NuFund Venture Group

NuFund is a new wave of angel investors with a new
fund model investing in new technology leaders.

WHO WE ARE

NuFund Venture Group is a new wave of angel investors with a new fund model investing in new technology leaders. NuFund, formerly known as Tech Coast Angels – San Diego (TCA – SD), is one of the largest, most active and most successful early-stage investor groups over the past 20+ years. We represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and work together to foster a culture of excellence, respect, innovation, and fun.

About NuFund

  • We have over 350 active accredited investors from all walks of life and all around the country

  • Our group created and runs the most unique and biggest angel fund anywhere

  • NuFund invested $15M in 2021. We focus mainly on Tech (software, hardware, cleantech, mobile, etc.) and Life Science (biotech, medical devices, pharma, genomics, diagnostics, digital health, etc.)

  • We are passionate about building great companies that drive economic returns for founders, investors, employees, and our community

Our Pledge to Entrepreneurs

  • We will treat you with respect
  • Time is money, literally. We will respect your time and get to YES or NO quickly – no MAYBE’s
  • Maximum 30-day due diligence process to get funding in the bank FASTER
  • We will leverage our internal and external network of service providers and co-investors to make your fundraising process as painless as possible

Have a great company that needs up to $1M in seed financing? Then CLICK HERE to submit your funding application today.

Our Pledge to our Investor Members

  • We will engage with the most promising early-stage companies
  • Our active participation in the SoCal ecosystem will drive strong deal flow
  • Diverse membership, education, high-quality networking to build relationships and lasting friendships
  • NuFund will be a fun, inspirational… and hopefully, PROFITABLE experience

Ready to submit your membership application? Check out our membership overview HERE. Then CLICK HERE to begin.

“NuFund led Fantasy Sports Co.’s seed round and my fundraising experience was excellent. The process was efficient, clear and we raised the target level of funding. After being a Quick Pitch finalist and closing FSC’s financing, the NuFund members have been mentors helping with strategy, connections and press. I appreciate all they do for startups like us.”

Erik Groset
Erik GrosetCEO, Fantasy Sports Co.

“Membership in NuFund has been an amazing education and investing platform. In addition to getting access to the most interesting startups, I’m able to learn by hearing diverse viewpoints from active investors. NuFund’s events have also introduced me to a new community of colleagues, and friends, who are all passionate about the San Diego startup community.”

Victoria Lakers
Victoria LakersFrank M&C, Inc., Calibre One
  • Recent Investments Led by NuFund

mmTron

$1,300,000

in seed and follow-on Series A financing

PrivacyHawk

$600,000

in seed financing

Crafter

$900,000

in seed financing

Featured Portfolio Companies:

CARI Health

CARI Health is developing a sensor based wearable remote medication monitor which will enable clinicians to customize dosages and view medication levels in real-time. The first application for this solution will be for opioid use disorder patients, who can prove treatment compliance via CARI’s wearable remote monitor instead of having to visit a clinic every day. CARI’s solution will improve patients’ quality of life, reduce healthcare costs, and save lives.

InnoSIGN

InnoSIGN commercializes OncoSIGNal’s mRNA-based tests measuring the activity of signal transduction pathways in cancer and immune cells to predict how patients will respond to targeted drugs. It normalizes and translates mRNA levels transcribed from a suite of selected genes into activity scores of the relevant signal transduction pathways, then utilizes its extensive database to gain insight into the signaling pathway profiles of the different cancer and immune cells, providing an understanding of the mechanisms of the disease and potential therapy options.

Verimmune

VerImmune is developing a novel first-in-class oncology therapeutic strategy known as “Anti-tumor Immune Redirection” (AIR). This strategy utilizes a proprietary recombinant Virus inspired Particle (ViP) platform technology (termed “AIR-ViPs”) that redirects pre-existing anti-pathogenic or childhood vaccine immunity to target cancers. This strategy transforms the patient’s tumor, becoming susceptible to their own pre-existing endogenous or childhood vaccine immunity. This approach will change treatment outcomes for many cancer patients previously un-targetable by current immuno-therapeutic drugs or are resistant to currently available treatments.

Occuspace

Occuspace brings the power of web analytics to the physical world, giving brick and mortar operators conversion rates, foot traffic, dwell time, passerby conversion rates, and many other metrics that give insights into a businesses health and are used to improve operations, reduce waste, and attain higher sales and marketing ROI. Pairing low-cost hardware with world class machine learning algorithms, customers are able to capture granular data and reduce wasted time, energy, ad-spend, and supplies in their locations while getting improving conversion rates, marketing ROI, site selection, and total business outcomes by capturing data on in-store behavior.

ReJoule

Batteries need to be efficiently managed to maximize their useful life and reduce waste. Current methods of measuring battery health are either inaccurate, inconsistent across manufacturers, or expensive and time-consuming. Rejoule’s diagnostic tool can perform “health checks” on the battery in a fast and non-invasive manner (whether in-vehicle or decommissioned and generate insights into the battery’s health.  This helps automakers calibrate their algorithms that monitor the battery to optimize warranty and repair costs.  This can also assess the battery’s residual value which can help inform used car values.

