One of the biggest San Diego events for startups seeking angel money is still on -- and it's writing a massive check to one lucky entrepreneur. But the whole thing has gone digital.
As expected during the coronavirus pandemic, the event is following government mandates to shift conferences online. The previously planned six-hour conference has been condensed into a digital event that will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 28.
San Diego Angel Conference, which debuted in 2017 at the University of San Diego as a way to connect entrepreneurs with people who could fund their business ideas, culminates in a pitch event during which a handful of finalists compete on stage for a cash prize. Earlier this month, the organizers announced the six startups that are finalists.
The San Diego Angel Conference invested $200,000 in a single startup last year, which is by far the biggest award check for a local pitch competition. The organization has pledged to invest at least $200,000 in the winner again, but there's an opportunity for more cash to be divided among other contestants. As of March 18, the conference had raised over $320,000.
Hosted by The Brink Small Business Development Center at USD, the goal of the conference is to connect early-stage angel investors with companies that are seeking funding to grow their businesses.
"Now that we've gone digital, we are able to expand our reach to engage with accredited investors outside San Diego," said Benton Moore, who leads the fund management team.
Moore also noted that organizers are planning a post-investment celebration and a Bay Area event in which startups can demo their business products when it's safe again to get together in-person.
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