Advocat CEO Pradnya Desh holding the winning check which will be used for scaling her legal tech startup. Photo Courtesy of San Diego Angel Conference.

Advocat CEO Pradnya Desh holding the winning check which will be used for scaling her legal tech startup. Photo Courtesy of San Diego Angel Conference.

San Diego Angel Conference, which pairs investors with early-stage startups seeking capital, has awarded over $500,000 in funding to five companies.

Seattle-based Advocat Technologies took top honors, landing $200,000 in capital that will be used to develop artificial intelligence research and drafting products for large legal operations.

In total, seven startups pitched to angel investors including ChargeNet Stations, Digital Proteomics, Fluid Power AI, Hempress Hygienics, UpLyft, and Verity Packaging.

“This funding enables us to further develop our technology and ramp up marketing as we

advance our mission to leverage AI to enable attorneys to do more in less time,” said Pradnya Desh, founder and CEO at Advocat Technologies. “We are especially appreciative of the knowledge, tools, and connections we’ve built through SDAC - truly invaluable.”

Before winning in San Diego, Advocat was bootstrapped by the founders, including Desh, Haresh Ved, and Chetan Desh, and has raised an additional $800,000.

First Place

Founded in 2019, Pradnya Desh is an attorney, former law firm partner and former U.S. diplomat.

Advocat is a legal tech provider that reduces the workload for in-house attorneys. It aims to transform enterprise legal by enabling each in-house attorney on Fortune 1,000 legal teams to do the work of more than seven attorneys.

In particular, its software enables a non-attorney business user to talk with Advocat’s system, which uses AI to understand what the user needs.

In addition, the AI selects the correct internal legal template and asks the user a series of questions, drafts a document and sends the draft to in-house counsel for approval. The benefit is that it saves a significant amount of time in intake and drafting.

Largest Event

In its third year, the event is part of the University of San Diego School of Business. It aims to expose more people to the world of angel investing — in part by lowering the amount typically required to participate.

SDAC has grown into one of the largest angel investment programs in the country, with a goal of bringing together both angel investors and early-stage companies while driving the innovation ecosystem forward.

In total, the conference received 125 applications for the 21 conference, with applicants coming from 15 states across 30 industries. It’s accredited investors have invested more than $2 million in over 50 deals, and companies have raised more than $53 million, to date.

“The goals of SDAC are to attract innovative early-stage companies, activate new angel investors, and make valuable business connections. This year we accomplished that, and more, with an incredibly diverse group of promising companies from across industries and development stages to present to our angel investors,” said Amy Duncan, fund manager at SDAC. “We look forward to seeing the next class of SDAC entrepreneurs.”

Momentous Accomplishment

Mysty Rusk, founder of SDAC and director of the Brink Small Business Development Center at the University of San Diego, said the annual event surpassed her expectations.

“Our third San Diego Angel Conference was a momentous accomplishment. Since the start of the program, companies applying to the SDAC (I & II) have raised over $53 million,” she said. “We’re helping accredited investors actively invest in good deals while doing our part to make a difference. We know the numbers will keep growing.”