First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase 2020

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The First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase

Presented by Alliance for SoCal Innovation and Los Angeles Venture Association


Tuesday Sept 15 + Wednesday Sept 16
9a - 3p PT (both days) 


The First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase is an annual event that celebrates the best early-stage teams commercializing tech and life science breakthroughs from the top research institutions in Southern California. Startups will have an unparalleled opportunity to connect with top-tier investors and successful serial entrepreneurs. The day’s program will feature a lineup of quick-pitch presentations, each followed by investor-led Q&A, and panel discussions with key investors and industry leaders. 


Why You Should Attend
  • Get a first look at emerging technology with high potential for market disruption and impact
  • Discover companies seeking early stage funding to commercialize big ideas with massive potential
  • See 30 emerging startups do live quick pitch w/Q&A from notable investors PLUS 2 keynotes, 2 VC panels, and 2 workshops for startups
  • Free to attend including the webinar and startup workshops

Sponsors

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Full Event Schedule

LIFE SCIENCE TRACK - Sept 15th

Moderator: Matt Bresnahan, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

9:00a Keynote Ajay Nirula, VP Immunology at Lilly Research Laboratories "Lilly’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic"

9:30a Startup Presentations Session 1: Therapeutics 1
Alyra Therapeutics • Xiretsa • Palm Therapeutics • Visicell Medical • Cellaccura Biosciences

10:30a Break

11:00a Startup Presentations Session 2: Therapeutics 2
AquaTeX Medical • BioJam Technologies • Amplifica • SPG Therapeutics • Syntr Health Technologies

12:00p Workshop for Startups, presented by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
“Legal Strategies for the Emerging Growth Life Science Company and Key Tech Transfer Considerations” | Matt Bresnahan (WSGR) + Keith Hoffman (Lundquist Institute)

1:00p Startup Presentations Session 3: Diagnostics & Devices
Autism Diagnostics • De Oro Devices • SimplSeq • Epinoma • Makani Science • CERN

2:00p VC Investor Panel
“Which way is up? Investing in biotech during a global pandemic and a world turned upside down”
Alex Andrianopolous
Chief R&D Officer, Kairos Ventures
Alice Ly
Principal, Alexandria Venture Investments
Sean Harper
Founding Managing Director, Westlake Ventures
Nancy Hong
Managing Director, RiverVest
Gladys Nunez
Principal, Amgen Ventures
Mory Gharib
Professor & Entrepreneur, Caltech (moderator)

TECHNOLOGY  TRACK - Sept 16th

Moderator: Aaron Fyke, Managing Partner, Thin Line Capital

9:00a Keynote Alan Jacobson, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Alteryx

9:30a Startup Presentations Session 1: Energy & Materials
BioZen Batteries • FixingCO2 • SiLi-ion • Buoy Buddy • Beamlet

10:30a Break

11:00a Startup Presentations Session 2: Agriculture & Environment
Delphire • AquaTrax • Farmsense • Shamrock Greens • Spero Renewables

12:00p Workshop for Startups, presented by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
 "Trends in Early Stage VC Investing for Emerging Growth Startups" | Zach Myers (WSGR)

1:00p Startup Presentations Session 3: Computing & Hardware
Microscape • Tyme for Survivors • Optimal IC Technologies • memwris • Allthenticate

2:00p VC Investor Panel:
“Can we innovate our way out of it? Investing in early stage technology during unprecedented times.”
Rick Smith
Co-founder & Managing Partner, Crosscut Ventures
David Fleck
Founder & Managing Partner, Freeflow
Krisztina 'Z' Holly
Venture Partner, Good Growth Capital
Minnie Ingersoll
Venture Partner, TenOneTen
Shahin Farshchi
Partner, Lux Capital
Andy Wilson
Executive Director, Alliance for SoCal Innovation (moderator)

4:00p Virtual Tech Happy Hour Debrief with other attendees at L.A.’s largest startup networking meetup. All attendees are welcome to join for free by registering at http://happyhour.tech


LIFE SCIENCE - TUESDAY, SEPT 15

Keynote Speaker

Ajay Nirula

Ajay Nirula

Vice President of Immunology
Lilly Research Laboratories

Bio

Ajay Nirula, MD, PhD, is Vice President, Immunology for Lilly Research Laboratories (LRL) based at the Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego. Dr. Nirula joined Lilly in 2015 and is responsible for discovery research and early phase clinical development in immunology. Prior to joining Lilly, Dr. Nirula held leadership positions at Amgen and Biogen Idec and was involved in several research programs and regulatory filings spanning diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and vasculitis.

Dr. Nirula earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from UC Berkeley, his MD from UCLA School of Medicine, and his PhD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He subsequently joined the faculty in the Division of Rheumatology at UCSF Medical Center conducting research in T cell signal transduction. He has been a board member at the Vasculitis Foundation and continues to serve on the foundation’s research committee. He has published extensively in the scientific literature in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Immunology, and Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Startup Presentation Moderator & Workshop Presenter

Matt Bresnahan

Matt Bresnahan

Partner
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Bio

Matt Bresnahan is a partner in the San Diego and Los Angeles offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he has focused his practice over the past 10 years on all aspects of intellectual property, including strategic patent counseling, patent prosecution, licensing, and litigation. Matt is primary outside IP counsel to more than 50 life sciences companies within the biotechnology, molecular biology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device fields in Southern California. Matt is an adjunct professor of law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught patent law for the past five years.

Workshop Presenter


Keith Hoffman

Keith Hoffman

SVP, Business Development and Technology Transfer
The Lundquist Institute

Bio

Dr. Hoffman is responsible for the development of commercialization opportunities for The Lundquist Institute's intellectual properties, capabilities and expertise.

Prior to The Lundquist Institute, Dr. Hoffman held senior management roles (COO, CBO, VP) in business, corporate, science, and intellectual property development for biotechnology, healthcare data, medical device, and consumer product companies. As part of those efforts Dr. Hoffman drafted, and assisted in the prosecution of, over 70 patents. Most recently, he was part of the founding team at Advera Health Analytics where he developed and helped monetize big data platforms that provide real world side effect data on all FDA approved drugs.

Dr. Hoffman is a native San Diegan who earned both his B.S. in Biology and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UC Irvine in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Lynch. His research at Irvine focused on the molecular basis of learning and memory with an emphasis on how neural cell adhesion molecules may modulate synaptic architectures.

