Meet SDEE Community

How Entrepreneurs are Innovating to Address Food Waste

By Amy Duncan, Goldfish Consulting, Inc.

Entrepreneurs like Elizabeth Murphy, Sarah Boltwala-Mesina, and Jonathan Zaidman are starting companies to help people who are concerned about sustainability easily minimize food waste. From plant-based catering, to composting, to food production—sustainability is a unifying theme. We heard about their efforts at “Food Waste Reimagined,” an event hosted by the SDEE Sustainability Group held on October 24 at WeWork UTC, sponsored by Morrison Foerster and Struthers Family Trust.

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SDEE Recognizes Volunteers with Karl Strauss Social Mixer

On a warm fall evening, the many volunteers of SDEE got together for recognition of their efforts. Led by Kathrin Copley, chair of the SDEE volunteer committee, all of the committee chairs and their hard-working members were honored with appreciation and gratitude. Our numerous events and programs are orchestrated through our all-volunteer organization. It’s through the generous donation of their time that helps to improve our entrepreneurial community and support system. We have several committees that plan and host events, grow membership, attract corporate sponsors, and promote SDEE activities. We’re always welcoming new committee members. Volunteering with SDEE a great opportunity to contribute your knowledge, gain new experiences, and make a difference in the San Diego entrepreneurial scene. For more information, please email SDEE at

SDEE Volunteer Mixer


SDEE Founder's Tales Event Summary

The Founders Tales event organized by the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) is always a great opportunity to hear the stories of local life sciences entrepreneurs, and this year was no exception. The event was at Green Acre on Campus Point on Thursday, October 10, 2019, and was sponsored by Alexandria, Marsh & McLennan, and Morrison & Foerster. The reception was a nice opportunity to network and chat with the exhibitors while having delicious pizza bites, wine, and beer. The event started with the president of SDEE, Randy Schreckhise, describing SDEE’s mission, membership options, and volunteering opportunities, after which representatives of Alexandria spoke about their new building, GradLabs, and the insurance broker Marsh & McLennan described their services. Seven entrepreneurs from Brandwood Medical, Leulan Bioscience, TraXel, ArgoNox Discoveries, Digital Proteomics, and Viva Biotech gave a 30 second pitch before the four founders took the stage. This year we heard from Todd Harris, CEO and co-founder of Tyra Biosciences; Jeff Stafford, CEO and co-founder of Jecure Therapeutics and co-founder of Quanticel; Kevin Lustig, CEO and co-founder of and other ventures; Claire Weston, CEO and founder of Reveal Biosciences.

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Thank You to SDEE Sponsors

SDEE would like to thank its sponsors—ALT, Alexandria, Struthers Family Trust, Morrison Foerster, BioMed Realty, Ted Jacobs, BREX, Takeda, Union Bank, JP Morgan, Duane Morris, MaxCyte, Wagenknecht Law Group, Marsh & McLennan, and Longfellow—for supporting the organization in 2019. It’s through the contributions of funds, space, and leadership that we are able to bring you the events and engagements that drive growth and progression in our community. If you or your company would like to participate in sponsorship activities, please contact any member of the SDEE Executive Committee or simply email Danielle Hayes at No contribution is too small, and all donations are dedicated to enhancing the growth of founders, startups, and their entrepreneurial endeavors.

SDEE Sponsors

SDEE Launches New Entrepreneurial Boot Camp Series

By Amy Duncan, Goldfish Consulting, Inc.

Being an entrepreneur is challenging because there is so much to learn. It’s not just knowing about your product, but also understanding company formation, financing, and intellectual property. It’s no different for scientific founders with graduate degrees and years of experience. SDEE has regularly hosted workshops to aid entrepreneurs in getting started. Now they’re introducing the Entrepreneur Boot Camp. As a benefit to members, the Boot Camp is an 8-month program with monthly expert-led education sessions and small cohort mentoring sessions. Leading the way are Deborah Nguyen, PhD, Vice President, Biology, COI Pharmaceuticals, and Daniel Catron, Executive Director of Licensing and Business Development, Allele Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals, Inc. With contributions from sponsors ALT, Morrison Foerster, JP Morgan, and Struthers Family Trust and help from experienced leaders in the community, they’re ready to kick off the inaugural SDEE Boot Camp with the first session scheduled in September 2019. I sat down with Nguyen and Catron to find out what SDEE Boot Camp is all about.

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September 2019 Member News

Member News provides an opportunity for SDEE members to share news and announcements. This month's Member News features:

  • Aequor, Marilyn Bruno
  • Brandwood CKC, Luis Jimenez
  • Family Proud, Jaden Risner
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Women's Venture Summit 2019

We are pleased to partner with the Women’s Venture Summit presented by Stella Labs and Stella Angels. This intensive September 14th event is aimed at equipping and connecting female founders and female funders by bringing together EXPERTS from both sides of the investment table to share best practices, essential tips and lessons learned. Binational, local and global resources will be shared and discussed along with trends and hot topics around gender investing. This Summit is a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to meet and network with women investors from all over the globe. Drop by our exhibit table to see what’s new at SDEE. Hope to see you there!

Get a 30% discount on your registration by entering discount code SDEE

Attend the August 28th Women's Fast Pitch competition to see who will be the finalists competing at the Women's Venture Summit.


SDEE Summer Social

The first SDEE annual Summer Social on Tuesday, August 6th was a not to be missed networking event. A big thank you to our sponsors, American Laboratory Trading (ALT), Morrison & Foerster, and the Struthers Family Trust for making this event possible and free to all SDEE members.

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Tips from the SDEE Angel Investor Panel

By Amy Duncan, Goldfish Consulting

Have a great team and access to mentors that can help pivot from failure. That was one piece of advice from the SDEE Angel Investor Panel held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at Green Acre Campus Pointe and sponsored by ALT, Morrison Foerster, and Alexandria. The panel included Sam Ellis, member of Tech Coast Angels and Life Science Angels, Jay Goth, Managing Partner of Forentis Fund, and Randy Berholtz, Sr. Fund Advisor and Fund Counsel with Mesa Verde and a Member of the Investment Committee, and was moderated by Jim Krenn, Partner from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

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Opportunities for Entrepreneurs: Collaborating with Disease Foundations

Discussion with Richard (Rick) Winneker, PhD,

Life Sciences Executive and Consultant

Formerly Senior Vice President, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)


By Marilyn Ferrari, Cesira, Inc.


I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Rick Winneker about collaborating with disease foundations.

Rick has held several pivotal roles in his career, most recently as SVP for Research at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). While at LLS, he built and led a research group focused on improving the standard of care and accelerating cures for patients with blood cancers. He expanded and strengthened LLS’ research staff and portfolio adding more therapy related strategic partnerships and further engaged the academic and biopharma community. Rick is currently using his pharmaceutical R&D and non-profit venture philanthropy experience as an independent consultant based in the Philadelphia area.

Here are some highlights and advice for entrepreneurs from our discussion:

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Ted Jacobs
Executive Managing Director
Global Life Sciences Practices Group

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Duane Morris MaxCyte Wagenknecht Barney and Barney Longfellow

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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