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We Tha Plug - Event Review

By Scott Thacher and Danielle Hayes

We Tha Plug is a global virtual ecosystem that works with Pan African, Latinx, other under-represented founders & early stage startups from ideation phase to pre-seed and series A round. Luis Martinez, Founder/CEO and Christiana Russell, Partner/COO described We Tha Plug and answered questions with Taylor Moyer, former President of SDEE, at a virtual SEE event December 9, 2020.

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SDEE Holiday Party 2020

The San Diego Entrepreneur Exchange (SDEE) Holiday party on Dec 16, 2020, was, like all events in 2020, virtual. Big thanks and kudos to the organizers; your work certainly paid off! Thanks also to Randy Schreckhise for his leadership as SDEE president for the past 2 years. Welcome and congratulations to the incoming president, Marilyn Ferrari. Thanks also to SDEE’s sponsors: Alexandria, Morrison/Foerster, Ted Jacobs, Takeda, BDO, Longfellow, Marsh & McLennan, PineApple Hustle, and Wagenknecht Law Group.

Although this year people could not chat and catch up with friends and acquaintances, the event was a lot of fun. After a few words from Randy and Marilyn, we played the song game. The DJ played a few seconds of famous Christmas tunes, and after each song, people had to write the title in the chat box as quickly as possible. The participation was great, and it was impressive how quickly some people recognized the songs and wrote the correct titles, even when the songs had only the music. For the scavenger hunt we broke into groups of 4 or 5 people and looked around our houses for a long list of holiday-themed objects. Most groups had a Christmas tree, some had a gingerbread house or a snow globe, but only one had a snow shovel. Yes, somebody in San Diego owns a snow shovel. Congratulations to all the winners and runner ups for your impressive performances!

The highlight of the night was the magician and mentalist Coby (, who performed a spellbinding magic show. The tricks were amazing and truly entertaining. Even via Zoom, he was able to engage the whole group with cards, a Rubik’s cube, and mentalist games. Great show, Coby!

Hopefully we can resume in-person events soon and get together for a more traditional holiday party next year but, until then, Happy Holidays and Happy 2021 to the entire SDEE community!

Thank you SDEE community


Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the SDEE membership community. Thank you for your continued support of our virtual events and monthly happy hours this year. We have more exciting events coming up in the next few weeks, including our annual year-end celebration, monthly happy hour and a sustainability event. As a token of our appreciation, we are offering a 30% discount to all new and renewing members through December 31, 2020. Please contact Sylvia Norman ( if you have questions. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Founder's Tales 2020 Summary

Even with the pandemic still raging, San Diego Entrepreneur Exchange (SDEE) was able to host one of the most successful yearly events, Founders Tales, on October 28, 2020 via Zoom. A big thank you to the sponsors: Alexandria, Morrison/Foerster, Ted Jacobs, Takeda, BDO, Longfellow, Marsh & McLennan, PineApple Hustle, and Wagenknecht Law Group. Invited to the 30 second pitch were: Joel Huizenga of Egaceutical Corporation, Randall Berdwell of Clinical Technology, Michelleanne Bradley of Metis Consulting Services, James Evans of PhenoVista Biosciences, and Pavel Reddy of ClearPoint Ventures.

The program featured three excellent founders: Adam Tibbs of Upswing Health, Dr. Helge Zieler of Primordial Genetics, and Dr. Molly He of Element Biosciences.

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Interview with Casey Miles, CEO The California Spirits Company

On September 29, 2020 the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) virtual event was an interview with Casey Miles, founder and CEO of The California Spirits Company. Differently from usual, the event was not focused on life sciences; however, it was very interesting to hear how a San Diego entrepreneur built a successful company.

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Digital Marketing with Anna Kloth

The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) hosted a virtual event on September 17th, 2020 focused on digital marketing, which is especially important during the pandemic, as many people are not in the office to receive printed marketing material.

Anna Kloth is the founder of The Pineapple Hustle, a company that teaches online marketing courses. She gave a very interesting, engaging, and fun presentation on some basic marketing principles which are applicable to every industry.

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September 2020 Member News

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

  • Yinghong Gao, Viva Biotech
  • Jiwu Wang, Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Michael Sherman, Human BioMolecular Research Institute (HBRI)
  • Deborah Bright, Nanome
  • Marilyn Bruno, Aequor
  • Hannah Minton, Biosero
  • R. Scott Struthers, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals
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Overview of SDEE’s Kilimanjaro - Lessons from 19,000 ft

by Randy Schreckhise and Lynda Groocock

On August 27th, 2020 Dan Bradbury (Executive Chairman, Equillium) and Nancy Hong (Managing Partner, RiverVest) provided an overview of a trip they took with twenty five other biotech executives and venture capitalists up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The event was organized by Seattle-based journalist Luke Timmerman, led by climbing guide Eric Murphy, and raised over $1.6M for The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The gift of giving was the first lesson of the trip.

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SDEE Entrepreneur Round Table with Xontogeny

On May 12, 2020, SDEE’s virtual event was a discussion with Chris Garabedain, the chairman and CEO of Xontogeny.

Xontogeny is a Boston-based life sciences accelerator that funds, supports, and advances life science technologies from early development to proof-of-concept clinical studies.

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SDEE Entrepreneur Round Table: COVID-19 and the workplace

As many states and businesses recently lifted shelter-in-place orders, San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) hosted a virtual round table on July 21, 2020 to discuss what businesses can do to reopen safely. Paul Ryan, a health and safety specialist at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) in New Jersey, gave a presentation entitled Workplace COVID testing: what you need to know. During his presentation, Paul shared slides from Dr. John Howard from the CDC on COVID-19 and the Workplace.

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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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