SDEE Newsletter_February 2017


Newsletter Highlights

Message From the President

Community Resources for Entrepreneurs

The ABCs of IP:  Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs 

2017 SDEE Executive Committee Members

Member News - The Latest from our SDEE Business Members


Message From the President

The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, founded by local entrepreneurs, to offer a voice, resources, and a support system to help entrepreneurs and their companies thrive in the San Diego ecology.  The supporting program portfolio that we provide grows each year as the programs and benefits we offer evolve with our expanding member base, and will continue to grow as we work together.

SDEE has provided support and education to over ~2400 individual participants in the past 6 years.  We are proud to offer quarterly Entrepreneur Roundtable events, reaching hundreds of entrepreneurs, on topics ranging from “How I started My Company and Why,” and “Being Fundable,” to “Beer- The Original Biotech.” We also offer a focused workshop series that offers a smaller, more intimate milieu for entrepreneurs to explore topics such as grant writing, negotiation, how to manage business operations, and more.  Our monthly socials provide a relaxed environment for local members to network, socialize, and support each other through the challenging start-up landscape.

At our core, SDEE is a grass-roots organization, comprised solely of volunteers, working to improve the entrepreneur support system with the end goals of facilitating and fostering funding, new business growth, and jobs development in San Diego.  We need a strong volunteer base to increase the systems we so badly want to develop, and offer volunteer opportunities in leadership development, fundraising, event planning, management, and more.

SDEE has been the safe and supportive group that, as a business owner, I have grown up in.  It has offered me a team of people who unfailingly offer help, expertise, and guidance through the myriad of questions, twists, and turns that we all encounter when starting and growing a company.  I am excited to act as SDEE President for 2017 and to work to give back a fraction of what SDEE has given me over the last 6 years.

This year, we host our 4th annual “Get to Know Your Neighbor” event, which focuses on opening the door for, and promoting, partnering locally whenever possible.  We are also looking to expand our workshop series to include some new, more focused, networking opportunities.  Make 2017 the year that you capitalize on your SDEE membership by increasing your involvement; joining a committee, taking advantage of learning opportunities, and helping us to provide more support than ever to you and everyone else in the SDEE network!


Taylor Moyer


Community Resources for Entrepreneurs

By Sylvia Norman, Sandhill Crane Diagnostics 

An attendee at a recent networking event asked the startup panel whether it was possible to bootstrap a Life Sciences company. I thought “you bet it is and you’re in one of the best cities to do it.” And that’s how the idea to generate an SDEE listing of startup resources was born. Many of our SDEE members founded their companies using the wealth of entrepreneur resources available here in San Diego. We’ve drawn on their experiences to generate our initial lists. The following is a summary of what we've identified so far.

Lab Space -  Startups need proof-of-concept data to obtain funding via investors, grants or partners, so finding wet lab space is an early priority. Luckily, San Diego has a variety of affordable wet lab incubator spaces to choose from including JLABS, Bio Tech & Beyond, Home Labs (Lab Fellows), BioLabs San Diego, Biotech Incubator of San Diego, La Jolla Cove Research Center and San Diego Science Center (Pacific Beach). Advantages to being part of an incubator are savings on capital equipment, shipping/receiving, facilities management and interacting directly with other Life Science entrepreneurs. Not looking to join an incubator? Less formal shared lab space options are available through companies with extra space available. SDEE posts these opportunities on our social media sites as we learn about them.

Accelerators - Need help with planning or growing your business? Check out local accelerators like Hera LABS, CONNECT Springboard and San Diego SCORE which offer business development mentoring at low or no cost to entrepreneurs. Join our SDEE events and workshops for expert advice on topics to help grow your company.

Equipment & Supplies - Equipment and supplies can take a big chunk out of your budget. Even if working in an incubator with shared equipment, you will likely need additional research equipment and lab supplies. ALT (American Laboratory Trading), Lab Trader and BioSurplus are local vendors who sell used or refurbished equipment at discounted prices. Sustainable Surplus and BioPioneer are great resources for lab supplies. For group discounts on lab purchases and business services, check out California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). Looking for free equipment and supplies? Follow our SDEE social media and eblasts for announcements.

Discounted Services – Need custom lab support? Lab Fellows and Managed Lab Services can help fill those requirements. Our SDEE business directory and consultants directory have an array of resources for low cost custom services tailored to startup needs. Don't forget about local Life Science core facilities when looking for affordable specialty lab services. 

That’s the start of our findings. We’ll be updating our lists as we learn about additional San Diego resources. Do you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it. Contact Sylvia Norman at [email protected] with your tips.


The ABCs of IP: Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs

By Neil Thompson, Patent Agent and Writer

Intellectual property. Not exactly a sexy subject, but one that is often instrumental to the success of a business. SDEE hosted a panel of intellectual property practitioners on February 23 at Hera Hub Sorrento Valley. For those of you who didn’t attend, you missed out. The room was brimming with people eager to soak up what the panelists had to say. The panelists (Eric Hanscom, Neil Thompson, Liz Bui, and Melody Kramer) didn’t disappoint. Here are some key takeaways from each panelist’s presentation.