VC INVESTOR PANEL

Alex Andrianopoulos

Alex Andrianopoulos

Chief Research and Development Officer
Kairos Ventures

Bio

Alex leads the team of investment analysts at Kairos that conducts research and due diligence on all the companies we consider to invest in, either through incubation or Series-A funds. Alex joined Kairos with 20+ years of experience at high-tech companies specializing in enterprise software, ranging in size from startups with a handful of employees to behemoths with tens of thousands of employees. In these companies, Alex led global teams of dozens of employees responsible for product strategy, intellectual property protection, engineering, professional services, sales, marketing, and business development, and actively participated in the efforts to close, and successfully closed, multiple rounds of financing by venture capital firms as well as the public markets. Moreover, while at Oracle, Alex led the research and strategic alignment efforts for numerous acquisitions ranging in value from a few tens of millions to billions of dollars.

Alex has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.

Gladys Nunez

Gladys Nunez

Principal
Amgen Ventures

Bio

Gladys Nunez, MS, is an experienced early stage investor with two decades of experience supporting opportunities and alliances with health venture groups and organizations.

Ms. Nunez has been Principal of Amgen Ventures since 2014 where she currently leads diligence on new venture opportunities, working closely with Amgen’s Digital Health Organization. Since joining Amgen in 1997 as a biochemist, she has held various roles within the company including managing Amgen’s Academic Alliance Group, an initiative to build bridges between academia and industry through the establishment of comprehensive academic alliances. In 2002, she transferred into business development where she has completed numerous deals focused on discovery, development, and commercial applications in life sciences. She began her career as a biochemist for AstraZeneca.

Ms. Nunez holds a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from Marist College and a master’s degree in biochemical pharmacology from the University of Southampton.

Alice Ly

Alice Ly

Principal
Alexandria Venture Investments

Bio

As a Principal on Alexandria Venture Investments and Science & Tech teams, Alice oversees Alexandria’s Seattle investment and tenant portfolios, respectively.  Additionally, as the Head of Alexandria LaunchLabs – Seattle, Alice collaborates with entrepreneurs and supports early-stage companies in the Seattle region.  Ultimately, these roles contribute to Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ efforts in fueling the growth and development of our life science innovation clusters.  Prior to joining Alexandria, Alice was the founding Program Director of the Life Sciences and Healthcare vertical at the Harvard Innovation Labs where she led the creation and expansion of the Harvard Life Lab, co-managed the President’s Innovation Challenge, and advised 100+ life science/healthcare startups, which have raised $250M+.  Before Harvard, Alice created and developed programs to support PhDs and postdocs develop professional skills for a wide range of career paths in her role as Associate Director of Postdoctoral Affairs at Yale University.  Alice completed her Ph.D. and M.S. in Developmental Neurobiology from Yale and holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of California – Irvine.

Nancy Hong

Nancy Hong

Managing Director
RiverVest

Bio

Nancy joined RiverVest in 2016 and focuses on both biopharmaceutical and medical device opportunities, contributing to the formation, development and strategic direction of RiverVest portfolio companies. Currently, Nancy is a member of the Board of Directors at Scout Bio, Inc. and Xilio Therapeutics, Inc.

Previously, Nancy was a principal with BioMed Ventures, where she originated and managed successful investments in therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. Prior to BioMed, she was an investment professional at Forward Ventures and served as an advisor to biotech and pharmaceutical companies entering new areas of research. Nancy started her career as a scientist at Phenomix, a venture-backed discovery biotech company in San Diego.

Trained in the areas of immunology and oncology, Nancy earned a B.S. with honors in Biology from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, as a fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Twitter: @NancyAHong
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyahong/

Sean Harper

Sean Harper

Managing Partner
Westlake Village BioPartners

Bio

Dr. Sean Harper’s career has been driven by one central mission, which he gives as advice to entrepreneurs: “Focus on profound unmet medical needs, rather than market projections. Fill those needs and the rest will follow.”

Named by Time as one of the 50 most influential people in healthcare in 2018, Harper has helped bring well over a dozen novel therapies to patients during his career. In areas as diverse as oncology, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and migraine, Harper’s passion for science and medicine has benefited millions of patients worldwide.

Harper brings a rare breadth of experience to Westlake Village BioPartners. He has experience in both basic research and as a practicing physician. He has led a wide range of clinical research programs, extending from early translational trials to global outcomes studies. As managing director, Harper will use this breadth of experience to identify promising new therapies and technologies and launch life sciences companies to address significant unmet medical needs.

From 2002 to 2018, Harper worked for Amgen, rising to become head of R&D in 2012. In that role, he managed investments of more than $3.5 billion annually, applying breakthroughs in science to address some of society’s biggest health challenges.

Harper put Amgen on the leading edge of the industry in a number of notable areas, including utilizing the increasing understanding of human genetics in drug target identification and validation and developing novel platforms and modalities to target some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases. Harper was involved in the strategic deployment of Amgen’s venture capital funds, acquisitions of smaller biotech companies, and licensing opportunities.

Earlier in his time at Amgen, Harper held a number of key leadership positions, including establishing the translational medicine group focused on biomarker discovery, development and integration into early-stage clinical studies. He also held positions as head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Safety,  and head of Global Development/Corporate Chief Medical Officer.

Mory Gharib

Mory Gharib

Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering and Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories
Caltech

Bio

Mory Gharib is Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering; Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories; Director, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University (1975) and his M.S. 1978, in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University and his Ph.D.1983, in Aeronautics from Caltech. He joined the faculty of the Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences Department at UCSD in 1985. In 1993, he joined Caltech as a professor of Aeronautics. Currently, he is director of Graduate Aerospace Laboratory (GALCIT).

Professor Gharib’s current research interests in conventional fluid dynamics and aeronautics include: Vortex dynamics, active and passive flow control, nano/micro fluid dynamics, autonomous flight and underwater systems, as well as advanced flow-imaging diagnostics.

His bio-mechanics and medical engineering research activities can be categorized in two areas:

  1. fluid dynamics of physiological machines such as the human cardiovascular system and ophthalmology as well as aquatic-breathing/propulsion
  2. development of medical devices such as heart valves, cardiovascular and human eye health monitoring and drug delivery systems.

