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Forget San Francisco, San Diego is the Place for British Businesses to Invest


Ebsta News
Last night I attended an event hosted by the San Diego Regional EDC at JPMorgan Chase, in London, to celebrate the city of San Diego being featured in National Geographic’s “Smart Cities” series (alongside London). Importantly, San Diego is the only city in North America to be profiled in the documentary. Ebsta has long been friends with the EDC, having setup our North American HQ in San Diego, so it was a pleasure to meet a large delegation of business leaders from the sunny state whilst they visited London. Here’s what I learnt about San Diego and why it’s the place to for British businesses to invest:

Thriving Tech Community

The first thing you need to understand about San Diego is that it’s a place that people don’t leave. A breathtaking coast and enviable climate may just have something to do with that. Moreover, San Diego is a thriving business hub with innovation at its core. Cubic Corp. the creators of Oyster and Semantic Research, Inc are both head quartered in San Diego whilst BAE Systems runs a major shipyard there.

Untapped Talent

San Diego’s University of California, located just a stones throw away from Ebsta’s North American HQ in La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya), is one of the world’s leading public research universities. I met up with Albert Pisano, Dean of Jacobs School of Enginerring, UCSD, who told me about his University’s strong Business Outreach Program that focuses on matching hundreds of talented individuals each year to appropriate local businesses. I was impressed by the fact that some 60% of placements result in permanent engagements. Ebsta will certainly be making the most of that service in the future.

World-Class Transport Links

When talking with Hampton Brown, Director, Air Service Development at San Diego Airport (known by close friends as the ‘Rainman’ of San Diego Airspace) he pointed out that we now have non-stop flights from London to San Diego through British Airways (in less than 11 hours). What also impressed me is that it’s possible to commute to San Francisco (flying of course) from San Diego in just 1 hour and 25 minutes. In his own words, “9am San Francisco meetings really aren’t a problem.”

Close Ties with London

Lauree Sahba, COO of the EDC spoke of investments from London accounting for almost 6,000 jobs in San Diego. According to the EDC, collectively, the United Kingdom makes up 25 percent of foreign investment in San Diego. Laurie also told me of how San Diego and London are similar in terms of demographics and culture.

Quality of Life

Robert Brownlie, Partner at DLA Piper spoke to me about the quality of education for younger children, fishing trips with his sons and San Diego’s famous taco trade. He confirmed that San Diego is a much more affordable place to live than San Francisco, and the quality of life is unparalleled.

No Bugs

Being British I think hot weather… mosquito bites. On good authority I’m told that the climate in San Diego is too dry for the pests to live. So there it is. San Diego is thriving community, just waiting for British businesses to visit and stay forever. Thanks again to San Diego EDC and JPMorgan Chase for a wonderful evening, I hope to visit soon. About the San Diego EDC San Diego Regional EDC is a nonprofit corporation funded by more than 150 companies and public partners committed to enhancing regional prosperity. The strength of our private sector support enables us to provide our services free of charge. Our network of partners makes us most effective as we work to spur job growth across critical sectors within our economy. We serve regionally by supporting local companies, implementing programs to help retain businesses, and advocating for policies that enhance the region’s economic competitiveness. We lead efforts to bring new investment and new companies to the region. We collaborate with industry associations and partners to approach cohesively our regional issues. We market the region to highlight the region’s incredible talent and quality of life keeping them here.

Ricky Wheeler

Ricky Wheeler is CMO at Ebsta, responsible for all aspects of Brand, Product and Communications.

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