DatAnchor

DatAnchor provides a low-cost way to bake protection into data and ensure intellectual property and other sensitive information is never viewable or usable without authorization. Anchor is a SaaS platform that provides zero trust capabilities to data, empowering businesses to restrict access to data based on access rules they create, without requiring a change to existing IT controls or how users and applications work.  Anchor protection stays with the data, even when it leaves an organization, empowering users to maintain control of their data while collaborating, including forensic logging and revoking access.

AOA Diagnostics

AOA Dx Inc is a biotech company focused on early-stage cancer detection. AOA partnered with a leading oncology researcher at McGill University to develop the first early-stage ovarian cancer liquid biopsy diagnostic test. The co-founders have worked together for the last decade at two previous startups in the women’s health space, both resulting in successful exits upon commercialization. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecological disease because there is no accurate testing method and its symptoms are continuously mistaken for benign conditions, making it incredibly difficult to diagnose the disease in the early stages. Early diagnosis will reduce patient mortality and deliver cost savings to payers.

ChargeNet Stations

ChargeNet Stations is a SaaS company creating the EV charging experience of the future using renewable energy in fast food and retail parking lots by integrating off-the-shelf technology.  ChargeNet’s hardware agnostic stations can fast charge most EVs 100 miles in 15 minutes or less, and are being placed in the parking lots of major fast-food chains and other convenient retail locations.

Cooler Heads

For all people undergoing chemotherapy who want to keep their identity, Cooler Heads is transforming cold cap therapy. Cooler Heads is making cold caps that are affordable, easy to use, and effective, so that all solid tumor patients facing hair loss from chemotherapy can choose to keep their hair. Amma, an FDA-cleared patient-administered device, is designed to be shipped directly to the patient and wholly self-administered. Because the unit is portable, the patient can complete cooling at home after their chemo infusion.

Embrace

Embrace provides Personal Prevention Care to older adults with heart failure and other chronic conditions to prevent hospitalizations. By helping patients take the right actions and medications to follow their care plans, they stay independent longer and safely age in place. Embrace provides concierge-like care using Medicare reimbursable services;  a nurse practitioner interacts with the patient weekly via telehealth,  their geriatric pharmacy makes sure medications are appropriate and are delivered to the home in adherence packaging, and their Prevention Care Platform identifies the best evidence-based care practices for each patient and provides current information to keep everyone on the care team, including family caregivers, aligned.  Personal Prevention Care reduces hospitalizations by at least 20%, resulting in improved health and lower costs for patients, and also saves $3000 per year per patient for ACOs and Medicare Advantage plans.

Eumentis

Eumentis Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

Eumentis’ lead product candidate, EM-036, is a novel proprietary nitro-aminoadamantane N-methyl-d-aspartate type-glutamate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist being developed for the treatment of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). EuMentis is also exploring other indications for EM-036, and actively seeking other clinical stage assets for the treatment of serious neuropsychiatric conditions.

Indicio

Indicio is the market leader in developing Trusted Data Ecosystems (TDEs), providing companies with the software and infrastructure needed to authenticate and exchange high-value information and develop trusted, secure relationships. Indicio is a women-owned business, WOSB certified, helping customers develop the essential enterprise, app, and cloud agents to create interoperable decentralized identity-based products and services. Specializing in financial, healthcare, and travel markets, Indicio’s global decentralized network, field-leading software, and information management products enable customers all over the world to issue, hold, and verify data through encrypted digital credentials. These verifiable digital credentials allow companies to confirm data authenticity, repeatedly and efficiently, from its source without the expense or risk of direct integrations.

Kushae

Kushae is the first and only OB/GYN researched and developed full-suite of non-toxic feminine hygiene products for women at every age and stage of life. It is also the second Black woman-founded feminine hygiene company to be sold in a major retailer since its partnership began with Whole Foods Market in 2020.

Distasense Life Detection Technologies

Distasense (fma Life Detection Technologies) offers a complete paradigm shift in how vital signs are measured. Their patented technology measures the actual movement of tissues inside the body and is uniquely accurate in the world of non-contact monitoring, while enabling additional measurements that are traditionally very difficult to capture. This technology allows doctors to provide effective proactive remote care to chronically ill patients suffering from a wide range of diseases

Lincode

Lincode is a AI-powered company working to solve quality inspection problems faced by manufacturing industries, enabling end-to-end quality inspection to help identify, predict, and eliminate defects and improve equipment effectiveness by combining traditional machine vision with artificial intelligence.

mmTron

mmTron is the world’s leading provider of innovative mmwave linear power efficient broadband products. mmTron leverages cutting edge technologies in GaAs, GaN, InP, SiGe and RFSOI and focuses on high-growth segments of mmwave markets:  5G, 6G, instrumentation, defense, satellite and aerospace communications.

OnSite Waste Technologies

OnSite Waste Technologies addresses one of the greatest challenges healthcare providers face today: their medical waste.  Major corporations have been offering the same outdated solutions for decades;  OnSite Waste designs medical waste solutions focusing on innovation, simplicity, and transparency, including the TE-5000, mail-back programs, transactional pickups, and the first-of-its-kind WasteTechIQ.

PercAssist

PercAssist is the developer of a percutaneous balloon catheter augmenting left ventricular function and promoting myocardial recovery.

Their minimally invasive, ECG synchronized catheter offers a battery-powered non-blood contact extra-vascular that is procedurally simple and easily tolerated, reducing recovery time, long-term complications and hospitalizations, and increasing survival and quality of life in patients with severe heart failure.

