Orange County Business Journal


UCI to Open 3,500SF eSports Arena

University of California-Irvine this week will open the first eSports arena run by a public university.

Zhang Signs On to Mentor at Concordia

Charlie Zhang, founder of the Laguna Hills-based Pick Up Stix restaurant chain, has been named Entrepreneur-in-Residence by Concordia University Irvine’s business school.

PacLife Names New Head of Life Insurance Division

FINANCE: Veteran to take reins from Schindler next year

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Company has reason to expect a smooth transition when Dawn Trautman becomes executive vice president of the life insurance division on Jan. 1.

‘Smart’ Glasses Developer Sets Out to Raise Funds

Aging Baby Boomers Are Core Market

A Newport Beach-based company that has developed “smart” glasses—which incorporate augmented and virtual reality to help the visually impaired—is looking to raise $2 million in a Series A round.


The world tour celebrating the 100th birthday of the late founder of Lamborghini sports cars made its first pit stop in the U.S. at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin in the form of a fundraiser to help feed and house Southern California’s “motel kids.” 


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 39, No. 38

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has received the President’s Award from the Orange County Chapter of the American Institute for Architects for its work on Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.

Masimo Pulse Oximeter at 100 Apple Retail Stores

Consumer Version Of Device Goes for $300

Masimo Corp. in Irvine now sells its MightySat pulse oximeter in about 100 Apple stores and on

Kia Playbook: Jackson, Bosworth in for Sorento Spot

Throwback Recalls ’80s Game Tecmo Bowl

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. is hoping its prospective Sorento SUV customers are old enough to remember the 1980s, and specifically Tecmo Bowl, a football game made for Nintendo Entertainment System that paved the way for the Madden NFL game series.

OCBJ Calendar

Sept. 19-28, 2016

This week's business and other event listings.

Tablet Maker grandPad Expands to Switzerland

Orange Startup Keeps Seniors Connected

Orange-based startup tablet maker grandPad Inc. has partnered with Switzerland’s largest telecom in its first international expansion.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Onward Engineering and Axsun signed a lease at 300 S. Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim for $525,465.

Lennar Preps New Homes at Great Park Neighborhoods

Some Parasol Park Homes To Open in November

The first batch of home sales at Great Park Neighborhoods’ Parasol Park in Irvine appears to be kicking off a few months earlier than initially expected.

Allergan Legacy: Entrepreneurs, Offshoots

New Firms Take the Kinds of Risk Giant Used to Pursue

It’s been about two years since Allergan PLC was acquired in a friendly manner by Parsippany, N.J.-based Actavis after deftly deflecting a hostile takeover attempt by Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP.

Spiritual Side of Startups

Execs Give, Get Mutual Support Through Prayer at Meetups

A group of men sit in a circle, heads bowed, praying for each other. Sunlight streams in through a skylight in the ceiling. Religious rock music wafts softly in the background.

WD Lays Out Plan for Global Consolidation

TECHNOLOGY: Will cut 3 plants, 1,900 jobs in Asia as hard drives lag

Western Digital Corp. will close three manufacturing plants and cut 1,900 jobs in Asia in a move that shifts more production to its sprawling Silicon Valley operation and elsewhere.

Hong Kong Firm Nabs IBC Residential Site

REAL ESTATE: 371 apartments eyed for St. John Knits buildings

A Hong Kong-based company that bills itself as a business incubator and investor in early-stage technology companies has taken a more down-to-earth approach with its first reported deal in Orange County: a land buy for a big apartment development in Irvine.

Medical Marijuana Drug Industry Takes Root in OC

Much More Here Than Dispensaries, Grow Houses

Orange County, which is known for its concentrations of medical device makers and drugmakers, is quietly building a medical cannabis industry.

Employment Up at Biggest Medical Device Makers

Local Public Companies Lead; Net Gain of 970 Workers

Medical device makers with operations in Orange County added nearly 1,000 employees over the past 12 months for a growth rate of nearly 6%, according to Business Journal research.

