Mysty Rusk (left), director of the Brink Small Business Development Center at the University of San Diego, presents the winning check to AquaCycl CEO Orianna Bretschger (right).

Mysty Rusk (left), director of the Brink Small Business Development Center at the University of San Diego, presents the winning check to AquaCycl CEO Orianna Bretschger (right).

AquaCycl, a San Diego-based wastewater treatment startup, took home the grand prize at the San Diego Angel Conference on March 15.

A panel of angel investors that had vetted the finalists for months selected AquaCycl as the winner, for a $200,000 cash prize. The company was also voted in as the audience favorite.

AquaCycl was co-founded in 2016 by CEO Orianna Bretschger, Vice President of R&D Sofia Babanova and Vice President of Hardware and Manufacturing Ryoji Naito. The company developed a technology that uses electricity-generating bacteria to speed up wastewater treatment rates, resulting in a more efficient, lower-cost option.

AquaCycl can easily scale its technology to meet the needs of a small brewery to a larger operation. The company has tested its technology at a brewery, swine farm and with residential wastewater treatment.