Lightweight Intercollegiate & Founders Fight Club Competitors and Judges Official Announcement

Posted: October 18, 2023

By Ella Napata


After weeks of deliberation and 100+ applications, our San Diego Startup Week judging committee has determined the 18 startups that will compete in the Lightweight Intercollegiate Pitch Competition and Founders Fight Club Tournament. These local startups will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes and bragging rights! Give a warm welcome to this year’s Lightweight Intercollegiate and Founders Fight Club competitors and judges!

Lightweight Intercollegiate Pitch Competitors & Judges

The Lightweight Intercollegiate Pitch Competition will take place Thursday, October 26th, at San Diego State University’s Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Theater. Eemcees of the night will be Ryan Kuder, Managing Director at Techstars Anywhere, and Caitlin Wege, President at Nufund Venture Group.


Lightweight Intercollegiate Pitch Competitors:

  1. 619 Design – Johann Hernandez – San Diego Community College District – 619 Design transforms architectural visions into tangible realities, one blueprint at a time.
  2. After Hours – Kishan Pansuria – University of California, San Diego – After Hours connects you to meals up to 50% off at your favorite restaurants!
  3. ANSELM – Nik Chekshin – Scripps Research – ANSELM is a SaaS energy data company delivering world-leading results in profitable emissions reduction by energy efficiency optimization of refineries and other heat-intensive industries.
  4. Earth Fan Surf Co. – Anh Pham – Miramar Community College – Earth Fan Surf Co. produces traditional wooden Body Boards as an Eco-friendly alternative to today’s toxic polystyrene Boogie Boards.
  5. Evera Bottle – Steffek Rainey – University of San Diego – We’ve created the world’s first bottle with built-in cutlery and straw, so you will be prepared to say no to plastic in any situation.
  6. LockPod – Paulina Laba – University of California San Diego – Locking system of tomorrow.
  7. Mabuhay Soaps – Alfredo Villalba – San Diego Community District College of Continuing Education – With Mabuhay soaps, what you smell is what you get.
  8. New Tides Distillery – James Burdick – UCSD Rady School of Business – We are the first spirits company to create alcohol distilled directly from seawater.
  9. ReliaCare – Margaret Yoo – San Diego State University – ReliaCare is a mobile medical application that effectively guides patients through the pre-and post-operative process, leading to improved outcomes and satisfaction.
  10. Wild Genomics – Eirik Torheim – University of California San Diego – Supporting the Future of Farming through Precision Pest Monitoring

Judges for the Intercollegiate Pitch Competition:

Prize Sponsor of the Pitch Competition: Curtis Moring Insurance Agency, Inc.

CMI 60thAnniversary

Thank you to the generous sponsor of the night, Curtis Moring Jr., President & CEO at Curtis Moring Insurance Agency, Inc., and SDSU Alumnus, who donated the cash prize and will be presenting the $5,000 Championship Check.

Oralia Alvarez“Startup Week seeds unicorns in the making, and these two nights of pitch competitions are no different. The question is, how many unicorns will result from this event, and how many jobs will they create for a thriving San Diego? From student founders to serial entrepreneurs, these visionaries will powerfully make the case to investors and the audience of their unique and effective solutions to pressing challenges in different industries. This year’s startups range from healthcare to environmental sustainability to agtech to employee wellness. As an investor myself, I am eager to discover entrepreneurs in San Diego who are forging and leading inspiring change that ultimately benefits our region.” – Oralia Alvarez, Director of Business Development at Mission Driven Finance

Get San Diego Startup Week Tickets & Watch the Pitch Competitions!


Founders Fight Club Finalists and All-Star Judges

The Founders Fight Club Pitch Competition will be the last event of the night for San Diego Startup Week! Happening at the famous Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, watch 8 startups go head-to-head in the toughest pitch competition in San Diego. Brant Cooper, CEO and founder of Moves the Needle and Startup San Diego Board Member, will facilitate the tournament. The Emcee will be Carlos Kremer, President of Kremer Insurance & the Farmers Insurance Group.

  1. Lotus Sustainables – Farzan Dehmoubed – Lotus Sustainables is on a mission to eliminate plastic from shopping.
  2. Panic Panties – Maria Marino – We’re changing the way women shop for quality underwear.
  3. Electriflow Finance – Tosh Dutt – Multi-channel, network agnostic, discounted EV fast charging subscriptions as a dealership and insurance point-of-sale tool and annuity.
  4. SixAI – Mike Ma – LLM-Based Financial Alert System for Fundamental Investors
  5. ReFocus AI – Colby Tunick – ReFocus AI improves personal and small commercial retention for insurance agencies by identifying customers at risk of leaving before they actually do.
  6. Need2Say – Oscar R Garcia – Our app offers AI-powered safety manual insights, ensuring real-time safety information for construction workers and bridging communication gaps between American and Hispanic workers.
  7. MeCo Diagnostics – Adam Watson – Low-cost drug repurposing for cancer
  8. Mosqitter – Anastasiia Romanova – Mosqitter develops software-driven and ecological solutions for pest-insect control.

Judges for the Founders Fight Club Pitch Competition:

Thank Your to Our Founders Fight Club Sponsors: Aleph One & Dean Rosenberg

A huge shout out to our prize sponsors for the night, Aleph One and Dean Rosenberg, CTO at Powur, PBC for providing the $10,000 cash prize to the Fight Club winner!

Join San Diego Startup Week and Be Part of the Action

Get a chance to meet some of the most talented founders, entrepreneurs, investors, techies, and startup community members here in San Diego. Take part in the 11th annual San Diego Startup Week and be part of all the action. See you October 23 – 27th!