Powur

Powur partners with solar industry leaders to provide homeowners with quality solar panels, inverters, backup batteries and solar generators, and other energy efficiency upgrades designed to reduce their monthly utility bill as well as help the environment. Powur provides customized solutions based on a homeowner’s specific needs, allowing them to pick a solar power plan they can afford while handling the purchase and installation of equipment.

PreView Medical

PreView Medical has developed two systems to improve detection and precisely locate and treat prostate cancer. The ClariCore Biopsy System uses AI-powered Spectroscopy to classify tissue as benign or suspicious in real time during a prostate biopsy, and the ClariCore Mapping System is designed to enable the delivery of energy to the exact location of cancer, guiding focal therapy procedures that allow treatment without removing the prostate.

Seal Rock Therapeutics

Seal Rock Therapeutics is a clinical stage company developing first-in-class treatments for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases with no available therapies. Their development efforts are focused on small molecule inhibitors of ASK1 (apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1), a protein that when activated under a variety of stressful disease conditions can drive severe pathological outcomes including fibrosis and inflammation. Their lead clinical indication is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), while its expanding R&D pipeline offers additional compelling high unmet need disease opportunities, including alcoholic hepatitis (AH), chronic kidney disease, heart failure and Parkinson’s disease

Advanced Image Robotics

Verivend

Verivend connects businesses to reduce friction and risks inherent in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable with verified reputations, real-time messaging, dispute resolution, and a trusted network of buyers and suppliers. In addition to getting paid faster through Verivend’s trusted invoicing system, Verivend offers the ability to administer RFPs, quotes and POs and transact with  customers and vendors.

Zesty.io

Zesty.io is a cloud web content management system (WCMS) that is API driven with open-source user interfaces. Their software is built to automate the configuration, optimization, and distribution of digital content so that marketing teams and developers can focus on creating digital experiences. Zesty.io’s cloud-based service can power content beyond websites into new digital mediums like smart devices, video game data, and mobile applications.

Abintus Bio

1st generation autologous chimeric antigen receptor T cells (“CAR-T”) and 2nd generation allogeneic CAR-T are ex vivo procedures that modify cells outside their native environment, have high COGS and face challenges with scalability and patient access. In contrast, Abintus is advancing 3rd generation in vivo CAR-T products that may be administered directly to patients. This approach can have the potential to address many of the current scientific and commercial challenges faced by companies with ex vivo CAR-T product and technology platforms. Based on highly customizable retroviral non-replicating vectors. Abintus is developing its lead investigational product candidate, RNV-CD19CAR, for the treatment of blood cancers such as lymphoma. Having products that may ultimately be available in an out-patient setting will provide greater patient access to potentially life saving treatments and provide a solution so that hospitals no longer lose money via inadequate NTAP reimbursement.

Atlazo

Atlazo combines an innovative and energy-efficient AI, a flexible bio-sensing interface, and low-power wireless capability in a novel System-on-Chip for the healthcare wearables and Internet of Things markets.

Utilizing edge computing on a device rather than AI analysis in the cloud, Atlazo offers a proprietary signal processing capacity that will enable innovative new applications in the wearables and IOT markets that were not possible with preexisting technologies.

Iridia

Iridia is a nanotech company that is pioneering DNA-based memory, developing the world’s first commercially attractive DNA-based data storage solution.

Combining DNA polymer synthesis, electronic nano-switches, and semiconductor fabrication, Iridia is developing a highly-parallelized storage format that uses enzyme-based chemistry to encode DNA-based bits, enabling an array of nanomodules to store orders of magnitude more data than is possible through traditional hard drive technology.

ClearClub

ClearClub is a direct-to-consumer service offering custom-fit mouthguards to protect teeth from Bruxism. ClearClub ships an impression kit to the user and uses those impressions to deliver a custom mouth guard for 1/5th the cost of a guard from a dentist.

ClearClub sends new mouth guards to users every 3 to 6 months in a subscription model, offering substantial savings over time compared to traditional dentist office visits. It is also expanding into related areas such as teeth whitening, childrens’ mouthguards, sports mouthguards, and oral wellness kits.

EnVision

EnVision offers a success coach in an app. Allowing users to set, track, and achieve objectives, EnVision pairs mindfulness, momentum, and motivation with scientifically proven visualization and guided meditation techniques to help users consistently focus on achieving daily incremental goals as well as longer-term personal ones.

EnVision provides the user over 160 different voice-guided visualization sessions covering a range of topics from relaxation and de-stressing to self-empowerment, personal growth, and performance enhancement. These sessions work in conjunction with the app’s Vision Boards and Daily Intentions to help focus a user on achieving a variety of goals.

Allotrope Medical

Allotrope Medical are the developers of StimSite, a device allowing surgeons the ability to safely and easily identify the ureter during pelvic operations.

StimSite provides electrical stimulation to ureter smooth muscle tissue to help locate and identify ureters by testing ureter smooth muscle excitability. Intuitive and easy to use, the device provides surgeons with the ability to elicit visible ureteral movement on demand, with the advantage of seamless workflow integration by connecting with existing laparoscopic and robotic instruments as well as electrosurgical generators.

