The Daily Transcript pays tribute to San Diego's newest entrepreneurs. Click here to view all the finalists

  • Patenting strategy for early-stage companies

    Long before the drug, diagnostic or product is perfected, the patent application is filed. The application must be forward-thinking, describing not only limited embodiments of an invention, but also the scope of the invention. The application and subject matter it discloses will have a life of 20 or more years. The application will be critically reviewed many times during those years. It will be reviewed and assessed by patent offices in various jurisdictions, it will be reviewed during due diligence for fundraising and assessing the value of a company’s technology, and it will be reviewed by potential competitors, and potential licensees. A patent application, when filed, becomes an asset of the company. Hence, for companies seeking to raise funds and to develop a product or method, a coherent patenting strategy is essential. This includes well-drafted and comprehensive patent applications.

  • Another year in, Shake Smart founders eclipsing goals

    Editor's Note: The Daily Transcript followed up with two entrepreneurs who were named Young Influentials in 2013.

  • Attorney devotes free time to charity work, mentoring students

    Civil litigation and trial attorney Melissa Deleon is active in the community, but the organization closest to her heart is the Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego. Deleon practices personal injury, civil rights and criminal defense law with the firm Gilliland and Burgess. The 29-year-old native San Diegan graduated from San Diego State University, where she studied journalism, and California Western School of Law.

  • Incubate Holdings CEO had entrepreneurial spirit since high school

    Though Danny DeMichele has been starting and growing online businesses for the last 17 years, online marketing was never his boyhood ambition. Why? The Internet didn't exist at the time ... at least not as we know it today. DeMichele, 38, is the CEO of Incubate Holdings Inc., a privately held digital holding company in Carlsbad that invests and manages business-service providers across various industries.

  • TJSL professor advocates for underserved communities

    Luz Herrera was hired by Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2008, in part, because she's great at starting things. She was the first member of her family to go to college (and, subsequently, law school). She started her own law practice.

  • SD attorney helps lead new way of delivering legal services

    You're an attorney who just made partner after 13 years at an AmLaw 200 firm. What's your first move? Uncork a bottle of champagne? Take the kids to Disneyland? For Brian Kintz, it was to resign and head off into the unknown with five colleagues to try to launch a new model of law firm.

  • Sorrento Towers to offer coveted hospitality-style office amenities

    Young Influential Tony Russell of JLL is putting his commercial real estate know-how to work for one of San Diego’s iconic office campuses, Sorrento Towers. Tony and his team were hired by McCarthy Cook and Prudential Real Estate Investors to develop and implement a new plan to reinvigorate the marketing of the 560,000-square-foot, Class A office campus that serves as the “gateway” to San Diego’s technology hub, Sorrento Mesa.

  • JLL vice president making his mark in office brokerage

    Tony Russell, a JLL executive vice president, has led the way during his 13 years as a commercial real estate broker in San Diego County. Russell, who was nominated as a Young Influential by Jay Alexander, a JLL managing director, has handled more than 6 million square feet of (primarily office) lease and sales transactions with a value exceeding $1.2 billion.

  • Doctor’s practice is more than skin-deep

    Melanie Palm, M.D., is a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon. She is also among a growing number of physicians across the country who sought an MBA. Palm, 36, put her joint degrees to work in July 2012 when she started her private practice. Art of Skin MD offers comprehensive dermatology care, including medical and cosmetic procedures. The 2,400-square-foot facility in Solana Beach, designed to be chic yet inviting, includes 12 laser technology devices and four private treatment rooms.

  • Natural problem solver hits it big with new app

    Who doesn’t have that classic story of hitting it big in online poker during college, taking a break from school, moving to Cabo San Lucas and starting a scuba diving business, then returning to finish school, form a consulting company, then organize a music and technology festival, became an initial member in the Qualcomm Labs group and leave that to start a home services app company, all before age 30?

  • Gap Intelligence founder wanted 'unique path' for work

    March has been Gary Peterson's lucky month when it comes to his career. In March of 2003, he founded gap intelligence, a 35-employee company in San Diego that provides timely, accurate business data to information technology companies and consumer electronics and home appliances manufacturers.

  • A one-on-one engagement in sustainability

    Only a few years after earning his bachelor's degree from San Diego State University, Jonathan Zaidman is on the move, promoting sustainability through his nonprofit, The 1:1 Movement. As the two-year-old organization's executive director, Zaidman's goal is to engage sustainable thinking in the portion of the population not already passionate about conservation. He considers himself both an entrepreneur and advocate, and is a self-described champion of San Diego.

  • Subscription pet supply startup is CEO's latest feat

    Sean Conlon and his business partner, Will Ford, were on the hunt for their next entrepreneurial venture when Ford got a timely gift from his wife: a Birchbox package of personal grooming products. If people would subscribe to receive monthly home delivery of specialty items for themselves, would they do the same for their pets?

  • Obstetrician started nonprofit to help parents pay for medical care

    Sean Daneshmand, M.D., is an obstetrician at San Diego Perinatal Center, specializing in high-risk pregnancies. After watching parents with newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit go through serious emotional and financial struggles, he founded the nonprofit Miracle Babies to provide support and financial assistance to these families.

