To view up upcoming events, please take a look at our Calendar


February 15, 2017
Thank you to Mesa Rim Climbing and Fitness Center for hosting our Advisory Board meeting.  In addition to hearing the 5 minute quick pitch from springboard grads Core-Tex and Kilomodo, we had the pleasure of hearing the story of Mesa Rim and the landscape of climbing gyms in the US from Mesa Rim President, Ian McIntosh.  Mesa Rim Staff members then took us on a tour of the impressive (and busy) facility before allowing us to do some climbing ourselves.  For photos of the event, click here
February 13, 2017
SDSI's first Cycling Special Interest Group (SIG) was a success! Over 40 of the top cycling industry executives met over breakfast to catch up with one another in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.  Cycling legend, John Howard shared briefly what he was working on and Michael Marckx spoke about how the the Belgian Waffle Ride was a brand first (not a ride or race race) since its inception.  Some photos can be found here and a brief (no budget) video can be found here
February 7th, 2017
Thanks to our sponsor, Procopio, SDSI was able to put on another leadership dinner featuring former MLB pitcher David Wells.  David spoke to the intimate group attendees about his upbringing in Point Loma, his career, what he does now, and candidly answered several questions from around the table.  The level of networking was significant and we were happy to host Mayor Faulconer again.  Some (low quality - sorry) photos of the event can be found here
January 17, 2017
Back due to popular demand, our Amazon 2.0 Workshop, sponsored by Voit Real Estate Services, was another hugely successful and informational event.  Ryan Mulvany of Quiverr followed up on his presentation from April 2016, explaining how the Amazon ecosystem had changed since then and dove a bit deeper into the actual strategy.  This event featured reps from several companies throughout the Sports and Active Lifestyle Industry as well as brands and retailers.
December 13, 2016
Our annual Holiday Party featured about 100 members and mentors stopping by SDSI throughout the evening purely to catch up and socialize among one another.  We had a great time on a beautiful (albeit chilly) December evening and we hope you did as well if you were in attendance.
November 17, 2016
SDSI partnered with Techstars who brought in their cofounder, Brad Feld of The Foundry Group, to speak about his thoughts on startup communities, his experiences investing in companies as a VC and Angel Investor, and the realities of "mental fitness" or mental health of entrepreneurs. After the moderated conversation, Brad took a few questions from the audience that covered work/life balance of founders, husband/wife business partners, and his plans for the next book
November 15, 2016
This was Denise Lee Yohn's last advisory board meeting at SDSI (she has now moved to the Bay Area) and gave us a fantastic presentation on her book, What Great Brands Doon the principles of great brand building: 1) Start inside 2) Avoid selling products 3) Ignore trends 4) Don't chase customers 5) Sweat the small stuff 6) Commit and stay committed 7) Never have to "give back" and 8) Brand as a business.  Some of those principles may seem counter-intuitive as a headline but Denise explains her stances well in her presentation and book. A few photos can be found here
November 9, 2016
We held a Chew and Chat panel on "Techniques to Fund Your Business" and as part of our founders skill set curriculum.  This panel covered the basics of debt/equity funding, the details of SBA lending, alternative financing (factoring, inventory financing, PO financing), and traditional bank financing.  Photos from this event can be found here
October 13, 2016
Following up on our Advisory Board Meeting on August 30th, SDSI took a group of members down to visit Taylor Guitars Tecate production facility... Take a look at Bob's Blog post for a full recap
September 20, 2016
SDSI Chew & Chat sponsored by Springboard provides insights into Corporate Valuation and Real Estate Landscape
SDSI Springboard Sponsors Voit Real Estate Services and Vantage Point Advisors provided an enlightening and actionable workshop for SDSI members on corporate valuation and finding the physical space to meet a growing company’s needs. Participants gained insights into investor “tricks” to be aware of when negotiating financing, and an understanding of why pre-money value is important to protecting founder’s ownership. Attendees also learned key aspects to negotiating a lease in a market that has a historically low vacancy rate of 4.5 – 12%. 
August 30, 2016
The Advisory Board this quarter featured cross-border manufacturing with Bryan Bear and Victor Villanueva of Taylor Guitars discussing how beneficial their Tecate manufacturing facility has been for the company.  Taylor Guitars has even taken it a step further with offering to give a group of SDSI companies a tour of the Taylor facility in Tecate - be on the lookout for the invite for that event in October.  There are a few photos available here
August 25, 2016
This Chew and Chat meeting was all about kickstarter... We learned from Eric Fagan and Chris Crawford of RinseKit the secrets to their successful kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $400k on a $30k goal. Full event recap can be found here and a few photos of the event can be found here
June 9, 2016
Chew and Chat breakfast meeting for the general membership at American Wave Machines.  On a June gloom morning in the parking lot, Bruce McFarland gave us all an overview of how the artificial wave technology works and Marie McFarland gave us the background of the company.  After questions were answered and ideas were floated, we went in to look at the demo of the technology in the AWM offices.  Click here for photos
June 7, 2016
6 companies presented to a panel of 4 celebrity judges who selected the winners of the first ever, SDSI Star Brand Award, and a $5,000 cash prize.  More info here
May 26, 2016
Advisory Board Meeting featuring Tony Finn's story covering the ups and downs of popularizing the sport of wakeboarding.  Tony shared with us some key moments in the development of the sport, how he was able to gather visibility/traction in a new sport, and innovation progressed over time.
