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The Digital Frontier – A Showcase of San Diego’s Entrepreneurial Innovation (Clip 4 of 8)

On Wednesday, 4/18, a few local tech entrepreneurs spoke at the 6Degrees Breakfast Speakers series on digital startups and innovation here in San Diego.

Topic: The Digital Frontier – A Showcase of San Diego's Entrepreneurial Innovation. In this segment, the panelists discuss what makes San Diego a great place to do business.


Moderator: You all are running really dynamic and exciting business is right here in San Diego. You could be doing this anywhere in the world, the work you're doing you can do from anywhere. Why are you here in San Diego, and none of you are allowed to answer the question because of the weather, okay? So, Scot, obviously, you wanna talk about that.

Scot Chisolm: Well, we were working at local firms. So, it was just part we were already here and we have a phenomenal team that came out of San Diego and I think, you know, moving forward I think everyday gets more exciting to have a firm, especially in the technology and Internet space, in San Diego communities growing, so that makes it really exciting for us and to see other companies have successes around us and to have more of these type of events that we were just talking to Steven about don't have any event in their office to watch the Padres and tech community together at least to our understanding that's the type of stuff that didn't really happen two or three years ago and it's really awesome for our staff to be excited about being part of this community. So, that's part of the thing that wants, you know, that has kept us here and we are going to have a lot of fun and moving

And the second piece is we go out to San Francisco along for partnerships and investments and certainly the capitalism there for most part at least for our space, but it's very noisy out there and it's distracting and one thing down here is that we can just move forward and focus and we don't have to worry about 18 different competitors starting in the same space and then you know turning out three months later working the same.

We need to do it right and move forward and have the community support us, which is awesome. And I don't think you can find that in San Francisco.

Moderator: Good point.

Mitch Thrower: You know, what a great place San Diego. And I found myself in San Diego following the sport of triathlon in 1993 and was in the entrepreneurship space. How many folks have tried to recruit a developer? Raise your hand. So it's a tough deal. Now I would encourage try recruiting developer in the bay area and it's even more challenging.

So what I've found is that there are so many great things about San Diego and you have to really focus on providing lifestyle dollars that pay off to the people that you're working with which is create great companies with a great environment, because what makes you happy is three things: where you're working, what you're working on, and who you're working with, and that means San Diego gives you the capacity to have all three.

Steven Cox: Well this is home so I'm not going anywhere. Ok. And even when we were raising money a couple venture firms asked us, well, would we consider moving, and the answer was point-blank no. It's not in the cards, not what we're looking to do, and in essence we make the argument, the case that it's 40% cheaper to live in San Diago than it is in the bay area so that's one thing going for it.

There is less competition for instance for developers so you can find good people down here for sure. And the biggest thing is I'm committed to building an ecosystem, as all of these gentlemen and lots of folks here in the audience are. We have an opportunity here in San Diego, by pooling together and start developing something that we can all grow from. If, you know, Mitch's company grows and Jimmy's company grows, all it does is feeds everybody.

And so that's really what my personal passion is about is helping develop an ecosystem where we can all grow and develop something and put San Diego on the map for start-ups.

Jimmy Hendricks: You know, I think people just put it backwards. They say you move to San Diego to start a business. I think you move to San Diago and then start a business, it's not move to start a business.

It's like your relationship; it just starts and you grow and you don't leave. It's all who you work with. So, once you have a team and you have five or six people that believe in you and you start having ten and then, you know, hopefully get up to like ninety, like you have so many relationships.

I mean why would you just pull up your roots? I mean, it's great place to live and have a personal life. I think it's one of them places you can be really balanced because running a business probably takes the most stress on you happen in your life, most of all, and you know, quality of life outside of work makes you able to work those long hours at different times, so that's why it's fun.

Lars Helgeson: So, I moved to San Diego and started a business. I'm a liar. No, actually I grew up here. When I was in the military I was stationed in New Mexico and I wanted to come back here because my mom was here. That's family. I wanted to start a business and as it turned out, the really cool thing is as you get to know more people you realize the business community in San Diego really isn't that big.

For as large of a city as it is, I mean it was funny because I got the pamphlet about this event and I knew everybody, and I look around the room and I know a lot of people and I think if you're in a larger environment if you're in LA or San Francisco or New York that doesn't happen. Here you and a sense of impactual fluidity, like Steven was talking about.

It's a sense of we know who we are, we know who the people that make a difference are, and we want to help each other because the community is small enough that it's not this anonymous see of faces and people and businesses that are coming and going. We're all here because we want to be here and we're trying make it work for the long term.

And I don't think that I haven't run into that many people or you know, the kinds of people that start businesses and then disappear or the kinds of people that just kind of drift in and out. Because it seems like people come here because they want to be part of the community for a long time I think that's what makes this San Diego and events like this really special.