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Seventh Annual AngelCon Pitch Competition Awards Startups a Total of $215,000 in Equity Investment

Posted On: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - 1:34pm

Investors award startup Nexstera Tech and Mense $215,000 in equity-backed funding while Little Feet Packaging, Inc. wins $1,560 for the Audience Choice Award at the AngelCon 2024 event. 


San Luis Obispo, CA - The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is proud to announce the results of its 7th annual AngelCon pitch competition. The fund raised a total of $215,000 and investors chose to award two startups. Nexstera Tech was awarded $165,000 in equity investment as the winner of AngelCon 2024. The runner up, Mense, received an investment totaling $50,000. 

AngelCon is a culminating event that brings together Central California tech-based startups who received training and mentorship through the SBDC and dedicated angel investors. These investors participate in the evaluation, due diligence, and selection process of AngelCon applicants leading up to the live event. Participating startups are seeking equity investment to assist in the growth of their businesses.

Nexstera Tech and Mense competed amongst six startups to an audience of 21 investors and nearly 250 hybrid attendees. Nexstera Tech, led by CEO Penny Lane Case, uses AI-enhanced radar technology to detect hazardous materials, primarily lithium batteries, in waste bins and proactively prevent environmental disasters. Mense, founded by Cal Poly biomedical engineering graduate McCall Brinskele, is dedicated to destigmatizing conversations related to reproductive health and creating modern, leak-proof menstrual products. Among AngelCon competitors is Little Feet Packaging, Inc., a modern solution to plastic packaging using paper and compostable materials founded by CEO Nicholas De Luca. De Luca was awarded the Audience Choice Award and received $1,560 in prize money from the crowdfunding campaign.


“This year’s finalists were all very compelling,” remarked Judy Mahan, CIE Senior Economic Development Director. “Not only are these entrepreneurs applying their engineering skills to develop brilliant high-tech solutions to real life problems, but they are also extremely mission-driven; it’s exciting to see that being fostered by our Central California business community.” 


AngelCon 2024 was presented by Pacific Premier Bank. A recording of the live-streamed event is now available at bit.ly/angelcon2024

About the Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center

The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a subcontract between Cal Poly CIE, the city of San Luis Obispo and UC Merced, under the current cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC is a top resource for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, offering no-cost, expert one-on-one business consulting, training and online courses in startup assistance, debt and equity funding, sales and marketing and product commercialization.

For more information, visit sbdc.calpoly.edu.

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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and a Grant with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the California SBDC closest to you.