San Francisco to San Diego in Forty-Eight Hours

San Francisco to San Diego in Forty-Eight Hours

Kaylee and Martin at Accel RoboticsI decided to hit the road to visit several RevTech teams on their home turf in California.  From my arrival in San Francisco on Thursday to my departure from San Diego on Saturday, I logged 650 miles, visited four RevTech teams, checked in with a RevTech investor, met a new prospect for investment, and checked out six Chevron ExtraMile convenience stores along the way.

In San Francisco, I visited the new digs of RevTech rockstar, Michael Brand, CEO of Dor Technologies. Located downtown near the Bay Bridge, the company has settled into a former butcher shop – complete with meat hooks and a conference room in the old meat locker (chilly!). I was happy to hear from Michael that quarterly revenue continues to grow at a double-digit rate; also, there have been several impressive enhancements to the product.  I’m betting Dor, now employing nearly 20 people, will outgrow this space and will have to find a full-fledged meat-packing plant!Evan Lanuza at BottleFly Lab

As I drove south, an increasing number of vineyards began to dot the landscape, and I knew I must be getting close to the team at BottleFly.  Turns out that this team of five operates out of two towns.  Co-Founder, Evan Lanuza, operates out of a wine testing facility in Paso Robles, while co-founder, Katerina Axelsson and several programmers, operate out of an office in San Luis Obispo, thirty miles to the south.  Evan stepped me through the detailed process of analyzing and cataloging the chemical makeup of hundreds of wine varieties.  After the office tour, I experienced the BottleFly recommendation engine in the wine section of a local grocery store.  Even though I know nothing about wine, I was able to make a wise purchase and present it to a new RevTech investor in town.  He was impressed with my selection.  Wow!

Accel Robotics in the NewsThen it was on to Santa Barbara for a meeting with a new RevTech prospect.  Afterward, I headed down the Pacific Coast to Marina Del Rey, where I met with the head of business development for Birdzi, Gary Hawkins.  Gary moved from DC to LA three years ago, and has nicely made the transition to the laid-back SoCal lifestyle.  Lots of exciting things going on with Birdzi – stay tuned!

Saturday morning, I drove the final stretch from LA to San Diego to meet with the team at Accel Robotics and get a first-hand view of their latest product enhancements.  They are housed in a hardware-focused incubator managed by EvoNexus.  Of the dozen plus startups in the space, Accel Robotics is clearly the favorite, as their lab is the first thing you see when entering the space.  That clearly is paying off in local exposure, as the company was pictured on the front page of the ExtraMile ExtrasSan Diego Union-Tribune just the day before – above the fold!

All the way down the coast, I stopped at Chevron ExtraMile convenience stores in order to experience PnP Loyalty’s largest product deployment.  I downloaded their “ExtraMile Extras” app and was immediately awarded with a bottle of Dasani water!  After five more stops (with a purchase at each stop), I was able to earn the badges required to earn a free food or beverage item.  Clearly, I will have to return to California sometime soon to collect my reward!