SDEE Newsletter_April 2016

The San Diego Startup Times by SDEE

 Newsletter Highlights

  • Featured Interview

  • Tips from the pros

  • Upcoming SDEE Events

  • Recent SDEE Events

  • Member News

Featured Interview

How Entrepreneurs Learn to Build a Start-Up

An interview with Kimberly Davis King, co-director StartR and mystartupXX programs, Rady School of Management UCSD

by Amy Duncan, Goldfish Consulting

A veteran in the world of venture capital, Kimberly Davis King now focuses on investing and mentoring startups and high growth companies. With academic credentials that include a BS in industrial engineering from Stanford University and a MBA from the Harvard Business School, Ms. King is currently a lecturer at the Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) where she also co-directs the student accelerator programs, StartR and mystartupXX, among other leadership roles and non-profit board positions she holds through the San Diego community.  

The Rady School of Management is an ideal environment for Ms. King. While this graduate-level business school offers an MBA as well as other business degrees, the MBA curriculum places a special emphasis on issues faced by innovation-driven companies. Its signature program is called Lab to Market (L2M), a year-long course series that teaches students how to perform market research and feasibility studies, and develop a business plan and go-to-market strategy. “After that experience many of those students want to start their own companies,” said Ms. King. “But they are still going to school or working other jobs and often not able to get into traditional accelerator programs.” In 2013, a group of students identified this gap and suggested that the Rady School have their own accelerator program. The Dean asked Lada Rasochova, PhD, and Ms. King to help start StartR.

StartR is a free, non-profit accelerator program for Rady students and alumni designed to provide entrepreneurs tools to start and grow their businesses. The program includes workshops, mentoring, advice, and access to other resources for early-stage companies. At the conclusion of the six-month program, teams present their pitches at Demo Day, attended by investors and industry experts in the San Diego community.

“Every six months we have a cohort of six teams that go through the StartR program,” said Ms. King. “They come in with the idea, and we help them get their business off the ground. They incorporate the company, raise money, and many have generated revenue.”

Two stand-out companies that completed the StartR program are and Alpine Labs. uses Google glass-like technology worn by the blind that connects to remote agents who provide assistance in navigating the world around them. They’ve raised over $2.25 million in venture funding and have the product in beta-testing. The Alpine Labs product, Michron, allows affordable time-lapse photography using common DSLR cameras. The company has had three successful Kickstarter campaigns, recently raising $1.2 million, the highest amount any UCSD group has raised on Kickstarter.

The mystartupXX program was created by Dr. Rasochova and Rosibel Ochoa, PhD, from the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center at UCSD. “They created mystartupXX to encourage female entrepreneurship in technology,” said Ms. King. “During the nine-month program, participants attend workshops on team building, leadership, market assessment, market research, creating a value proposition, validating business models, and understanding financing strategies needed to launch the business.”

One notable company that completed the mystartupXX program is Cypher Genomics, founded by Ashley Van Zeeland, PhD. Cypher Genomics enables scalable, automated genome interpretation of next generation sequencing data for diagnostics development and biomarker discovery. The company was acquired by Human Longevity in November 2015.

“We welcome SDEE members to become involved with StartR and mystartupXX,” said Ms. King. “Only one member of the management team needs to be a current Rady student or a Rady alumni to participate in StartR.” A great way to meet Rady students and entrepreneurs is to attend Demo Day on March 30, when the StartR teams present their pitches. Both programs have a competitive application process to select participants. The Spring 2016 StartR program closes on April 10th. The next application period for mystartupXX is the Fall 2016. To learn more about StartR and the Demo Day, click here. To learn more about mystartupXX, click here.

Tips From the Pros

by Neil Thompson

It’s that time of year again. Tax day (April 18) is approaching. Get your receipts ready and your tax preparer on speed dial! Want some tips to make your life a little easier? Here you go.

  • If you're a solo entrepreneur with assets (house, car, etc.), consider changing your company’s designation from a solo proprietorship to an LLC or an S Corporation so that your personal assets are separated from your business ones, offering more protection for the former. 
  • If you are an LLC, consider filing your tax returns as an S Corp so that you can get some tax breaks. For instance, if you’re a shareholder of an LLC that files its taxes as an S Corporation, your distributions are not subject to employment tax.
  • If you have hefty quarterly payments and are struggling to pay them, consider asking for a payment installment plan that you can handle.
  • The IRS only goes back 3 years for tax audits. Keep your papers 5 years to be safe. Gone are the 7 years recommended in the past.
  • You need to open a business banking account if for no other reason than to make an audit run more smoothly. You don’t want an auditor wading through your personal affairs to locate your business interests.
  • If you travel anywhere with your vehicle for a business related purposes (networking event, conference, dinner, etc.), you can deduct the actual vehicle expenses or the standard rate per mile driven. For 2015 tax year, the standard rate is 57.5 cents per mile driven.
  • When you expense meals and entertainment, write down on the receipt who was in attendance as well as the purpose of the event. Your tax preparer will thank you!

