that offer significant advantage to San Diego startups and corporations from San Francisco and other metro regions.
In less than 20 months, the Plug and Play San Diego program has gained a strong following that includes So Cal entrepreneurs, investors and startup industry leaders. In January 2014, the San Diego Union Tribune described StartupCircle as “one of San Diego’s most effective organizations working with entrepreneurs” and “Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center as the most public of many quiet efforts to bring early-stage investment to San Diego.”
Barbara Bry, Founder of ProFlowers and COO of Blackbird Ventures, has described, “It’s very exciting that StartupCircle is working with Plug and Play San Diego to give our up and coming entrepreneurs a great opportunity to move their companies forward and learn from the best and the brightest in Silicon Valley.”
David Hammel, co-founder of Vioozer, describes an intangible benefit of the program, “The Plug and Play StartupCamp gave us a unique opportunity to acquire ‘the language of the Valley,’ to be mentored and learn firsthand about the expectations and modus opperandi of the investment community and the locally grown startups up there. It also enabled us to learn what can be improved here in our local startup community while appreciating better the real advantages San Diego has to offer.”
About Plug and Play Tech Center: Plug and Play Tech Center is an accelerator specializing in growing technology startups. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Plug and Play’s global network includes over 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners. Since its founding in 2006, Plug and Play startups have raised over $1.8 Billion in funding and enrolled more than 160 portfolio companies.
Gabriela Dow (858) 735-2922 or gabriela [at] startupcircle.com