Daily Business Report-March 24, 2021, San Diego Metro Magazine

Daily Business Report-March 24, 2021, San Diego Metro Magazine


An Advocats Technologies staffer holds a $200,000 check from San Diego Angel Conference.

San Diego Angel Conference awards $500,000 to five early-stage companies

San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC), a University of San Diego School of Business program that activates accredited angel investors and engages promising early-stage companies, awarded over $500,000 in funding to five companies with promising solutions — all with the goal of making the world a better place.

Advocat Technologies took top honors and $200,000 in funding for its artificial intelligence (AI) research and drafting solution for enterprise legal departments, with $300,000 split evenly among runners up ChargeNet Stations, Digital Proteomics, Fluid Power AI, and Verity.

Saturday’s conference, the culmination of months of educational events and mentoring for participating early-stage companies, as well as guidance for new angel investors, was broadcasted by SDAC on March 20 and drew an audience from across the country – some tuning in from as far as Alaska and Taiwan.

SDAC received a record 125 applications for the 2020/21 season, with companies representing 15 states and 30 industries. Ultimately, seven finalists were selected to pitch the SDAC angel investors.

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Technical problems plague Employment Development Department


Tech glitches have struck California’s beleaguered unemployment department once again. The Employment Development Department’s website was unable to process claimants’ information over the weekend and was still plagued with difficulties Monday. “Some customers are experiencing issues using these services,” a pop-up on EDD’s benefits registration webpage read Monday. “We’re working to restore service as soon as possible. Please check back later.” EDD spokesperson Loree Levy acknowledged “an intermittent issue,” but said more than 500,000 people were still able to get through and certify claims. 

What exactly “an intermittent issue” means is unclear — but what is clear is that EDD is digging itself into an ever-deeper hole of backlogged claims. For seven straight weeks, the logjam of claims has topped 1 million — meaning it’s actually larger than it was last July, when Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to clear the then-backlog of nearly 1 million claims by the end of September.

COVID-19 vaccination clinics open at SDSU, Mexican Consulate

Two new COVID-19 vaccination clinics are opening in the region and will take measures to focus on people in communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

A walk-up clinic will be administering vaccines from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at Viejas Arena at San Diego State University, located at 5500 Canyon Crest Dr. in San Diego. Initially, the clinic will be able to administer 750 doses daily but can ramp up to 1,500 per day when more doses are available in the region.

COVID-19 vaccines will also be available from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the patio in the Mexican Consulate, 1540 India St. in Little Italy. The walk-up clinic will have the capacity to administer up to 100 appointments a day, dependent on supply.

Cubic Nuvotronics wins contract to develop high-altitude balloon

Cubic Corporation announced that  Nuvotronics, which operates within its Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions business division, was awarded a contract worth approximately $5 million to develop a Wideband Global Satellite Surrogate Payload for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center and Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate. Nuvotronics will deliver a high-altitude balloon payload solution to support WGS surrogate operations, intended to provide contingency communication support during “a day without SATCOM” scenarios.

Model Medicines announces drug discovery partnership with Sanford Burnham Prebys

Model Medicines, an AI drug discovery software company, announced a multi-target collaboration agreement with Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute to identify and develop drugs for novel antiviral targets.

The collaboration leverages Model Medicines’ ActivPred AI Drug Discovery Platform, an unbiased drug, target, and disease agnostic digital chemistry engine, in conjunction with Sanford Burnham Prebys’ identification of novel antiviral targets and deep scientific expertise, to discover and develop new treatments for SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases.

The partnership will initially focus on COVID-19 with a long-term vision of both Sanford Burnham Prebys and Model Medicines to develop and advance broad-spectrum antivirals for the infectious diseases of today and those yet unknown in the future. While pandemics like COVID-19 are not expected on a yearly basis, it is widely understood that the international community will encounter these pandemics at a significantly higher frequency. 

Kathryn Mathews appointed chief program director for California CASA
Kathryn L. Mathews

Kathryn L. Mathews has been appointed chief program director for California CASA, effective April 12, She is currently the executive director of the local CASA program in El Dorado County, a position she has held since 2018.  

Child Advocates of El Dorado County advocates for and empowers the county’s abused, neglected, and at-risk youth by providing Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who speak up for the needs of children and make a positive impact in their lives. 

As executive director ofChild Advocates of El Dorado County, Mathews took an organization that was faltering financially to one that is now far more secure. She helped raise the level of CASA advocacy and build an effective team that currently supervises 129 CASA volunteers advocating for 241 foster youth in El Dorado County.  She successfully developed an online training tool called “CASA University” that served to double the number of El Dorado trained volunteers while increasing in-person training quality.  CASA University is now deployed and used by 33 of the local CASA programs in California

Legoland reopening April 1 after year-long closure

Legoland California, which was forced to shut down a year ago because of the pandemic, will reopen April 1 under new statewide rules that sharply limit capacity. 

The Carlsbad park’s strategy is to start with a more limited reopening that it has dubbed Park Preview Days, which will include access to select rides and attractions for a priority group of Legoland hotel guests, annual pass holders and existing ticket holders who were impacted when the park closed last year.
A wider reopening for the general public is planned for April 15, when the park will also open up its Sea Life Aquarium and Chima Water Park. Rides that will be open on April 1 include Driving School, Lego Technic Coaster, Fairy Tale Brook, and Coastersaurus. Families will also be able to take advantage of socially distanced character meet-and-greets, live entertainment and Miniland U.S.A.

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