Zigazoo

Zigazoo is a leader in children’s short-form video, aiming to be a “TikTok for kids.” On Zigazoo, kids make creative video responses to fun challenges, sharing video responses to challenges built by leading museums, zoos, educators, and media stars with their friends.

With a host of safety measures and parent-controlled limits, Zigazoo offers verified content from well-known characters enabling video-based learning and active engagement with educational media.

Meallogix

Meallogix offers a complete ERP (enterprise resource planning) SaaS in the fast-growing meal prep space, targeting independently owned and operating meal prep operator (MPO) businesses.

Meallogix provides a comprehensive digital solution addressing every step of the meal prep process, providing the infrastructure needed to optimize operations at any scale and efficiently compete with much larger operations, including order intake, ingredient conversion, nutrition label creation, automated shopping list creation, recipe costing, delivery options and per-recipe profitability calculation.

PrivacyHawk

PrivacyHawk is a Personal Data Management platform – a “Lifelock” for consumer privacy. It’s an app that automates opting out, unsubscribing, and deleting your data from thousands of companies worldwide, allowing users to take back control of their privacy and security and prevent misuse from reckless sharing and selling of personal data.

The PrivacyHawk app locally and securely syncs with your email inbox and identifies every account that has ever emailed you, allowing you to select which companies to opt out of sharing or unsubscribe from.

Single Pass

Single Pass is developing HemoStop BX, the only portable and disposable electrocautery device that can cauterize through deep tissue biopsy channels in minimally invasive procedures.

HemoStop BX features a universal design that can be used with any standard guide needle in a portable, low cost, disposable device. In both humans and animals, HemoStop Bx can be used to achieve hemostasis during renal, liver, lung, and breast biopsies, as well as device implantation procedures including pacer/defibrillator, spinal cord simulator, insulin infusion pumps, and many surgical procedures where a traditional cautery device is unavailable.

Crafter

Crafter provides curated materials, specialty tools, and digital workshops for artists to create handmade pieces of art, with an online marketplace allowing customers to purchase traditional handmade craft products and classes online.

The Crafter’s Box subscription service provides a monthly curated crafting experience, packaging high-end materials with artist-led digital workshops in a variety of modern and traditional crafting styles.

New Age Meats

New Age Eats produces cultivated pork, blending lab-grown cultured meat from (unharmed) animal cells with plant-based ingredients, allowing the natural biomarkers for flavor perception to coexist with sustainable, ecologically-friendly, and humane production.

New Age Meats takes a different approach to cell-based meat than similar companies, viewing cultivated meat as not merely a future solution for food-based issues but as part of a greater philosophical sea change in social conceptions of meat product.

Juicebox

Juicebox is a sexual wellness company empowering users to explore their sexuality by sexting with a virtual partner using Slutbot, an AI-powered virtual coach. Created in collaboration with sex educators and erotic fiction writers, Slutbot is a safe space to practice and draw inspiration through sexting and dirty talk. Juicebox’s mission is to provide everyone, regardless of sexual/gender identity, physical location, or sexual experience a “safe space” to practice sexual communication.

HAI Solutions

HAI Solutions develops medical devices addressing contamination within the operating room, emergency room and intensive care units and advancing clinical vascular access care through two core devices, the MDD (Multiport Delivery Device) and the IVS (Intravenous Sterilizer).

The MDD improves compliance and eliminates contaminates from entering the vascular bloodstream system. The IVS rapidly disinfects and sterilizes the surface of a patient’s IV connector and access points, preventing microbial ingress.

MediPrint Ophthalmics

MediPrint Ophthalmics is a clinical stage eye care pharmaceutical company focused on helping protect sight by developing and commercializing a proprietary ocular drug delivery portfolio focused on glaucoma, dry eye, and ocular allergy.

Its lead asset is a drug-eluting, comfort-enhancing contact lens created using the proprietary MediPrint process to treat patients suffering from primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension with a non-invasive sustained drug delivery platform.

GoSite

GoSite offers small businesses an all-in-one SaaS solution to manage their online presence and customer engagement, through a hub-based web interface and mobile app featuring:

• Digital placement on all major platforms (Yelp, Google/Apple Maps, Alexa) with SEO, Google management, syncing content.
• Customer messaging through text, website chat, Facebook.
• Review management, with automated review/feedback requests.
• Booking with appointment confirmations, reminders, and automatic scheduling through an embeddable template.
• Drag-and-drop website builder with automatic mobile formatting.
• CRM Contact hub with 1-click messaging, grouping, profiling.
• Payment processing – accept credit card payments on website or in person, through mobile apps and SMS, at point of sale or
during booking.

Kettlespace

KettleSpace transforms hospitality assets (bars, restaurants, hotels) into a network of on-demand workspaces. A turnkey digital platform allows users to access the network of available spaces for meeting and working while allowing venues to upload, manage, and monetize their properties in the network. By utilizing existing infrastructure during downtime, KettleSpace is able to quickly and flexibly offer co-working and meeting spaces, in high-value hightraffic areas. Users are able to go to locations closer to their home or office rather than a central hub, venues are able to monetize offpeak hours on an as-available basis, and KettleSpace is able to quickly expand and open new locations in expensive areas without significant real estate leasing or construction costs.

Elysium Therapeutics Inc.

