September 14, 2009 20:02 ET

San Diego's Start-Up Rate Doubles and VC Funding Outpaces Majority of US

CONNECT Second Quarter Innovation Report Released: Start-Ups Leap More Than 50%, VC Funding Jumps 90% and NIH Funding Jumps More Than 55%

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - September 14, 2009) - CONNECT, the San Diego region's non-profit technology and life sciences accelerator, released its 2009 second quarter CONNECT Innovation Report (CIR) on September 14th. The report, developed in partnership with the National University System Institute for Policy Research, University of California, San Diego Extension, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, and the San Diego Business Journal, is the first to provide an economic indicator of the innovation economy in San Diego. The CIR measures new business creation in the life science and technology-based sectors both statewide and in the San Diego region. Results provide a valuable gauge of the economic strength and impact of the knowledge economy in San Diego and across the state for business leaders, policy makers, and researchers.

CIR Q2 2009 Report highlights include:

--  102 new technology companies were created in San Diego in Q2 2009 --
    53% more than in the previous quarter, and 34% more than the 76
    start-ups in Q2 2008.

--  Venture capital investment jumped 90% in Q2 2009 in San Diego over
    the previous quarter. Twenty-two local companies received a total of
    $172 million in venture capital in Q2 2009 -- a decrease of 55% from
    Q2 2008.

    The top ten investments in San Diego companies for Q2 2009 were:

    PhotoThera, Inc.                            $50.0 million
    Ophthonix, Inc.                             $25.9 million
    Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc.                  $13.0 million
    Anaphore, Inc.                              $13.0 million
    aTyr Pharma, Inc.                           $10.8 million
    Lithera, Inc.                               $10.0 million
    Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.                $ 8.0 million
    Traversa Therapeutics, Inc.                 $ 5.0 million
    Nirvanix, Inc.                              $ 5.0 million                               $ 5.0 million

--  National Institute of Health (NIH) grants jumped 56% compared to last
    quarter to a new high of over $265 million. National Science Foundation
    (NSF) and other federal grant funding in San Diego were up in Q2 2009.

--  Technology start-ups for all of California jumped 53% during Q2 2009
    compared to the previous quarter, and were up 54 percent from Q2 2008.

--  San Diego generated 37 new pharma/biotech/medical device businesses in
    Q2 2009 -- 20% of all companies in the category across California, the
    most of any county across the state.

--  San Diego led the state with 12 environmental tech (cleantech)
    start-ups in Q2 2009, up from four start-ups in Q1 2009.

--  Mergers and acquisitions were down in San Diego in Q2 2009 with
    24 deals closed compared to 42 deals closed in the Q1 2009. One-third
    of all the deals closed in Southern California involved San Diego

--  San Diego patent applications and patents granted were up approximately
    15% compared to Q1 2009. San Diego accounted for 14% of all patents
    filed and granted in California in both Q1 and Q2 2009.

--  Employment and average weekly wages paid by private research
    institutions in San Diego showed that both employment and average wages
    continued to fall from Q3 to Q4 2008.

The full report, including all data, is available at CONNECT Innovation Report.


CONNECT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining the growth of innovative technology and life science businesses in San Diego. Since 1985, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of over 2,000 companies and is widely regarded as the world's most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. CONNECT focuses on research institution support, business creation and development, entrepreneurial learning, access to capital, public policy advocacy, awards, recognition and networking. More than 25 countries and regions have adopted the CONNECT model, including the U.K., Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, and China. For more information, please visit

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