Dr. Gharib’s honors and affiliations include: Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Member, National Academy of Engineering; Charter Fellow, National Academy of Inventors; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineering; Fellow, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering. He has received the G.I. Taylor Medal from the Society of Engineering Sciences, The Fluid Dynamics Prize from the American Physical Society and five new technology recognition awards from NASA in the fields of advanced laser imaging and nanotechnology. In 2008 he received R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100 innovation award” for one of the best inventions of the year for his 3-D imaging camera system. Additionally, Dr. Gharib has published more than 250 papers in refereed journal and has been issued 116 U.S. Patents.

Meet The Life Science Startups

Check team profiles for videos, pitch decks, and more information about each startup

Alyra Therapeutics

Mark Benedyk, CEO

UC Irvine
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Alyra is developing ALY101 for treatment of melanoma and other cancers, representing a $3+ B TAM in oncology alone. Alyra is headquartered in San Diego and is raising a $0.25 M note prior to a $5 M equity round focused on filing of the ALY101 IND in Q4 2021.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Corporate Summary

Download Presentation

Autism Diagnostics

James Adams, CEO

Skysong Innovations (ASU)
______________

Autism Diagnostics, LLC, is developing metabolomics-based tests for diagnosing autism, and for evaluating metabolic disorders that can be used to guide medical treatment. Our pilot studies have revealed high sensitivity and specificity, and larger studies are underway.

Visit website

Download Presentation

Download Executive Summary

CERN

Gregg Klang, CEO

Cal State LA
______________

CERN Corporation addresses a significant unmet need for an effective, science based, non-drug therapy to mitigate fungal and bacterial vaginosis. Our technology leverages the microbicidal qualities of low level germicidal light so as to help over 30M women US, who are either recurrent, immuno-compromised or suffer adverse drug effects from conventional standards of care.



Visit website

Makani Science

Francis Duhay, CEO

UC Irvine
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The Makani Science Respiratory Monitor is the world’s first wireless, wearable sensor capable of monitoring a patient’s breathing rate and depth. It is an accurate early indication of respiratory distress and can help prevent cardiorespiratory complications or death, protecting 27M Americans annually who undergo clinical procedures.

Visit website

SPG Therapeutics

Zory Shaposhnik, CEO & CSO

Cal State LA
______________

SPG Therapeutics develops drugs that target the androgen receptor to address unmet needs in dermatology. The androgen receptor is the driver of acne, alopecia, hirsutism and the orphan inflammatory disease hidradenitis suppurativa. We are in the process of executing a development plan consistent with filing an IND within 18 months. 

Visit website

Download Executive Summary

Download Pitch Deck

Xiretsa

Robert Postrozny, Founder

UC Santa Barbara
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Professor Bazan’s group, in collaboration with the Army Research Lab, spent years developing a class of compounds called Conjugated Oligoelectrolytes (COEs) which have the ability to harness electricity from living bacteria. Optimized derivatives, known as Antiinfective Conjugated Electrolytes (ACEs), are effective against all drug-resistant bacteria tested thus far and have been shown to cure lethal infections in mice. Xiretsa was formed in 2019 to license the resulting IP from UCSB and develop ACEs into life-saving antibiotics.

Visit website

Download Pitch Deck

Amplifica

Maksim Plikus, CSO

UC Irvine
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Amplifica’s approach to hair regrowth is based on the discovery of naturally occurring signaling molecules that prominently stimulate new hair growth. The scientific studies leading to the discovery of these molecules are based on the unique molecular biology found in the naturally occurring hairy nevi (aka hairy moles) which has been extensively studied and uniquely understood by the companies’ scientific founder.

Visit website

BioJam Technologies

Shanglei Liu, Founder

UC San Diego
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BioJam Technologies is a San Diego based start up company that has created a universal retractor for Minimally Invasive Surgery using soft robotics jamming technology. The core founding members are a group of four surgeons and engineers who developed the technology from the ground up based on a clinical need of modern surgery. Our products are projected to make an impact in bariatric surgery, robotics / laparoscopic surgery, and surgical oncology to improve patient outcomes.

Visit website

Watch video

De Oro Devices / NexStride

Sidney Collin, Founder

Cal Poly
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De Oro Device focuses on developing medical devices that improve lives and increase mobility. Our first device, NexStride, combines research-backed visual and auditory cues into a small, portable accessory that can be attached onto any cane, walker, or walking pole to increase mobility and help people with Parkinson's overcome freezing of gait, one of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease.


Visit website

Watch video

Palm Therapeutics

Andrew Rudd, Co-Founder

UC San Diego
______________

Palm Therapeutics is developing novel depalmitoylating drugs (DPALMs) to access previously undruggable targets in the oncology and rare disease spaces. Our initial drug discovery program is focused on advancing our first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of oncogenic NRas in melanoma and other cancers.

Visit website

Download Overview
Syntr Health Technologies is reducing diabetic amputations in the aging population by using the patient's own fat tissue at the point of care.

View website

Download Pitch Deck

Syntr Health Technologies

Ahmed Zobi, CEO

UC Irvine
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AquaTeX Medical

Ichiro Yuki, CEO

UC Irvine
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AquaTeX Medical is a medical device company. Our work is focused on the development of materials for the use of catheter-based treatment for neuro-vascular diseases. Our goal is to improve the safety and efficacy of the treatment by utilizing advanced polymer science and technology.

Download Pitch Deck

Cellaccura Biosciences

Helen Poldsam, Co-Founder & CEO

Caltech
______________

Cellaccura Biosciences, Inc. develops gene therapies for neurological disorders through precision engineering of neural circuits at the cell type level.

Visit website

Epinoma

Varun Govil, CEO

UC San Diego
______________

Epinoma is an early-stage life sciences company focused on building better tools for oncologists in a post-therapeutic setting. We’re replacing traditional methods such as CT imaging and protein markers, with a CRISPR-based liquid blood test to inform clinical decision-making for late-stage colorectal cancer patients.

Watch video

SimplSeq

John Powers, CEO

UC Riverside
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SimplSeq is dedicated to transforming the genomic sequencing industry by providing simplified SimplSeq has created an entirely new approach to extracting, purifying, replicating and preparing samples for genomic sequencing. This patent pending process will greatly reduce the times and cost of sample preparation and for the first time labs will be able to preserve the original DNA material for future testing..

Visit website

Download Executive Summary

Download Pitch Deck

Visicell Medical

Mya S Thu, Founder and CEO

UC Riverside & UC San Diego
______________

Visicell, “GPS for cell therapy”, provides non-invasive, imaging-based cell tracking solutions to the multi-billion-dollar cell therapy industry. Our technology delivers the users rapid clinical information for accelerated cell therapy development and improved patient care.

