SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2017) — A firefighter who developed cloud-based software that tracks lung damage and asbestos exposure in his profession. An app developer who measures exercise performance against music choices and delivers playlists that enhance workouts. A tool that turns every classroom into a “smart classroom” through students’ own phones and devices.
These entrepreneurs are among hundreds of San Diego innovators who have benefited from The Vine SD, a start-up community that provides free or affordable office space, access to potential funding and advice in a collaborative work environment. The Vine SD, in its sixth year, has helped more than 140 new companies, such as TapHunter, Rock My World and GoShare, create 1,000 new jobs, generate more than $1 billion in angel, venture-capital and acquisition funding and elevate the region’s reputation for tech innovation.
“It’s inspiring to see so many local innovators share their life-enhancing software, technologies and services to our community and the world,” said Doug Holte, president, Irvine Company Office Properties. “We’re proud to play a role in fostering this unique innovator ecosystem, which is an investment in the long-term success of the San Diego business community.”
Located at 101 W. Broadway, The Vine SD experience starts with the tech incubator EvoNexus, where seed-stage entrepreneurs enjoy mentorship, access to potential funding and free Irvine Company office space in University Towne Centre and downtown San Diego. As companies grow they can lease affordable co-working space provided by Irvine Company (Co-working @ The Vine) while maintaining a strong connection to the larger ecosystem through collaboration and events. As their headcount grows, customized move-in-ready office suites ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand square feet are available at turn-key spaces in Irvine Company buildings.
Eventually, many Vine SD start-ups grow large enough to need sizable blocks of office space. Graduates of EvoNexus and Co-Working at The Vine have leased more than 115,000 square feet in Irvine Company offices in San Diego, company officials said.
“The Class A space and flexible leasing offered by The Vine combined with EvoNexus’ unique, pro-bono incubator program provides mentorship, access to capital and an accelerated time to market,” says Rory Moore, CEO and Co-Founder of EvoNexus. “Irvine Company has been a pioneer in the San Diego innovation economy by offering space solutions for small companies whose needs are often unpredictable.”
Here are examples of start-ups who have blossomed through The Vine SD:
TapHunter is an industry tool for bar and restaurant owners, and a consumer-facing mobile app that connects craft beer, spirit, wine and cocktail fans with the drinks and establishments they are looking for. The beverage operations software company started in EvoNexus in 2011 and now has more than 30 employees, $1.2 million in funding, and new offices at Irvine Company’s Symphony Towers.
CourseKey is a leader in higher education technology and classroom experience enhancement, serving teachers and students from colleges and university all across the county. CourseKey’s technology leverages the smart devices students bring to class, such as phones, tablets and laptops, to create a smart classroom where professors can engage, interact and drive participation. The tool automates attendance, increases interaction with real-time learning tools and ensures everyone is within the classroom through patent-pending geo-fence technology. CourseKey started in EvoNexus in November 2015 and has since received nearly $1.5 million in funding, grown to 25 employees and moved into new offices at Irvine Company’s Wells Fargo Plaza.
Rock My World
Digital health and fitness company Rock My World started at EvoNexus and now calls the co-working space at The Vine home. The company helps thousands of people across the globe reach their goals through the development of motivational health and fitness applications. It has received more than $2 million in funding to support its first mobile app, RockMyRun, which adapts music curated by professional DJs to sync with the movement of your body in real time.
GoShare promotes collaborative consumption by connecting drivers who have a truck or van with people and businesses that need help moving, hauling or delivering large items. The company’s service offerings include furniture delivery, junk removal, small office and apartment moves and donation pick ups for charity. Now operating in San Diego, Los Angeles and New Jersey, users can download the GoShare mobile app to connect with drivers in their area. The startup is currently incubating at EvoNexus and has received more than $1 million in funding.
Vault Exposure Tracker
The company’s cloud-based software enables firefighters to document exposure to harmful fumes and asbestos from any computer, tablet or smartphone. The software was developed by a firefighter who developed lung damage. A 2015 study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that firefighters have up to 2.3 times the rate of cancer compared to the average U.S. worker. Vault started in the co-working space at The Vine SD in 2013 and has received more than $1.3 million in funding. Last year, the software company partnered with the largest firefighter union in the world to donate its data to cancer doctors and researchers. “The Vine SD gave us immediate access to resources, collaboration and inspiration to kick-start our business,” said Christopher Memmott, a former firefighter and Founder & CEO, VaultRMS, Inc. “I know this success would not have been possible without the experience and expertise we have gained at the co-working space at The Vine SD.”
AstroPrint’s free cloud platform allows users to store, manage and print 3D files from any web-enabled device—and is compatible with most consumer 3D printers. The company started in EvoNexus in 2013 and has since received more than $975,000 in funding, expanded to The Vine SD’s co-working space and its customers have printed more than 200,000 3D prints using their cloud based platform.
Stella is a wearable device that utilizes UV-sensing technology to protect users from overexposure to UV radiation. Through personalized sun protection plans, Stella monitors sun exposure based on skin type and form of SPF protection, as well as activity levels, sleeping patterns, calories burned and daily vitamin D intake from the sun to address one of the most overlooked health issues in America: skin cancer. Stella’s monitoring technology notifies users when they are nearing harmful levels of exposure. Stella Wearables has recently graduated from EvoNexus, with plans to transition into The Vine SD’s co-working space this year.
The multifamily real estate company is an innovator in developing spaces that allow people to live affordably in high-priced neighborhoods. Headquartered in the co-working space at The Vine SD, Trestle creates smart and affordable micro flats with robust amenities in walkable urban locations. In 2016, Trestle opened The Nook, a 71-unit co-living apartment building in the heart of Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood with apartments ranging from 180 square feet to 255 square feet. Similar developments are in the proposal stage in San Diego and Seattle.
The company is dedicated to making data usage, storage and management easy for companies of all sizes. In spring 2016, Elevada debuted Curator, its web-based Extract Transform and Load (ETL) platform with unique capabilities for precise data mapping and building dynamic data processing pipelines. The interface processes raw source data files into finished, well-formed datasets to make everyday data tasks easy. Elevada is currently headquartered at The Vine SD’s co-working space.
Upcycle and Company
Currently headquartered in the co-working space at The Vine SD, Upcycle and Company uses spent beer grains, algae, and manure to produce a natural-organic fertilizer called Native Soil. The company is committed to rebuilding soil and helping stabilize the costs of growing nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Its no-pollution process protects the environment and sources all nutrients naturally and regionally.
About Irvine Company Office Properties
Irvine Company has evolved the traditional office to something much more: a vibrant workplace community. A place where collaboration is encouraged and creativity is enabled to elevate business success. The Company owns and manages 500 premier coastal California workplace communities in Orange County, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Diego. Its timeless design and quality craftsmanship is consistent with its long-term view and pride of ownership that is part of the Irvine Company promise to provide our customers with an exceptional today and even better tomorrow.