Jennifer Patel, Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator in the San Diego Region, was an investor in a conference designed to give first-time investors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the world of angel investing.
The San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC) was held March 15 and saw entrepreneurs competing for a pool of $200,000 awarded at the event. The event was coordinated by the Brink, a small business development center at the University of San Diego. This was the first annual and was designed to help grow the ecosystem of investors and entrepreneurs in the region.
Patel met with Brink director and conference organizer Mysty Rusk and knew that the conference would be a good fit for her and the community colleges in her region.
“I was immediately interested and as she gave me more details I knew it would be a great learning experience and professional growth opportunity for me,” Patel said. “Many of the people I have connected with through this experience have offered to be guest speakers and work with our community college entrepreneurs.”
The winning project at the conference was Aquacycl, which provides technology for onsite wastewater treatment plants. The next conference will be held on March 28, 2020 at the University of San Diego.
Patel said she plans to invest again next year and has heard from business and entrepreneurship faculty who also want to come on board as investors. “I want to make sure that community colleges are a part of the conversation in helping train our local entrepreneurs. There are a lot of gaps that the community colleges could help fill in the entrepreneur ecosystem in San Diego.”
“The connections I have made through this experience have been invaluable,” Patel said. “It is such a great experience to learn about startups, investing, and a great place to network.”