The hottest industries in San Diego for start-ups and small businesses

The idea of moving to San Diego, CA might be appealing to you, but if you’re running a business you know it’s not all about beautiful beaches and SoCal great weather. It certainly helps that San Diego was nicknamed America’s Finest City, but you’d definitely want to consider the business aspect of it all. So what are the hottest industries in San Diego when it comes to start-ups and small businesses?

San Diego skyline.

The hottest industries in San Diego make it one of the most exciting cities in the US.

Historically, one of the biggest industries in the city was tuna fishing and canning. Even though some big seafood companies still have their headquarters in San Diego, those days are long gone. Some other industries took over in the meantime. Due to that, this city one of the most exciting places in the US at the moment.

Innovation and Technology

San Diego is one of the leading US centers for high technology and biotechnology today. Life science, software industries, clean tech and telecommunications are all flourishing in America’s Finest City. They also fall into the category of the San Diego major industries.

Girl typing on a laptop. - One of the hottest industries in San Diego is tech industry.

The San Diego start-up scene is thriving!

Life Science

Innovative biotech companies, exceptional healthcare facilities and great universities have provided a highly educated talent pool in the industry. They also provide great options for those looking for collaborations. It’s no wonder that San Diego has long been one of the top-rated US cities when it comes to biotech jobs, lab space and patents in the field. So if your business is about pharmaceutical research, San Diego is a great place to be, as numerous contract research organizations have already learned. There are more than a hundred of those in the city, as well as many superb research facilities. It goes the same for start-ups dealing with medical devices and diagnostics as they also belong to one of the hottest industries in San Diego.

Wireless Technology

San Diego is home to headquarters of several major companies in the field, such as Qualcomm, Nokia, LG Electronics, Novatel Wireless and more. There are many innovative, knowledge-based start-ups in the city, which is sometimes referred to as Silicon Beach. The nickname has also been associated with the Westside portion of the LA metropolitan area, but San Diego residents claim it was first used to refer to their city. It happened two decades ago, which was long before Google opened its office in Venice and the west part of LA got its nickname. Being a hub of innovation and creativity for so long, this place with a thriving start-up scene and hottest industries is quite likely to become the next Silicon Valley.

Clean Tech

One of the many outcomes of the science and tech interweaving is clean tech. Companies in this field are working on sustainable innovations with a goal to preserve energy and water resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs at the same time. The solar market is particularly strong and there’s a growing interest in smart cities, also belonging to the San Diego major industries.

Tourism and Conventions

America’s Finest City is among the top 10 visitor and meeting destinations in the country. That places tourism and conventions among the hottest industries in San Diego. It’s no surprise when you think of the San Diego weather, gorgeous beaches and great tourist attractions. The most popular among them are Balboa Park, Sea World San Diego, Belmont Amusement Park, San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Then there’s much of the historic Spanish and Mexican heritage. Tourists will find it in the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

Flamingo in San Diego.

There are many tourist attractions in the city of San Diego.

Several annual events that take place in San Diego attract massive crowds. Local craft brewing industry does the same with its beer tours and the San Diego Beer Week held every November. Due to that, San Diego features another nickname, America’s Craft Beer Capital. The art and culinary scenes are growing and the cruise ship industry has long been one of the hottest industries in San Diego. Even though it’s not as big as it used to be, it’s still contributing greatly to the local economy.

The San Diego Convention Center

San Diego welcomes more than 35 million people each year. Some of them are coming for leisure activities, while others visit as convention delegates. The San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) hosts the biggest events in town and features some great forecasts for 2018:

  • $1.2B of Regional Impact
  • 108 events to take place throughout the year
  • more than 800 000 visitors to attend
  • expected to bring in $27.5M to the City of San Diego through the Hotel & Sales Tax Revenue

The first on the list of the Top 5 Economic Generators from the SDCC is San Diego Comic-Con International. It’s the largest event at the venue and the top economic generator, followed by four medical entities. This only shows once again that life science is one of the major industries in San Diego.

With such a strong Tourism and Convention Industry, America’s Finest City is a great place for start-ups and small business operating in this particular field.

Local Businesses

If you’ve been looking for a perfect place to start your restaurant or retailers business, you should consider San Diego. It goes the same for healthcare facilities and business service providers offering their services to the tech sector companies. The local economy makes up 50 percent of the regional economy, which comes as no surprise with all the major developments in the city. As expected, strong tech and tourism scene have had a great impact on local businesses.

The San Diego Entrepreneur Day celebrates entrepreneurial spirit in the city. Various events take place for the occasion, with students showcasing their companies among the rest. Some of them offer wireless services, while others have opted for very traditional products. They offer everything from streetwear to backpacks, to candles, to sunscreen. Whatever the product is, it stands a chance to make it at the San Diego market.

There are several non-profits in the city with a mission to encourage and help those looking to become entrepreneurs. In such a business environment, starting your own business – or moving the one you already have – should not be as hard as you might have thought previously. Do yourself a favor and do your research on the hottest industries in San Diego.

June 22, 2018

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