Dear SDEE Members! Since our first roundtable in 2010, SDEE has been helping entrepreneurs and their companies succeed in San Diego. This would never have been possible without the extensive efforts and vision of our Founding President, Scott Thacher. After five years serving as our president, Scott asked the Board to choose a new president and I am honored to serve in that role for the next two years. Scott will continue to be actively involved in SDEE as a member of the Executive Committee and a member of our Board of Directors.
Last year was one of the best ever for SDEE and its members. The optimistic mood was clear at the holiday party. The food and wine were great, and the friendships and support of our peers grew even stronger. Conversations ranged from recent financial successes in deals, grants and sales, to growing pains of building out new labs and recruiting. It was a significant shift from our first holiday potluck where the nascent membership traded stories of their recent transitions to entrepreneurship (often unplanned), and the challenges of starting new companies in the depths of the great recession. We have come a long way!
This year promises to be even better. Behind the scenes, the SDEE board has been focusing a great deal of effort into making 2015 a transformative year for the organization. Our new website has been redesigned with easier navigation, and implemented on the NationBuilder platform, which integrates communications, event registration, and membership previously managed on four separate platforms.
The Events Committee started the year with a superb lineup of speakers at our workshop on term sheets where 35 entrepreneurs chatted with experts on issues around termsheets for convertible debt, series A investments, and pharma partnering. Our ever-popular investor roundtable on “Founder’s Tales of Start up to Success” took place in April. We are also having our “Meet Your Neighbors” event in June, which drew our biggest crowd ever of about 300 attendees last year.
It’s important to remember that SDEE is an all-volunteer organization and all the events, workshops and happy hours are only possible due to the efforts of local entrepreneurs who believe in helping each other and paying it forward. A great mentor of mine once told me there is no better way to build relationships than to work together on an altruistic project. I’ve made great friends and business relationships by committing time and creative effort to SDEE—and you can too. We have openings on the Events, Communications and Membership and Fundraising Committees. Please take a moment at one of our next events to talk to a committee member about joining us and helping to strengthen the entrepreneurial community in our great city.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish you all a successful and growth-filled 2015.
-Scott Struthers, President