Both tech-enabled startups and angel investors benefitting from the influx of investments spurred by SDAC during the first six months of 2021

SAN DIEGO, July 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — One of the largest angel investment networks in the country, San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC) has reached a significant milestone by collectively helping to raise $1.7 million for U.S. companies in the first six months of 2021. Backed by the University of San Diego School of Business, the three-year-old organization focuses on boosting promising early-stage companies and helping accredited angel investors grow their portfolios in an approachable and inclusive environment.

“The best thing about SDAC is how openly, honestly and respectfully it operates, and without egos,” says SDAC member investor Silas Smith. “It is a safe space where questions can be asked without fear and knowledge is shared openly.”


Raised by SDAC’s network of 63 members, the $1.7 million includes $731,500 in checks written in association with SDAC’s annual conference which took place on March 20, 2021, as well as funds raised outside of the event over the first six months of the year. The $731,500 was awarded to startups including Advocat Technologies, ChargeNet, Fluid Power AI, Verity and Abterra Biosciences (formerly Digital Proteomics). Since the conference, finalist startups have received additional funding as a result of investment vehicles such as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and syndications with other angel groups across the United States.

Funded startups include:

  • Advocat Technologies raised $282,500 as the annual conference winner and received investments from individual SDAC investors totaling an additional $560,000 to close the fully subscribed round. Advocat Technologies is an artificial intelligence research and drafting solution for enterprise legal departments created by attorney and former U.S. diplomat Pradnya Desh. Bellevue, Wash.
  • Verity, led by Michelle Youngers, raised $152,500 through an SPV, with a total of 15 investors, represented by SDAC, Social Venture Circle and Stella Angels for a total of $288,000 from SDAC investors. Verity provides sustainable, plastic-free packaging solutions for the beauty and personal care industry. Encinitas, Calif.
  • ChargeNet, whose round was led by SDAC and championed by Benton Moore, successfully secured a $221,000 investment from the SDAC group for a total $800,000 pre-seed, oversubscribed investment round. 10X Tech Ventures and other investment groups participated in the round that led to the hiring of two female co-founders. ChargeNet is a cleantech SaaS company creating the EV charging experience of the future using renewable energy in fast food and convenience store parking lots. San Diego, Calif.
  • Abterra Biosciences, championed by Amy Duncan, fund manager for this year’s conference, won the 2021 Seattle Angel Conference, winning $200,000 of funding and followed on with $100,000 more of angel investments from Seattle Angel Group. Abterra Bio uses next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry and machine learning to comprehensively map the antibody response, and rapidly identify better therapeutic antibodies. San Diego, Calif.
  • Fluid Power AI, championed by Armen Derderian, has successfully raised $100,000 in its oversubscribed seed round with investments from EvoNexxus and Tech Coast Angels, Orange County, for a total of $206,000 from SDAC. Fluid Power AI is a reliability as a service (RaaS) platform with proprietary technology and methods to turn any hydraulic system into a smart hydraulic system. La Jolla, Calif.
  • Uplyft, led by Bob Edelman, raised $112,500, with a total of 17 investors who invested via Tech Coast Angels, SDAC, U.S. Angels and Interlock Capital. Uplyft is the first FDA-compliant self-transfer system from bed to wheelchair for people with limited mobility. San Diego, Calif.

Entrepreneurs involved in SDAC connect with all active investors in the fund, and as a result, gain a network effect of follow-on investments from angel investor leads emerging from the conference, syndication partners who gain excellent deal sourcing and individual angels who know that the rigorous due diligence of the conference is an asset in their decision making.

“It’s thrilling to support CEO Kerri Leslie and her exceptional team as they deliver on the Verity promise of providing truly sustainable packaging for its target market,” said Verity lead investor Michelle Youngers. “It’s been my honor to bring together active angel investors from SDAC and other groups focused on impact investing, to fund this very deserving and scalable business.”

Founded in 2019, SDAC champions innovation regionally and nationally. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Mysty Rusk 

SOURCE San Diego Angel Conference