Winners Announced for 2022 San Diego Startup Week Awards

Posted: November 1, 2022

By Ella Napata

San Diego Startup Awards - Startup of the year 2022

We held the 2nd Annual Startup Awards ceremony at the beautiful San Diego Tech Center by Alexandria this past Friday. This was the final day of the 4-day Startup Week conference. This closing reception and awards ceremony celebrated the startups and individuals that have been change-makers in the local startup ecosystem.

This year we did a little something different. We awarded Neal Bloom, Managing Partner at Interlock Capital and longtime Startup San Diego supporter, the Decades Award. This is to show our appreciation for his countless hours spent volunteering to help grow and strengthen the startup community.

With further ado, a huge congratulations to the Startup Awards winners and nominees for 2022! 

Investor of the year

We envision San Diego as a thriving and inclusive global hub of innovation, producing meaningful and high-growth companies. A pivotal piece to the puzzle is funding. This award recognizes a mission-aligned local investor who plays an exemplary role in funding our local homegrown companies.

Congratulations to Dean Rosenberg, Vice President of Funding at NuFund Venture Group for this year’s Investor of the Year!

Great work to our Investor of the Year finalists:

Impact Company of the Year

Entrepreneurs can change the world. And for some entrepreneurs, that’s their mission. The impact company of the year award recognizes the San Diego startup making the biggest impact on our world by changing lives for the best.

Give a huge congratulations to Aquacycl! Led by the CEO, Orianna Bretschger.

Fantastic work from our other nominees:

Startup Champion of the Year

This award honors an individual who values community collaboration and the coalescing of entrepreneurs, academics, research, private capital, government, corporate, and NGOs, to create a frictionless, zero-barrier-to-entry startup environment and has demonstrated it through actions.

Congratulations to Startup Champion of the Year, Hala Madanat, Vice President at SDSU Research & Innovation!

Think Big Lifetime Achievement Award

Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. This lifetime achievement award recognizes leaders that have a history of creating and communicating a bold direction that inspires results across public & private sectors and markets. They think differently and have demonstrated a clear vision to look around corners for innovative ways to serve our Startup San Diego community and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We want to congratulate Mary Walshok, Dean at UCSD Extension for the Think Big Lifetime Achievement Award! She has been working at UCSD since 1987 and has contributed decades of growth to the startup ecosystem.

Thank you to all our other Think Big Lifetime Achievement nominees:

Startup of the Year presented by JP Morgan Chase

There are a ton of amazing companies being built in San Diego. The Startup of the Year Award recognizes the San Diego startup that has shown rocketship growth, amazing technology, and unparalleled leadership, and is a startup that makes us all proud to be part of the San Diego Startup Community.

Congratulations to Drata for winning the Startup of the Year Award! Led by Troy Markowitz, Daniel Marashlian & Adam Markowitz, Co-Founders.


Thank you to everyone that came and celebrated the heroes in our community and the last day of Startup Week with us! Huge shout out to our event investors and award sponsors. See you all next year for San Diego Startup Week 2023!