Elysium Therapeutics developed a new class of abuse-deterrent opioids that protect patients from oral misuse, drug abuse, and fatal overdose, with two platform technologies that designed to enhance the ability of patients and physicians to employ effective opioidbased pain management and prescription drug abuse. One formulation stops oral abuse and overdose by making exposure to the active agent nonlinear, eliminating the ‘high’ that traditional opioids provide when abused with high doses – stopping abuse or even preventing the initial addiction. Their second technology is an opioid antagonist that can deactivate opioids in pain medicine once the prescribed usage period has passed, rendering them ineffective for trafficking.

Elemeno Health

Elemeno Health provides a cloud-based support for front-line health care teams – a context-driven micro learning platform that transforms institutional best-practices into bite-sized chunks to advance quality and patient safety at the point of care. Their ‘just-intime’ training allows medical professionals to access interactive guidelines, smart checklists, concise how-to videos, and advances adoption and adherence of best practices through recognition and gamification. Complicated practices and guidance around issues such as infection, cancer screenings, and opioid safety are brokendown and simplified into targeted training, and team members remain motivated to learn and implement them through competition with one another to improve compliance.

DTx Pharma

DTx Pharma is opening up new opportunities for RNA therapeutics by developing technology to address a critical barrier to further adoption of nucleic-acid based drugs (oligonucleotides) as a therapeutic class – delivery. Finding safe and effective ways to get RNA outside the liver would allow access to undruggable targets in autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative disease, cancer, glaucoma, or metabolic disease – as well as providing specific advantages the RNA delivery mechanism possesses with respect to duration and efficacy that differentiates it from small molecules, antibodies and other oligo mechanisms. DTx has developed lipidation technology that enables delivery of oligos in vivo at therapeutically relevant doses, allowing competition with small molecules and biologics as well as targeting areas they are unable to modulate.

Brius

Brius has developed a revolutionary orthodontic method that can be used in place of braces or aligners. Using computer vision, new materials, and a new method of moving teeth, their orthodontic appliance works invisibly due to placement behind the teeth. Traditional orthodontics move individual teeth, using surrounding teeth as anchoring; Brius moves each tooth individually and simultaneously, cutting treatment time in half and requiring only a quarter of the visits to an orthodontist that traditional braces require – with less pain and discomfort. Avoiding the aesthetic issues with braces, the strict scheduling of aligners, and even providing a more hygenic experience as they are easily cleaned and allow flossing, Brius are also able to compete at the same price point as braces or orthodontically supervised aligners.

Actuate Therapeutics

Actuate Therapeutics develops small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and fibrotic diseases by targeting a GSK3B enzyme inhibitor. Their lead drug candidate is a first-in-class small molecule for the treatment of high impact carcinomas including glioblastoma, ovarian, breast, lung, brain, and pancreactic cancers. Results from studies have included complete and durable regressions of disease without recurrences and significant increases in overall survival, and has shown significant anti-tumor activity in models of difficult to treat cancers. Actuate is also developing compounds for the treatment of inflammation leading to fibrosis and neurodegeneration under the same principle of GSK3B regulation.

Lennd

Lennd is event and venue management platform that simplifies and centralizes event operations. Event management teams can use Lennd as their core database/platform to collect, store, manage, and integrate the most critical operational information – vendors, exhibitors, sponsors, artists, inventory, documents, contracts, media, press, and volunteer credentials – Lennd will manage every relevant piece of data for an event. Working with some of the most notable event organizations around the world, including Outside Lands Music Festival, NFL, Newport Folk and Jazz Festival, Farmer’s Insurance Open, Life Is Beautiful Music and Arts Festival, and more, Lennd wants to do for events what Salesforce did for enterprise.

Grolltex

Grolltex – short for Graphene Rolling Technologies – creates products based in single-layer, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) generated graphene. Through advanced transfer and processing methods, Grolltex produces single-layer graphene at a cost structure better than any on the market. Their methodology enables them to reuse and optimize the copper substrate graphene is transferred from, which is ordinarily rendered unusable by the transfer process, allowing them to produce high quality, highthroughput, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable graphene products. Grolltex is also a provider of CVD Hexagonal Boron Nitride (hBn).

Spiral Genetics

Spiral Genetics develops software to compare large populations of whole human genomes at scale, working with governments, pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions to compare and mine whole genome datasets for novel discoveries that will lead to new diagnostics and treatments. Their BioGraph Engine facilitates and accelerates the next level of genetic analysis from days to hours – combining datasets across populations to make new discoveries – by taking a fundamentally new approach to raw sequencing data and converting it to a highly efficient graph structure, eliminating trade-offs between storage footprint, computing costs, and quality of analysis. They also offer Spiral Encrypted Compression, a new method of efficient, lossless, and encrypted data archival of large genetic datasets.

Ceresti Health

Ceresti Health aims to improve the quality and reduce cost outcomes for patients with multiple chronic conditions who are also suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Managing a dementia patient’s other diseases and conditions is a challenge as patients are often unable to communicate their symptoms, compounded by the fact that most caregivers are unpaid and untrained family members without nursing experience. Ceresti helps manage the difficulties presented by these patients through a digitally-aided family caregiver empowerment program, personalized to the patient and family caregiver’s needs, providing care coaching, education, and a suite of digital tools for accessing support and resources, engaging the patient, monitoring and tracking their condition, and communicating with Ceresti’s coaches.