Visit website

Life Science Judges

Alice Ly

Principal
Alexandria Venture Investments
______________



As a Principal on Alexandria Venture Investments and Science & Tech teams, Alice oversees Alexandria’s Seattle investment and tenant portfolios, respectively.  Additionally, as the Head of Alexandria LaunchLabs – Seattle, Alice collaborates with entrepreneurs and supports early-stage companies in the Seattle region.  Ultimately, these roles contribute to Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ efforts in fueling the growth and development of our life science innovation clusters.  Prior to joining Alexandria, Alice was the founding Program Director of the Life Sciences and Healthcare vertical at the Harvard Innovation Labs where she led the creation and expansion of the Harvard Life Lab, co-managed the President’s Innovation Challenge, and advised 100+ life science/healthcare startups, which have raised $250M+.  Before Harvard, Alice created and developed programs to support PhDs and postdocs develop professional skills for a wide range of career paths in her role as Associate Director of Postdoctoral Affairs at Yale University.  Alice completed her Ph.D. and M.S. in Developmental Neurobiology from Yale and holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of California – Irvine.

Nancy Hong

Managing Director
RiverVest
______________



Nancy joined RiverVest in 2016 and focuses on both biopharmaceutical and medical device opportunities, contributing to the formation, development and strategic direction of RiverVest portfolio companies. Currently, Nancy is a member of the Board of Directors at Scout Bio, Inc. and Xilio Therapeutics, Inc.

Previously, Nancy was a principal with BioMed Ventures, where she originated and managed successful investments in therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. Prior to BioMed, she was an investment professional at Forward Ventures and served as an advisor to biotech and pharmaceutical companies entering new areas of research. Nancy started her career as a scientist at Phenomix, a venture-backed discovery biotech company in San Diego.

Trained in the areas of immunology and oncology, Nancy earned a B.S. with honors in Biology from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, as a fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Twitter: @NancyAHong
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyahong/

 

Suresh Pai

Principal
Lamamed Solutions
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Suresh Pai has over 20 years of development and general management experience in a variety of medical device segments spanning plastic surgery implantables (Mentor/Johnson & Johnson), vascular stents (Cordis/Johnson & Johnson and SquareOne), stent-grafts for thoracic aortic aneurysms (ProGraft Medical/W.L. Gore & Associates), devices for crossing chronic total vascular occlusions (LuMend/Cardinal Health), carotid artery stents and embolic filters (Embolic Protection Inc./Boston Scientific) and femoral closure device technologies (AccessClosure/Cardinal Health).  He co-founded Axiom Technology Partners, a start-up company that leveraged a unique fast to market business model to rapidly develop and commercialize a new laparoscopic fascial closure system that was acquired by Teleflex Medical within two years of its inception.  Most recently he founded CogENT Therapeutics LLC that developed a novel hemostatic nasal/epistaxis packing technology that was acquired by Entellus Medical in 2016.  Suresh has numerous US and international patents covering a variety of technologies in the medical device field. Suresh holds a MS in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami and a BS in biomedical engineering from Tulane University.

Maryann Vogelsang

Director of Strategic Scientific Initiatives
Ellison Institute at USC
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Maryann is the Director of Strategic Scientific Initiatives at the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC.  She brings with her over a decade of pre-clinical and clinical proteomics experience and diagnostic test development. Most recently, Maryann led the research operations and assay development teams at NantOmics in Rockville, MD. Prior to NantOmics, Maryann established a CLIA compliant laboratory in Massachusetts that offered both ELISA- and MS-based clinical assays. She has over a decade of experience in protein biomarker discovery and validation, as well as translational medicine utilizing the mass spectrometry platform. Long before that, she was a member of the Trojan family at Center for Applied Molecular Medicine and is happy to be back.

Her role at the Institute is to accelerate the clinical translation of our discoveries through the integration of external corporate, academic and government partners in collaboration with our institute’s research programs. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA. Outside of the office, Maryann enjoys exploring nature and visiting museums with her family. She used to be an avid beach volleyball player and looks forward to introducing her girls to the sport now that they are back in Los Angeles. 

Alice Cheng

Partner
Upfront Ventures
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Alice_Cheng.jpg

Alice joined Upfront in 2018, with a focus on biology and deep tech. Prior to joining Upfront, Alice spent two years at the Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco, where she advised enterprise technology and biopharma clients. Alice also supported business development and operations at the Rare Genomics Institute, a nonprofit connecting families in the rare disease space. Alice received her PhD in biomedical engineering from a joint program between the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and Peking University.

Zach Myers

Partner
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
______________

ZachM2.png

Zach Myers is a partner in the San Diego office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he specializes in corporate and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, and general corporate representation. Zach also has experience in technology licensing and has advised clients on numerous licensing and technology transfer agreements.

Zach was formerly an attorney with Sempra Energy and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Diego. Prior to law school, Zach worked as an accountant in the audit department at Deloitte and Touche. Zach is a certified public accountant (inactive) licensed by the state of California.

Amy Salzhauer

Managing Partner
Good Growth Capital
______________



Founder & CEO of Ignition Ventures 1999-2014, a venture creation firm focused on technology commercialization

Started multiple science-based startups out of MIT, Harvard, and Columbia University

Experienced in raising multi-million dollar VC Series A rounds while starting Ember Corporation, Lilliputian Systems, and SiOnyx

MBA, M.I.T./Sloan; M.Phil. Cambridge University; AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University

Catherine Rhee

Investor
Legendary Ventures
______________



Technologist, Strategist, Executive Trainer, Diversity Equality & Inclusion Specialists and Advisor. Advisor to various companies, special projects and pilot programs to the government, corporate, media, entertainment studios, emerging technology/trade industries, associations, nonprofits and startups. Committed and passionate about education, environment, healthy communities and service.

Gladys Nunez

Principal
Amgen Ventures
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GladysNunez.jpg

Gladys Nunez, MS, is an experienced early stage investor with two decades of experience supporting opportunities and alliances with health venture groups and organizations.

Ms. Nunez has been Principal of Amgen Ventures since 2014 where she currently leads diligence on new venture opportunities, working closely with Amgen’s Digital Health Organization. Since joining Amgen in 1997 as a biochemist, she has held various roles within the company including managing Amgen’s Academic Alliance Group, an initiative to build bridges between academia and industry through the establishment of comprehensive academic alliances. In 2002, she transferred into business development where she has completed numerous deals focused on discovery, development, and commercial applications in life sciences. She began her career as a biochemist for AstraZeneca.

