Connect Awards $65,000 in CASCADE Subgrants to Local Entrepreneurs

Aug 28, 2019

The funding awards are facilitated by the California GO-Biz program

SAN DIEGO, CA (August 29, 2019) – Connect with San Diego Venture Group (SDVG) announces today that it will award a total of $65,000 in subgrants to be shared across six San Diego companies. The funding is provided through a grant from the California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis and Diversification Effort (CASCADE), an initiative of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).

Under the GO-Biz initiative, there are 15 state-designated California Innovation Hubs (iHubs)  focused on improving the state’s national and global competitiveness by stimulating partnerships, economic development, and job creation around specific research clusters throughout California. Connect w/ SDVG is the official iHub for the San Diego region.

“We are very excited to be providing non-dilutive funding to San Diego entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Silvia Mah, president & COO of Connect w/ SDVG. “All of the subgrant winners are advancing technologies and expanding our innovation ecosystem in ways that potentially have critical applications for our defense and national security industries.”

The submissions for the CASCADE subgrant were evaluated by a series of industry experts in early August. From more than 140 applications, 10 submissions were selected as finalists, with six companies named as winners.

Listed below, alphabetized by company name, are the recipients of the 2019 CASCADE subgrants from Connect w/ SDVG:

Hydrostasis, founded by Dr. Debbie Chen, is a wearable tech company establishing hydration monitoring as a standard of care. By developing a personalized hydration monitoring system that provides individuals the freedom to sustain and evolve their bodies and minds, Hydrostasis equips people with a unique performance edge.

MedCrypt, with CEO Mike Kijewski, provides proactive healthcare security in a few lines of code. Through c/c++ libraries, MedCrypt brings core cybersecurity features to medical devices. This includes cryptographic signatures, device behavior monitoring, and vulnerability monitoring.

Nanome, Inc., co-founded by Steven McCloskey, while a student at UCSD, is an intuitive, state-of-the-art VR platform for viewing, manipulating, and modifying chemical and macromolecular structures in a fully immersive and collaborative 3D environment. Small molecules, like anti-nerve agents, can be developed easier and faster through manipulations in the Nanome VR platform

Navega Therapeutics, founded by Ana Maria Moreno, is tackling the opioid epidemic with a non-permanent gene therapy to target pain that is non-addictive, highly specific, and long lasting.

Qubitekk, with CEO Stan Ellis, provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity protection for critical energy, 5G telecommunications, and military applications for critical infrastructure using an unbreakable physics-based solution.

Uprise Energy, co-founded by Jonathan Knight, is focused on developing out-of-the-box energy and efficiency solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Currently, Uprise Energy is commercializing the world’s first commercially sized mobile wind turbine.

To be eligible for the 2019 CASCADE subgrant from Connect w/ SDVG, companies must be located in San Diego county, for profit, and have no more than 500 employees. Additionally, the businesses must anticipate some of their innovation-driven growth to be dependent on U.S. defense, national security, or military spending.

For more information about California’s GO-Biz program, please visit