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March 2021 Member News

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

  • Clearpoint Ventures, Pavel Reddy
  • DTx Pharma, Yinghong Gao
  • Crinetics Pharmaceturicals, Scott Struthers 
  • Aequor, Marilyn Bruno
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SABPA Bio-partnering ePitch

You are cordially invited to join in the 2nd SABPA Bio-partnering ePitch event on Friday, March 26, 2021. To participate, please submit the application with a company executive summary to: [email protected]. The submission deadline is March 14, 2021. Please send questions to [email protected].


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Message from SDEE President, Marilyn Ferrari

What a difference a year makes

One year ago, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic was setting in. What a difference a year makes! Since then, diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines were developed at an unprecedented rate due to the coordinated efforts around the world. Many San Diego companies contributed to this effort and as a result we are turning the corner in our efforts to contain the pandemic. San Diego has also been at the forefront of innovation in other areas. I felt a sense of pride to learn that five of the cameras and other technology on the Mars Perseverance were from San Diego companies.

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Finalists Pitch The San Diego Angel Conference March 20

By Amy Duncan, SDEE Communications Chair and SDAC III Fund Manager

If you’ve ever thought about becoming an entrepreneur or an angel investor, The San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC) is for you. SDAC is a pitch competition that connects entrepreneurs to accredited angel investors, with the goal to provide much needed funding. The conference is a three-month series of events in which founders apply, and through subsequent rounds of selection, finalists get invited to pitch investors and compete for investment. This year’s winner will be announced at the premier event on March 20.

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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 ([email protected]) 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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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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