Hundreds of people from the San Diego and Silicon Valley technology communities crowed into a downtown music venue Thursday to watch nine startups compete for $100,000 in funding from Qualcomm.
Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of San Diego wireless giant, sponsored the SeismicSD event to bring together all parts of the local tech ecosystem, including startups, investors, incubators and support organizations.
Guru, a San Diego startup that created a smartphone app to help people navigate museums, received the $100,000 award from Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
“Big ideas create big opportunities,” Faulconer told the crowd at the Music Box. “You all represent the San Diego success story.”
The winning company, which counts the San Diego Museum of Art and Battleship Iowa among its clients, also received $100,000 in cloud computing services from Amazon and $25,000 in legal services from DLA Piper.
Sponsors of the event said more than 300 people attended, including approximately 100 investors, many from Silicon Valley. In addition to Qualcomm Ventures, which led the effort, sponsors included the San Diego Venture Group, EvoNexus, Tech Coast Angels and CONNECT.
The venture group had 37 of its “Cool Companies” in attendance, and Mike Krenn, president of the group, made a plea to the Silicon Valley investors in the audience: “The entrepreneurs here are super scrappy. They’re very capital efficient.”
Quinn Li, the global head of Qualcomm Ventures, said his company sponsored the event “to help recognize and promote entrepreneurs and startups in the San Diego community.”
Qualcomm Ventures and has been actively supporting the San Diego tech startup ecosystem since 2000. It has more than 140 investment companies in its global portfolio, primarily early-stage tech companies with potential for developing the next disruptive technology.