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Announcing Panelists for June 1st Mondays of Summer – Expert Panel & Networking

Posted: May 21, 2024

By Ella Napata

StartupSD 1st Mondays June 24 2024 Featured Panelists

We’re coming close to our 1st Mondays of Summer powered by JP Morgan Startup Banking and UCSD Design and Innovation, happening June 24th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. If you’re a founder looking to find out more about fundraising or an investor planning to expand your portfolio, this is the perfect night to learn from experienced founders and investors building in San Diego and supporting local startups. 

This edition of 1st Mondays will be moderated by David Loseke, Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Startup Banking and Startup San Diego board member. Our expert panel for the night will include startup leaders pushing innovation in cancer recovery, impact-led investors, technology entrepreneurs, and more. 

Give a warm welcome to our panelists of founders and investors: 

Gary Benitt, Managing Partner at Social Leverage

Gary Benitt is a seasoned tech entrepreneur and operator with over eighteen years of diverse management experience in the Internet communications sector. He has experience in managing various technology teams, including development, quality assurance, and client implementation, and has broad experience in all facets of growing a business from startup mode into a mature organization, all while delivering customer value.

Maria Gonzalez-Blanch, Managing Partner, Crescent Ridge

Maria Gonzalez-Blanch is a Managing Partner at Crescent Ridge, a San Diego-based VC firm. Her passion lies in investing in founders who are on a mission to create a better world while also achieving strong financial returns. With a diverse international background, Maria started her career as an engineer before transitioning into strategy consulting and later in private equity. Maria holds an MBA from Stanford and a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering. She serves on several boards of Crescent Ridge portfolio companies and the non-profit Sustainable Surf, promoting coastal conservation. Originally from Spain, Maria is a mother of two, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid surfer.

Kate Dilligan, Founder & CEO, Cooper Heads 

Cooler Heads was founded in 2018 by Kate Dilligan, a tech entrepreneur and breast cancer survivor, to protect the dignity, privacy, and identity of cancer patients. After Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer, she spent $8,000 on traditional cold cap therapy. After talking with countless cancer patients frustrated by the high cost, poor fit, and difficulty of use of existing methods, Kate was determined to engineer a better way.

Doug Hecht, CEO at Walla

Doug Hecht joined the MINDBODY team in March of 2017 as Senior Vice President of Consumer Products. In his role, Doug oversees the development, execution, and marketing of the MINDBODY App and all consumer-facing entities. Doug brings 20 years of consumer marketing and technology experience to MINDBODY, having previously served as CEO and Co-founder of Lymber, which was acquired by MINDBODY in March of 2017. Prior to that, Doug served as president and COO of Digitaria, a digital marketing and technology agency that he co-founded in 1997 and sold to WPP in 2010. As a current capital partner for Seed San Diego, a SoCal VC, Doug supports more than 30 startups. An alumnus of UC San Diego, Doug is also a private pilot, musician, golfer, husband, and father.

Meet Amazing Founders, Investors, and Innovators in San Diego – Join us for 1st Mondays! 

Summer is here! Join us for our 1st Mondays of Summer Expert Panel and Networking event at the beautiful UCSD Design and Innovation Building. If you’re a startup wanting to share your tech or product with the community, get a demo table and get in front of 250-300+ attendees! This is your chance to meet the best entrepreneurs, builders, creatives, and investors. You won’t want to miss this event; we hope to see you there at 1st Monday!