Habitu8

Habitu8 is a cybersecurity provider that tackles the problem of cybersecurity at what may be the weakest point – a company’s own employees. Habitu8 is a Security Awareness Training vendor that tackles poor employee habits and ignorance of security principles through a two-pronged approach: 

Their first method is through live-action training videos (“Hashtag Awareness”) filmed with high production values and using humor to instill their messaging more effectively. 

The second method is their Learning Management Simplified platform, which allows a more engaging method of having employees meet compliance requirements, with bespoke Netflix-style videos combined with tracking and reporting features to ensure employees view all the security protocol lessons required.

iDentical

iDentical utilizes 3D technology to make drill-free dental implants. After a tooth extraction, iDentical creates a 3D model of the tooth root, applies proprietary design features to it and then uses that model to manufacture the implant. Within a week of the extraction, the dentist inserts the implant in the patient’s socketsite without drilling or chance of misplacement. 

Dental implants today utilize a 50-year-old drill-and-screw technology that is highly invasive, lengthy and expensive, and it’s only offered by dental specialists and 1 in 10 dentists. The current procedure involves drilling a hole into the patient’s jawbone, which can cause nerve damage, takes 7-10 months to complete and costs up to $6,000 per tooth, making dental implants inaccessible to people who need them. 

iDentical provides the dentist with a low-risk, high-margin revenue stream that requires minimal training, no capital investment and meaningful differentiation for their dental practice.

Echo Labs

Echo, formerly Echo Laboratories, is setting a new precedent in microscope usability and design. Their hybrid microscope, Revolve, was the world’s first Hybrid Microscope that transforms between Upright and Inverted configurations, eliminating the need for two separate instruments. Eyepieces are replaced with an iPad tablet to view and capture images with ease. Echo’s software app simplifies the workflow of acquiring, sharing, and analyzing images, delivering a modern, seamless approach to data management and hardware integration. 

Echo has had $25 million in sales since winning TCA’s QuickPitch 2016, and is preparing to launch two new microscopes, Hyperscope and Revolution, in 2020.

Casana

Casana has designed and developed The Heart Seat, a unique cloud-connected toilet seat-based platform that captures clinical-grade and relevant cardiac data from the patient’s home, without any change in the user’s habits. With built in ECG, PPG, and BCG capabilities, it allows remote passive daily monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, blood oxygen, impedence (fluid retation), pulmonary artery pressure, QRS duration, QTc interval, arrhythmias, and cardiac output / stroke volume, in one simple solution that patients don’t need to go out of their way to use, ensuring patient adherence. 

The Heart Seat has tested its cardiac measures in over 300 subjects in partnership with University of Rochester Medical Center. The Heart Seat has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients by allowing them to track health changes in the comfort of their own homes without the need to change their behavior.

Mercato

Mercato is a SaaS platform for independent and specialty grocers, merchants, and artisans to offer the same level of local customer service and delivery that large chain supermarkets offer. Locally owned and operated markets are often superior to conglomerates and national chain brands: with an emphasis on quality foods, customized product offerings that serve the needs and preferences of their specific customer base rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, and superior service offered by owners that are stakeholders in the local community, customers prefer shopping locally when possible. Local stores, however, are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to technology, data, and buying power. Customers want an omni-channel shopping experience with selection and delivery that requires the resources of a corporate infrastructure. Mercato bridges the resource gap between local grocers and their chain competitors, offering e-commerce services such as product catalog creation, POS integration, online ordering, customized marketing, delivery (through partnership with popular third-party delivery services), pricing assistance, inventory tracking, and customer service. 

BlueNalu

Providing healthy, safe, and trusted seafood products that support sustainability and diversity of our oceans. BlueNalu has overcome technical and business hurdles to become a pioneer in “cellular aquaculture” – a platform technology in which living cells isolated from fish tissue are placed into culture media for cellular proliferation – growing great-tasting fresh and frozen seafood products it can market as alternative proteins. BlueNalu’s seafood products are designed to be as nutritious as conventional seafood, produced in a way that is healthier for people, promotes humane treatment of animals, and ensures sustainability and ecological protection.

BlueNalu is especially focused on species that are over-fished, heavily imported, or difficult to farm – allowing a reduction in fisheries and foreign imports while creating local jobs and enhancing food security. BlueNalu is also able to avoid the use of genetic modification, antibiotics, or fetal bovine serum in their aquaculture – while remaining free of mercury and other environmental contaminants.

Eyedaptic

Eyedaptic has developed an AR (augmented reality) vision assistance device for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) patients. Most vision assistance products on the market today only offer magnification, leaving the limited field of view unaddressed. 

Eyedaptic uses simulated natural vision software in their EYE2 to optimize peripheral vision, enabling viewing of the entire field of view (FOV) through reprojection of the content of the center of a user’s natural FOV into their peripheral vision. EYE2 is a non-invasive visual assistive AR-based smart eyewear device in the form-factor of a pair of glasses, customizable and adaptive to a user’s vision automatically through their proprietary software.

EYE2 allows users to regain freedom, move about easily without restrictions as a hands-free, easy-to-wear design, providing an improved quality of life.

Visgenx

Visgenx is developing a therapeutic for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), the leading cause of irreversible blindness, which has no approved treatment. ARMD affects more than 11 million in the US and 196 million worldwide. Visgenx targets a severe form of macular degeneration known as “Geographic Atrophy” (GA).

