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Things Will Be Great When You’re Downtown

A new data-mining project can help downtowns stay vibrant, and TwitchCon is moving to San Diego


Amazon-owned Twitch is moving its annual gaming convention, TwitchCon, to the San Diego Convention Center | Photo by f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Follow the Money

A new report in The Atlantic CityLab by well-known urban studies guru Richard Florida puts San Diego at 7th on the list of Metro areas with the largest venture capital investment, ahead of Seattle. Topping the list are the obvious places such as San Francisco, San Jose, New York, and Boston. For San Diego, a town that is always lamenting the lack of venture funding, this may help dispel that thinking.


Move Over ComicCon, There Is a New “Game” in Town

Amazon-owned Twitch has just announced it is moving its annual gaming convention, TwitchCon, from the Marscone Center in San Francisco to more spacious digs at the San Diego Convention Center.

Twitch is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. It boasts 100 million community members and 1.7+ million broadcasters per month, catering to the entire video game industry.

Last year’s convention—the inaugural event—brought 20,000 people to San Francisco. With an added day and the positive buzz surrounding the event and the move, they are expecting to top that number this year.

The event takes place September 30-October 2 and you can find the details here. Game on.


Hear Why One Startup CEO Moved His Business From SF to SD

Andrew Gazdecki, CEO and founder of Bizness Apps, penned this piece for TechCrunch about why he moved his San Francisco based mobile app builder business to San Diego. He makes a pretty good case. (Read a Q&A with Gazdecki here.)


Downtown, Things Will Be Great When You’re Downtown…

A new data-mining project out of the University of Trento in Italy might help shed some light on how to ensure a vibrant city. In her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban sociologist Jane Jacobs identifies four conditions that are essential for a vibrant city. Overall she argues a physically diverse city will flourish. Specifically, she says cities need the following four characteristics. First, the city must serve more than two functions so it attracts people with different purposes at different times of the day. Second, she recommends small city blocks that give people a chance to interact with each other. Third, the buildings must also be diverse with old and new to attract diverse economic groups. Last, it’s all density—of people and buildings. Until now there has been no cost effective way to test these ideas.

The new research has used technology to create a faster, easier way to analyze a city. By using OpenStreetMap, census data, land use data, and Foursquare data, researchers were able to prove that Jacobs actually knew what she was talking about. For downtowns striving to stay vibrant centers, like San Diego, this new research could help identify areas for improvement. I would love to see some of our local open data minds (I'm looking at you, Ben Katz) take this on.


Pivots and Opportunities

  • Reflexion Health, a digital health solution for physical therapy, has a new CEO. Replacing Spencer Hutchins who left in December is Dr. Joe Smith. Smith is moving to the streets of downtown from the Mesa, where he has been leading the health cost savings charge as the chief medical and science officer at West Health for the last several years. He recently stepped in as interim CEO at Reflexion and now has made it official. (Disclosure: this is my client.)

  • Tech Coast Angels is recruiting analysts for their Spring Volunteer Analyst Training Program. Applications are due Thursday, April 14.


Be There or Be...

Mindy Tucker Fletcher

As a partner in the firm Crux Partners, Mindy advises, promotes, and works with San Diego’s young, scrappy startup companies. Armed with a business degree from SMU, she has been a communications strategist to a President, Governor, U.S. Attorney General, and numerous companies and non-profits. A believer in the potential of San Diego’s startup ecosystem, Mindy has made it her mission to tell the story of the ideas, technologies, and businesses growing up here. She will post here occasionally, and you can email her tips here

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