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October 3, 2023  BACK

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Learn what's happening tomorrow at the meeting, this month in local events, and right now with one of our startups: Nomadica.


This Month's Contents
 

1) Two Companies Presenting
2) One Company in Due Diligence 
3) Profile: Nomadica is Crushing It!
4) PA + ASN Calendar of Events - October 2023
5) Announcements (News & External Events)

 

1) Startups Presenting at Breakfast Meeting, Wed Oct 4 from 7:00-9:30am

We had 6 companies present at our Wed 9/27 Screening Meeting and the following 2 companies received the most votes and will be presenting next Wednesday morning at the Valley Hunt Club, Pasadena and on Zoom.

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COMPANY:        PredxBio

CEO/Founder:   Dusty Majumdar, CEO - Pittsburgh, PA

 

PredxBio is bending the survival curve for cancer patients with spatially intelligent biology. PredxBio is dedicated to developing explainable AI-driven spatial analytics software platforms. PredxBio platform aims to unravel the intricate complexities of cancer biology, thereby accelerating advancements in drug development and clinical trials. The company's solutions empower clinicians and researchers by facilitating efficient drug discovery, optimized clinical trials, advanced companion diagnostics, personalized therapeutic options, and enhanced clinical workflows. PredxBio has successfully established a strong pipeline of early customers, including pharmaceutical partners who leverage PredxBio solutions to investigate the reasons behind varying responses to therapy among patients in their clinical trials. The company's customers already recognize the immense value of PredxBio solutions, which can seamlessly scale from early discovery to clinical research.
Keiretsu full DD report available.

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PredxBio is bending the survival curve for cancer patients with spatially intelligent biology. PredxBio is dedicated to developing explainable AI-driven spatial analytics software platforms. PredxBio platform aims to unravel the intricate complexities of cancer biology, thereby accelerating advancements in drug development and clinical trials. The company's solutions empower clinicians and researchers by facilitating efficient drug discovery, optimized clinical trials, advanced companion diagnostics, personalized therapeutic options, and enhanced clinical workflows. PredxBio has successfully established a strong pipeline of early customers, including pharmaceutical partners who leverage PredxBio solutions to investigate the reasons behind varying responses to therapy among patients in their clinical trials. The company's customers already recognize the immense value of PredxBio solutions, which can seamlessly scale from early discovery to clinical research.
Keiretsu full DD report available.

COMPANY:        Iris Dynamics, Ltd.
CEO/Founder:   Patrick McFadden, CEO, Vancouver, BC

2) Company Funding in October

Honest Game's individualized guidance software tracks every course and grade earned for each student and provides a detailed online report that is provided to the parent/guardians, school staff, and students. This encourages proactive guidance and harnesses a student's passion for sport with their motivation in the classroom. Short-term achievable goals and an expanded understanding of the College Athletic Pathway increases student learning outcomes and expands students' post-secondary opportunities. "Contact Dave de Csepel (dave@pasadenaangels.com) or Terry Kay (terrykay73@gmail.com) with interest or any questions."
 

  • Post-money valuation $8.5 mill.

  • Priced Round for Equity (not a note)

  • Raising Amount: $500k

  • Deal Closing Date: 10/13

3) Nomadica is Crushing it with Orange Wine!

Kristin Olszewski founded Nomadica while in graduate school at Harvard. Considering her degree in sustainable agriculture and her blossoming career as a sommelier at Michelin starred restaurants, it wasn’t entirely surprising that she would pursue a startup in the wine industry instead of medical school. She had a particular vision, and those are the founders to watch: the ones with a vision that compels them to drop everything to pursue something specific, something special and complete in its particulars that no one else is doing. 

Her experience in the segment, as a sommelier at prestigious restaurants from NY to LA, positioned her close to the wine industry and its consumers. Her vision was for a sustainable wine, which led her to cans, but also for an accessible family of wines, which also lent itself to using cans. And, she wanted a product that was beautiful on the inside and out, which inspired original artwork on the cans to rival the most beautiful bottles of wine. All of those attributes matched the most desirable customer demographic: young drinkers under age 35. The only problem was that they are much less likely to try wine. She saw it as an opportunity: the most untapped market segment is also the most desirable. And, she saw a way to serve that market.

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Nomadica rosé. 

Early success helped Nomadica build a following and earn placement in places like SoFi stadium prior to the Superbowl. The pandemic and supply chain challenges reared up, but Kristin successfully hacked solutions to all those. And, her big success two years ago was landing a contract with Live Nation, which promotes 40,000 shows and sells 500 million tickets a year. It was perfect, because it placed Nomadica in 23 Live Nation locations where they could prove themselves with that target customer, the young demographic that might not otherwise try wine. And the early results were spectacular. Customer response was great. Sales exceeded expectations.