Biggest Drugmakers Hold Steady on OC Jobs

Allergan Still No. 1 for Local Employment

The largest drugmakers with headquarters or significant operations in Orange County employed 3,210 here during the 12-month period that ended Aug. 30, about the same as a year earlier.

China Car Connections; Buena Park’s Big Day; Harrah on the Clock

Add a couple of entries from China’s wave of would-be makers of electric cars to OC’s auto industry, which started with companies from Japan—Mazda and Mitsubishi —and now includes Hyundai and Kia from South Korea.

Anaheim Nears Sale of 25 Acres for Retail

REAL ESTATE: Zelman eyes 300,000 SF near Knott’s

The city of Anaheim is moving forward on plans to sell a long-vacant, 25-acre site on its western side to a retail developer.

OC, India Both Figure Into Lantronix Comeback Bid

TECHNOLOGY: Sees IoT as pathway back to profits

Jeff Benck’s new game plan for Irvine-based Lantronix Inc. is in motion after taking the helm of the sputtering networking equipment maker late last year.

Masimo-Medtronic Wrangle Set to End

HEALTHCARE: Licensing, damages total $685M to date

Masimo Corp. in October 2018 will conclude a long-running agreement concerning pulse oximetry patents—a framework based on licensing deals and litigation that have brought the Irvine-based device maker about $685 million over the last 10 years.

United Capital Buys in Connecticut

Newport Beach-based United Capital Financial Advisers LLC has acquired on undisclosed terms the private client group of Westport Resources Management in Westport, Conn.

Alliant Adds in Pacific Northwest

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services has acquired on undisclosed terms the Farmin, Rothrock & Parrott insurance brokerage in Spokane, Wash.

PAAMCO Names Weinberger’s Successor

Irvine-based Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co. named Basil Williams head of portfolio management.

Allergan Buys Eye Therapy Developer

Allergan Plc bought RetroSense Therapeutics for $60 million and milestone payments.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 39, No. 37

Costa Mesa-based Karma Automotive LLC set the price for its Revero sports car at $130,000 but declined to peg a date when the car would be delivered to the 80 buyers who’ve placed initial orders.

What $10 Million Will Get You in OC’s Brisk Market

Mediterranean-Style Luxe To Inland Deluxe

The luxury market in Orange County is booming.

Molina Extends Affordable Care Act Coverage to OC

Taps Affiliated Doctors, Monarch Health Plan

Molina Healthcare Inc. will add Orange County to its Covered California service area next year.

PacLife Ads Take Cues From Creature of the Deep

Company Mascot Teaches Personal Finance Wisdom

Humpback whales are back in new Pacific Life Insurance Co. commercials that debuted this month during the first nationally televised games of the college football regular season on ABC.

OCBJ Calendar

Sept. 12-22, 2016

This week's business and other event listings.

Biotech Firm to Help Raise Startups’ Profile in DC

Anvyl Already Considered Standout Among Peers

Irvine-based biotechnology company Anvyl LLC will be among 35 startups to participate in the first University Startups Demo Day on Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C. The event is hosted by Washington, D.C.-based National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, an association of university startups officers.

New WoW Release Promises Blizzard Recovery

Aug. 30 Release Already Boosted Company’s Sales

Expect another strong quarter for Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc. with the Aug. 30 release of “World of Warcraft: Legion,” the sixth expansion set of the franchise role-playing game.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

An apartment complex in La Habra was sold to Schroeder Investment Partners Inc. for $5.7 million, or about $220,000 per unit.

Angels Push Back on Mixed-Use Plan Near Stadium

LT Global Awaits City EIR Decision, Council Vote

It looks like the biggest battle the sputtering Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will have on their hands over the next few months will involve potential development of a 14.8-acre site next to their stadium.

Nonprofits Face Shifts in Leadership, Media

Orange County’s nonprofit groups are starting to grapple with the kind of leadership changes that larger organizations in longer-established commercial centers already have been through.