Alliance Blog

SoCal Perfection: a day at sea to connect and chill

We all know that SoCal is an amazing place, but every now and then we get to experience SoCal perfection. Last week we were treated to one of those very special moments!

Let’s face it – for the majority of us who don’t have the privilege of living on the beach, it has been hot recently. So now imagine yourself at the San Diego bay on a cloudless day at a moderate 78 degrees. Walk down the pier at Intrepid Landing Marina, slip off your shoes and climb aboard Carol & John Gallagher’s amazing 62 foot catamaran Chim Chim. As you climb up to the main deck level you are handed a Chim Chim branded baseball cap and a cold glass of chardonnay. The boat fills up with more than 20 of San Diego’s most committed innovation leaders representing top biotech firms, venture capital firms, universities, founders, and ecosystem builders. You see a combination of old friends and new faces. 

When it’s time to set sail, Captain Joe and John release us from the dock, and we are off for 3 hours of blissful sailing on the bay enjoying sights of submarines, the downtown skyline, and the midway. The wind blows back your hair as Chim Chim effortlessly cuts through the water. Delicious bites and savory appetizers go well with the curated wines. And, while the boating experience is exceptional, it is matched by the lively conversation and exchange of ideas amongst our special guests. You can hear founders sharing their latest breakthrough and corporate leaders describing specific challenges they are looking to solve. Sounds like a perfect day, doesn’t it?

For those of us who were lucky enough to be on board, it was a dream come true. Chim Chim was the perfect place for “power networking” as it was self-contained enough so you felt connected and energized, but large enough to have space for intimate conversations. 

At the Alliance we have hosted hundreds of wonderful events, but the sheer joy and pleasure of this special excursion was unique. In our role as the region’s strategic super connector, we are constantly looking for novel and compelling ways to bring innovation leaders together so they might share ideas while strengthening the region’s innovation network. Thanks to Carol and John’s generosity and the willingness of nearly 2 dozen leaders to come together, I can declare that we hit the bull’s eye. Many guests expressed their gratitude while also enthusiastically championing for a repeat performance next summer. I am hoping the crate of bananas that I sent to Chim Chim will earn all of us a return invitation!