You might almost say that it went too well. They say that success breeds success. Sometimes it inspires voracious predators.

One of the biggest players in the wine industry noticed Nomadica’s success. They swooped in, dropped a sponsorship fee on Live Nation that was several times Nomadica’s valuation and grabbed exclusive rights to canned wine at Live Nation. There was no way to compete with that.  Kristin realized that things were going to have to change. 25% of her revenue just evaporated, which caused her runway to shrink dramatically, and her wonderful new channel to that desirable demographic just disappeared. Also, it was not a good time to raise funds…

That was when she earned her stripes as a CEO. First, she had to reduce the burn rate, and that meant losing people whom she'd worked alongside, coached and mentored. Then, she had to focus her sales efforts where they could be successful and where they could reach their target market. That meant ignoring vast avenues of distribution and focusing on big box natural/organics to the exclusion of everything else, e.g., Whole Foods and the like. Finally, she had to find new ways to access that target market, and that's where her intimacy with the wine market paid off. She felt the early tremors of a trend approaching. Orange wine was selling to young customers on the coasts.

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I had never heard of orange wine, but Kristin knew something about it. Originally created in ancient Georgia (the country not the state) by allowing skin contact of white wine grapes before being macerated, orange wine was revived in the 1970s by Italians, who have refined its flavor and production in the decades since. And, Kristin's particular expertise is in Italian wines. It would become the lynchpin to her rebound strategy.

Kristin is all about getting the data and testing propositions. She was convinced that orange wine would be a huge trend, but first they’d have to test it. They launched it in July in 160 Whole Foods stores alongside other Nomadica SKUs, and without a dollar in marketing or coupons, they saw spectacular product velocity - four times the average in the category - and they got a 30% lift with other Nomadica SKUs. The verdict was in, and orange wine was a hit, and Whole Foods was ready for more. 

Next year, Nomadica is expanding with Whole Foods and other big box natural/organics. They are focusing on Amazon Fresh for e-tailing, since that’s a natural connection given the Whole Foods success story. But, the trick is really sourcing the wine. There aren’t delicious, reasonably-priced orange wines in barrels waiting to be canned. Kristin’s sommelier skills identified the right product profile for going to market. Her Head Winemaker/Supply Chain & Operations Leader Corey identified the methods, sources and fruits in Sonoma, Napa and Lodi to create the product. Nomadica has to contract for the creation of the exact formula that they wanted a year in advance. It takes a lot of planning and effort to bring a whole new product to market next Spring.

In hindsight, the Live nation catastrophe was a blessing. It was the catalyst for a streamlined Nomadica that developed a new product line with incredible potential. And, where other big box natural/organics were unimpressed before, they’re more than receptive now. Nomadica now has a product line and a distribution channel that matches with that target market segment, the one that translates into a much higher multiple. And, they’re in the process of completing a funding round that will allow them to quadruple production for 2024.

And, that wine behemoth that paid a fortune for an exclusive placement for their canned wine? Their product didn’t resonate with the Live Nation customer base - proof that Nomadica’s product has a special product/market fit with the customer that they are targeting. The competition attempted to crush them, but now it’s Nomadica that is crushing it with orange wine. Feel free to order some while you can.

4) PA Calendar of Events - October 2023 (PDT)

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Sunday October 15, 3:00 - 6:00pm
Join fellow members for the PA Fall Social
Sally De Witt’s Garden, San Marino.
Enjoy, Food Drinks, Great Company and Games

  • Grilled Sausages, by Wurstküche, Coleslaw, Salad, Pretzels, Buns, Dessert and all the important Condiments

  • Beer, Wine, Sparkling Water and Water

  • Event and Trivia games, prizes expertly curated by Sally de Witt

Price Per Person: $30.00
Each member is welcome to bring their spouse / partner
Please RSVP by Monday, October 9 via this link: Oktoberfest RSVP

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Tuesday October 24, 8:30am - 9:30am PDT [Virtual]

Launching Tech Products in Highly-Competitive Markets
Crossing the Chasm 3.0  by Michael Eckhardt, Chasm Institute
Hosted by Pasadena Angels, For all TCA and portfolio companies

  • A keynote web event by Michael Eckhardt, Managing Director at Chasm Institute - - Silicon Valley Office (Product / Market Expert, Harvard MBA, Wall Street Journal Award)

  • Hear from the leaders in Silicon Valley product / market success, who will provide an overview of the Tools / Analytics and real examples from 225 B2B clients + newly updated Crossing the Chasm 3.0 book

Chasm Institute helps bring innovative new products to market by advising founders + investors + startup teams - in both new tech ventures and growth companies - on how to accelerate + scale to profitable growth.
Please feel free to invite startups and portfolio companies to the webinar -  RSVP Link 

PA Calendar continued:

