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Thursday, May 23, 2024


One way to rile up Palmer Luckey: noting Silicon Valley’s subservience to China’s government in any tech-related matter. Another way to get his attention: calling either of the two tech firms he founded and built in Irvine, first Oculus VR and now Anduril Industries, a Silicon Valley company.

“Anduril gets frequently referred to as a Silicon Valley company, despite having all our offices hundreds or thousands of miles away from the Bay Area,” he noted via Twitter last week, lamenting that “our customers equate SV with innovation.”

Those comments came a few days before he addressed similar matters during Octane’s Tech Innovation Forum 2020 virtual event in a chat with Bill Carpou, CEO of the tech and medtech business accelerator.

Luckey, a Newport Beach resident and owner of several helicopters, likely didn’t make any friends among his hometown’s NIMBY crowd during his talk, saying John Wayne Airport needs a lot more flights to improve the area’s business prospects.

He also called for OC’s established base of investors to up their game and take more risk—and give Silicon Valley a run for their money in the innovation industry—by putting more of their own money into the tech world.

OC needs “way more” Palmers to be successful, he quipped.

Luckey was a winner of a Business Journal Excellence in Entrepreneurship award at our 2019 event, typically held in March.

This year’s edition was pushed back six months (and one day), and made into a virtual event last week. Readers interested in watching the event can tune in by going to ocbj.com; registration is free.

Spoiler alert: one of the largest Fastest-Growing Private Companies highlighted in this week’s edition is among the five honorees. We’ll be profiling the winners next week.

The pandemic “has caused so much loss and trauma for so many and all the resources going toward the virus are clearly mission critical, but I also want to make sure that our everyday healthcare needs remain available to Orange County residents,” philanthropist Sue Gross said.

To that end, the ex-wife of Pimco co-founder Bill Gross last week announced her latest donation to Hoag Hospital, a $1 million gift from the Sue J. Gross Foundation to Hoag’s wound healing center.

Hoag is renaming the facility the Sally & Joseph Warpinski Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, in honor of the donor’s sister and brother-in-law. The family credits Hoag with saving Joseph’s life after he had a serious infection a year ago.

Gross has a “richly deserved reputation as one of California’s most generous and compassionate philanthropists,” said Flynn Andrizzi, president of the Hoag Hospital Foundation.

Hoag’s women’s healthcare facility is known as the Sue & Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion, after a $20 million gift from the then-couple in 2005.

More local wound healing news: Irvine’s American Medical Technologies, a provider of wound care programs for skilled nursing facilities with annual revenue in excess of $100 million, was recently acquired by a pair of PE firms on undisclosed terms. See the Sept. 7 print edition of the paper for more on that deal.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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