Ms. Nunez holds a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from Marist College and a master’s degree in biochemical pharmacology from the University of Southampton.

JJ Richa

CEO
Pismo Ventures
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JJ Richa is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, executive and investor. JJ has successfully founded several companies, where he served as President and CEO, including a software company for the hospitality industry, an online eCommerce portal for high-end made-to-order gifts, and a custom software development company concentrating on the financial sector. JJ is a private equity investor, a longtime member of Tech Coast Angels where he served as its vice president and a member of its executive committee. 

JJ has served on numerous board of directors, started a private equity firm and served in senior executive restructuring and turnaround roles including interim CEO and fractional COO for businesses at various stages. 

JJ has BS and MS degrees from Cal State Long Beach.

Pascal Krotee

Investment Associate
Kairos Ventures
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Pascal joins Kairos Ventures as an Investment Associate as part of our due diligence team based in our Pasadena office. Pascal was a PhD Candidate at the Laboratory of David Eisenberg at UCLA and a Team Leader and Instructor at the Nanoscience Outreach Program at UCLA where she led interactive lab activities for high school students. Pascal holds a Bachelor of Science in Developmental and Cell Biology from University of California at Irvine and a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA.

Minnie Ingersoll

Partner
TenOneTen
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Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast.  TenOneTen is a venture fund based in LA investing in early stage software and data companies.  


Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google where she co-founded the Access team to get more people online at faster speeds and lower prices.

Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. In her spare time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.

TECHNOLOGY - WEDNESDAY, SEPT 16

Keynote

Alan Jacobson

Alan Jacobson

Chief Data and Analytics Officer 
Alteryx

Bio

Alan Jacobson is the chief data and analytics officer (CDAO) of Alteryx, driving key data initiatives and accelerating digital business transformation for the Alteryx global customer base. As CDAO, Jacobson leads the company’s data science practice as a best-in-class example of how a company can get maximum leverage out of its data and the insights it contains. He is responsible for data management and governance, product and internal data, and use of the Alteryx Platform to drive continued growth.<br><br>

Prior to joining Alteryx, Alan held a variety of leadership roles at Ford Motor Company across engineering, marketing, sales and new business development; most recently leading a team of data scientists to drive digital transformation across the enterprise. As an Alteryx evangelist at Ford, Alan spent many years leveraging the Alteryx Platform across the company and witnessed first-hand the impact a culture of analytics can have on the bottom line and what it takes to succeed as a data-driven enterprise. Alan will extend his role as an evangelist to customers, helping data workers and business leaders alike foster a culture of analytics and deepen their investments in digital transformation strategies.<br><br>

Alan was recognized as a top leader in the global automotive industry as an Automotive Hall of Fame Leadership & Excellence award winner and an Outstanding Engineer of the Year by the Engineering Society of Detroit, and works with the National Academy of Engineering and other organizations as an advisor on data science topics.<br><br>

Alan earned his bachelor’s degrees in engineering from the University of New Hampshire and received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.  

Workshop Presenter

Zach Meyers

Zach Meyers

Partner
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Bio

Zach Myers is a partner in the San Diego office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he specializes in corporate and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, and general corporate representation. Zach also has experience in technology licensing and has advised clients on numerous licensing and technology transfer agreements.

Zach was formerly an attorney with Sempra Energy and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Diego. Prior to law school, Zach worked as an accountant in the audit department at Deloitte and Touche. Zach is a certified public accountant (inactive) licensed by the state of California.

Moderator

Aaron Fyke

Aaron Fyke

Managing Partner
Thin Line Capital

Bio

Aaron Fyke has spent over twenty years as an entrepreneur, having cofounded six companies in a number of technology areas including fuel cell, ocean power, concentrating solar, and energy storage technologies.

He is currently Founder and Managing Partner of Thin Line Capital, bringing investment capital to bear on some of the world’s toughest problems in energy, water and food sustainability.

While CEO of Edisun Heliostats, he was committed to lowering the costs of solar thermal power. Prior to Edisun, Aaron was the Founder and CEO of Energy Cache, a low-cost grid scale energy storage technology company, serving a multi-billion dollar energy market - backed by Idealab, Bill Gates, NRG, and others.

Previously he headed up the development of a $10m X PRIZE in Energy for the X PRIZE Foundation. Prior to that he was a Partner at Starfish Ventures, Australia’s largest venture capital firm, where Aaron led the investment into the fund’s biggest investment and exit – Ausra, a KPCB and Khosla Ventures backed solar thermal energy company.

Aaron is an adjunct lecturer on entrepreneurship at USC and has been a consultant and keynote speaker to utilities (e.g., TransAlta), corporations (e.g., Google), and a number of conference and media events (MIT Tech Review, AlwaysOn Going Green and others).

Aaron earned his MBA and MSME as an LGO fellow at MIT, and his BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria, graduating at the top of his class. He is a Professional Engineer both in California and British Columbia.

VC Panel 

Rick Smith

Rick Smith

Co-founder & Managing Partner
Crosscut Ventures

Bio

Rick has been an early-stage venture capital investor for over two decades. He co-founded Crosscut Ventures in Los Angeles, where he is focused on enterprise software, fintech, and consumer internet. He has invested in several successful companies, including Narvar, JustFab, Ipsy, GumGum, Docstoc, Inspire Energy, Shoedazzle, Fabletics, Dermstore, Magma Design, Micromuse, Maverick Networks, Virtela, Trivida, TeamPay, and Pulpo Media.  He received a Finance degree from the University of Illinois, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Minnie Ingersoll

Minnie Ingersoll

Venture Partner
TenOneTen Ventures

Bio

Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast.  TenOneTen is a venture fund based in LA investing in early stage software and data companies.  

Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google where she co-founded the Access team to get more people online at faster speeds and lower prices.

Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. In her spare time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.

Z Holly

Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly

Venture Partner
Good Growth Capital

Bio

Krisztina Holly (AKA ‘Z’) is an MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur who has been scouting, connecting and investing in early stage deep tech innovators for nearly two decades. She is a Venture Partner for Good Growth Capital and Chief Instigator at At Large and Dangerous. She’s best known as curator of the first-ever TEDx and the founder of pioneering centers at MIT and USC, which invested more than $5M in early stage ideas and launched 39 venture-backed startups from university research. Z has deep technical roots and extensive operating experience (Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Jeeves Solutions) and has been advisor and board member to two dozen organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. When she’s not scouting undiscovered innovators, you’ll find her hosting The Art of Manufacturing podcast, skiing the backcountry, building airports in the desert, and seeking adventure in her spare time. She’s based in Los Angeles.