Current therapies do not address ARMD or “dry” AMD, and only address the smaller subset of macular degeneration known as “wet AMD”. Visgenx’s science is licensed from research conducted at the Shiley Eye Institute at UCSD, identifying the age-related dysfunction of the ELOVL2 gene. Their therapeutic drug injection reverses gene dysfunction through demethylation, which has improved scotopic response in functional knock-out mice test subjects.

Aligned Carbon

Aligned Carbon manufactures wafer-scale arrays of aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to the exacting standards of integrated circuit foundries. 

Aligned Carbon can purify the CNT populations they synthesize to be entirely semiconducting or entirely metallic, opening a range of applications by addressing a key problem in a $500B market. These applications include CNT-Si hybrid monolithically integrated (stacked 3D) processors, which will be 1000x faster and more efficient than current single-layer processors, and RF data transmission circuitry, which can enable performance beyond 5G. 

Aligned Carbon delivers a unique foundry ready CNT material, and will grow the company through material sales as well as peripheral equipment and process capabilities to meet the market’s demands. Their 3D integrated circuit processors will be particularly disruptive to AI and other intensive computing fields.

Deep Blue Medical Advances

Deep Blue Medical Advances is a surgical innovations company developing a novel hernia mesh to address the high rate of hernia occurrence and recurrence. Millions of hernia surgeries are done globally with billions of dollars in clinical cost; Deep Blue’s T-Line Hernia Mesh, with integral suture-like extensions, is designed to eliminate a key point of failure for conventional mesh fixation – the mesh/suture/tissue interface – and to provide superior anchor strength (up to 2.75x), advanced mesh tension adjustment, and the ability to use less mesh. 

In addition, their Anchor Clip fixation device design enables faster, stronger, easier mesh implantation. Deep Blue products enhance hernia surgery with a potentially significant impact on the $1.1B global hernia device market. T-Line Hernia Mesh has the potential to reduce hernia occurrence and recurrence by preventing or reducing mesh fixation failure.

Blackdot

Blackdot is building the first automatic tattoo machine. Aiming to revolutionize the tattoo experience for consumers, artists, and stores, Blackdot has several innovations in development, including an online tattoo marketplace where consumers can purchase designs from top artists around the world (including limited edition, unique one-off designs, and celebrity tattoos), temporary and less painful tattoos, quick sessions and perfectly replicable designs. 

Artist income would no longer tied to the number of hours they can physically tattoo in a specific location; shops would be able to increase customers per day and potentially expand to a franchise model. Brands could utilize temporary tattoos for advertisements and viral exposure. Customers would have massively increased selection and quality from top artists – on demand, less painfully with temporary options. Machines could be placed in mainstream stores – safer locations, more visibility, luxury tattoo experiences.

Insight Medical Systems

Insight Medical Systems is developing ARVIS (Augmented Reality Visualization and Information System). ARVIS combines tracking cameras with a 3D display and handsfree interface in a standalone surgical headset. The system, which includes a single tray of trackable instruments, provides the surgeon with key alignment and positioning data without the need for preoperative imaging or external equipment. ARVIS is worn and controlled by the surgeon, tracks from the surgeon’s viewpoint, and delivers information to the surgeon right at the point of care. 

The current standard is for surgeons to use guides or other external devices to assist in performing procedures, leading to inconsistent results and risking worse outcomes, longer operative times, litigation, and the need for expensive revision surgery. Current surgical robots and navigation systems increase accuracy and reproducibility of hip and knee replacement procedures but add cost, complexity and operative time. ARVIS has comparably accuracy but is faster and less expensive than robotic systems.

Noria Water Technologies

Noria Water Technologies specializes in Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane optimization through their RO-Spotlight system. 

Fouling and mineral scaling place limits on the service lifetimes of membranes. As membranes may be used in sensitive, mission-critical, or health-related environments, companies must err on the side of caution and are often conservatively discarding viable membranes years before they need to be replaced. Noria can cut operating costs by 30% by simply allowing more efficient use of membrane technology, allowing facilities to scale back chemical usage, cleaning procedures with detrimental higher system pressure, allowing for easier stress testing and early failure detection, and reducing energy usage and overall downtime.

Used in advanced water treatment facilities such as wastewater recycling, desalination, and agricultural/food/beverage processing, it also has massive potential for industrial usage in mining, semiconductors, petrochemical and pharmaceutical applications.

Strategikon Pharma

Strategikon Pharma’s Clinical Maestro is a software platform designed for clinical study planning, seving to increase the efficiency and accuracy of planning, sourcing, modeling, contract and financial management. 

Pharma struggles with labor intensive manual processes leading to heavy staff infrastructures, workflow siloes and inefficiencies across the entire spectrum of clinical development. It usually takes multiple people to manage the non-operational aspects of clinical trial conduct and requires highly specialized expertise across finance and clinical ops.

Maestro is composed of two mirrored platforms, one targeting Pharma/Biotech companies (“Pharma Edition) and the clinical study service providers to whom biopharma companies outsource clinical development (“Provider Edition”). The two platforms consist of multiple modular applications (e.g. “planning”, “budgeting”, “RFP creation”, etc.) which can be deployed individually, or seamlessly interconnected to enable highly efficient management of the clinical business.

