Welcome to SDEE

Welcome to San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange! 

The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization run by local entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and pre-entrepreneurs interested in Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices, Tech and Alternative Energy. SDEE was founded to provide a voice and resources for early stage startups, to encourage new entrepreneurs, and sponsor networking and educational services to help develop skills necessary to bring new businesses and funding to the San Diego area. 

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  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 05:30 PM · $30.00 USD · 3 rsvps
    Hera Hub in San Diego, CA

    WORKSHOP: Grants & Contracts:  How to leverage non-dilutive funding sources to establish and grow your business

    Obtaining funds through grants and contracts is a great way to establish and build early stage companies. However, it requires more than great technology. Many entrepreneurs do not fully appreciate the requirements and process for obtaining and managing non-dilutive funding.

    In this workshop you will learn the “art” of securing funding for your company through grants and contracts. We will cover topics such as:

    • What are the requirements for grant/contract funding?
    • How can the funding be used?
    • What will I need to track and report?
    • How should I present my technology to reviewers?
    • Do I need to hire someone to help with the process? 


     Mark Dilorio, CEO Magnesensors, Inc.

     Debbie Slee, SVP Kalyra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Slee Consulting

     Mark Stidham, Director, Resolute Thereapeutics

    Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 05:00 PM · 9 rsvps
    New English Brewing Company in San Diego, CA

    Monthly Happy Hour

    Come network with your fellow San Diego entrepreneurs at Happy Hour hosted by New English Brewing Company.

    Everyone is welcome (and yes, registration is free!), SDEE members get 10% drinks discount.

  • News From SDEE Members

    Allele Bio Awarded 2 NIH Grants

    Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals is pleased to announce receiving NIH grants to develop antibody therapies for Alzheimer's Disease and to develop a novel manufacturing system producing stem cells for clinical therapy.  Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a private, San Diego-based company that explores the mechanisms of biological processes to develop technologies and products for biomedical research and therapy development. Our mission is to increase accessibility to innovative molecular biology research tools by offering cutting edge technologies in individual products and fully integrated platforms. Allele utilizes proprietary non-integrating cellular reprogramming methods to enable drug discovery and cell therapy, including human and non-human primate iPS cells, GMP-grade human iPS cells and their derivatives, and differentiated cell types.  With additional expertise in genome modification and cell-based sensors/reporters, Allele provides advanced cell and assay development solutions. Allele also has developed a wide variety of reagents including superior fluorescent proteins, highly efficient luciferase assay substrates, genotyping kits, and camelid antibodies. The company has also been a leader in the RNAi field with its patents in Pol III promoter-driven siRNA, shRNA, and miRNA.
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    Neuropore Therapies (NPT) Announces Achievement of $5 Million Milestone with UCB Collaboration

    SAN DIEGO, September 13, 2016 -- Neuropore Therapies, Inc. (NPT) announced today that they have successfully achieved a key program milestone in their collaboration with UCB.  After successful completion of a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled single ascending dose clinical study and additional non-clinical studies, UCB has awarded NPTTM a progression milestone of $5 million.   "We are very pleased with UCB’s decision to proceed with the development of this novel therapeutic candidate that initially arose from Neuropore’s drug-discovery platform.  This is an important milestone for Neuropore and reflects UCB’s continued commitment to a promising therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease,” commented Doug Bonhaus, Ph.D., Neuropore’s COO. For full press release: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160913005482/en/Neuropore-Therapies-NPT-Announces-Achievement-Key-Program
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  • Meet SDEE Community