Shahin Farschi

Shahin Farshchi

Partner
Lux Capital

Bio

Shahin empowers entrepreneurs aiming to accelerate humanity towards a brighter future through feats of engineering. He is passionate about artificial intelligence, robots, space, cars, and engines—pretty much anything you might find in an episode of Star Trek.

He led Lux’s investments in Silicon Clocks (acquired by Silicon Labs), which shrank electronics by baking bulky quartz crystals into silicon chips; SiBeam (acquired by Lattice Semiconductor), which aims to eliminate wires from living rooms by introducing full-HD wireless connectivity; Planet, which is launching the world’s largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites; Nervana (acquired by Intel), the first full-stack platform for machine intelligence; Mythic, bringing powerful AI to miniature, inexpensive devices; Zoox (acquired by Amazon), which is reinventing the automobiles from the ground up towards offering robotaxis and autonomous mobility to all people and things; Astranis, which is building low-cost telecommunications satellites; and Covariant.ai, which empowers industrial machines to perceive and act like humans.

Shahin also led Lux’s role in the formation of several new companies including: Flex Logix, which makes chips that can reprogram themselves; Aeva, which brings perception to all machines; and Subspace, which delivers a real-time, latency-free internet.

Previously, Shahin co-founded Vista Integrated Systems, which built wireless vital sign monitors based on a neural interface technology he developed during his PhD at UCLA. Shahin also developed hybrid electric vehicles for GM in Detroit, worked as a software developer in several Silicon Valley startups, and researched new techniques for semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his Bachelor’s in EECS at UC Berkeley.

David Fleck


David Fleck

Founder & Managing Partner
Freeflow

Bio

Deep roots in Silicon Valley with focus on Internet scale and big data ventures. Longstanding relationships across Caltech, Global 500 corporations, startups and VC communities. Passion for translating high-risk research into impactful technologies and businesses.

Andy Wilson
Andy Wilson

Executive Director
Alliance for SoCal Innovation

Bio

Andy is a leader in the Southern Californian innovation ecosystem and has started, led or invested in more than two dozen tech start-ups. In addition to leading the Alliance as Executive Director, he serves on the City Council for the City of Pasadena and he is a founder of Innovate Pasadena (www.innovatepasadena.org), which is dedicated to advancing the Eastside of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation center for deep tech.

Previously, as founder of Momentum Ventures, an early stage tech accelerator and venture fund, he personally led more than a half dozen SoCal tech start-ups and invested in almost a dozen others. He previously held senior executive roles (President, SVP Product, CIO, COO) at Overture Services/Yahoo!, RiverOne, Bowne & Co and RR Donnelley & Sons. He has extensive board experience in not-for-profit and community organizations such as Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Heritage and STEAMCODERS. He is a regular speaker at entrepreneurs’ events and business schools and was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Men in the San Gabriel Valley. Andy holds an engineering degree with honors from Dartmouth College and received his MBA with a concentration in operations and technology management from Harvard Business School.

Meet The Technology Startups

Check team profiles for videos, pitch decks, and more information about each startup

Allthenticate

Chad Spensky, CEO

UC Santa Barbara
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We provide users with more security and less burden. Our product, Single Device Authentication (SDA), is designed to enable seamless authentication in both the physical and digital worlds by using our smartphone app to replace keys and passwords, while unifying the management of these credentials into one easy-to-use interface.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Pitch Deck

BioZen Batteries

Nate Kirchhofer, CEO

UC Santa Barbara
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BioZen develops organic electrolytes (OEs), the active materials in redox flow batteries. Our OEs are safe and truly sustainable—critical features of energy storage tech that genuinely aims to harness, deploy, and grow exponentially alongside renewable energy far into the future.

Visit website

Download Pitch Deck


Farmsense

Eamonn Keogh, CTO

UC Riverside
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FarmSense has developed an insect monitoring platform to detect and classify insects. This information can be used to optimize interventions, reducing the enormous costs (tens of billions plus per annum) associated with crop lost and the overuse of pesticides.

Visit website

memwris

Charlotte Maumus, Co-founder & CEO

Cal Poly
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memwris is developing the first meaningful interface overhaul since the 80s. Their patent-pending UI uses a unique algorithm to unlock complex workflows on small touchscreens. To unequivocally prove the innovation, memwris is targeting a task that’s currently completely impractical on a mobile device: computer programming.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Pitch Deck

Shamrock Greens

Stan Kaplita, CEO & Co-Founder

Cal Poly
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Shamrock is revolutionizing the economics of indoor vertical farming in a hot new category. Our automated farming system brings the garden to the grocer with higher yields and at a significantly lower capital investment. Shamrock’s leafy greens and herbs are sold alive, providing the ultimate in freshness, flavor, and nutrition.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Executive Summary

Download Pitch Deck

AquaTrax

Amit Sharma, Founder & CEO

UC Irvine
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Trackle is a next-generation Cloud-based Water Loss Tracking Platform that helps water agencies and its customers to track water use effectively by lowering the non-revenue water and be compliant with legislation. It utilizes Smart Water Networks to Manage Pressure and Flow for Reduction of Water Loss, Pipe Breaks, and electricity savings.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Pitch Deck

Buoy Buddy

William Drummy, Co-Founder

UC Santa Barbara
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Buoy Buddy is dedicated to encouraging marine research while protecting the world's oceans. Typically, at the end of an ocean floor research project, an anchor is abandoned on the seabed. No longer – our team is developing an affordable, integrated mooring retrieval system that leaves no trace, preventing ecosystem disruption.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Pitch Deck

Download Presentation

FixingCO2

Almagul Zhanaidarova, Founder

UC San Diego
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At FixingCO2 we are building a reactor that converts CO2 into fuels and chemicals. Our breakthrough patented electrocatalyst efficiently converts CO2 into carbon monoxide that is used as a feedstock for renewable fuels and chemicals. We help customers produce CO2 on-site while reducing their emissions and cutting transportation costs. 

