McDoulett: “The Vine is much more than office space; it’s about community. We are proud to watch our graduates grow and flourish, and we love to be a part of their business cycle.”
Article originally published on GlobeSt.com.
SAN DIEGO—The region’s attractiveness as a vibrant place to live and do business is one of the main reasons why incubator spaces like the Vine SD have been so successful and in demand, community manager for Irvine Co. Office Properties Amanda McDoulett tells GlobeSt.com. Since its launch in 2011, the Vine SD has helped more than 140 new San Diego companies, created 1,000 local jobs and generated more than $1 billion in funding.
The Vine SD provides free or affordable office space, access to potential funding, advice in a collaborative work environment and a seamless path for expansion for hundreds of San Diego innovators. Some of the start-ups that have blossomed through the space included Vault Exposure Tracker, a cloud-based software company that tracks lung damage and asbestos exposure for firefighters, and Rock My World, an app developer that measures exercise performance against music choices to deliver playlists that enhance workouts.
We spoke with McDoulett about the Vine SD’s success and what’s driving this type of space in San Diego.
GlobeSt.com: What has made The Vine SD so successful as an incubator space?
McDoulett: There are many reasons, including San Diego’s attractiveness as a vibrant place to live and do business. San Diego has emerged a top alternative to Silicon Valley because of the relative affordability of housing and office space, the highly educated workforce, the close proximity to world-class universities and the growing ecosystem of innovative tech companies.
More specifically, the Vine SD is located in some of the region’s finest class-A office space in Downtown and offers seed-stage entrepreneurs an ideal environment to grow their businesses: mentorship, access to potential funding and free office space within our workplace communities. As companies grow, they then can lease affordable co-working space from us while maintaining a strong connection to the larger ecosystem through collaboration and events. As companies add more employees, they can next move to turnkey spaces—ranging from a few hundred square feet to a few thousand square feet—in our buildings. And, of course, our portfolio can accommodate companies as they continue to flourish and expand.
GlobeSt.com: What is driving this type of space in San Diego especially?
McDoulett: It’s really an idea that started when EvoNexus asked Irvine Co. to get more involved in San Diego’s growing tech scene by assisting start-ups. Today, more than 25% of the startups in Downtown San Diego are housed at The Vine SD. Our partnership offers young companies the ultimate advantage—access to mentors, potential funding and free world-class office space.
It’s been inspiring to witness and participate in the growth of some incredible innovators. In total, we’ve incubated 140 companies that have created 1,000 jobs and raised more than $1 billion in funding. These are companies that are creating life-changing software, devices and other advances that are improving San Diego and the world.
GlobeSt.com: What other markets are ideal for this type of space?
McDoulett: We have imported the model north to Orange County—at University Research Park next to UC Irvine—and all signs point to a similar success story. Orange County also offers outstanding housing that is affordable compared to Silicon Valley, incredible lifestyle opportunities, access to industry-leading talent, proximity to top universities and a dynamic ecosystem of tech companies, including household names like Blizzard Entertainment, Google and Toshiba America.
GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know about the Vine SD?
McDoulett: The Vine is much more than office space; it’s about community. We are proud to watch our graduates grow and flourish, and we love to be a part of their business cycle. Due to our flexible lease terms, this has translated into more than 115,000 square feet leased by graduates in Irvine Co. offices in San Diego. The types of companies growing here include GoShare, which connects truck or van drivers with people who need help moving; Rock my World’s RockMyRun, an app that measures exercise performance against music choices and delivers playlists that enhance workouts; Portfolium, which is a collaborative online network for college students; and so many more.
Interested in Co-Working space at The Vine? Email us to learn more.
Interested in applying to EvoNexus Click here to apply.