Think fanciful

Eric Hanscom, an IP attorney and partner at Hanscom, Alexeev & McDaniel, advised the audience that, when picking a name to trademark, choose a fanciful name - one that doesn’t exist. What’s a Google? Exactly. Names that already exist are more likely to be rejected by the USPTO, he argued.

Register copyrights

You copyright something once you create it, Mr. Hanscom admits, but by registering the copyright, you receive added protections. If someone infringes on your registered copyright, you can sue for statutory damages. Without a registered copyright, your starting point for damages isn’t nearly as high.

Disclose after provisional

Neil Thompson, patent agent, implored the audience to publically disclose invention ideas after filing a provisional application. A public disclosure can entail selling the invention, offering to sell the invention, and publishing data about the invention. By filing the provisional application first, you provide yourself the most protection. It’s more difficult for someone else to patent your invention, since there’s documented proof in the patent office that you’re the inventor.

Support utility with provisional

The provisional application must fully support the utility application that you’ll eventually file. If not, your application filing date will be that of the utility application, not the provisional application. You’ve essentially wasted money filing the provisional application. And entrepreneurs can’t afford to waste money - EVER!

Consider the PCT

Liz Bui, VP and IP Counsel at Viacyte Inc., often uses PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications to file for patent protection in other countries. If you file patent applications in individual countries separately, you only have 12 months after filing a US application to decide which countries to file in. If you file a PCT application 12 months after filing a US application, you have an additional 18 months to decide which countries to file in. That’s 18 more months to seek financing and gain a better understanding of the markets for your invention. 

Spend money wisely

Melody Kramer of Legal Greenhouse worked for years as an IP litigator. She recommended that attendees think long and hard about spending money on issues that may not matter. She said she could have sought out a registered copyright for her website, but she didn’t really have anything on it that was so proprietary that warranted the cost, so she didn’t copyright.

Avoid court if possible

Melody preferred dealing with potential infringers that responded timely and didn’t ignore her correspondence over those that blew her off. In one case, she mentioned that, after meeting with the potential infringers, they all came to an agreement for royalties and everyone was satisfied. In another case, when another potential infringer ignored her, her company sued for infringement, meaning legal fees and court time. It’s almost always cheaper to settle and compromise than go to court.

There you have it. The IP event was the first major event in SDEE’s 2017 calendar. Stay tuned to hear more about what SDEE has in store. You won’t be disappointed!



2017 SDEE Executive Committee

Taylor Moyer, CEO, Managed Laboratory Services (President)

Scott Struthers, CEO, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals (Past President 2015-2016)

Scott Thacher, CEO, Orphagen Pharmaceuticals (Past President 2010-2014)

Danielle Hayes, Executive Assistant, Orphagen Pharmaceuticals (Secretary)

Kathrin Copley, Principal Consultant, KCopley Consulting (Treasurer)

Amy Duncan, CEO, Goldfish Consulting (Chair, Communications Committee)

Sylvia Norman, CEO, Sandhill Crane Diagnostics (Chair, Membership Committee)

Randy Schreckhise, Partner & Co-Founder, Gamma Biotech (Co-chair, Events Committee)

Marilyn Ferrari, CEO, Cesira Inc (Co-chair, Events Committee)

Ted Jacobs, Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Ruo Steensma, Senior IT Manager, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Jiwu Wang, CEO, Allele Biotechnology


Member News

Aequor, Inc,

Aequor won the NASA iTech challenge and is being honored on a panel at the Space Symposium in April

Allele Biotechnology

Allele to Develop iPSC-Derived Cell Therapies with Focus on Diabetes and Spinal Cord Injury

American Laboratory Trading (ALT)

ALT is hosting a lunch & learn on HPLC maintenance Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 American Laboratory Trading, 6444 Nancy Ridge Dr., San Diego, CA 92121. Register at

Argonaut Manufacturing Services, Inc.

Argonaut Manufacturing Services, Inc. recently completed 11 state-of-the-art manufacturing cleanroom suites to support clients’ growth and innovation. Having been recommended by the British Standards Institute for ISO13485 certification in 2016, Argonaut will register as a cGMP manufacturer for diagnostic reagents and consumables in March 2017.

Cell Applications 

Cell Applications, Inc., (CAI) welcomes Ibrahim Domain, MD, PhD, Martin Kriegel, MD, PhD, and Duke Cancer Biologist Kris Wood to its Science Advisory Team

Researchers at CAI have generated beating heart "organoid" engineered using 3D bioprinting and iPSC-derived heart cells


Research from CureMatch Co-Founder Selected by ASCO as Major Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research and Care

Reveal Biosciences

Reveal Oncology Applies Big Data Analytics To Cancer Research With Solid Tumor Data Packages On Demand

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