Qualcomm Ventures Managing Director Quinn Li Is Excited About Wearables

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Quinn Li is the managing director at Qualcomm Ventures, one of the top wireless investment firms in the world since 2000, with portfolio companies including PayPal, Waze, and Fitbit.

He also happens to be a resident of San Diego, where Qualcomm was founded and the site of our latest TechCrunch Meetup + Pitch-off, where he was kind enough to grace us with a fireside chat on stage.

As far as his city, Li finds many of the San Diego-based companies exciting, even naming EcoATM as a team of unique and smart founders with a special idea for trading in old phones at kiosks. But more than any other company, Li mentioned Fitbit a number of times.

Qualcomm has made a major investment in Fitbit, the wearable quantified self device that tracks your fitness. But Li sees a greater opportunity in this space than the devices themselves: data.

In the interview, Li remarks that there is a huge convergence right now in the data space around the devices we use and the way we crowdsource. Of course, smartphones are already collecting large amounts of data that, when stitched together, can paint a comprehensive picture around certain verticals.

Qualcomm Ventures and Li have some experience in this space considering the map crowdsourcing startup Waze, which was just purchased by Google for around $1.3 billion, was one of the QV portfolio companies.

Li sees wearable devices as another extension of this kind of data crowdsourcing, as long as the folks creating these devices can appeal to the mainstream.