Labviva

Labviva’s AI-based technology platform serves the buyers and suppliers in the 60B Life Science market by providing flexible tools with the ability to serve enriched scientific product catalog content from multiple suppliers in meaningful taxonomies that is valuable to researchers and purchasing professionals. 

Labviva seamlessly integrates with its client’s eProcurement platforms and enables purchasing departments to take control of their supply chain. Through greater visibility of purchasing trends, deep and insightful analytics and highly efficient onboarding of the tail spend, Labviva is providing its clients with significant cost savings. Two target markets are procurement professionals (focusing on ease of integration with buyer’s purchasing platforms, ease of on-boarding of the tail spend suppliers and comprehensive purchasing analytics) and scientific staff (comprehensive product data, contextual representation of products in research applications, and availability of supporting scientific literature to inform their decision making process.

Gali

Gali is working to create personalized medical solutions for sufferers of chronic conditions through a pioneering combination of app-based patient surveying and population-scale analysis of genomic, lifestyle, and health backgrounds.

Currently focusing on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and Colitis, Gali aims to provide users with AI-assisted personalized disease self-management through their app, providing support for medical, psychological, and lifestyle issues through a combination of analysis of self-reported and collective user trends, the latest information from healthcare professionals and researchers, and genomic data provided by users and other databases. With tens of thousands of users, Gali will have the largest sample-size of IBD sufferers in history, and will be able to leverage massive synergetic data sets with common lifestyle, diet, genetic and historical health backgrounds to recommend effective treatments and management techniques for users with similar data points, as well as being able to contribute to medical and pharmaceutical research.

Maxwell Biomedical

Maxwell Biomedical is in the 5th generation of development of a wireless, batteryless micro-pacing system implanted device approach to pace atrial fibrillation patients back to normal sinus rhythm. 

Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Current treatments are either ineffective toxic drugs, or ablation procedures (with a 50% failure rate after 1 year). A micro-pacing system is more effective, but none have been able to work painlessly before now. 

Maxwell’s micro-pacing system is made up of a micro-flexible PCB and an antenna on a stent-like anchor delivered into the Vein of Marshal (VoM). A handheld device serves as the wireless power supply and performs patient monitoring and AF detection. Maxwell will target persistent (24/7) Afib patients as well as those with failed ablation procedures.

Upcycle & Co

Upcycle & Co’s Native Soil is is a sustainable natural fertilizer made of local, naturally sourced organic matter. Carbon, an essential component of healthy soil, is rarely included in commercially available fertilizers. Carbon is rapidly oxidized in arid climates such as the Southwestern United States and must be routinely replenished to maintain adequate levels for soil health. Organic Matter affects the chemical and physical properties of soil and its overall health. Its composition and breakdown rate affect soil structure, porosity, moisture holding capacity, biological diversity, and nutrient availability. Native Soil incorporates the macronutrients contained in commercial fertilizers into a biologically derived carbon matrix and adds naturally occurring organic matter, saving money by reducing the number of fertilizer applications every year, building soil structure, reducing water usage, labor and O&M costs, and minimizing runoff and water pollution.

Lynx Biosciences

LynxBio is developing a platform technology, MicroC3, to assist doctors in rapidly identifying the most effective treatment options in cancer patients by characterizing patient-specific cancer behavior and evolution. MicroC3 creates a miniaturized living model of a patient’s cancer to assess cancer behaviors and responses to specific drugs through imaging-based analytics.

Healionics

Healionics is a clinical-stage company that addresses the need for improved means of vascular dialysis access for patients with kidney failure. Their STARgraft artificial blood vessel is designed to eliminate common issues arising from other synthetic vascular grafts – occlusion of the vessel due to scar tissue and infection due to bacterial preference for conventional ePFTE material. STAR biomaterial resists infection and scarring, reducing dangerous bacterial infections and preventing degradation/impairment of the vessel and subsequent replacement.

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Our Investment Profile

  • We typically fund $300K to $1M for financing rounds that we lead
  • Our deals are led by an Annual Fund (see Fund FAQ HERE), and supplemented by individual member checks at the option of our entrepreneurs
  • We typically focus on technology and life science, although we will consider other high-growth companies that serve large addressable markets
  • Deals we lead are typically located in San Diego and surrounding SoCal region but we only invest in US-based C-Corps
  • We can also “top off” deals brought by other trusted groups (angel networks, micro VCs, and family offices) through a fast and efficient syndication process

Our Process

  • Initial screening by committee
  • Presentation at membership meeting
  • Due Diligence period (80% completed in first meeting, 29 days for remaining items)
  • Optional: Gain additional visibility (and funding) through partner syndication presentations
  • Funding!

TEAM

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene

Tinuiti
Robin Leary

Robin Leary

Pismo Ventures
Al Bsharah

Al Bsharah

Interlock Capital

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

Nicole Pereira

Nicole Pereira

Remotish
Chris Montgomery

Chris Montgomery

Cooley
Jonathan Miles

Jonathan Miles

Ascent Private Capital Management

ANALYST SPOTLIGHT

Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Acai Inc.
Ruichen Sun

Ruichen Sun

UCSD - Neuroscientist
Joshua Mbugua

Joshua Mbugua

Illumina - Market Insight & Research

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