  • Fig Tree Cafe owner plants charitable roots in community

    Johan Engman, owner of Fig Tree Café, likes to give back to the community -- whether it’s holding events in one of his three restaurants, offering free meals to military personnel or just providing delicious food to his customers. Engman opened his first restaurant in 2008 in Pacific Beach. About four years later, he opened a Hillcrest location with Chef Alberto Morreale, and in 2013 opened a third Fig Tree Café at Liberty Station.

  • Leasing manager helped overhaul Point Loma's Liberty Station

    Sean Giffin, leasing manager for the NTC Foundation, has worked to overhaul 27 historical buildings at Liberty Station in Point Loma, and now has the greater challenge of doing it without redevelopment funds. Giffin, nominated as a Young Influential by Preston Cavignac, account executive of Cavignac & Associates, said 16 of the buildings that were intended for civic, arts and cultural uses have been completed and are 83 percent occupied.

  • Techie enablers travelers to book hotel rooms online in Brazil

    Adam Harris saw a void in the hospitality industry in Brazil. There needed to be a more efficient way for travelers to reserve a hotel room in the South American nation, he said, and a mechanism for hoteliers to be able to fill their rooms faster. In preparation for this summer’s FIFA World Cup -- which Brazilian officials expect 600,000 tourists from around the world to attend -- Harris and his business partner, Richard Castle, created Onde Ficar, a company that provides a digital marketing program for hotels.

  • From runaway to entrepreneur

    Alex Martinez, founder of mortgage consultancy Warisan Advisors, was only 14 when he left home to strike out on his own, which meant not finishing high school or going to college. Although he lacks a formal education, self-education has always been one of his chief avocations -- and something he hopes to instill among his clients, as well.

  • Life sciences lawyer aids effort to help people manage diabetes

    The Billiken, the unique, Buddha-like mascot of St. Louis University, is described as a good-luck figure that represents "things as they ought to be." For Patrick Murphy, 35, a native of St. Louis and graduate of St. Louis University School of Law, “things as they ought to be” meant leaving St. Louis and coming to California.

  • IT leader puts people first

    Being raised by “hippie-ish” parents on a small farm in the East County community of Descanso might seem an unlikely background for the founder and CEO of an information technology firm, but not for Dylan Natter of centrexIT, which provides a full range of IT services as an external department for its clients.

  • Broker transforms neighborhoods into thriving communities

    Commercial real estate brokers in San Diego routinely fill retail spaces on a regular basis. But it requires a special breed of broker with a rare quality -- innate vision -- to fill spaces by discerning the precise mix of retailers relevant to, and capable of enhancing a particular community. Jim Rinehart, a vice president in the San Diego office of the global commercial real estate giant CBRE, is one such visionary.

  • Taking the guesswork out of finding college rentals

    Two years ago, Morgan Shwanke was on a quest to find a suitable place to live near the University of San Diego, where he was a student. He never envisioned that friends and other students looked to benefit from his own meticulous search, and that he could make money helping them find housing. "It started with me searching for my own place to live and building out this Google list of all the best places that I knew were available and rented to college students," Shwanke said.

  • Adding water to wine, Bon Affair style

    The beverage industry and, more specifically, alcohol markets are notoriously saturated and have high barriers for new product entry, even for the big timers like Heineken, Miller and Anheuser-Bush. That didn’t faze Jayla Siciliano, who saw a market for a premium wine spritzer, quit her product development job at Burton, cashed in her 401k and set out to bring to market a healthier option for the casual wine drinker. Roughly two years after Bon Affair’s formation, Siciliano has two varieties of the spritzer on shelves.

  • Millennial finance expert relates to her clients

    The best advice Mary Beth Storjohann has received is to walk through every door that opens for you. Storjohann, 29, is a financial planner, speaker, writer and coach. She took her 10 years of industry experience and launched Workable Wealth in August 2013 to help 20- and 30-year-olds across the country make financial decisions.

  • Entrepreneur 'Bliss'fully runs business planning events

    Managing a business that coordinates weddings and other events is just as important as pulling together a stress-free wedding, Rachel Welland says. Welland, 33, is the owner of Bliss Events, where she is a wedding and event coordinator.

  • Wright takes real estate-focused Web company to new heights

    Casey Wright and his younger brother Corey were smart 20-somethings in the summer of 2004 when their parents, both Realtors in Mission Viejo, asked them for computer help. Could the brothers design an email-marketing program to replace their costly print advertising? The Wright brothers figured it out within a few weeks, and the Realtors saw a marked increase in response rates and production.

  • Seven tax-saving strategies for small businesses, startups and solopreneurs

    With approximately one-third of taxpayers purported to wait until the last 30 days leading up to filing deadline, there is egregious opportunity loss with respect to potential tax savings were strategy to be employed all year through. Sadly, many small- and home-based business owners, solopreneurs and startup owners are serial “late filers” and miss out on maximizing tax benefits that are unique to their type of business structure. In fact, most have no idea there are tax professionals that exclusively focus on strategy for this niche who can help these entrepreneurs realize tremendous tax advantages.

  • Company launches curated shopping website with socially conscious brands

    Southern California entrepreneurs launched Enrou (en-roo), a socially mindful online marketplace focused on community development and making a positive impact. The website offers consumers a curated collection of stylish, socially driven products that empower the artisans who create them and their communities worldwide.

Archived Reports

Young Influentials - 2013

The Daily Transcript pays tribute to San Diego's newest entrepreneurs.

Young Influentials - 2012

The Daily Transcript pays tribute to San Diego's newest entrepreneurs.

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