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CARI Health and HERA Biotech receive funding at the University of San Diego's Angel Conference

CARI Health Awarded $300,000+ in Funding at San Diego Angel Conference with HERA Biotech, and ReJoule Inc. Each Receiving at Least $100,000 Investment

Winning team and runners up representing healthtech, diagnostics, and cleantech industries in nation’s largest event-based angel conference

SDAC is the largest angel investment conference in the country, activating angel investors and engaging promising early-stage companies that drive the innovation ecosystem. Through a series of events and workshops that culminate in a one-day conference and pitch competition, SDAC provides valuable insights and hands-on education through separate entrepreneur and angel investor tracks.

The program’s investment fund is managed by accredited investors who collectively decide which companies will receive funding. (Photo: Business Wire)

San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC), a University of San Diego (USD) Knauss School of Business program that activates accredited angel investors and engages promising early-stage companies that drive the innovation ecosystem, today awarded three startups in healthtech, diagnostics, and cleantech industries with angel funding for their potentially disruptive solutions. CARI Health took the top prize with $300,000+ in funding for its wearable remote monitor to keep patients on life saving medications.

Runners up were awarded funding as follows: HERA Biotech - $100,000+ ReJoule Inc. - $100,000+

*Actual amount raised by the finalists could increase as investors may elect to invest in the startups as individual investors.

Today’s conference, the culmination of months of educational events and mentoring for participating early-stage companies, as well as guidance for new angel investors, was live streamed by the San Diego Angel Conference and drew audience members from across the country.

“We’re honored to be among the other SDAC IV companies presenting today. This funding will enable us to advance our mission to make an impact on the opioid crisis,” said winning company CARI Health Founder Patrik Schmidle. “It has been a journey that has included invaluable lessons on effectively communicating with angel investors, completing the due diligence process, and building a valuable network of mentors, investors, and peers.”

SDAC IV received 90 applications from early-stage companies nationwide for the 2021/2022 season. About 75 individual angel investors, with each contributing anywhere from $6,000 to $100,000, formed a collective fund and evaluated the 90 startups over three months to determine those most likely to succeed and make it to the final pitch for funding. Finalists included:

  • BrainSpace – neurocritical care for protecting the brain and spine after trauma, surgery, or neurodegeneration

  • First Light Coffee Whiskey – environmentally conscious craft spirits

  • CARI Health, Inc. – remote medication monitoring

  • Hera Biotech – non-surgical test for endometriosis, the number one cause of female infertility

  • LifEngine Animal Health Laboratories - gene editing and cancer treatment breakthroughs in humans to fight cancer in dogs

  • ReJoule, Inc. – addressing need for testing of effective second-life batteries

SDAC supporter law firm Mintz emphasizes that the conference provides critical support to early-stage companies and investment opportunities that drive innovation.

“SDAC is a terrific opportunity and does an amazing job of meeting multiple needs in the San Diego venture community. Not only does it provide financing and mentoring for start-ups looking to raise capital, it provides experience and guidance to newly minted angel investors,” says Mintz Member Sebastian E. Lucier. “Mintz has been involved since inception and we’re grateful for the contributions made by SDAC to the San Diego start-up ecosystem.”

SDAC partners with 20+ organizations in the startup ecosystem. These connections, combined with SDAC’s reputation for excellence, enables it to attract promising startups and manage a substantial investment fund. Major sponsors include vteams, USD Knauss School of Business, Mintz, Clearpoint Agency, SDSU, First Republic Bank, Coeptus Law, and UCSD.

“We applaud the winner and runners up. Each SDAC cycle we strive to find trailblazing early-stage companies seeking funding, and we activate new angel investors – creating invaluable connections that fuel the startup ecosystem. This year we were blown away by the talent of the entrepreneurs who applied,” said SDAC IV Fund Manager Brian Engleman. “We can’t wait to see what solutions are presented in the next SDAC, which starts in September 2022 with our e-track.”

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