May 3, 2022
Best Practices / IT Philosophy

Reflections From San Diego Innovation Day

Written by Jeff Gaines
The entrance to Five.Ten.Thirty Innovation Day.
Entrance to the 2022 Five.Ten.Thirty Innovation Day

This past week, Interlaced was fortunate enough to attend San Diego’s first-ever Five.Ten.Thirty Innovation Day at Petco Park. It was truly awe-inspiring and humbling to be in the presence of so many amazing companies and organizations looking to impact the tech industry in San Diego and beyond!

How do you begin to recount such an amazing event? I know some people reading this attended as well and we all probably had the same or similar experiences. Rather than just giving you a play-by-play of the day, I wanted to share with you my top three takeaways from the day.

Takeaway 1: The opportunity for tech growth in San Diego is astronomical

When you say the word “tech” or “startup,” I’d venture to guess that most people instantly think of Silicon Valley. However, San Diego has an incredible connection in tech and the life sciences industries.  In fact, according to the San Diego Business Journal, San Diego ranks fifth in venture funding, behind only  Silicon Valley, Boston, Los Angeles and New York in venture investments in recent years.

Aside from the opportunity available to startups here in San Diego, the startup community is incredibly supportive of one another and connected in ways I haven’t seen in other cities. Organizations like Connect, EvoNexus, Interlock CapitalMission Edge, and Naturally San Diego routinely offer support resources like mentorship and workshops for startups on nearly every topic under the sun.  With all of those resources behind them, San Diego startups have never seemed to have as much confidence and momentum. Investors are taking note.

Interlaced Relaxation Station at the 2022 Five.Ten.Thirty event
Interlaced Relaxation Station at the 2022 Five.Ten.Thirty Innovation Day

Takeaway 2: Startups are using technology in every facet of their journey like never before

The role technology plays in startups is critical, as it impacts everything from operational efficiency to customer acquisition. Aside from the obvious benefits of agility, internal collaboration, and overall customer satisfaction, technology also affords startups access to increased options for data storage and security options for how that data is managed and stored. If an employee loses or has a device stolen, remote systems can be deployed instantly to lock and wipe that device, allowing sensitive data to remain intact. Startups can’t afford not to have tech play a role in some form or fashion.

Additionally, startups are increasingly competing for top talent.  Most of the startups we spoke with at San Diego Innovation Day mentioned that they felt the IT onboarding experience at their company could be improved, as they felt it reflected their company culture and operational maturity.  Startups are increasingly viewing IT maturity as an important component of their overall employee experience.

Finally, the Startups we spoke with all had fairly advanced cybersecurity and compliance needs.  In order to gain market share, companies are being forced to tackle security and compliance projects earlier in their business lifecycle.  We spoke with several tech startups with 20-30 employees who are facing compliance mandates that, in years past, wouldn’t be required until they were 100+ employees.  Security is increasingly being used as a differentiator, or even as a prerequisite for growing a startup.

Takeaway 3: Yet despite their reliance on technology, solid IT support is rarely part of this journey

The term “IT” is a buzzword in and of itself. What it means and what exactly pertains to can cast a huge net. That became super clear to me when I started talking to people at Five.Ten.Thirty – the second I said the word “IT” it was immediately followed by “what does that mean?”

For startups, the role of IT is changing. Gone are the days when you just need to “know a guy” that can help set up your wifi or get you a good deal on a laptop. Requirements from partners are far more stringent as it relates to how you store, hold and dispose of customer data… and not just from an overall company level but down to individual employees and their devices. Cybersecurity compliance, whether it be SOC 2 or HIPPA, has become routine vernacular for startups, especially among those companies in highly regulated industries. Scalability is another crucial factor – how do you prepare for growth while ensuring your day-to-day operations stay as efficient as possible? A comprehensive IT program is at the root of all of these things.

Interlaced is proud to be a part of this startup community and we’ve helped hundreds of businesses grow and scale their operations by removing the burden of IT.  We deliver IT programs with cross-functional teams of IT experts for fast-growing organizations.  With all of the momentum in the San Diego tech community, we’re so proud to call San Diego home and  we’re excited to continue to help startups drive their missions with enterprise-quality IT solutions behind them.

The Interlaced team winding down the day at Five.Ten.Thirty

Five.Ten.Thirty was a great event and we can’t wait to go back again next year. If we missed seeing you at our Relaxation Station but you have questions or want to talk to our team about IT programs and support for your business, please reach out to us at or by clicking here.

Jeff Gaines

Jeff Gaines

Jeff has served as an operating executive at Interlaced since 2016. He is deeply passionate about driving impact for Interlaced, for his community, and for his loved ones. In his spare time, Jeff loves spending time with his wife and son at the world famous San Diego Zoo, enjoying tacos on the beach in Baja, cheering on the San Diego Padres, adventuring outdoors and playing music with friends. Jeff’s top 3 films of all time are Point Break (the original), Road House and Field of Dreams.