It takes a lot more than an idea to build a business, but there can’t be a business without the idea. So we asked folks who’ve built wonderful businesses to tell us about how they came up with the idea in the first place.

Tami Wong | Sommelier & Wine Rep

My motivation as a wine director and sommelier was to make San Diego a world class wine destination. Beer has played the lead here for so long now, that someone had to tell this side of the story. There has been a growing group of passionate professionals on the sommelier side. I’ve recently begun to meet the winemakers doing great work right here in our own back yard. I joined the “ironically way less dark side” of being a wholesale wine rep in 2017 and I can’t believe I stuck to restaurant life so long! I love selling wine. There are 142 planned and active wineries here in San Diego County and no one knows they exist. I decided to be the person to build the bridge between the winemakers and the sommeliers. Read more>>

Julia Civardi | Founder & CEO

SOTERIA Precision Medicine Foundation was born out of my professional experience working in healthcare and genomics and my personal experience as a two-time cancer survivor. Applying what I’ve learned to help patients and caregivers navigating a diagnosis is, in my eyes, a moral responsibility first and a business opportunity second. Outcomes are better with precision medicine with reduced costs and improved quality of life. I saw a clear and present need for a patient-centered approach to healthcare – regardless of a person’s geographic location, socioeconomic status, race, or treating institution. The pandemic has only increased demand for our services and the emphasized the need for neutral, virtual, expert support. Read more>>

Erica Sell | ATP, CSA (Assistive Technology Provider and Certified Senior Advisor)

I was working alongside my mom, going into seniors’ homes to measure for wheelchairs from Medicare and Medi-Cal, and I they would ask about lifts for their cars, or help in the bathroom, or up the stairs, and all sorts of everyday stuff that they need assistive devices or home modifications to do. Since my mom’s company was much like all other insurance-based wheelchair companies, they didn’t go outside of that offering or know much about it. There was no store for people to go see these items, and they were referred to hard-in-home-sales companies like Acorn and Bath FItters who often preyed on seniors’ vulnerability and lack of education on the products. I thought that there had to be a better way. Read more>>