Start-Up Success in Cali Not Limited to Silicon Valley


When most people think of start-up success and the associated culture, their minds take them to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Metro. The Rady School of Management, located 7 hours down I-5 in San Diego, is trying to change that.The Rady School recently issued a press release stating that 115 operating companies have been founded by Rady students or alumni since the first MBA class graduated from the school in 2006. Of those 115 companies, 70 percent have kept their business in the San Diego Metro.

These start-ups have entered a wide array of industry with a significant amount in biotech and consumer products, as well as a number of technology, medical device, health, consumer service, clean tech and software companies.

In a press release, Robert S. Sullivan, dean of the Rady School, said:

“The Rady School MBA program is fulfilling the vision that many of our local leaders held nearly 15 years ago, as evidenced by the founding of 115 operational companies by our students and alumni. It is remarkable to see the school, its students and graduates become an engine for growth in San Diego and beyond.”

Much of this success comes thanks to the StartR Accelerator, which the Rady School launched in 2013. The Accelerator assists students and alumni in the development, funding and launch of their start-ups. Teams accepted into the program are given access to workshops, mentoring advice and other resources for early-stage companies. To date, StartR has graduated 27 companies into the innovation economy.

Not only are businesses being incubated and created at Rady, they are also succeeding.  A recent survey revealed that while start-ups founded by students and alumni are small, they are growing. According to the survey, of those who secured angel or venture capital funding, the average money raised by their companies is over $2.3 million, with 83 percent of those companies under $1 million in revenue. In addition, 77 percent of the companies employ up to 10 employees, 57 percent rent or own office space and 70 percent of the companies expect to grow in the next three years. Take that Silicon Valley!

The survey also sheds light on the power of a Rady MBA. Prior to enrolling in the Rady MBA program, only 5 percent of the students had launched a business. While at the school, 38 percent launched their business and 67 percent launched a startup after graduating from Rady.


About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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