Petition for a more Innovative and Entrepreneurial San Diego 

An Appeal to Mayoral Candidates
By signing this petition, we declare that:
To secure San Diego's future as a global leader in innovation, we challenge the candidates for Mayor of San Diego to follow San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's commitment to global innovation and entrepreneurship and to present a clear plan to stimulate our city's new businesses. We will reserve our vote in the upcoming San Diego Mayoral elections for the candidate whose plan most convincingly addresses the issues laid forth below.
  • The current entrepreneurial climate in our city is disappointing. San Diego's unemployment rate is higher than it has been in over 25 years. At this moment, there are 150,000 people in our city who are out of work. New and small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and it is hence critical that our next mayor implement "smart permitting" policies to launch, sustain, and grow these businesses, and facilitate access to government data, government-funded innovations, and government contracts. 
  • San Diego's innovations do not necessarily translate into job creation. Despite being one of the country's largest patent generators, San Diego provides limited access to intellectual property. Furthermore, while the city is a leading recipient of federal research grants, there is a pronounced lack of early-stage financing as well as loans for new businesses. These factors undermine San Diego startups in their efforts to attract and retain unequaled talent. It is therefore not surprising that many recent graduates, trained in Science at our local universities, will tend to gravitate to finance or consulting jobs elsewhere rather than to join local innovative startups. 
  • Incentive programs designed to help startups afford office space and advance strategically have proven very successful elsewhere. Bloomberg Businessweek recently published a study on the top 10 U.S. cities for startups — San Diego did not even make the list. Our city needs resources like the Boston Business Hub for business services, support in development policies, and reforms that will incentivize local business such as San Francisco's payroll tax exclusion for small businesses. 
  • Based on its recent record of technological innovations, San Diego currently has the potential to position itself at the epicenter of emerging industries such as wireless health and alternative energy. Without the backing of our next mayor, many startups will be forced to move to more supportive regions or exit prematurely, thus curtailing the societal and economic impact they could have had on the San Diego region.
1.     Dr. Philip Low, PhD (UCSD '07)
Chairman & CEO, NeuroVigil, Inc.
DFJ Venture Challenge Winner
UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge Winner
MIT TR-35 Top Young Innovator Award Winner
CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Award Winner
Jacobs-Rady Pioneer for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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