San Diego Startup Week to Kick Off in Carlsbad

September 29, 2022

San Diego Startup Week is back in full swing this fall, following two years of virtual content and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The region’s premier annual conference celebrating and convening the San Diego startup community is scheduled Oct. 25–28, with kick-off events taking place in Carlsbad. Hundreds of entrepreneurs, community leaders, designers, developers, investors, and students are expected to connect, educate, and inspire the San Diego ecosystem during the four-day conference.

San Diego Startup Week attendees network during an event in 2021. Credit: ​​Startup San Diego

The City of Carlsbad has been a longtime supporter of Startup San Diego and San Diego Startup Week and is excited to host the opening day of this year’s event.

When San Diego Startup Week first launched, the weeklong conference centered in downtown San Diego. The popular event has expanded over the years to welcome people from across the region and showcase different areas of the county, including Carlsbad.

Carlsbad is an ideal location for the event because it is a hub for innovation, said Neal Bloom, chair emeritus and longtime volunteer of Startup San Diego.

In fact, 2021 was a record-breaking year for funding for Carlsbad companies in industries ranging from banking and biotechnology to software and security. In total, 25 funded Carlsbad companies raised more than $1 billion in funding, from seed funding to post-IPO equity.

“For a while, the center of the startup community was focused on downtown, but there have been so many tech companies and such a thriving tech industry in Carlsbad that it’s become a real hub for innovation in San Diego and an anchor for the North County startup community,” said Ryan Kuder, board chair of Startup San Diego, a nonprofit that hosts San Diego Startup Week and works to build the entrepreneurial community of San Diego.

San Diego Startup Week kicks off this year in Carlsbad, with an opening party, panels and workshops slated at various businesses on State Street in Carlsbad Village. “We’re excited for our partnership with the City of Carlsbad,” Kuder said.

“By helping Startup San Diego bring Startup Week to Carlsbad, Carlsbad is providing a great opportunity for local businesses and startup founders to connect with the bigger startup community across San Diego,” he added. “We also know that when founders come up this way and see what an amazing place Carlsbad is to build a business, that’s going to be a big win for the City as well.”

Beyond the happenings in Carlsbad, Startup Week is an event  that connects and inspires our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“One of the things that makes San Diego special is how well our community works together and leans in to support one another,” said Kuder.

“Startup Week is a really special time when we get to see old friends and colleagues, learn from one another, and reestablish relationships that may have been impacted by COVID,” Kuder said. “When this community gets together, you can really feel the energy and the innovation that San Diego’s startup founders bring to everything they do.”

San Diego Startup Week started in 2013 with 10 events and 200 attendees. Over nearly a decade, the conference has expanded to dozens of events and attracted roughly 3,500 attendees in 2019.  

It started small and has grown over the years to a truly regional event celebrating San Diego startups and the San Diego entrepreneurial community,” Kuder said.

San Diego Startup Week went entirely online in 2020 amid the pandemic. Organizers planned a hybrid program last year with virtual content and two in-person social events.

San Diego Startup Week organizers planned a hybrid program in 2021. Credit: ​​Startup San Diego

This is the first year San Diego Startup Week will be fully in person since 2019.

“It’s a breath of fresh air,” said Bloom. “Everyone is just so thrilled to be back.”

Daily workshops and panels from across eight tracks will be available for everyone in the startup community from novice to professional. The functions-based tracks include Founder, People, Data, Customer, Marketing, Sales, Design and Developer.

There will be networking and mentorship opportunities, a pitch competition and tournament, startup fairs and expos, and an awards ceremony that will highlight startup founders, companies, and community leaders.

“When you are heads down working on a business, it’s hard to think you’re a part of something bigger, but you are,” Bloom said.

“When you feel connected to your peer who is also building a company, there’s just an immense source of pride, joy, and fuel behind your fire of ‘This is why I do it,’” he added. “We’re all trying to build a better future for ourselves.”

San Diego Startup Week kicks off in Carlsbad this year. Credit: ​​Startup San Diego

 Register for San Diego Startup Week. Four-day passes, day passes and VIP tickets are available.