Angel investors select six companies in healthtech, spirits, diagnostics, veterinary therapeutics, and cleantech to vie for estimated $1 million fund
SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AI—San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC), a University of San Diego (USD) Knauss School of Business program that activates accredited angel investors and engages promising early-stage companies that drive the innovation ecosystem, announces six finalists for SDAC IV representing innovative solutions in healthtech, spirits, diagnostics, veterinary therapeutics, and cleantech.
A total of 90 companies applied for SDAC IV in hopes of landing an estimated $200K+ for the winner and other cash prizes for runners up – or $1 million* total, depending on size of the fund. SDAC provides a full educational program for entrepreneurs and novice and semi-experienced angels, which culminates in a live virtual final funding event on March 24.
SDAC IV finalists include:
- BrainSpace – neurocritical care for protecting the brain and spine after trauma, surgery, or neurodegeneration
- First Light Coffee Whiskey – environmentally conscious spirits
- CARI Health, Inc. – remote medication monitoring
- Hera Biotech – developing first non-surgical test for endometriosis, the number one cause of female infertility
- LifEngine Animal Health Laboratories – gene editing and cancer treatment breakthroughs in humans to fight cancer in dogs
- ReJoule, Inc – addressing need for testing of effective second-life batteries
SDAC III runner up Abterra Biosciences, formerly Digital Proteomics, says participating in SDAC last year resulted in far more than $100,000 in funding. It provided education on how to talk to investors, how to manage the due diligence process, and mentoring that helped it land follow-on funding.
“It’s incredible the network we’ve built. It’s been an advantage as we continue to develop our antibody discovery solution and seek additional funding. Our experience with SDAC has opened doors and expanded our fundraising expertise immensely,” says Abterra Biosciences CEO Natalie Castellana.
With an active angel investor group of about 100 investors in the first three SDAC cycles, who invest anywhere from $5,500 to $100,000+ each conference series, and $706,500 invested directly through SDAC III, the San Diego Angel Conference has become the largest event-based angel fund in the country.
Mysty Rusk, Founder of the San Diego Angel Conference, says, “Our mission is to activate new investors. Our motto is ‘We get to yes!’ We do that by connecting angel investors to each other and to early-stage companies with potentially disruptive innovations across a variety of industries. Investors get to explore it all together and learn from each other as we work toward picking which startups get funding this round.”
SDAC partners with 20+ organizations in the startup ecosystem. These connections, combined with SDAC’s reputation for excellence, enables it to attract promising startups and manage a substantial investment fund. Sponsors include vteams, USD Knauss School of Business, 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.
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