The SDAC Fund Management Team

To execute the angel conference, a substantial team has been assembled.

 

 

Event Staff

Mysty Rusk

Executive Director USD Free Enterprise Institute
SDAC Founder
MBA, Friends University

Rusk is the Executive Director of the Free Enterprise Institute (FEI) at the University of San Diego. She has helped USD identify its unique position in the innovation ecosystem as an entity generator with a focus on scale and growth for wealth generation and serving the greater good. The FEI is the home of the SDAC, the Brink SBDC, and student entrepreneurship programs at USD. Rusk was part of the founding team of the Willamette Angel Conference in 2008, Central California AngelCon in 2017, SDAC in 2018, AngelNV in 2020 and the NorCal Angel Conference in 2021.

“I love what Angel Conferences do for communities. On a local level, they are a very public demonstration that a community has the next generation of business leaders and the resources necessary to help them succeed. On a global level, Angel Conferences give us the ability to bring new solutions and technologies to market to solve the world’s greatest challenges.”

Chris Peters

Assistant Director USD Free Enterprise Institute
BA History & Political Science, Indiana University
Master Healthcare Administration, U North Carolina

Peters is the Assistant Director of the Free Enterprise Institute (FEI) at the University of San Diego and a strategy consultant. Prior to joining the team, he worked in private equity and management consulting. Chris was part of the leadership team that launched the Digital Health Institute for Transformation in the Research Triangle – which unites industry, academia, and government to drive healthcare innovation. As an avid connector, he links young talent with innovative, exciting companies.

A firm believer in multi-disciplinary collaboration and networking, Chris is most excited about SDAC’s ability to drive a diverse community of stakeholders to “get to yes” during the conference and fuel continued growth for participants post-conference.

Will Fowler

Founder, Signal Rock Capital
SDAC Fund Administrator
BA Psychology, College of Idaho
MBA Northwest Nazarene

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 Managers

Brian Engleman

Fund Manager, SDAC IV
BS Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley
MBA, Rice

Engleman is a strategic, entrepreneurial minded, business development leader with 20 years of Silicon Valley experience. He works in advanced technologies globally. He has broad industry experience, including high tech, enterprise software, energy and environmental sectors. Engleman enjoys helping individuals and organizations understand what it takes to move from idea to invention to innovation, and enjoys working with others to make positive impacts.

Engleman has helped teams commercialize their technologies for the past 15 years, in part by presenting innovation programs around the world.  He was an investor and due diligence lead during SDAC II, on the fund management team for SDAC III and is the fund manager for SDAC IV along with Sumner Webster

“The culture at SDAC is what makes it so amazing.  This is a group of investors who are interested in helping entrepreneurs “Get to Yes” so they can start changing the world.” 

Sumner Webster

CEO, Ironforge Development
Fund Manager, SDAC IV
BA Economics, Harvard
MBA, Johns Hopkins

Webster was born and raised outside Boston, Massachusetts.  He played football while attending Harvard University, and still feels the aches and pains of that experience.  He went on to work in consulting, venture capital and startups before earning his MBA.  Webster’s work as the CEO of Iron Forge Development, one of the nation’s premier software development firms takes him across the U.S. and around the world.  Iron Forge recently opened a location in Taiwan.

Webster has been with SDAC since its inception, working as part of the fund management team for three years before becoming the Fund Manager for SDAC IV along with Brian Engleman.

Amy Duncan

Amy Duncan

Founder and CEO, Goldfish Consulting
BS Biochemistry, UC Davis
MBA, San Diego State

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.

Benton Moore

CEO, Sea Dragon Capital
JD and MBA, University of San Diego
Certificates: International Law, Trinity College, Dublin
Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School

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.”

Jad Duncan

Jad Duncan

Chief Business Officer, Goldfish Consulting
BS Mathematical Economics, UC Berkeley
MBA, San Diego State

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.”

Richard Lin

Founder, Explora BioLabs
Chairman, LaunchBio
PhD Cancer Biology, UC Berkeley

Lin is the founder of Explora BioLabs, a biotech service company with more than 15  facilities across several major US biotech cities. Lin’s pioneering vivarium-as-a-service facilities provided hundreds of biotech companies with flexible, top quality preclinical research labs that are critical for their drug discovery efforts. Lin exited Explora in 2018 when it  was acquired by a private equity search fund in. Prior to founding Explora, Richard served in various senior research positions in several early stage biotech companies.

Lin 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. He was an investor during SDAC II and on the fund management team for SDAC III and IV.

“After I exited my company, I was looking for ways where I can use my experience and financial resources to help other entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. SDAC provided me with the perfect environment for me to meet other fellow investors and enthusiastic entrepreneurs.”

Silvia Mah

Silvia Mah

CEO, She Invests!
BS Biology, Pepperdine
PhD Marine Biology, UC San Diego
MBA, UC San Diego

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.

Silvia Mah

Tammy Stevenson, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

Ethos Veterinary Healthy
BS Veterinary Medicine, USC
Residency Veterinary Neurology / Neurosurgery, UC Davis

Stevenson was an undergraduate at USC majoring in business when she adopted her first pet and decided to change paths. She went on to pursue degrees in veterinary medicine, and board certification in veterinary neurology/neurosurgery. She currently practices at Ethos Veterinary Health in San Diego as one of their on-call emergency neurosurgeons. 

Stevenson is on the Board of Directors of The Foundation for Animal Care and Education which is a nonprofit with the mission to enhance and preserve the quality of life of animals by providing access to necessary medical care and education. She has been involved in strategic development, fundraising and most recently is the HR committee chair.  

With her introduction to angel investing during SDAC III, Stevenson has become an active angel investor participating in Tech Coast Angels of SD, The Red Bear Angels, and The Syndicate. “SDAC welcomes all levels of investor experience which makes it a very comfortable place to start learning and a great way to advance your knowledge rapidly.”

Silvia Mah

David Loseke

Managing Director, First Republic Bank
BS Finance, San Diego State
MBA, UC Los Angeles

Loseke has worked in the business banking division of First Republic for over 10 years.  He has direct experience in lending to professional service firms, non-profits, commercial real estate companies, and securities portfolios with sophisticated clients and unique borrower, guarantor, and collateral structures.  David has funded over $500MM in loans during his tenure at First Republic Bank.  Prior to joining First Republic, David was a Business Banker at Bank of America and formerly owned Crown RV Group and Mortgage Direct Lending, focusing on outdoor hospitality and residential lending respectively. 

David leads the San Diego Chapter of the Nonprofit Financial Executives Alliance, which is a Bank sponsored affinity group for nonprofit financial leaders.  He currently works with area accelerators, incubators, and angel/seed/VC investors to support the innovation community in San Diego.  

“SDAC III was my first foray into angel investing and the experience was very positive for me.  I wanted to continue learning more of the mechanics of the conference, and candidly, I admire the people on the fund management team and it was a great opportunity to learn more from them and contribute where I can.”