Thursday 10/5,  ASN Screening, 9:00am to 10:30am - RSVP Link

Companies pitching: 

  1. Healionics, nominated by Keiretsu

  2. Princeton Identity, nominated by Golden Seeds

Sun 10/15 PA Fall Social, 3:00-6:00pm
Tue 10/17 Pre-Screening Panel #1, 8:30am to 9:45am
Tue 10/17 Pre_Screening Panel #2, 10:30am to 11:45am
Wed 10/18 Pre-Screening Panel #3, 8:00am to 9:15am
Wed 10/18 Pre-Screening Panel #4, 10:00am to 11:15am
Thu 10/19 ASN Trending Thursdays, 9:00am - 10:30am
Tue 10/24 Launching Tech Products in Highly-Competitive Markets, 8:30-930am
Wed 10/25 Screening Meeting, 8:00am to 10:00am, zoom link
Wed 11/4 Company Evaluation Breakfast Meeting, Valley Hunt Club 7:00am to 9:30am,  zoom link(Last final round company pitches for 2023)

Wed 12/6 Pasadena Angels Annual Business Meeting (No company presentations/pitches)

5) Announcements (News & External Events)

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NuvOx Closed Oversubscribed Convertible Notes

Tucson, AZ, September 18th, 2023 NuvOx Therapeutics announced that it has closed an oversubscribed convertible notes round, raising approximately $7M out of the originally planned $5M. In this raise, NuvOx leverages large angel groups nationwide, and 11 angel groups joined the round. As a result, NuvOx welcomes three board observers from New World Angels, NOLA Angel Network, and MEDA/TCA/Pasadena Angels Network.

Evan Unger, MD, President and CEO of NuvOx, said, “We are thrilled about the raise and the overwhelming support from angel networks. Currently, we are conducting a Phase IIb oncology trial in the US, and are planning another Phase IIb and a Phase Ib trial outside of US in the next year. This round, together with non-dilutive funding, will enable us for a great inflection point.

“We are very pleased to be able to support NuvOx Pharma, having led a syndication round that included Tech Coast Angels - Orange County, Pasadena Angels and our MEDA Angels investor members, collectively raising nearly $1M for NuvOx. The company has developed a breakthrough technology to deliver oxygen that has the potential to extend survival for patients with devastating cancers, and prevent mortality and high morbidity associated with strokes. Their platform technology can further be applied to other diseases with high prevalence including cardiac, respiratory and more, truly bear high impact on patients in need”, said Elizabeth Cho-Fertikh, PhD, Cofounder & Managing Director, MEDA Angels

9/28/2023 - NuvOx Therapeutics wins Most Fundable Company by Pepperdine Graziadio Business School

We are delighted to announce that NuvOx achieved the Gold Level recognition on the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School's sixth annual Most Fundable Companies® List. NuvOx Therapeutics competed against over 3,000 of early-stage US companies to be named one of 17 companies in total. As  a winner of the Most Fundable Companies List, NuvOx Therapeutics will be profiled on Entrepreneur.com and will be featured in the December print issue of Entrepreneur magazine

External Events
Landmark TCA Joint Forum, October 12, 9:00am to 1:30pm PDT. [Virtual]. 

Details and registration to follow soon.

Friday, October 13, 2023, 9:30am - 1:00pm PDT.  

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We invite you to join us in person on Friday October 13 for LACI’s Fall Power Day 2023 at the La Kretz Innovation campus (LKIC) in the heart of Downtown LA’s Arts District!

Learn more about LACI and our Incubation Innovator companies from our recent cohort at this power-packed showcase of progress toward our shared vision of creating an inclusive green economy! RSVP today as seats are limited for this live, in person event. A virtual stream will also be made available for those who are unable to join us at LKIC

MEET LACI INCUBATION COHORT 6: BatteryzeDyrt Labs Inc.EncoraEV Safe Charge Inc.Lasso LoopMolecule SystemsPopion MobilityStak MobilityThermoShadeWayside Inc., and XOTO.

October 17+18, Long Beach Accelerator - Cohort 6’s Demo Days
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Active early investors are invited to register (for free) to attend Cohort 6’s Demo Day

RSVP In Person Demo Day (October 17)      RSVP Virtual Demo Day (October 18)
The Long Beach Accelerator (LBA) welcomed our 6th Cohort to town last month for a week-long in-person programming where they had the opportunity to meet fellow LBA founders and alumni and our broader ecosystem at our "We are Long Beach" Tech Ecosystem Mixer. We look forward to welcoming them back to Long Beach for their Demo Days in October.

October 25-26, Irvine Marriott
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Octane is excited to extend a special invitation to you for Octane’s much-awaited Medical Innovation Forum, taking place on October 25th and 26th at the Irvine Marriott. As an Active Accredited Investor, we believe you’ll find the Forum to be an unmissable opportunity to explore groundbreaking medical innovations and connect with potential game-changers in the industry.