Visit website

Watch video

Download Executive Summary

Download Pitch Deck

Optimal IC Technologies

Lewis Hartle, CEO

USC
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Optimal IC Technologies helps semiconductor manufacturers optimize integrated circuit power, performance, utilization and yield across the full spectrum of chips designed and manufactured by companies in the global semiconductor industry. We solve the billion dollar yield problem. We eliminate security concerns. We help realize the full potential of semiconductor designs.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Executive Summary

Spero Renewables

Mahdi Abu-Omar, Founder

UC Santa Barbara
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Spero Renewables is a clean tech company that develops technologies for plant-based alternatives to products manufactured with petrochemicals. Spero utilizes its proprietary technology to unlock the resources of readily available biomass. Our initial applications are plant-based natural vanilla and recyclable plastics.

Visit website

Watch video

Beamlet

Ivan S. Grudinin, CEO/CTO & Founder

Caltech
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Beamlet leverages advanced algorithms to unlock high performance with low cost components, enabling the first affordable, reliable, and long range coherent LiDAR for the auto and drone markets. We are building an automotive-grade metavision system for superhuman perception and interference-free object detection and tracking. The system relies on an event-based camera and a vector-scanning FMCW LiDAR to identify relevant objects with class, depth and velocity in real time even in the most adverse scenarios.

Visit website

Watch Video

Download Executive Summary

Download Pitch Deck

Delphire

Matthew Smalley, Co-Founder

CalState Northridge
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Delphire is dedicated to fighting wildfires by leveraging AI based sensor fusion and large scale data to protect people, property, and the environment. Our system remotely detects, reports, and tracks fires in real-time, enabling safe and decisive action.

Visit website

Watch video

Download Pitch Deck

Microscape

John Francis, CTO

USC
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Microscape is a solution for 3D data collaboration. Using Microscape, users can upload 3D data to the cloud and simultaneously view and access the data remotely with researchers around the world. Collaboration and access is key to emerging applications in data processing, healthcare, and scanning, and Microscape is the platform to enable it.

Visit website

SiLi-ion

Mark Hatch, CEO

UC Riverside
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The SiLi-ion team has created an easy to manufacture, nanoscale silicon additive with a carbon shell enabling immediate improvement in lithium-ion battery performance. Further, the material can be used in existing battery manufacturing lines with no need for retooling or expensive modifications to the established battery production processes, leveraging the existing industry infrastructure, operations, and channels into which to sell the SiLi-ion powder. A mere 10% replacement of graphite with the SiLi-ion nanoparticles in the anode increases the energy density of the anode by 6X and the total battery energy density by a full 10%.

Visit website

Download presentation

Tyme for Survivors

Riese Wismer, CEO

UC San Diego
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Tyme is a web-based reporting platform that allows sexual assault and harassment survivors to store assault details until they are ready to file a Title IX report and a mobile advocate that connects survivors with their university officials.

Visit website

Watch video

Technology Judges 

Alex Andrianopolous

Chief Research and Development Officer
Kairos Ventures
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Alex leads the team of investment analysts at Kairos that conducts research and due diligence on all the companies we consider to invest in, either through incubation or Series-A funds. Alex joined Kairos with 20+ years of experience at high-tech companies specializing in enterprise software, ranging in size from startups with a handful of employees to behemoths with tens of thousands of employees. In these companies, Alex led global teams of dozens of employees responsible for product strategy, intellectual property protection, engineering, professional services, sales, marketing, and business development, and actively participated in the efforts to close, and successfully closed, multiple rounds of financing by venture capital firms as well as the public markets. Moreover, while at Oracle, Alex led the research and strategic alignment efforts for numerous acquisitions ranging in value from a few tens of millions to billions of dollars.

Alex has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Marketing.

Blake Stevens

Principal
Alexandria Venture Investments
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blake stevens

Blake Stevens, PhD, is a Principal at Alexandria Venture Investments and the Head of Alexandria Launchlabs – AgTech, the premier startup platform for agtech companies.  Dr. Stevens specializes in assisting early-stage companies accelerate their growth and has worked as both an entrepreneur and a venture investor. Dr. Stevens leads Alexandria’s agtech investment portfolio and venture investment activity in the Research Triangle region.  At LaunchLabs, Dr. Stevens works closely with members on company-building activities. 

Dr. Stevens formerly served as Vice President at Harris & Harris Group, an early-stage venture capital firm. He also sat on the Board of TARA Biosystems, Inc.; ProMuc, Inc.; Interome, Inc.; and SynGlyco, Inc. Dr. Stevens was an early employee at HZO, Inc., leading its R&D, commercialization, and technical business development efforts. 

He holds degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University (BSc) and Northwestern University (PhD) and a Certificate in Management for Scientists and Engineers from the Kellogg Business School.

Shahin Farshchi

Partner
Lux Capital
______________

Shahin

Shahin empowers entrepreneurs aiming to accelerate humanity towards a brighter future through feats of engineering. He is passionate about artificial intelligence, robots, space, cars, and engines—pretty much anything you might find in an episode of Star Trek.

He led Lux’s investments in Silicon Clocks (acquired by Silicon Labs), which shrank electronics by baking bulky quartz crystals into silicon chips; SiBeam (acquired by Lattice Semiconductor), which aims to eliminate wires from living rooms by introducing full-HD wireless connectivity; Planet, which is launching the world’s largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites; Nervana (acquired by Intel), the first full-stack platform for machine intelligence; Mythic, bringing powerful AI to miniature, inexpensive devices; Zoox (acquired by Amazon), which is reinventing the automobiles from the ground up towards offering robotaxis and autonomous mobility to all people and things; Astranis, which is building low-cost telecommunications satellites; and Covariant.ai, which empowers industrial machines to perceive and act like humans.

Shahin also led Lux’s role in the formation of several new companies including: Flex Logix, which makes chips that can reprogram themselves; Aeva, which brings perception to all machines; and Subspace, which delivers a real-time, latency-free internet.

Previously, Shahin co-founded Vista Integrated Systems, which built wireless vital sign monitors based on a neural interface technology he developed during his PhD at UCLA. Shahin also developed hybrid electric vehicles for GM in Detroit, worked as a software developer in several Silicon Valley startups, and researched new techniques for semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his Bachelor’s in EECS at UC Berkeley.