New Entrepreneur Resources 

Innovative New Concept for San Diego Life Science Startups

by Sylvia Norman, Molecular Diagnostics Consulting,Inc

LabFellows recently announced the opening of Home Lab, an innovative approach to lab bench space for San Diego scientist entrepreneurs. Home Lab eliminates the burden of owning and running fully equipped labs by offering subscription-based packages. These packages pair lab bench space with pre-configured workflows (e.g. cell culture room, biosafety work areas), shared equipment and customized concierge-style services. This is an expansion of LabFellows’ ongoing commitment to provide ready-access resources for local science startups.

On a recent tour of the new facility, Julio de Unamuno IV, CEO, explained how Home Lab works: “A local start-up will first fill out a Request Guide which allows us to provide the best solution for that startup’s specific needs. Solutions range from hourly access to specific equipment to monthly subscriptions which includes wet lab space with modular workflow plans and on-site services. During the implementation phase, LabFellows outfits Home Lab with all the equipment, reagents and consumables your company needs, so the space will be turn-key and ready to start running experiments as soon as you step in!”.

LabFellows also helps with permitting, safety plans and other documentation needed to get you started. As a full-time or commuter user, LabFellows will provide a purchasing service, on-site shipping & delivery, waste disposal management, Wi-Fi, meeting rooms and 24/7 access with security.  

What separates Home Lab apart from incubators and co-working style facilities, is a new concierge approach that helps entrepreneurial scientists build their teams and conduct research in a configurable, efficient environment. LabFellows strives to eliminate the lab operation headaches that pull scientists away from the bench. It believes scientists should not be limited in their abilities to advance their research simply because they do not have access to the necessary workflows.

The LabFellows Management Team includes seasoned San Diego entrepreneurs: Julio de Unamuno IV (CEO and co-Founder of LabFellows) and Tim Ryan (COO and co-Founder LabFellows and San Diego Startup Week). To learn more about Home Lab, please visit and receive special rates for being a registered SDEE member!

Upcoming SDEE Events

Come network with your fellow San Diego entrepreneurs at our April 21, 2016 SDEE Happy Hour, hosted by New English Brewing Company. RSVP here and get a 10% discount on beverages.

Recent SDEE Events

Get To Know Your Neighbors - March 23, 2016

This year’s Get To Know Your Neighbors event featured a vendor show with 35 SDEE business member exhibitors, a keynote address by San Diego entrepreneur J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., and a networking reception. With over 300 attendees, it was a unique opportunity to discover SDEE entrepreneur resources, form new collaborations and hear about the latest scientific innovations. The event was hosted at the scenic Bella Vista Social Club & Caffe and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and sponsored by Barney&Barney and Synthetic Genomics, Inc

SDEE was pleased to have Dr. Venter, a highly-regarded genomics scientist and San Diego entrepreneur, as our keynote speaker. He is the founder, chairman & CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute; co-founder, executive chairman & CEO of Human Longevity, Inc.; and co-founder, executive chairman & co-chief scientist of Synthetic Genomics, Inc.

Dr. Venter treated our attendees to an amazing overview of precision medicine innovations pioneered by his companies.

Check out our SDEE Facebook page for more photos of this event. 

Member News

by Danielle Hayes

Cardinal Health Regulatory Sciences group is providing a workshop focused on the preparation and submission of regulatory dossiers in electronic Common Technical Document (eCTD) format. The workshop will show life sciences professionals how to prepare global regulatory dossiers in eCTD through specific examples demonstrating the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic format and how it can benefit global regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical organizations. The workshop will take place June 27-29, 2016, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – Division of Pharmacy Professional Development. For more information on this training, visit

American Laboratory Trading is gearing up for its annual Spring inventory clearance event and would like to offer SDEE a first look as part of a private one week pre-sale event. This event is by far their biggest promotion of the year with discounts up to 30% off our already low prices on virtually every item we stock. Call 858-952-0435 and use promo code SDEE.

CalChem Synthesis is celebrating its third year anniversary. CalChem is a contract research organization (CRO) providing chemistry services to biotech and pharmaceutical companies and research institutes. 

DeeAnn Visk, Consultant, continues to enjoy writing for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. Here is the link to all of her pieces published in GEN:

Reveal Biosciences, LLC announced a partnership with Affymetrix for RNA biomarker services Reveal Biosciences’ success lead to a recent expansion to a new facility in Sorrento Valley

Flow Paradigm has established its new division, nanoBioforms, located in San Diego, California. nanoBioforms studies submicron particles using flow cytometry and is excited to have hired their first employee this past February. Additionally, Flow Paradigm has acquired FloCyte, a flow cytometry training company. FloCyte is dedicated to providing classroom and hands-on flow cytometry training tailored to the specific needs of global research and clinical labs, universities, industry and hospitals.

Molecular Diagnostics Consulting, Inc. is pleased to announce our new sister company Sandhill Crane Diagnostics, Inc. Stay tuned for more information. The founder of Molecular Diagnostics Consulting, Inc., Sylvia Norman, was recently invited to participate as a Entrepreneurship panel member for the PDA STEM Careers Symposium at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

Aequor, Inc. filed a provisional patent on February 29, 2016 for over 30 novel synthesized molecules with broad spectrum efficacy against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and their biofilm. Aequor was selected by the NIH to participate in a new program to accelerate clinical trials. Aequor will be presenting at the BIO World Congress for Industrial Biotech, the Green Chemistry in Commerce Council meeting, BIO International Convention and the 2016 International Space Station R&D Conference. 



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