Tech Coast Angels - San Diego

Our mission is to be the BEST place for the BEST companies to raise their seed financing.

TCA-SD ChapterTCA Network

WHO WE ARE

TCA-San Diego (TCA-SD) is the San Diego chapter of Tech Coast Angels – one of the largest and most active angel investment networks in the country. You can learn more about the Tech Coast Angels network here.

About TCA-SD

  • We are the largest TCA chapter with over 200 active accredited investors from all walks of life

  • TCA-SD invested over $12M in 2019. We focus mainly on Tech (software, hardware, cleantech, 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
  • TCA-SD 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.

“TCA-SD 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 TCA 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 TCA 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. TCA’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.
  • Recent Investments Led by TCA-SD

Tourmaline Labs

$1,500,000

in seed financing

Mercato

$1,100,000

in seed financing

Echo Labs

$2,000,000

in seed financing
followed by a
$7.5M Series A

Featured Portfolio Companies:

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. LynxBio’s initial focus is on blood cancers (myeloma and leukemia) as existing technologies such as genetic testing are unavailable or inadequate. With a turnaround time of 3-5 days, LynxBio utilizes their SystemOn-Chip biopsy technology to quickly determine the most effective treatment options for an individual patient before therapy begins, and may continue to be utilized throughout the evolution of the disease to reduce the use of ineffective treatments.

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. In addition to improving vascular access for hemodialysis patients, STAR biomaterial has applications in other biomedical implants and prosthetics, including coronary artery bypass and vascular access ports for needle-free dialysis.

Paradigm brings cutting-edge diagnostics and biomarker driven clinical trials to benefit cancer patients with their Paradigm Cancer Diagnostic (PCDx) genetic testing. Through Next-Gen Sequencing, and other biomarker analysis, PCDx is able to provide fast, accurate, and actionable information about the genomic and proteomic landscape of a patient’s cancer as well as recommending potential therapies based on the specific characterization of the patient’s tumor, personalizing each patient’s course of treatment. PCDx is able to provide test results in as few as 5 days, able to diagnose using lower-quality biopsy samples, and covers biomarkers associated with a wider range of therapies than competing diagnostics.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 is able to offer a revolutionary proprietary signal processing capacity that will enable innovative new applications in the wearables and IOT markets that were not possible with preexisting technologies. Current devices use imagebased AI which must be uploaded to the cloud for machine learning and analysis/detection; Atlazo is able to perform AI analysis on the chip and upload only the results to the cloud – protecting your data, minimizing signal corruption or loss, and massively reducing the power needed to send information, enabling miniaturization of devices and longer battery life.

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 – 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 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 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 is a cybersecurity enterprise software provider that protects companies from their own employees. The large majority of data breaches are the result of an employee’s lack of security awareness, leading to basic and avoidable mistakes becoming security disasters. Habitu8 helps companies build security awareness programs, employee training videos, and institute best practices for data security and cyber hygiene in their organization. Replacing bad habits with good ones, Habitu8 provides engaging video training based on industry expertise and neuroscientific principles to redefine what effective security awareness program looks like and ensure greater employee compliance.

iDentical’s patent pending technology enables them to create a personalized dental implant modeled from the patient’s own tooth using 3D modeling techniques, ensuring a perfect match and fit with no drilling required. iDENTICAL™ implants can easily be placed by any family dentist, making tooth replacement more accessible and affordable for millions worldwide.

Discover Echo develops and manufactures microscopes that utilize tablet and cloud-based technologies to capture and manage image data – setting a new precedent in microscope usability and design. Their unique manufacturing process allows the buy to configure their ideal microscope in just minutes using the company’s website. Discover Echo’s microscopes employ a unique hybrid design which significantly reduces equipment costs while freeing up valuable laboratory space, converting between configurations without the use of any extra tools.

Heart Health Intelligence is developing a unique product for home use which allows those living with congestive heart failure and other cardiovascular disorders to monitor their heart health easily and conveniently at home between doctor visits, with no changes to their daily routine. The integrated and sealed design incorporates sensors, clinical-grade instrumentation, on-board storage, and multiple wireless communication options within a standard toilet seat form factor. Data collection, transmission, and analysis happens automatically.

Mercato is a platform for independent and specialty grocers, merchants, and artisans to offer the same level of local customer service and delivery that large chain supermarkets are able to offer. 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. All this with an emphasis on quality foods, customized product offerings that serve the needs and preferences of local grocers’ specific customer base rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, and superior service offered by owners that are stakeholders in the local community.

BlueNalu provides healthy, safe, and trusted seafood products that support sustainability and diversity of our oceans. BlueNalu has 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. With a focus on species that are over-fished, heavily imported, or difficult to farm, BlueNalu aims to allow 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 – all while remaining free of mercury and other environmental contaminants.

Through a simulated natural vision software technology, Eyedaptic is optimizing the user’s remaining vision while enabling more independence for everyday tasks. While most vision solutions on the market today are only able to offer magnification within a limited field of vision, the Eyedaptic EYE2 optimizes the peripheral vision so everyday tasks are easier to manage.

  • Enables viewing of the entire image — beyond magnification
  • Simulates natural vision and optimizes the user’s peripheral vision
  • Users regain freedom to experience an improved quality of life
  • Users can move about easily without restrictions with a hands-free, easy to wear design

Visgenx is developing therapeutics to protect against the loss of sight  from retinal disorders. Their programs are based on increasing the expression of a gene known as ELOVL2  which may regulate aging in cells critical for vision, with the longer term goal is ELOVL2 gene therapy. Their science is based on breakthrough research conducted at the Shiley Eye Institute at the University of California San Diego and is exclusively licensed to Visgenx.

Aligned Carbon produces the highest quality carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in a manufacturable form factor, to meet the integrated circuit industry’s exacting specifications. Its CNTs are perfectly aligned in arrays covering full semiconductor substrates and purified to be either entirely semiconducting or entirely metallic, all while maintaining CMOS compatibility. Beyond meeting the standards for integrated circuit manufacturing, Aligned Carbon’s CNTs hold promise for realizing higher frequency RF devices, providing a high-performance transistor material for displays/thin film transistors, and advanced nano-sensor applications as well.

Deep Blue is developing a novel hernia mesh to address the unacceptably high rate of hernia occurrence and recurrence. Millions of hernia surgeries are done globally with billions of dollars in clinical cost. Their surgeon-invented 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. 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. Due to its simple yet revolutionary design, the T-Line Mesh has the potential to reduce hernia occurrence and recurrence by preventing or reducing mesh fixation failure.

  • INNOVATING IN SAN DIEGO

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 region
  • 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
  • Presentation at monthly membership meeting
  • Due Diligence period (80% completed in first meeting, 29 days for remaining items)
  • Optional: Gain additional visibility (and funding) through TCA dinner meetings and partner syndication presentations
  • Funding!

TEAM

TEAM

 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene

Tinuiti
Sonia Steinway

Sonia Steinway

Outside Financial
Joyce Tang

Joyce Tang

AgilisIT

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

Nicole Pereira

Nicole Pereira

Chief Martech Officer
Ilana Brand

Ilana Brand

Cooley
Michael Umansky

Michael Umansky

Sheppard Mullin

ANALYST SPOTLIGHT

Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Acai Inc.
Ruichen Sun

Ruichen Sun

UCSD - Neuroscientist
Alexander Polus

Alexander Polus

UCSD, Artificial Intelligence and Entrepreneurship

Have a question/comment for us?

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