The SDAC Fund Management Team

To execute the angel conference, a substantial team is required.

 

 

Staff

Mysty Rusk

SDAC Founder,
Executive Director of the Free Enterprise Institute at the University of San Diego,
and Fund Manager SDAC V

Mysty Rusk is the Executive Director of the Free Enterprise Institute (FEI) at USD’s Knauss School of Business. She launched the Brink SBDC, and founded the San Diego Angel Conference. The FEI works to support scalable innovation based businesses and contributes to San Diego’s innovation ecosystem. The Brink has served over 1,500 innovation-based companies, and the San Diego Angel Conference has considered over 500 applications. Together this represents almost 40% of all startups in the San Diego region. Those companies have added jobs, increased sales, and taken on more than $380M in capital (angel, venture, grants, loans) since 2018.

Stacy Pena

Stacy Peña

Fund Manager SDAC V and
Assistant Director of the Free Enterprise Institute at the University of San Diego

Whether serving as Asst. Director of the Free Enterprise Institute at USD, fund manager or an investor, Stacy is committed to supporting the next generation of changemakers and social innovators.

Her expertise and business strengths were cultivated during the 90’s while working in wireless, digital telecommunication start-up companies. She caught the founders bug from her ‘devil in the details’ foresight, scrappy entrepreneurial mindset and start-up speed experience in business development, operations and marketing. She balances her time between her marketing services company and her role as Chief Business Officer at Six Dragonflies, LLC. – a socially minded enterprise offering capital, collaboration, and influential connections for women and under-represented entrepreneurs who remain focused on accelerating economic development and generational wealth
in their communities. 

Stacy and Six Dragonflies, LLC have participated as an investor at the San Diego Angel Conference I, II & IV and served on the fund management team of SDAC II.  As a fund co-manager of SDAC V, she was able to engage on both sides of the table working with companies positioned to scale and make extraordinary social impacts and connecting them with accredited angel investors who are passionate about sharing their treasure, time and talent to solve big problems.

Stacy Pena

Priscilla Luckhurst

Fund Manager SDAC VI 

Priscilla is a Business Advisor, Angel Investor, and soon to graduate with a Masters of Science in Finance and MBA from the University of San Diego. She has a track record of success in the wellness industry from launching new businesses to optimizing established businesses. Throughout her career, Priscilla has developed winning strategies that have led to achievements, such as managing large yoga studios with profits exceeding seven figures and presenting leadership programs to audiences of 100+ people. 

Priscilla has also been hired to be the Project Manager and lead Consultant for a startup business that went from initial dream to seven figure profits.

Priscilla has now transitioned her focus to funding early stage businesses. She specializes in venture capital, angel investing, operations and business development. Through hands-on experience with both startups and established businesses, Priscilla has honed the skills required to make a meaningful impact in today’s robust business landscape.

Will Fowler

Founder, Signal Rock Capital
SDAC Fund Administrator

Fowler is the founder of Signal Rock Capital, an early stage fund administration firm aimed at lowering the barrier for entry for new fund managers. He is a founding partner of the San Diego Angel Conference and works with conferences and funds, all over the country, specializing in first-time fund managers and very fast and low-cost fund development services.

“SDAC has set a very high bar for activating Angel Investors in a community. The progress and sophistication of this program are incredible to watch.”

In his spare time Fowler enjoys reaching the most remote parts of his home state (Idaho) in his Jeep, and skiing with his wife and kids in the winter.

Fund Management Team

Amy Duncan

Amy Duncan

SDAC III Fund Manager
Brink Director
Founder and CEO, Goldfish Consulting

Duncan is a business owner, consultant, and investor with over 20 years’ experience working in the high growth biotech industry. Through her company, Goldfish Consulting, she’s been advising life science companies on business and positioning strategies for over 10 years, having previously worked 10 years in sales and marketing roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific. 

She is a member of Tech Coast Angels San Diego, serves on the executive committee of the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE), and was the Fund Manager for the 2020-21 San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC).

SDAC is the easiest way to learn about angel investing and a great place to make new friends.

Jad Duncan

Jad Duncan

Chief Business Officer, Goldfish Consulting

Duncan is an experienced investor and entrepreneur with interests in clean technology and electric vehicles. Originally an investment banker with Series 7 and 63 certifications, Jad started a software engineering company, ES3, in 2000 with a successful exit 8 years later. He’s since founded a business consultancy.

Duncan is an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels.  He has also been with the San Diego Angel Conference since its inception, where he is serving his fourth year on the fund management team.

He loves spending time with his family, races cars, teaches racing with the Porsche Club, travels and has started doing triathlons with his son.  

“SDAC is the perfect way to learn how Angel investing works, without having to commit a lot of money. Also a great group of people to work with.”

Silvia Mah

Silvia Mah

CEO, She Invests!
SDAC I Fund Manager

Mah is deeply integrated into the start-up scene, not just in SanDiego, but internationally.  She is a founding partner of Ad Astra Ventures, which aims to “get to even” for high achieving women. Focused on “Impact with Integrity,” Mah is also the Founder & Chairwoman of Stella Labs, an accelerator for women-owned businesses; founding member of Stella Angels, a female angel investment group; Investment Committee member of Next Wave Impact, a social impact venture fund; and an angel investor to over 40 startups who have diverse founders on the leadership team. She also produces a globally-recognized podcast, She Invests!, highlighting the investment journeys of female angel investors and venture capitalists.

Mah was the Fund Manager for SDAC I, and has worked on the fund management team ever since.  

Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Mah believes in integrating family and work to create a lifestyle that serves both with a strong cup of integrity.

Benton Moore

SDAC II Fund Manager
CEO, Sea Dragon Capital

Moore is CEO of Sea Dragon Capital, a fund for early-stage investments.  His most recent clean tech startup was acquired by private equity firm Oaktree Capital.  Benton brings to the team the perspectives of entrepreneur, attorney, and investor and the passion for scaling startups in diverse industries.

Moore has been with SDAC from the start, acting on the fund management team in years 1 and 3 and as the Fund Manager in year 2. He is also a mentor for start-ups at The Brink and is helping start the Torero Angel Fund in association with USD.

In an adventurous change-making career of over $100M in deals, Benton’s proudest accomplishment is coaching his daughter’s undefeated soccer team.

“There are no straight lines in startups – you have to embrace the chaos.  For new angel investors, SDAC offers diverse deal flow, discipline, pooled intelligence, and unique camaraderie.  For seasoned angels, the same.”

Brian Engleman

Fund Manager, SDAC IV

Brian has been involved in the San Diego Angel Conference since 2019, serving as the Fund Co-Manager for SDAC IV.  He has helped hundreds of founders around the world advance their commercialization and leadership capabilities and move toward viable, fundable companies.

Brian has broad industry experience, including the AI/ML, chemicals, enterprise software, energy and environmental sectors.  He spent his career in strategic business development and international programs and currently enjoys helping start-ups move toward commercialization.  He also performs targeted consulting for a variety of advanced technology companies.

Previous roles include Executive Director and then Board member for Silicon Valley Leadership.  He helped co-found three start-ups and was responsible for corporate and business development for an advanced technology spin-off.  While at SRI International, whose successful start-ups include Siri, Intuitive Surgical and Nuance Communications, Brian created and managed the Center for Innovation Leadership.  In this role, he worked internally and with organizations around the world improve funding decisions while providing interactive workshops to help technical teams succeed.  It was here that Brian learned to embrace the “controlled chaos” of startups and fed his passion for helping others make the impact they want.

Brian holds an MBA from Rice University in Texas and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.  Brian enjoys weekly sunsets at the beach with his wife, supporting his three step-kids in everything they do and giving time to community organizations such at the Fleet Science Center.

Silvia Mah

Tripti Thakur

Fund Management Team SDAC VI

Tripti Thakur is a 2x Startup CFO, ex-Wall Street, ex-Loyalty ecommerce, ex-AT&T professional. She was CFO of a $100M retail company and helped buy and sell Loyalty e-commerce companies during her 10 years at MyPoints and Prodege. She is an active Angel investor and advises multiple startups. Tripti has an undergraduate degree from Baruch College, a graduate degree from New York University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree from USC where she is focusing on the gender equity gap in venture capital.

Silvia Mah

David Loseke

Fund Management Team SDAC VI

David is active in the startup ecosystem in San Diego as an investor, connector and banking service provider.  David has been involved with San Diego Angel Conference for the past four years as well as NuFund and Interlock Capital.  Moreover, David is an Executive Director with J. P. Morgan’s Innovation Economy leading the StartUp Banking unit in San Diego and Orange County.

Bobby Edelman

Fund Management Team SDAC VI

Bobby Edelman, a seasoned operator, mentor, and investor with a distinguished career in technology, marketing, and distribution. He played an executive role in scaling a $200 million dollar computer product and internet streaming media business, contributing to the $800 million sale of Fortune 500 company Marshall Electronics. His early internet streaming media innovation, ‘Netseminar’, is featured in the Amazon Book ‘Opening Digital Markets’. Currently, Bobby is an active angel investor at Nufund,San Diego Angel Conference and an Advisor with The Brink. He has invested in over 100 early-stage investments focusing on private market platforms,hard tech and platform. He enjoys diving, yoga, and time with Ziggy, a Shih Tsu, and family.

Silvia Mah

Tom Rhodes

Fund Management Team SDAC VI

An unexpected journey led me to entrepreneurship, where I now thrive as a catalyst in healthcare, through the company I founded, Magus Healthcare Consulting. As a “Coding Services Broker” in the Risk Adjustment Village, I foster impactful connections between third-party service providers and Health Plan vendors. With a wealth of experience from two decades representing Fortune 500 Healthcare IT giants, including GE Healthcare and Truven Health Analytics, I specialize in optimizing organizations’ access to high-volume, high-quality services at an efficient cost.

Armed with an MBA in Finance and Healthcare Administration from Northeastern University, my professional path was preceded by a successful college athletics career, playing football, and contributing to the 2000 Final Four Men’s Basketball Team at the University of Wisconsin. Beyond business, my joys encompass family moments with my wife, Lexie, and daughter, Laurel, alongside our two canine companions, Milo, and Ziggy. In my leisure, I find fulfilment in reading, hot yoga, angel investing, my many advisory roles in companies, along coaching my daughter’s soccer team—Go Rainbow Deer!

Silvia Mah

Amit Agarwal

Fund Management Team SDAC VI

With over two decades of invaluable experience within Fortune 50 companies, Amit Agarwal is a seasoned professional dedicated to driving innovation and organizational growth. Holding dual master’s degrees in engineering and business, his unique blend of technical expertise and strategic acumen has been the driving force behind his successes. Currently, he is on a mission to transform lives by leveraging technology to create cutting-edge products and services. Whether through strategic capital investments, advisory roles, or active participation in the startup ecosystem, his passion lies in simplifying complexities and pioneering solutions that shape the future.