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San Diego companies head to CES in Las Vegas

Tech companies of all sizes thrive in San Diego
CES 2018: See the latest technology revealed
Posted at 8:36 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 11:36:58-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - When the Consumer Electronics Show begins in Las Vegas on January 7th, the San Diego region will be well represented.

Local companies, from tech giants like Qualcomm to small start-ups like Bmmpr and Sniff Relief, will be showing off their latest innovations to help shape the future of technology.

"We're excited," says Bmmpr Founder Kahlie Mandaric. "We have a great product, and we're doing a great second demonstration this year with some add-ons, so it's going to be really exciting."

Bmmpr is a car alarm system that sends a notification or text message to your phone or smartwatch any time something happens to your car.

"Car alarms suck," says Marko Mandaric, Bmmpr's co-founder. "When certain things happen that we can't control, you should know about them. You should have the ability and the power to respond in those moments."

2020 will be the Mardaric's second year at CES. They say it's an excellent opportunity to network and market their inventions.

Arthur Boia will be at CES for the first time. He invented Sniff Relief, a heated pad to help with sinus congestion.

Sniff Relief is already for sale in CVS stores around San Diego. He's hoping CES can help him expand.

"We want to get it out to the world," he says. "That's why we started this. This is changing people's lives."

For dozens of other San Diego businesses, CES is an opportunity to show off their products and how the region helps their companies thrive.

"There's a lot of talent here," says SDSU Adjunct Professor Nils Randrup. "We have people with specialized knowledge, and we have a great group of people coming from universities with ideas."

Randrup also says a readily-available source of funding from venture capitalists and other investors make it easy for innovators to get started.

Mandaric agrees. He and his wife are from San Diego. They say they've looked into other areas of the country, but nothing has as welcoming a business-climate as San Diego. He also says the weather and quality of life play a significant factor in people wanting to start a business here.

"We always come here," says Marko. "And I don't think that will ever change."

Other innovations have helped put San Diego on the map for tech companies. Recently, the city established the I.D.E.A district. It's a 35 block section of San Diego's East Village designed to create 13,000 tech jobs over the next 12 years.

There are also plans to renovate Horton Plaza into a tech hub.

Randrup says investment like that makes San Diego an attractive destination for people looking to start a business.

"Easy access and knowledge about all the different skills needed, and then the presence of that in a restricted area is what makes this successful," he says.

The CES show runs from January 7-10 in Las Vegas.