Category: Portfolio

ENTERPRISE CLIP: Home-sewn clothes are making a comeback. But is it too late for dying fabric stores?

Lede: Fabric stores that sell threads, buttons and materials for making clothes are dwindling in San Diego, with owners shuttering their shops citing waning interest from customers.

The disappearance of fabric stores is probably not a shock to outsiders — in the age of fast fashion, who still makes their own clothes?But sewing garments at home is — surprisingly — not dead.

While fabric stores of yesteryear are falling off the map, a new industry is rising up to meet the modern demands of young “sewists” — a relatively new term that describes anyone who sews. And these businesses look quite different than your grandma’s fabric shop.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.

RETAIL CLIP: Blenders blows up: How this 31-year-old Pacific Beach surfer makes millions selling sunglasses

Lede: Chase Fisher looks like your typical Pacific Beach bro. The 31-year-old surfer is tanned and freckled, his hair gelled back to give that permanent ocean-wet vibe. With bright-colored shades slung around his neck, he looks more like a DJ than a retail entrepreneur.

But Fisher is the sole owner of Blenders, a rapidly growing sunglass company whose brand has recently exploded online. The retailer plays up its roots in San Diego, pulling inspiration from the local lifestyle to influence its design and branding. People around the world are buying sunglasses he’s named after local neighborhoods. The North Park Collection — a series of glasses that sports a classic, rounded rim — is a customer favorite.

Although Blenders has been around since 2011, the company’s popularity has recently hit a fever pitch. In 2016, the company brought in $1.3 million in sales. This year, Fisher expects the company to hit $45 million.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.

TECH CLIP: Why San Diego missed the first wave of tech ‘unicorns,’ and what’s changing now

Lede: San Diego is a biotech town, a military town, and a tourism town. It’s not a software town, is it?

After years of stagnation, San Diego is seeing a barrage of startup activity in the tech scene. In recent months, two tech startups earned billion-dollar valuations, making them the first software “unicorns” spotted locally in decades…

The bubbling activity is bewildering to some in the business community, who long ago acclimated to the idea that San Diego is a place where science rules supreme, while software tends to flounder. And it’s true the biotech industry still rakes in the lion’s share of venture money. But San Diego’s tech scene is not what it used to be, and new players are coalescing into a hub with considerable speed.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.

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BIOTECH CLIP: New Drug, New Attitude, New Day at Pharma Co.

Lede: Its diet pill was a commercial flop that almost sent Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. to the grave. But now, following a major makeover, the company’s new experimental medicines could bring renewed life to the San Diego biotech.

One medicine in particular has biotech investors buzzing, a drug that proved more effective in mid-stage human trials than anyone was expecting (more on that later). Over the past three months, the company’s stock price, once in the gutter, has skyrocketed 80 percent. Arena is back from the dead.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL.

 

BIOTECH and FINANCE CLIP: Biotech Turns to China

Lede: “Local biotechs are increasingly teaming up with deep pockets in China, tapping flush investor groups that only recently became safe bets for companies guarding trade secrets.

In the past 18 months, deal after deal has been announced with involvement from Chinese investors — a new trend for local life science companies that historically received very little cash from that part of the globe.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL.

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TECH CLIP: Can S.D. Prosper Without a Unicorn?

Lede: “People in the local startup community like to talk about a few big topics on a regular basis: raising money, finding talent, and San Diego’s inhospitable habitat for breeding unicorns.

The unicorn topic in particular repeatedly surfaces in interviews and startup events. When asked the question, “What does San Diego’s startup economy need to thrive?” The collective response from tech founders is deafening: San Diego needs a unicorn.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL.

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FINANCE CLIP: Biotech Stock Watch

I’ve become the newsroom’s resident expert on financial statements and stock performance, as nearly all of San Diego’s public companies are biotechs. My quarterly report, “Bio Stocks,” launched this year, summing up the stock performance of local companies and providing analysis of that quarter’s “winners and losers.”

This localized insight into public companies helps our readers keep track of who’s on top, who’s struggling, and who might be an unknown but worthy investment.

Here’s an example this report:bio-stocks

MEDTECH CLIP: Oncology Software

Software and science often overlap in San Diego. Here’s a profile piece about a software startup working on a technology that could diagnose breast cancer early.

Lede: “CureMetrix Inc. is not your typical software startup. Walking into the company’s headquarters, you can’t help but notice the lack of Ping-Pong tables and snack bars. No standing desks or sweeping downtown views, either. Walls are sparse. Keyboards are tapping. One employee sips tea as a complete hush envelops the space.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL.

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BREAKING NEWS CLIP: WeWork is Coming to San Diego

It can be tough to get the scoop at a weekly publication more focused on analysis than breaking news. However, by getting out of the office and plugged in to the right networks, I’m able to break stories before other news outlets.

Here’s an example of when I followed a lead to discover the world’s biggest coworking company was opening a six-floor facility in Downtown San Diego (news that stirred lots of excitement in the local startup community).

Lede: “Two new coworking spaces are opening in downtown San Diego, both with massive square footage and a more polished presence that undoubtedly will fuel the city’s emerging startup economy.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL.

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BREAKING NEWS and MEDTECH CLIP: Rise and Shine

I broke the story on how one of San Diego’s largest public companies, medical device maker ResMed Inc., was transforming into a software-focused company (hiring 200 additional software developers).

Lede: “ResMed Inc. is shoring up its position in the “internet of medical things,” funneling massive resources into its digital health portfolio and watching its stock climb as a result.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL.

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