Miles of white-sand beaches, perfect weather, and a red-hot tech scene — welcome to the modern San Diego. With its charming neighborhoods and diverse community, San Diego has been revered as “America’s Finest City.” But in recent years, it’s also quickly gained a reputation as a hotspot for startups and tech jobs, which accounts for almost 9% of total employment. A high concentration of millennials in the area — a characteristic of vibrant tech ecosystems — is only one force bringing San Diego into the future of work. A recent report found that millennials account for 24% of the region’s population and more than half of the population is younger than 39 years old.
Successful tech companies such as Qualcomm, LunaDNA, and Aira share a common mission — to make the world a better place through innovation and community. With startup gateways such as Fresh Brewed Tech, Startup San Diego, and General Assembly, it is no doubt you’ll find support and opportunities to collaborate in San Diego.
Companies and Jobs
- Top industries: defense/military, tourism, international trade, and research/manufacturing.
- Major employers: Naval Base San Diego, University of California San Diego (UCSD), San Diego County, Sharp HealthCare, Cubic Corporation, and Pulse Electronics.
- San Diego ranks ninth in the nation for tech jobs.
The San Diego Tech Community
- The emergence of organizations supporting entrepreneurs is another reason why the city is on track to becoming the next tech hub:
- Startup San Diego is a nonprofit organization that upskills, guides, and connects the local community with the right resources to create an equitable startup ecosystem and community.
- Connect San Diego provides entrepreneurs access to investors, mentors, and education.
- LatinaGeeks empowers and inspires Latinas by sharing technical knowledge, business skills, and entrepreneurship resources.
- San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that works to grow San Diego’s economy.
- We Tha Plug is a global community of Pan-African, Latinx, and other underrepresented founders, venture capitalists, and angel investors.
- San Diego Tech Hub (SDTH) offers a vast support network for individuals in tech.
- 1 Million Cups San Diego is a free program that empowers entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to start and grow their businesses.
- San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by local entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.
- Athena is a premier women’s advocacy organization that fast tracks women in STEM through leadership development.
- Hera Hub is a women-focused coworking space and business accelerator.
- The San Diego tech community also hosts dynamic networking events — the largest being March Mingle — to celebrate the latest technologies and startups of the area. Startup San Diego also organizes annual events, such as San Diego Startup Week Month and Convergence, packed with panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and pitch competitions.
Stay in the Know
If you’re new to the community, this guide by the San Diego startup community will come in handy when navigating the local tech scene. We’ve also listed additional resources to help you keep up with the latest San Diego tech news and events:
- For entrepreneurs and small business owners, join some (or all!) of these local groups to meet like-minded individuals and grow your network.
- Subscribe to Fresh Brewed Tech to stay up to date on San Diego’s tech scene.
- Get inspired and listen to Tacos and Tech podcast as they highlight founders, technologies, and the ecosystem of San Diego.
- Check out this San Diego Startup Ecosystem Canvas that provides resources for every stage of building a company.
- Explore open roles in the area with this interactive company map.