When you think of startup destinations, you probably think of places like San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and Austin. While these areas regularly rank for some of the best U.S. destinations for startups and entrepreneurs, there’s one city that rarely makes the list, but is actually bustling with ideas: San Diego.
Some impressive startups and entrepreneurs have already taken note. Qualcomm, located in San Diego, is pioneering the 5G landscape, while Illumina is looking to sequence a person’s genome for under $100, and Brain Corp is paving the way for building robots.
While startups like these have made their home in San Diego, it’s still somewhat of a little-known secret when it comes to startup destinations. Sawyer Winston, a serial entrepreneur who is well-versed in the San Diego landscape, knows just how much untapped potential is in the region.
We caught up with Winston to talk about his own background, and why San Diego should be taken seriously as a startup destination.
Hey Sawyer, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My background is fairly diverse, and I would also say unusual. I’ve been curious about business and interested in it from a really young age, I would say about 10-years-old.
I was always taking on big projects and jobs that maybe would surprise people, and I definitely felt like myself and my peers were pretty off the beaten path, in a good way.
Tell us about some of that business experience.
When I was in college I owned a company that grew to be pretty massive, and it supplied internet services. At our peak we had about 50 employees, an international team, and we were really doing a lot.
While I’ve owned or managed a few different companies in my life, I would say that was the biggest undertaking, and we were really doing a lot. It took a lot of discipline. I will be talking more about my business and personal endeavors on my upcoming blog so be sure to stay tuned.
What draws you to entrepreneurship and business ownership?
I’m really drawn to the idea of putting together a team, and building something that is bigger than any of the individual units that go into it. And when I’m owning or managing a business, I always strive to do real good for the employees, and the people who are around us.
But in general, I really like solving problems, and I want to see all of the pieces working together.
What are some things people may not know about you?
I love to travel, and I lived in Puerto Rico at one point. I would definitely say I’m pretty spontaneous, and really active as well. I think a lot of that translates into the way I am in my businesses, because I’m always striving for improvements, and love chasing down big ideas.
These are the 19 San Diego startups to know about right now.https://t.co/Khqi1d3Lpu
— Sawyer Winston (@Sawyer__Winston) November 4, 2020
What is your experience in San Diego?
I’m from the San Diego area, and throughout my life I was always involved in things in the community. Even from my teenage years, I was involved in the San Diego landscape.
As an entrepreneur, I really see that San Diego has a ton of tech-driven innovation, and a lot of really big ideas bubbling under the surface.