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NOVO Engineering

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Innovate78 sat down with Dan Kline, CEO and founder of NOVO Engineering to chat about life and work along the 78 Corridor. See below.
1. Tell us about NOVO Engineering.
NOVO Engineering is a product development firm headquartered in Vista with a second office in the Minneapolis area. We develop best-in-class medical devices, biotech instruments, printing systems, commercial products, and custom equipment for our clients. We provide mechanical engineering, electronic design, and software development. Our strategic San Diego County location helps us serve the biotech and printer industries in San Diego and Orange Counties; and specifically, the 78 Corridor has provided the business space our growing firm needs while pointing most our staff in the opposite direction from the heaviest traffic for their daily commutes. NOVO is certified to ISO 13485:2016 standards. 
Company culture

In order to attract top talent that was in demand by larger, better known, and better funded employers, NOVO had to build a unique culture, and an infrastructure that reflected it. To achieve this, we focused on building a team with exceptional engineers who understood the value of teamwork; investing in onsite rapid prototyping, CNC machining, and product test lab; and creating processes that managed the chaos in an environment where there are so many R&D projects running in parallel. The result is a dynamic environment that is simultaneously technically challenging, supportive, and fun. Even with growth, we have retained an informal office culture in which company management is always accessible to all employees.  

2. What's your role?
As CEO, I am proud to have built a company and culture that is attractive to some of the top design engineering talent in the area. Engineers want to solve challenging problems and work on things that are important. They generally want to learn from colleagues who are more seasoned, and they want to work in an environment with sophisticated hardware and software development tools that enable them to do their best work. My role is to create these conditions. I miss being able to focus on the engineering work itself, and I make a point to be knowledgeable about each project. Occasionally, I get a chance to contribute some engineering content, or play around in the lab, which is one of the big perks for me.
3. Why North County?
We needed a business space that would accommodate our growing company. The 78 Corridor is home to many biomedical clients, and not far from our printer clients in the Rancho Bernardo area. When we first moved to our Vista facility in 2006, we only occupied a single 6000 sqft. suite. Over the years we have added five more suites, and now occupy 22,000 sqft. in the same mixed-use complex. The ready availability of space made it possible for us to build a state-of-the-art product development facility at a reasonable cost per sqft. The location, bounded by the 5, 78, and 15 freeways, is convenient to our clients and staff based anywhere in San Diego or Orange Counties. For us, it was a great alternative 
4. What's ahead for the region?
Competition for top talent is getting more intense as the economy strengthens. The need to scale engineering resources on demand grows as time-to-market pressures increase. Tech companies realize that partnering with outside engineering or other specialized service providers is a critical part of their staffing strategy. A separate trend is the incorporation of technology into previously low-tech products and manufacturing operations. Both of these trends augur well for our business model.  

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