Startup San Diego

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As I move into my next adventure, I’m realizing that this is where I was meant to be all the time. Ever since I started with Let’s Talk Business radio, I knew I was meant to live and breath entrepreneurship. I studied everything I could get my hands on and began to network like a madman, going to every event I could to meet as many people as I could. I was getting started in the mid-90’s in NYC, right when Silicon Alley was being birthed. I saw many of my friends getting involved with early stage companies while we built a nice, life-style business. My original business partner told me that a business without real growth was not worth having, yet in 2003 it became evident to me that building a “practice” was the perfect ride for me. I was a new father of two young children and being a father was my #1 priority.

I saw the amount of time and energy it took to create something that could scale and I wasn’t willing to make the trade. Over the past 24 years of my entrepreneurial journey I’ve learned so much. There are some things that I’ve never done, such as raising money and pitching VC’s, yet the journey of building, branding, telling the story and creating a vision for the future was what I loved. I spent 15 years in an industry that provided me with a very solid living. Our clients were good people with honorable intentions, yet most of them could never scale because of the limitations of their own business model. As I mature (I say that lightly) in my business dealings, I’m realizing that I was built for the startup. With that said, as part of this weekly blog I will start to highlight some of the best startups that I come across in San Diego and beyond. I believe that San Diego has an amazing and burgeoning startup scene and I’m excited to see where this all leads.

So, as my first feature I’d like to introduce you to ARC, Additive Rocket Corporation. ARC is located in the Qualcomm incubator at UCSD. It’s not your typical startup, these young mad scientists are revolutionizing propulsion. Since the engine was conceived the limiting factor to building the ideal rocket engine is the ability to machine the metal parts and assemble them in a way that it would produce the thrust necessary to propel whatever it was that needed propulsion. It could be the entire rocket from lift off or a satellite needing a bit of control out in space where the rocket engine provides some ability to control their direction. In the end, the limiting factor was to make individual parts that need to be assembled to build the engine. What if?

What if you could now “print” the engine? What could you create if you had the ability to use a 3-D metal printer to “manufacture” the engine, what would that create? Well, if you ask the founders of ARC they have an amazing answer. These brilliant minds have combined the science and engineering of rocket engines with the biology of humans. They have used an intricate capillary system that could only be manufactured using 3D printing. Most of their competitors are just taking existing assembly models and printing them, which is cool in itself. Yet, redesigning the engine from scratch is just amazing. The reality is that ARC is much more than a rocket engine company. Over the years I believe that rocket engines will be where they got their start, but the real genius lives at the intersection of engineering and biology and how a 3D printer can make new products that were never envisioned before. I would consider them a BioEngineering Manufacturing company. How cool is that?

Tonight, in downtown San Diego, SDVG (San Diego Venture Group) has highlighted the top 30 startups in San Diego and ARC is one of them. Another company that will be featured tonight is a young company called Brax (www.brax.io). Feel free to check them out as well.

I’m looking forward to posting information about lots of startups over the coming years as I build a practice around helping them grow their businesses. As always, please feel free to reach out or suggest a cool startup that I should be looking at. I can’t wait to see where this all leads.

Connecting dots ….. one dot at a time.

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