May 14, 2016
While this wasn't specifically an SDSI event, a number of SDSI members came out on a Saturday morning to show support/appreciation for our executive chairman, Bill Walton, at his statue unveiling at Ski Beach.  Thank you to Board Member Michael Brower for designing and ordering t-shirts. Click here for photos
April 6, 2016
Our regularly scheduled Chew and Chat Breakfast meeting was expanded to invite the entire membership to learn various options of selling on Amazon, advertising on Amazon, and to think about their Amazon strategy. Over 50 attendees gathered at SKLZ to hear a presentation from Quiverr. Click here for photos
February 23, 2016
Special guest Ed Clancy joined the SDSI Advisory Board meeting and spoke about the Amgen Tour of California start in San Diego, how it impacts our region, and how you can get involved! Chris Cramer, CEO and Co-founder of Karl Strauss, presented the San Diego Beer Week Model, explained the roots of the San Diego Craft Brew Industry, and had time for some Q&A so we could hear about Karl Strauss' origins
February 3, 2016
Chew and Chat Breakfast meeting for the general membership with John Vance at the new GoPro offices in Carlsbad.  John addressed the group about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and spoke briefly about some of the successes and failures he has seen in his illustrious career.  The group then took a brief tour of the new GoPro facility at MAKE in Carlsbad.
November 17, 2015
The highlight of the SDSI Advisory Board meeting was listening to Bob McKnight speak about Quiksilver’s trials, tribulations, successes, and future outlook.  Bob told the Advisory Board members the Quiksilver story as it began as a toy project without a business plan or any financial statements and evolved into one of the premiere surf brands.  Bob also told the group some of the causes for the financial issues Quiksilver faced recently but is confident in the future of Quik with the implementation of difficult but necessary changes.
November 4, 2015
An intimate dinner at Estancia La Jolla consisting of leading San Diego SAL executives gathered to hear Fernando Aguerre’s recap of how he and his brother, Santiago, founded Reef over dinner at The Estancia in La Jolla.  The Honorable Mayor Kevin Faulconer was in attendance and led off with a brief Q&A to see how he could better leverage the City to ensure local companies succeed in the Sport and Active Lifestyle industry.  Fernando spoke about being the Ambassador of the Ocean and gave us an update on the Beach Games as being a step towards getting surfing in the Olympics.
October 26, 2015
SDSI members spent the evening with the notable Guy Kawasaki at the picturesque home of Craig Irving of The Irving Group.  Guy spoke to the group about the lessons he learned from Steve Jobs at his two campaigns with Apple. Thank you to the Irving Group for being the presenting sponsor. Click here for photos
September 17, 2015
Dr. Dave Jenkins dropped in to Sun Diego’s Carlsbad location at the historic Twin Inns to tell the audience how SurfAid was formed, what obstacles he had to overcome, the unplanned tsunami pivot, and SurfAid’s ability to empower the locals as their key to success. To learn more about SurfAid and all the wonderful work they are doing, please visit www.surfaid.org     
August 27, 2015
The SDSI Advisory Board meeting concluded with a panel of Sport and Active Lifestyle companies mentioned on the Inc 5000 fastest growing private companies including SDSI member companies: Digital Operative, Tower Paddle Boards, and VAVi as well as Pura Vida Bracelets on their growth strategies.  After the panel discussion, Bill Walton moderated a discussion with Jeff Kearl about the success of STANCE as it was getting ready for the release of their underwear line.  Jeff give the audience a glimpse of the company culture at STANCE and how it allows them to maintain a tremendous employee retention rate. 
April 30, 2015
Over 100 people stopped by Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery in Solana Beach to mix, mingle, and build their Sport and Active lifestyle network.  SDSI held a brief program raffling off a unique, limited edition 12” x 12” print then the crowd heard from Aaron as he spoke about how the ocean community has shaped his life.  Thank you to Procopio for being the presenting sponsor and Culture Brewing Company & Carruth for providing the beer and wine. 
March 31, 2015
It was a full crowd at the San Diego Hall of Champions as SDSI members learned of the explosive growth in eSports over lunch.  Bruce Bigelow, editor of Xconomy San Diego, moderated a panel of eSports business experts from building League Championship Series, game development, and the licensed gear that goes with this segment.  All in all, it was an eye opening experience for most as the scope and level of engagement in eSports was uncovered.