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Venture Capital
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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out San Diego VC and Angel Investor PitchFest, sponsored by McCarter & English, Contap, TCVN, InList, Cross Campus, MOW Media. This event was in Cross Campus Gaslamp on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

    Photo of Moderator: Joe Daniels, McCarter & English Joseph Daniels
    McCarter English
    Read the full profile for Joseph here!
    McCarter English
    Mr. Daniels represents startup to publicly-held technology, life science and consumer companies, venture capital and private equity funds and investment banks in a wide range of seed and venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and other public offerings. He regularly advises a broad range of startups, venture-backed companies and VC funds, and has led hundreds of venture and strategic financing transactions. Mr. Daniels has helped companies and private equity firms handle over $5 billion of merger, acquisition and disposition transactions. Additionally, he has represented issuers and underwriters in more than 25 IPOs and follow-on public offerings involving companies in the technology, life sciences and consumer sectors, including leading investment banks such as Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Oppenheimer.

    Mr. Daniels also serves as outside general counsel for numerous companies, assisting them with everything from day-to-day business transactions to multinational strategic alliance transactions ranging from technology and distribution partnerships to joint ventures. He focuses on representing clients involved in high-growth sectors, and has experience with a broad range of industries, including adtech, biotech, cleantech, consumer, digital media, ecommerce, energy, Internet of Things, Fintech/financial services, life sciences, mobile, semiconductor, software, UAVs and telecommunications.

    Photo of Silvia Mah, Co-Founder, Ad Astra Ventures Silvia Mah
    Founding Partner
    Ad Astra Ventures
    Read the full profile for Silvia here!
    Ad Astra Ventures
    Dr. Silvia Mah, PhD, MBA, is the new President of CONNECT San Diego and founding partner of Ad Astra Ventures, that aims to “get to even” for high achieving women. Dr. Mah also serves as Executive Director of Hera Labs, an accelerator for women-owned businesses; founding member of Hera Angels, a female angel investment group; Investment Committee member of Next Wave Impact, a social impact venture fund; and an angel investor to over 30 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; serving 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; & Fund Manager for the San Diego Angel Conference, a new angel fund to activate regional capital from aspiring and existing angel investors. 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.

    Photo of Zalmi Duchman, Angel Investor Zalmi Duchman
    Chairman of the Board
    The Fresh Diet
    Read the full profile for Zalmi here!
    The Fresh Diet
    Zalmi Duchman is an angel investor, entrepreneur and food-tech pioneer. In 2005, Duchman, at the age of 25, launched The Fresh Diet, a meal subscription business. He began operations on January 1, 2006 with three clients. While Duchman "shopped and dropped," his wife "cooked and packed." By 2013, Duchman grew his business to become the largest U.S. food producer in the freshly-prepared, daily delivery category - delivering meal plans to thousands of clients nationwide. Duchman sold the fresh diet to a publicly traded company in 2014.

    Consequently, Duchman and The Fresh Diet have earned numerous prestigious accolades over the years, including making the Inc. 500 list consecutively in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Forbes Top 20 Most Promising U.S. Companies List in 2011 and 2012, as well as being an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee in both 2009 and 2011. The Miami Herald named Duchman as one of Miami’s leading 20 under 40.

    Duchman is currently the operating partner of a few food-tech companies including Mellow, Inc a smart sous-vide machine and Home Bistro a meal delivery company.

    Photo of Tom Markel, Angel Investor Tom Markel
    Angel Investor
    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Tom here!
    Angel Investor
    Tom views his life in two dimensions: his vocation; married for 34 years to a wonderful, bright, adventurous, loving wife, business partner and mother of 4 dynamic grown children and his avocation; serial entrepreneur, business advisor and philanthropist.
    Toms DNA is big families and small business ownership where his father, grandfathers and great grandfathers were serial entrepreneurs striking it rich or going broke. Toms father compared the family ups and downs, “to being in Serino’s drinking the wine in the good times and in Fresno smash-ing the grapes in the bad times”.
    Tom has started 15 companies and refers to his business experience in baseball terms: “I’ve had 3 strike outs, 9 base hits, 2 triple plays and an out the park home run. Toms major success came with his partnership with Im-perial Credit Industries founding the largest mortgage REIT on the AMEX which grew to over $2 billion in assets.
    Tom and his wife Helene both enjoy skiing, golf, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping. Recently they both hiked 500 miles through France and Spain on the Camino De Compostela. In his spare time he enjoys sharing his new found passion for the healing properties of hemp based CBD, his friends call him the El Chapo Newport Beach.

