Deadline for entrepreneur applications is January 19; angel investors start reviewing deals February 7

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AISan Diego Angel Conference (SDAC), a University of San Diego (USD) Knauss School of Business and Brink SBDC program that activates accredited angel investors and engages promising early-stage companies, is launching its fifth angel conference series today. SDAC provides mentorship, education, resources, and valuable connections to early-stage companies seeking angel funding, as it engages first-time and experienced angel investors interested in building their investment portfolios. The application deadline for entrepreneurs is January 19.

SDAC is open to early-stage companies that have the potential for a 10X return on investment within five years and a management team capable of executing the plan. SDAC is accepting applications from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico at

New and experienced angel investors can access information on joining the fund and participating in investor education, networking, and USD President’s Club events at SDAC investors begin reviewing deals in February.

With about 100 early-stage companies participating and vying for a share of an investment fund of at least $200,000* each year, SDAC has become one of the largest angel investor programs in the country. In four years, SDAC has awarded $4.1M to 14 startups; many of its portfolio companies and applicants have gone on to secure larger funding rounds totaling over $190M to date.

Last year, CARI Health (San Diego), a startup developing a medication monitoring device for treating opioid addiction, was awarded $350,000. Runner-up ReJoule (Signal Hill, CA) was awarded $234,000 for their work in developing effective second-life battery testing, and Hera Biotech (San Antonio, TX) was awarded $150,000 for its efforts to commercialize a nonsurgical test for endometriosis.

CEO of CARI Health Patrik Schmidle says, “SDAC funding was game-changing for CARI Health. As the lead investor SDAC was the foundation for our seed round, which has enabled us to hire talent, advance our product, and secure additional funding. SDAC helped us engage with angel investors and build a valuable network of mentors, investors, and peers.”

“SDAC has been instrumental in connecting engaged angel investors with exciting early-stage companies, solving some of the world’s most urgent challenges,” says USD President James Harris. “We know this is an important part of our investment in the community and one way we level the playing field for the passionate and persistent to create wealth, look after our most vulnerable, and care for our common home.”

SDAC Founder Mysty Rusk agrees. “Attaining an angel investment doesn’t require affluence, education, or wealth. It requires a product that solves a real problem and an entrepreneur with tenacity and a tolerance for risk. With SDAC our main objective is to activate accredited investors, and funding innovative early-stage companies is a great byproduct. USD’s Free Enterprise Institute, Brink SBDC, and SDAC collaborate seamlessly to provide the infrastructure to ‘Get to yes!’,” says Rusk. “USD leads in values-driven free enterprise and has enabled an enduring network of entrepreneurs, partners, sponsors, and investors.”

SDAC is able to activate accredited investors by providing education and training about angel investing and good deal flow, helping build a network of investors while helping investors develop and refine their own decision making and thesis around investing. SDAC partners with more than 25 organizations in the region including top California universities: University of San Diego, San Diego State University, and University of California, San Diego. These partnerships drive the deal flow and support for startups. These connections, combined with SDAC’s reputation for excellence, enable it to attract promising startups and manage an investment fund that has awarded more than $4.1M directly over four years. SDAC sponsors include USD, vteams, Mintz, SDSU, First Republic Bank, Coeptus Law, Clearpoint Agency, and UCSD.

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


Hilary McCarthy – 774 364 1440