Inventors & Investors

October 9, 2020

During San Diego Startup Month in October 2020, leading organizations will come together to host a new virtual pitch competition, “Inventors & Investors,” exposing innovative science- based startups to angel investors and VCs. The competition will be organized by Tech Coast Angels – San Diego (TCA) and the San Diego Innovation Council (SDIC) with support from other corporate and nonprofit groups as a way to celebrate the startup spirit and resilience during challenging economic times. 

For the prior 13 years, TCA has partnered with organizations such as the John G Watson Foundation, CONNECT and Cox Business to host the annual Quick Pitch competition at Qualcomm attracting more than 500 attendees each year. Although Quick Pitch is postponed for 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, TCA and friends will be bringing much of the enthusiasm and resources to Startup Month with the same ultimate goal of Quick Pitch; investing in the best startups. Tech Coast Angels has invested over $4M into Quick Pitch finalists over the past 4 years alone including Echo Labs, Trust & Will, NeuraLace Medical, Lynx Bio, Eyedaptic and AgTools. 

Since its inception in 2016, the SDIC has organized an annual Innovation Showcase, featuring high quality, investment ready, academic research-based startups from Southern California. The annual Innovation Showcase attracts 500 attendees from Southern California, Boston, the Bay area and abroad, including investors, large corporations, corporate and intellectual property attorneys. During the Showcase, the attendees and members of the SDIC, including TCA, local incubators, founders and others help the presenting startups advance their funding, collaboration and partnership goals. Similar to TCA and many other organizations, the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic has caused SDIC to postpone its traditional Innovation Showcase for 2020. 

In recognition of our common goals and concerns, SDIC and TCA are pleased to announce that they are collaborating with each other to provide the community with this new landmark event as part of San Diego Startup Month that celebrates San Diego, our unique ecosystem for startup formation, support and success, and highlights the important role of research discoveries made by our San Diego academic institutions. It is with great pride that we present Inventors & Investors.


Date: Friday, October 9 2020
Competition: Up to 10 companies will be selected as finalists from a pool of startups curated by the SDIC. Each finalist will be assigned TCA coaches to help refine their elevator pitches that will be conducted before a panel of investor judges at the culminating event during Startup Month.

The event will be open to all Startup Month attendees and we project 800 – 1,000 people in attendance for the final pitch.

Prize: The 1st place winner selected by the judge panel will receive an automatic slot to pitch at one of TCA’s screening meetings in consideration for TCA funding. TCA invested over $12M into startups in 2019.


SDIC is pleased to have support of this event from these sponsors:

Wilson Sonsini, the premier life science and technology law firm to start-ups, emerging growth, and multinational businesses and the investors that support them, is very proud to support the San Diego Innovation Council Inventors & Investors event. We recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of the opening of our San Diego office and we look forward to many more years ahead supporting entrepreneurs and investors in the region.

Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 450 attorneys practicing in 15 locations throughout the United States and Mexico, including three offices in Southern California: San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. The firm represents a diverse set of clients ranging from start-up enterprises and entrepreneurs to large, publicly traded corporations, and has comprehensive service offerings to fully address clients’ intellectual property, technology, and commercial law needs.

JLABS @ San Diego life science lab space reflects the region’s leadership in the fields of genomics, precision medicine and the microbiome – with about 70% of resident biotech companies developing therapeutic solutions in these areas. Companies advancing consumer products, health tech, medical devices and cross sector solutions are also part of the vibrant JLABS @ San Diego resident and alumni community.