    Photo of Brandon Carl, Angel Investor, Tech Coast Angels Brandon Carl
    Angel Investor
    Tech Coast Angels
    Read the full profile for Brandon here!
    Tech Coast Angels
    Brandon has been active the Southern California Entrepreneur community for the past 15 years. As one of the original founding partners of SCVN (Southern California Venture Network), he currently sits on the Board of TCVN, and is an active Tech Coast Angel Investor.

    Photo of Paul Wendee, Angel Investor, ArchAngel Investors Paul Wendee

    ArchAngels Investors
    Read the full profile for Paul here!
    ArchAngels Investors
    DR. PAUL M. WENDEE is the Managing Director of Paul M. Wendee & Associates, LLC, a corporate finance, private equity, and management consulting firm which he founded in 1998. He has been an entrepreneur, investment banker, securities analyst, and private equity fund manager for 37 years. He publishes an award-winning investment newsletter, the Intrinsic Value Wealth Report, He is the creator of Value Driver Theory, a new way of understanding and strategically thinking about business; and teaches courses in business, investments, economics, entrepreneurship, and finance to university students worldwide. He founded the Value Driver Institute and Research and Educational Expedition Programs (VDI/REEP), a non-profit organization with a mission to conduct research on enterprise value driver theory and the enterprise value creation process; and to take the business incubator concept to places in the world where business incubators are not commonly found, but where they are needed the most. Paul is also an angel investor and is an active investor with various angel groups including ArchAngels Investors.

    Photo of Bill Orabone, Angel Investor Bill Orabone
    Serial Entrepreneur
    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Bill here!
    Angel Investor
    A veteran of global business, a successful serial entrepreneur, a prolific angel investor and an exceptional problem solver whose career includes -

    Four successful technology start-ups resulting in exits worth over $400M on raised capital of less than $10M,

    46 angel investments ALL leading to profitable returns,

    Four industry first product introductions two of which turned in sales of greater than $1B,

    Two successful company turnarounds, Countless multinational partnerships, joint ventures & supplier agreements, Several technology acquisitions and licenses, and

    A very early Six Sigma black belt in quality control.

    Photo of Steve Brown, TCVN Steve Brown
    Read the full profile for Steve here!
    Steve Brown is a Senior Executive Recruiter. Steve has spent 19 years recruiting and building teams within early stage Software and Web Start Ups. His ability to build Technical and Marketing teams top down go unparalleled in Southern California. He founded’s Young Entrepreneur Scholars (YES) which works with local High Schools to promote and mentor High School Age Students. He is a proud father and believes we have to be the change in our communities we want to see.

    Photo of Joshua Schlisserman, Principal, WestWave Ventures Joshua Schlisserman
    LvlUp Ventures
    Read the full profile for Joshua here!
    LvlUp Ventures
    Joshua Schlisserman is a Managing Partner at LvlUp Ventures. Josh first discovered his passion for entrepreneurship at a tender age while working at a startup company focused on strength and conditioning. With an Economics Degree at Occidental College and further experiences at Vicarious Inc., a seed-stage VR startup, and JUMP Investors, an industry agnostic Venture Capital Firm, Josh developed abilities in the areas of fundraising, pitching, marketing, executive coaching, and leadership development.

    Josh has also served as a judge for several pitch competitions including the Next Gen Summit in New York, Startup Battle 145 in Los Angeles, and M Accelerator’s Demo Day. Currently, he serves as a mentor to Braid Theory - a deep science accelerator located in San Pedro, California. In addition, he recently became an advisor to OnePoste- a social network that pays users for every view they receive on their posts.

    Photo of Chris Rowan, Cove Fund II Chris Rowan
    Cove Fund II
    Read the full profile for Chris here!
    Cove Fund II
    Chris is the founder of Arscientia and has 30 years of executive management experience as a GM, in marketing, sales, and business development. He has experience in the semiconductor, software, chemical, advanced materials and photonics industries. His principal strengths include strategic planning, new business development, process invention, forecasting, and new product introductions. Chris is the inventor of the Consistency of Purpose (CoP) and Risk to Value (R2V) strategic planning processes.
    Chris holds two software patents and has served on 3 boards and 5 advisory boards and is a founding board member of the Design Museum in Boston. He is a Strategic Advisor to NewCap Partners an investment bank, an MIT Enterprise Forum Co-Programing Chair, a mentor at UCSD’s NSF I-corps program, and has moderated an IEEE panel on IoT and MIT forum on AI in health care. He was a BlueTech investor judge in 2018 and Prism Award judge in 2018 & 2019. He is currently a Cove Fund partner. He earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and was awarded the Hurley Calculus Award.

    Angel Investors