    Beer - The Original Biotech

    On October 14, 2016, SDEE discussion was about beer, instead of drug discovery and biotechnology. The event was held at the Roth Auditorium at The Sanford Institute for Regenerative Medicine and attendees could sample several beers on the patio, looking at the beautiful view of the sunset on the ocean. Although the topic of the discussion seems unfitting with SDEE’s scope, there are several reasons why the event was focused on beer: 1. Craft beer in San Diego is made by entrepreneurs who face challenges similar to those faced by scientists in start-up biotech companies; 2. SDEE holds monthly happy hours at a local brewery, so there is definitely a connection!  Panelists at the event, which was moderated by Randy Schreckhise, were Eric O’Connor from Thorn Street Brewery, Matt Del Vecchio of Duckfoot Brewing Company, and Simon Lacey of New English Brewing, where SDEE members and friends meet for happy hours. Where did the idea of starting a brewery come from? Duckfoot Brewing Company was founded about 15 months ago but started, as an idea, years earlier, when Matt and his wife spent many weekends driving from New York City to Vermont to escape the stress of their lives in the city. Matt was a finalncial advisor not happy with his job and his hectic life in NYC. Although craft brewing was not very popular at the time, beer and snowboarding were passions that he wanted to pursue as career. While in the process of writing a business plan for a brewery catering to the snowboarding community, he was diagnosed with celiac disease, and his life became quite dark. The depression lifted when he discovered a brewery in Oregon that was making a couple of gluten-free beers using an enzyme to break down gluten. Thus, Duckfoot Brewing Company was born with the goal of making lots of different wonderful gluten-free beers, not only for snowboarders, but also for the celiac and gluten-free communities. Matt’s passion for snowboarding was the inspiration for the name of the brewery, as duck is a popular snowboarding stance. Although still very young, Duckfoot Brewing Company has a tasting room and self distributes its beer up to Los Angeles. Simon Lacey’s story is not too different from Matt’s in the sense that he, too, was tired of his career and wanted to pursue his passion. Simon was a mechanical engineer who moved to San Diego in 1995 to work for Nokia. After a couple of lay-offs, he went to a beer convention in town in 2004 and fell in love with the business of brewing. He learned the ropes via internships and small jobs, and opened New English in 2007. He is British, so that is where the name of his brewery originates. Simon did not write a business plan, but knew he wanted to produce beer by local people, with local products, and for the local community. To keep the costs down during the recession of 2008, he ran the business by himself in the Old Mission Brewery using shared equipment, and in 2011 he finally moved to his current location in Sorrento Valley. Ten years and 3 full time employees later, he is currently working on a business plan. New English Brewery has 1 distributor and plans to expand distribution to Orange and L.A. Counties. Now that grocery stores understand that customers want craft beer, Simon plans to get some coveted shelf space in grocery stores. Canada and Scandinavia are on the horizon, too. Eric’s story also fuses science with beer. He was the director of the flow cytometry core facility at the Sanford Institute for Regenerative Medicine until recently. Before that, he headed a flow cytometry core facility in the UK. This is where he rediscovered beers from England, Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic, where craft beer is actually called beer! Back in San Diego, he realized that the beer industry had flourished, and craft beer and food and beer pairings were now the norm. He became a home brewer and, eventually, bought a brewing license with some friends. Local bars and restaurant liked his beer, but he and his partners decided to raise some capital and expand beyond their cool place in North Park. They are building a facility in Barrio Logan and, although there have been some challenges, things are moving along nicely. Beer competitions The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO is widely considered to be the Super Bowl of beer, with over 7,000 beers competing for 280 medals. Winning a medal is quite an achievement, and San Diego brought home 18 of them in 2016. Duck Foot Brewery won a silver medal with its Contender IPA with Fresh Chilis, and New English’s Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, which uses coffee beans from the local coffee shop Zumbar, won a bronze. Eric did not win anything this year at the GABF, but his success in other competitions speak for the quality of his product. Dark days in the brewery business Brewing beer is not always fun. Frictions with business partners can happen in breweries like in any other start up. People put their savings in the business, money can be tight, and disagreements can ensue. Nonetheless, working through the differences and looking at the big picture can help create a great culture. Non-human related problems can happen, too. Lactobacillus infection can be devastating for a barrel aged imperial stout and, if it happens, one just needs to throw away the whole batch, with big losses. In the long run, it is better to throw away one batch than to ruin one’s reputation by bottling a subpar product. Finding investors Investors may be necessary in a brewery like in any other business. Equipment and facilities are expensive, so brewers need capital if they want to expand. Sometimes investors are just friends and family, and sometimes one can meet them via networking. In other cases, investors come to you. One advantage of having a tasting room is that people, including investors, get to know you, your product, and your business, and may want to invest in it. Social media It may be challenging to create interesting content for the various social media outlets, and it can be a lot of work for a small business, but nowadays having a social media presence is a must. Eric used social media to advertise some funny beer competitions for cash prizes. These competitions may not have been a great return on investment for the brewery, but they created a lot of traffic and people had a lot of fun! This article was originally published by Roberta Alexander on LinkedIn.
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    Patents - Prior art is the start...

    You have an invention idea and you apply for a patent application. But what if someone has already patented that idea? All your hard work has been in vain. You wouldn’t have had this problem if you had done a prior art search before filing the application, though. A prior art search is a search for all patent applications and patents that are related to your invention idea. There are companies whose sole job is to do prior art searches. They have access to databases from around the world and can provide you with a list of patent applications and patents related to your invention. A patent practitioner can take that list and look through all the applications and patents and see what they claim.  If he thinks that your invention can claim something that’s different from what’s claimed in the list, then your invention may be patentable.  There are some patent practitioners who do their own prior art searches. They most likely don’t have access to all the databases and tools prior art search companies have access to, though. Going through a company that routinely does prior art searches will likely give you a more comprehensive list.  The bigger the list is, the less surprised you’ll be by the patent examiner looking over your application. The examiner will do his own prior art search and come up with his own list. You want your list to match his list as much as possible. By having access to more databases than a patent practitioner, a prior art search company is your best bet of your list matching up with the examiner’s list. You’ll be more prepared if the examiner issues a rejection of your application based on a document on his list. If your application is likely to face rejection, wouldn’t you like to know that beforehand? Doing a prior art search before filing an application can save you a lot of money in patent practitioner fees, filing fees, and other fees. A typical prior art search can cost around $500, but don’t skimp on this step. $500 early on trumps thousands of dollars of fees later on. This article was previously published at http://www.neilithompson.com/. Thank you to Neil Thompson, patent agent & writer, for sharing with our SDEE community.
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Knobe Martens Duane Morris

SDEE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs
in order to provide a voice for the early stage start-up, to support new entrepreneurs and their companies,
and to sponsor networking and educational events
to help develop the skills necessary to bring funding, business, and jobs to the San Diego area.

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