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Zesty.io CEO Randy Apuzzo

May 30, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 1678 Blog, Startup Buzz, Startups

Startup Buzz: Local Entrepreneurs Help Build Startup Zesty.io

Plus: Bill Maris’s venture fund raises $150 million

Follow the Money

Zesty.io brings in $1.3 million in seed funding to build out the technology and marketing of their web content management system, currently offered as a subscription-based software as a service. Given the numerous multi million-dollar funding rounds we report on, this might not seem like much. But, no matter the size it tells a more interesting story about the kind of support available in our local startup ecosystem.

An active proponent of the San Diego startup community, the company’s CEO Randy Apuzzo has relied on local entrepreneurs such as GoFundMe co-founder Andy Ballester, Psyonix Studios CEO and developer of Rocket League Dave Hagewood, and UCSD alumnus and Facebook veteran Taner Halicioglu for advice and this seed funding.

“After experiencing the power of Zesty.io first-hand, I realized this wasn’t your traditional legacy CMS,” said Andy Ballester, founder of GoFundMe. “This team puts the customer first and they are approaching the CMS market with an exciting product; it’s definitely going to streamline the industry and have their competitors chasing their technology.”

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Some answers are finally in for questions about former Google Ventures CEO Bill Maris’s San Diego-based venture fund. After months of guessing about the amount and rumors that it would focus on healthcare, the fund, Section 32, has closed at $150 million, with the founder making clear that while healthcare and biotech may get some attention, they will not be a focus of the investments from the fund.

 

San Diego Technology Strikes Oil

San Diego’s Ground Metrics raised $2.73 million in 2014 with its electromagnetic sensor technology that was originally aimed at “detecting improvised explosive devices for the military.” Now it is utilized by oil companies to identify “gas and mineral deposits below the earth.” Ground Metrics is one of a few companies that has managed to succeed in a more traditional and less entrepreneurial industry.

 

BizX to Launch in San Diego

BizX is a community of businesses who use their services or offerings in a trade economy with each other to get what they need. First started in Seattle in 2002, the company has added the Bay Area and Dubai in recent years. With 5,000 members in the community, it boasts members such as the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland A’s, Marriott, Dell, and iHeart Media. The company has facilitated more than $700 million in member-to-member transactions since 2002.

BizX has announced its expansion to San Diego and a launch event scheduled for June 1. “In our first year in the market, we are excited to commit $9M BizX dollars to enable the local business communities of San Diego,” said BizX chief growth officer, Daniel Kosh. “This will create new revenue, better cash flow, and increased prosperity for business owners in the region.”

 

Real World for Entrepreneurs

If you are a founder or entrepreneur looking for a way to interact and learn from others like you, there are meet ups, mentor programs, and happy hours. But what if you want to fully immerse yourself in a 24-7 learning situation? Apparently, you move into an entrepreneur house, a place where entrepreneurs live alongside each other to learn from each other. It’s like MTV’s Real World, except there are no cameras and the people are way smarter. Right here in San Diego is the Epic Entrepreneur House and one of its residents, Eric Yang, has put together his advice for how to start your own.

 

San Diego Makes The League’s Expansion List

The League, an exclusive dating app that requires members to be approved before becoming active on the app, will be expanding from its seven current cities to ten new cities over the summer. San Diego and nine others are on the list for expansion by August. Making the list as the 15th best city for “aspiring power couples,” San Diego seems to have fared well under one of the app’s top criteria for expansion — the number of college educated singles in the city.

 

Cool Companies

San Diego Venture Group has announced its selections for 2017’s Cool Companies. The list of 26 companies were selected after an application process earlier this year. You will see the familiar names of some companies we have highlighted here, such as Approved, Nanome, and Industry — and some new companies we can’t wait to learn more about.

 

Be There or Be…

 

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