Ivan Markman

CBO
Verizon Media
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Ivan Markman

Iván Markman is the Chief Business Officer at Verizon Media. Previously, he was Senior Advisor at Abundant Venture Partners and a Special Advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors of comScore, Inc. Markman also served as General Manager of Marketing Services at Neustar, a real-time provider of cloud-based information services, following its acquisition of MarketShare where Markman served as Chief Operating Officer. Before joining MarketShare he was Global Head of Corporate Strategy at Yahoo!, where he also served as Vice President of Operations Finance.

Krisztina 'Z' Holly

Venture Partner
Good Growth Capital
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Krisztina Holly (AKA ‘Z’) is an MIT-trained engineer and serial tech entrepreneur who has been scouting, connecting and investing in early stage deep tech innovators for nearly two decades. She is a Venture Partner for Good Growth Capital and Chief Instigator at At Large and Dangerous. She’s best known as curator of the first-ever TEDx and the founder of pioneering centers at MIT and USC, which invested more than $5M in early stage ideas and launched 39 venture-backed startups from university research. Z has deep technical roots and extensive operating experience (Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Jeeves Solutions) and has been advisor and board member to two dozen organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. When she’s not scouting undiscovered innovators, you’ll find her hosting The Art of Manufacturing podcast, skiing the backcountry, building airports in the desert, and seeking adventure in her spare time. She’s based in Los Angeles.

Maureen Stancik Boyce

Managing Partner
Good Growth Capital
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Mentor at MIT's Sandbox Fund, and lead on MIT alumni office task force

Co-founder and COO of Ignition Ventures, which helped start companies such as SiOnyx, Zoragen, Ember, and Lilliputian Systems

Extensive consulting experience both in the US and Asia

Associate Partner in IBM’s Business Strategy practice, 10+ years leading the worldwide Thought Leadership Practice in Consumer Products, Retail and Travel

PhD, MS, and MBA from MIT; BS Civil Engineering, Carnegie Mellon

Saurabh Suri

Managing Partner
CerraCap Ventures
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Saurabh Suri

Saurabh has over 15 years of experience in the technology industry. Most recently he serves as Vice President for Emerging Solutions, Innovation and Investment at UST Global where he also conceived & led UST’s global tech investments fund and helped monetize the portfolio through UST’s large client base. Saurabh has significant experience in creating, growing and sustaining technology products and solutions in a global operations environments; having lived and worked in 4 continents. Prior to joining UST, he worked in the UK with various IT and Financial institutions and also ran a consultancy start up.

Saurabh has a degree in Neuro-computation and a research background in High Performance Computing from the UK. Saurabh has help mentor & grow several successful tech startups & currently serves as an advisor, observer or board member of several high growth technology companies such as Abzooba, Third Eye, 1-Page etc. He is also on the Advisory Board of a few early stage VCs.

 

David Fleck

Founder & Managing Partner
Freeflow
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David Fleck

Deep roots in Silicon Valley with focus on Internet scale and big data ventures. Longstanding relationships across Caltech, Global 500 corporations, startups and VC communities. Passion for translating high-risk research into impactful technologies and businesses.

Rob Poor

Advisor
Good Growth Capital
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Rob Poor

Coming soon.

Shahin Enayati

Managing Director
Made Noble Companies
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I am passionate about building sustainable solutions and empowering excellence in work and life through business. Our work with the Made Noble Inc start-up studio and the investment vehicle, Sustain Equity LLC, advances values for impact-oriented and purpose-driven solutions for our planet and its people by supporting company building to better our future.

My experience ranges from biotech to food/ag-tech and from sales/negotiations to logistics. While working in these industries, i acquired a wide range of experiences in project management, business development, marketing, and business analysis.

I have a Degree in Biology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and Leadership and Management Training with a strong focus on International Business from Landegg University in Switzerland.

My deep involvement in these fields has afforded a sound understanding of running a business and how to effectively utilize marketing and innovation in various business models. My focus on sustainability with its 3 pillars being economics, environment, and social impact, allows me to envision as well as contribute meaningfully to a better future.

Happily married with 2 son's and a daughter, I hope to inspire others in finding the same harmony between purposeful work and family life.

Specialties:
o Startups & Investing
o International Trade & Development
o Developing New Business
o Creating Vision & Strategic Plans
o Building Marketing & Business Plans
o Digital Marketing & Social Media
o Capital Acquisition
o Creating Strategic Alliances
o Leading and Coaching Teams
o Designing Business Processes
o Building Value
 

Phil Schwartz

Principal
Corazon Capital
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Phil

Phil Schwarz is a Principal at Corazon Capital, investing in early stage technology companies. From 2014-2016, Phil served as Chief Marketing Officer of Tinder, overseeing the company’s brand, growth and retention marketing efforts worldwide. Phil’s prior roles include Vice President of Growth Initiatives at Match Group, a division of IAC, as well as Executive Director at Kaplan and Kaplan Ventures (then part of the Washington Post Company), where Phil co-founded the Kaplan/Techstars EdTech Accelerator, invested in early stage EdTech companies, served on Boards of Directors for investment portfolio companies, and executed a series of corporate acquisitions. Phil also previously served as an Associate Director at UBS Investment Bank, and prior to that led numerous technology product development efforts for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Vitria Technology and BP Amoco, and served as Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Phil received his MBA with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration, cum laude, from Ohio University’s College of Business.


Supporting Partners

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Participating Institutions

The Claremont Colleges
USC Stevens
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UC San Diego

UCLA Technology Development Group
Caltech
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Children's Hospital LA
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Selection Committee

The Selection Committee evaluated the team applications based on factors such as potential for disruption, novelty of the innovation/discovery, size of the commercial opportunity and/or overall potential for impact,  viability, and team composition.

We designed the final lineup with the committee's input as well as ensure that it reflects the diversity of voices, geographies, and technologies that drive innovation in the SoCal ecosystem.

Arye Lipman

General Partner, MarsBio

Profile


Bud Bishop

President, Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator

Profile


Jay Goss

Wavemaker 360 Health

Profile


Hunter Reed

Senior Associate, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Profile

Pascal Krotee

Investment Associate, Kairos Ventures

Profile


Darren Eng

Executive Director, LAVA

Profile

Asher Leids 

Venture Mentor, LDR Ventures

Profile


Matt Bresnahan

Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Profile

Dave Whelan

CEO, BioscienceLA

Profile


Suresh Pai

Principal, Lamamed Solutions

Profile


Brian Varnum

Chief Development Officer, Armata Pharmaceuticals

Profile


Steve Gilison

Head of Programs and Operations, Alliance for SoCal Innovation

Profile