Growth Stage & Beyond – Day 5 of SDSW at Qualcomm Recap & Photos

Posted: November 1, 2023

By Ella Napata

San Diego Startup Week 2023

The last day of San Diego Startup Week took place at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall. This day was focused on startups in the growth stage and beyond.  We had demos and talks on AI, innovation ecosystems, and ended the night with the Founders Fight Club Pitch Competition, awarding $10,000 to the first-place winner.

San Diego Startup Week 2023

Thank you to our speakers and panelists for the day:

San Diego Startup Week Founders Fight Club

San Diego Startup Week 2023

Eight startups went head-to-head in the toughest pitch competition.  Congratulations to Maria Marino, Founder of Panic Panties, for taking first place!


  1. Lotus Sustainables – Farzan Dehmoubed
  2. Panic Panties – Maria Marino
  3. Wheel Biosciences – Ravi Chawla
  4. SixAI – Mike Ma
  5. ReFocus AI – Colby Tunick
  6. Need2Say – Oscar R Garcia
  7. MeCo Diagnostics – Adam Watson
  8. Mosqitter – Anastasiia Romanova


Cheryl Goodman“SDSW’s AI Growth Day at Qualcomm tapped insights from global leaders on a local scale. Executive sponsors from Qualcomm, , Keshif Ventures, and UCSD, to name a few, brought not only their time, but their talent and treasure. In programming the event, serious consideration was given to the incredible opportunity at the feet of entrepreneurs in this Era of AI and it was palpable in the presentations, demos, and conversations from Google, Accenture, Illumina, GoodFace Project and Tiffany Norwood & Qualcomm’s Jim Cathey & unpacked alternate angles on how AI-enabled businesses will move forward and on the edge. Founders Fight Club Pitch Competition ended the evening with San Diego’s finest startups & judges. Congratulations to Panic Panties founder Maria-Nicole Marino.

As Vice Chair of Startup SD, it was an honor to produce programming that resonated with industry needs. As a San Diegan who grew up in Startup culture at Mp3com & 15 years at Top tech, I rarely have seen more energy than Startup San Diego Week 2023 and for this, we can thank all the entrepreneurs who serve other entrepreneurs in the name of community.” – Cheryl Goodman, Vice Chair of Startup San Diego

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