To execute the SDAC, a substantial team has been assembled.
Amy Duncan, Fund Manager
Amy Duncan is a business owner, consultant, and investor with over 20 years’ experience working in the high growth life sciences industry. As a seasoned marketing strategist, she led product management, managed corporate branding, and developed sales and marketing programs at Life Technologies (Thermo) and directed marketing initiatives at an entrepreneurial start up. Through her business, Goldfish Consulting, Amy assists companies at all stages with strategy, execution, and commercialization. She currently serves as chair of the communications committee for the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) and fund manager for the San Diego Angel Conference III (SDAC-III). Amy earned her BS in biochemistry from UC Davis and an MBA from San Diego State University.
Benton 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.
Benton earned his JD and MBA (New Venture Management) from University of San Diego as well as specialties in International Law from Trinity College, Dublin and Strategic Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In an adventurous change-making career of over $100M in deals, Benton’s proudest accomplishment is coaching his daughter’s undefeated soccer team.
Jad 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 and became an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels and the San Diego Angel Conference Funds I-III, where he serves as co-fund manager. Jad has a BS in mathematical economics from UC Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University.
He loves spending time with his family, races cars, teaches racing with the Porsche Club, travels and has started doing triathlons with his son.
Jason Scharf is an experienced strategy leader and active angel investor in the life science and digital health sectors. For the past 15 years, he has built and led teams in strategic planning, market intelligence, and innovation. He has served in these roles at biopharma, genomics, and medtech companies including Illumina, Becton Dickinson, and Amgen. As industry dynamics have changed, he has driven the transformation of business models, new product/technology/market innovations, and built internal insight engines to create new growth opportunities and competitive differentiation.
In addition to roles within the corporate environment, he serves as a co-fund manager of the San Diego Angel Conference, an investor with Tech Coast Angels, and a mentor with the NexCubed Digital Health Accelerator. He has invested in ~40 emerging companies from Seed stage to Series B focusing on the convergence of technology and biology.
Jason Scharf earned his BA from University of California, San Diego and his MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.
When you work in tech, you want an attorney who gets tech.
For the past 20+ years, Mike Kimball worked on deals and legal issues for companies of all sizes—from start-ups to multi-nationals. Mike is well versed in the tech space, from software, med-tech and “big data” to social media and IoT. Before that, Mike was a senior member of the Yahoo! legal team, negotiating many of the company’s technology deals and partner alliances. He’s been the chief legal counsel for start-ups like Krux Digital (acquired by Salesforce), an attorney at Commerce One (back in the day), and have supported multi-national transactions with the likes of Eurostar, Red Bull, Major League Baseball, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Liveramp, AppNexus, Amazon and NASCAR. He also managed a specialty gas and chemical plant supplying gases and chemicals to the wafer fab industry in Silicon Valley.
Before all that, Mike was a naval officer on the nuclear attack submarine USS William H. Bates (SSN-680) where they conducted oceanographic research and training missions, and then a staff instructor at the Naval Nuclear Prototype & Training Unit in Idaho Falls, ID. Outside of work, he flies, skies, cycles, restores an Alfa Romeo and dines with his wife Dawn, their three grown children and yellow labs, Ollie & Maggie.
Sumner Webster was born and raised outside Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard University where he played football and earned a B.A in Economics. Before earning his MBA from Johns Hopkins University Sumner worked in consulting, venture capital and startups. Today Sumner is the CEO of Iron Forge Development, one of the nation’s premier software development firms.
Brian is a strategic, entrepreneurial minded, business development leader with 20 years of Silicon Valley experience. He works in advanced technologies and consult with organizations globally, helping them understand where their technology can best be applied. He has broad industry experience, including high tech, enterprise software, energy and environmental sectors. Engleman helps others understand design thinking and strategy to envision what’s possible, and is passionate about innovation and seeks to work with others making positive impacts.
Richard Lin is the founder of Explora BioLabs. He pioneered the concept of vivarium-as-a-service (trademarked by Explora) in 2004, when he recognized that early stage biotech companies can accelerate their preclinical research by using high quality third party on-demand labs that come with equipment, essential staff and regulatory support. After growing the company organically to 7 facilities in San Diego and the Bay Area, Richard successfully navigated the acquisition of Explora by a private equity search fund in mid-2018.
Richard is passionate about community building. He currently serves as the chairman of LaunchBio, and leads the Biocom CRO committee. He is a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Southern California Biotech Center, a training program based in Miramar College. Prior to founding Explora, Richard served in various senior research positions in several early stage biotech companies. Richard studied cancer biology and received a PhD from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Silvia Mah, PhD, MBA, is a founding partner of Ad Astra Ventures, that aims to “get to even” for high achieving women. Focused on “Impact with Integrity”, Dr. Mah is 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. Dr. Mah’s own success includes producing a globally-recognized podcast, She Invests!, highlighting the investment journeys of female angel investors and venture capitalists & the inaugural Fund Manager for the San Diego Angel Conference Fund I, an angel fund to activate regional capital from aspiring and existing angel investors. Dr. Mah has recently served as the President & COO of Connect w/San Diego Venture Group and was engaged for 2 years as the Student Programs Diversity Director at the Office of Innovation and Commercialization’s The Basement, a technology accelerator for undergraduate startups at UCSD. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Mah believes in integrating family and work to create a lifestyle that serves both with a strong cup of integrity.