Winning team and runner up secure total of $400,000* in seed funding through SDAC VI fund

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AISan Diego Angel Conference (SDAC) at the University of San Diego (USD), a program in its sixth year that activates accredited angel investors and engages promising early-stage companies, today awarded two startups with angel funding for their potentially disruptive solutions.

Ecodrive took the top prize with $300,000*. Runner up Achieve Clinics was awarded $100,000* in funding.

The SDAC VI People’s Choice honor went to Kids Care Finder.

Today’s conference, the culmination of eight months of activating accredited angel investors, providing educational events, and mentoring for participating early-stage companies, was presented live to an audience of angel investors, entrepreneurs, and innovation ecosystem leaders at the University of San Diego.

Ecodrive Co-Founder and CEO Trevor Laudate says, “What an honor to present alongside the other finalists today. We are incredibly grateful to the San Diego Angel Conference fund for this investment, which will enable us to scale. The experience has been invaluable – from the mentoring and coaching on how to effectively communicate with angel investors, complete the due diligence process, and build a strong network of mentors, investors, and peers.”

SDAC VI received 102 applications from early-stage companies for its sixth fund. Accredited angel investors nationwide invested anywhere from $5,500 to $61,500 to form a collective SDAC VI fund. The angel investors evaluated the 102 startups over four months to determine those most likely to succeed and make it to the final pitch for funding.

SDAC partners with 35+ organizations including USD, San Diego State University (SDSU), and University of California San Diego (UCSD), to drive deal flow and mentor startups. Sponsors include C3 Bank, JP Morgan, Clearpoint Agency, Mintz, Knobbe Martens, Coeptus Law, Pillsbury Law, Withum, Family Business Consulting Group, Whittier Trust, Marsh McLennan Agency, Seraf and Gust.

SDAC Founder Mysty Rusk says, “Our goals at SDAC are to activate accredited investors and fund promising early-stage companies. Funding effective solutions like we did today – one that tracks tree planting and plastic removal from the ocean, and another that enables newly diagnosed cancer patients to bank cells and connects patients with researchers – is the humbling, altruistic, and financially rewarding bottom line that speaks to USD’s mission and the vision of Knauss School of Business benefactors Don and Ellie Knauss. USD’s Free Enterprise Institute, Brink SBDC, and SDAC within USD’s Knauss School of Business collaborate seamlessly to meet our goals, as the university continues to lead in values-driven free enterprise.”

*Actual amount invested depends on total dollars raised. Historically, investors have exceeded both the investment amount and number of companies funded.


Hilary McCarthy