San Diegans may find next chapter at Startup Week

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-25 20:39:23-04

San Diegans looking for their next chapter may find it at Startup Week, which launched Monday at Golden Hall. 

The annual event, which has grown to expect 6,000 people, is a mix of sessions for people who are just looking to get involved with start-ups, to those looking to grow their own.

"You have this idea in your head, and you probably have a job, and it's really hard to say I'm going to go make things difficult on myself at first to hopefully shoot up and go past it," said Neal Bloom, chairman of StartUp Week. 

Bloom said this year's convention took some inspiration from the #MeToo movement, with a keynote comprised of all female investors, speaking on investing locally. 

"We heard that, we listened to it and said we want to make sure we have conversations about diversity, about equal playing field," he said. 

He added that recent layoffs, including the more than 1,000 Qualcomm recently let go, is leading to more job seekers coming to Startup Week. He said there is a freelance fair, networking sessions, and those on how to launch a startup from day one. 

Those working for start-ups can also learn from each other. 

John Martin, director of sales for PetDesk, says the company, which helps veterinarians and pet-owners communicate via app, has grown tremendously in his three years. He was the sixth worker three years ago. Now there are more than 50.

"We were working in a cave over on Columbia and C," he said. "Now we're in Bankers Hill with panoramic views of the bay and the skyline."

Megan Malone, on the other hand, just started The Akazi Project, which helps teach women in Malawi entrepreneurial skills through jewelry design.

Malone, with one employee, says she would like to get better at communicating and connecting to a community halfway across the world. 

Startup Week runs through Friday. Tickets are available, including discounts for active duty military, veterans, and students.