Octane’s Medical Innovation Forum serves as a platform for companies to showcase their cutting-edge products and services to potential investors, partners, and customers. Witness pitches from a diverse range of innovative startups and established companies alike, offering a glimpse into the future of the medical industry.
Event Highlights:

  • Main Stage Presentations: 25+ of the most prominent early-stage companies

  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators

  • Thoughts Leaders: Gain insights from industry experts on medical innovation trends

  • Business Opportunities: Discover lucrative investment prospects in the medical sector

 

At the Forum, You’ll be at the forefront to medical innovation, exploring groundbreaking advancements and fostering invaluable connections with Octane’s premier innovation ecosystem
As a valued investor, your admission to Octane’s Medical Innovation Forum is entirely complimentary. Use the registration code INVESTOMIF to secure your spot and gain access to the event.

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Join OC's largest startup event of the year... This year's event is expected to host over 2,000 attendees, hundreds of investors and over 50 exhibitors. TCA is a sponsor! 

SoCal Startup Day is back, and TCA is a sponsor! Join us at OC's largest startup event of the year... SoCal Startup Day is on Nov 8th in Hangar 244 at the Irvine Great Park. This year's event is expected to host over 2,000 attendees, hundreds of investors and over 50 exhibitors. Entrepreneurs and other non-investor guests can use the code TCA10 for a discount when purchasing tickets on the website (see below for separate investor registration link).

The 2023 SoCal Startup Day will feature startups, VCs and Angel Investors from all over Southern California, to meet, network and help startups raise capital. Featuring new panels/speakers (including David Friedman, TCA OC and Lisa Walker, TCA OC), networking, entertainment, demos, prizes, along with AMAZING food and beverages. Oh, and a surprise keynote speaker!

Pitching companies will receive 1-on-1 coaching prior to the event with TCVN hosting a pitch workshop. After the main pitch event, the top 3 pitching companies will be selected as the SoCal Startup Day Pitch competition winners with over $100,000 worth of prizes.

Please contact the event host/coordinator, Steve Silver, directly with any questions: steve@socalstartupday.com

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November 16, 2023 - Pismo Venture’s Annual Startup Symposium 
Dear friends and colleagues, 
Investors Wanted - Startups Wanted 
This symposium is for B2X only (everything except Life Sciences startups) ranging in stage from pre-seed through series A. This is the event website with all the details. TCA is a sponsor.

We are looking for investors/judges. It is a 1 day only virtual/online event. Your time commitment is 4-5 hours. We welcome your participation. Please RSVP/Register using this link: https://b2x.startupsymposium.com/registration/

It is free for startups to apply and present. If you have startups that you would like for them to participate please have them register here.

JJ Richa

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Past Issues:

  • Sept '23: Noria with Yoram Cohen

  • May: Terry Kay

  • Apr: Irrigreen (Shane Dyer) and Mandy Wang 

  • Mar: EventHub (Michael Bleau) and Don Hall

  • Feb: Everyset (EB, Ebrahim Bhaiji) and Richard Chino

  • Nov '22: Cactivate (Wentao Xiao) and Gene Stein 

  • Oct: C360 Technologies (Evan Wimer) and Kenji Funahashi

  • Sep: Woody Sears (Autio) and Mike Krebs

  • Jul: Open Sesame (Steve Lyons) and James Schaefer 

  • Jun: HavenLock (Alex Bertelli) and Anil Jha

  • May: Discotech (Ian Chen) and Gary Awad

  • Apr: Sashee Chandran, Seatrec and Susan Marki

  • Mar: Yezin Taha, Spine Align and Jamie Bennett

  • Feb: Phoenix Gonzalez, Repurpose and Marcus Filipovich 

  • Jan: Ksenia Yudina, BeTheBeast and Larry Uhl 

  • Nov '21: Roy LaManna, TotSquad and John Keatley

  • Oct: Dr. Chorom Pak of LynxBio and former president Al Schneider

  • Sep: Luk Network, Brandon Cavalier and Nancy Dandridge

  • Jul: Electrum, Jose Gomez and Julie Pantiskas

  • Jun: Ready, Set, Food, Dr. Mirianas Chachisvilis and Joseph Pitruzzelli

  • May: MagicLinks, Christopher Hussain and Janice Orlando

Thanks...

Interested in becoming a Pasadena Angel? Click here:

https://www.pasadenaangels.com/becomeanangel

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We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Pasadena Angels Monthly Newsletter. Any suggestions for future pieces, questions or comments? Please email me at dave@veritasri.com

Dave de Csepel
Chairman, Pasadena Angels

Copyright © 2023 PasadenaAngels, All rights reserved.

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