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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out San Diego Investor RoundTable, sponsored by Irvine Company, TechLaw LLP, Effortless Office, Perfect Pages, Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. This event was in on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

    Bob Fried, Board Member and Investor, Tech Coast Angels Bob Fried, Board Member and Investor, Tech Coast Angels

    Bob is on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels (TCA), and is an investor in 11 Southern California early stage and start-up companies.

    Building Valuable Companies. Angel investing isn’t just about money. It is also about mentoring, strategic advice and connections to customers, management and venture capital. TCA is helping fuel the growth of the most innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California. TCA’s 300 members devote time, expertise and capital to help companies grow and succeed. Companies benefit from working with a group of seasoned, well-connected advisors.

    That’s why TCA is the largest angel network in the U.S. and the number one source of startup funding in Southern California. TCA members have invested more than $115 million in over 180 companies and have helped attract more than $1 billion of additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA operates five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast, and Inland Empire.

    Afif Khoury, Managing Member, Scatter Ventures Afif Khoury, Managing Member, Scatter Ventures

    Afif has spent the last decade involved in startups and venture capital investments as a VC, Attorney and serial entrepreneur. Afif is a published geneticist who earned his BS in Neuroscience and Physiology from UCSD in 1998, before attending Law School at Northwestern School of Law (JD 2002) and Business School at Kellogg School of Management. Afif was a corporate and securities attorney in Silicon Valley and Southern California at the premier technology law firms of WSGR and Gunderson Dettmer representing companies and investors in all stages. In 2010 Afif raised a seed and early stage fund named Scatter Ventures to partner with great minds and unique technologies capable of playing a disruptive role in emerging, high growth markets. Afif is a director of the San Diego Venture Group and also founder and CEO of a new startup incubated at EvoNexus.

    Brad Shoen, Angel Investor Brad Shoen, Angel Investor

    Brad Shoen is a private investor, business advisor, mentor and community leader who resides in San Diego, CA. Brad has been the chapter chairman of the San Diego Chapter of WPO (World Presidents’ Organization), chapter chairman of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) and an Entrepreneur in Residence for Connect. Brad has recently been involved as an investor, advisor and mentor to companies in the distribution, construction, biotech, high tech, gaming, and e-commerce industries (both B2B and B2C). Selling a construction supply business in 2005, Brad also has extensive background in strategic planning, business development and training.

    Jack J. Florio, Angel Investor Jack J. Florio, Angel Investor

    Mr. Jack J. Florio is the Vice President of Communications and a Member of the Board of Directors at San Diego Tech Coast Angels. Mr. Florio was recently featured on xconomy.com as a "Top 20 Angel Investor in San Diego". Mr. Florio is also CEO of Amplyx Therapeutics, a Business Partner at Deallus Consulting and VP of US Corporate Development for MediSafe. In addition, Mr. Florio is the Strategic Advisor at the Wireless Life Science Alliance. Mr. Florio also serves on the Board of BIOCOM and the Capital Development Committee and is on the Board of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals. He is on the Advisory Boards of Visionary Pharmaceuticals, Virtuous Pharmaceuticals, and Skylit. Mr. Florio has over 28 years of United States and global experience at Eli Lilly and Company in sales, marketing, business development, and new product planning and development. He held various pharmaceutical management positions with Lilly including the Team Leader of Global Late Life Cycle Products Team; an Executive Director of European Marketing, and a Director of Global Pharmaceutical Pricing Development. During his career at Lilly, Mr. Florio actively directed product launch activities from a variety of functional or geographic perspectives including neuroscience, gastrointestinal, anti invectives, and hospital products that have included products such as PROZAC, ZYPREXA, AXID, LORABID, among others. Since moving to San Diego several years ago, he has assumed interim management positions focused primarily on corporate and business development in a number of life science companies. Additionally, for 4 years Mr. Florio was an Investment Banker with Brinson Patrick Securities focused on funding for public life science companies. He has received an M.B.A. in Marketing and A.P.C. in Management from New York University and a B.S. in Pharmacy from Columbia University, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

    Damon D'Amore, Founder, WayFounder Damon D'Amore, Founder, WayFounder

    WayFounder is a new business generator focused on product and startup ideas that would likely never be considered in the current incubator and accelerator ecosystem. The company was founded on two core beliefs: First, great ideas come from everywhere. People from all walks of life have ideas for solutions to problems that aren’t currently offered by existing products in the market. They work full-time jobs, are students or simply lack the time, resources, experience or capital to realize their vision. Consequently, many of these “Idea Generators” are left with just that, an idea. WayFounder provides a platform and the resources for these ideas to get to market and succeed. Second, all startups have multiple founding moments, and the key team members vary as a company grows through different lifecycles.

    Through online competitions, WayFounder sources ideas from all across America. WayFounder provides competition winners with a cash prize, a commitment to spend up to $50,000 bringing the first iteration of their idea to market and a royalty on those sales. If a product shows the promise of scaling it is spun out into a new company and WayFounder commits up to $250,000, bringing aboard an “Executive Entrepreneur” – a Founder/CEO with experience in that specific category to take the business to the next level and the Idea Generator receives founder equity in the new company.

    Entrepreneurship, competition, idea generation, product development, startup financing and distribution are constantly evolving. The founding process also needs to evolve, and WayFounder is meeting this challenge by creating a community around a new breed of founders.

    Damon D’Amore has spent the last three years in two startup ventures he co-founded in the consumer product and web/mobile spaces. Both experiences were inspirations for the business model of WayFounder.

    With more than two decades experience in taking products from concept, through development, marketing and distribution, Damon has 15 years of experience producing high-profile, multi-million dollar marketing integrations in both television and online, Damon has worked closely with more than 250 of the most successful CEOs in the nation. In traditional media, Damon produced a number of creative brand integrations for Fortune 500 companies on multiple seasons of the reality television shows Undercover Boss and The Apprentice with Donald Trump. In the online space he produced the gaming promotions for Shrek the Third. Damon held the position of Vice President of Production and Development for the independent film and television studio The Shooting Gallery where he worked on films such as You Can Count On Me and commercial campaigns for major brands such as Sony.

    Prior to his work in the entertainment and new media sectors, Damon spent five years on Wall Street where he brokered and traded a range of institutional products. Damon lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their chocolate lab.

    Welcome Address: Aaron Sahagun, Southwest Regional Director, FundingPost Welcome Address: Aaron Sahagun, Southwest Regional Director, FundingPost

    Prior to FundingPost, Aaron founded Alumwire, Inc. where he managed corporate networking events during the early days of the Company in Berkeley, CA. He drove the Company's strategic direction, business development, technical activity, and marketing activities as its CEO. Aaron has been named by BusinessWeek as one of "The Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs." Aaron has been also featured on NBC, CBS and CNET. The initial sales of $100K+ from Alumwire's Fortune 500 beta clients led to a $1.4 million dollar financing round. Aaron successfully exited Alumwire in 2011.

    Aaron earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending the University of California, Berkeley, Aaron attended a private, technical high school in Los Angeles where he majored in computer science and developed games in Visual C++, C++, Visual Basic and Javascript. He programmed e-commerce web sites for several companies and organizations in the southern California area during his teenage years.

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