Tech Coast Angels is the investor of choice for Southern California entrepreneurs and has over the years expanded its investments to include companies all over the US
If your company is based in Southern California, matches TCA’s early stage and industry focus, and is seeking to raise from between $50k and $3 Million, then TCA might be the right source for funding. Even though we might not take the entire round, our relationships and affiliations with the Angel Syndication Network can potentially provide much, if not all, of your funding needs.
To get started is simple.
TCA’s Investment Criteria:
- US-based and mostly in California*
- Strong and resourceful management team with impeccable integrity
- Solution to a compelling business problem
- Large identified market opportunity
- Defensible business model / proprietary technology
- Sustainable competitive advantage
- Some level of market validation or traction
- Ability to attract future funding
- Credible exit potential
*About 70% of our companies are located within Southern California. However, we will consider ANY startup and seed company based on meeting the other criteria. Depending on your technology and market segment, we will determine the best network for your funding needs. We syndicate deals (inbound and outbound) with many angel groups in the United States and are one of the leaders of the Angel Syndication Network which includes more than 50 Angel Groups. Check out the Angel Capital Association website for a full list of member angel groups in the U.S.
Ventures That We Seek
TCA members look for opportunities where the capital sought will take the company to the next level, and materially increase its valuation. TCA investments often bridge the gap between proof of concept to a larger angel or VC round. A company must be able to demonstrate how it will use members’ investment to complete at least some of the following:
- Proof of Concept
- Prototype of its product or technology
- Patent filing (for broad patent)
- Product development
- Market research
- Product launch
- Major contract or customers
- Management team
- Reduce other investment risks
Screening and Evaluation
1. Web Application
The first step in entering the TCA funding process is our online application. This process includes filling out an application with an overview of your company, including a summary of your financials. You’ll also upload an investor PowerPoint presentation.
2. Initial Review
TCA staff and industry-specific investor panels perform an initial screening of the application to ensure it is within our scope of interest. If you pass the initial review stage, you will be invited to present at a pre-screening.
3. Pre-Screen Presentation
Each panel’s prescreening process varies, but the general concept is an elevator pitch between 8 and 15 minutes, followed by Q&A. The prescreen presentation is given to a small group of TCA members who have domain expertise in your technology or market on a web conference call or at a separate meeting. The purpose of this pre-screening meeting is to determine if you are ready to present to the larger group, and give you constructive feedback to improve your presentation. You’ll receive feedback, and if you pass the pre-screen, you’ll be invited to present at a screening session. Of note is that TCA has both general prescreens as well as specialized medtech prescreens.
4. Screening Presentation
Typically three to four companies present at a bi-monthly screening sessions. This consists of fifteen minutes PowerPoint presentation and fifteen minutes of questions and answers. After each presentation, TCA members discuss whether there is interest to move forward into due diligence. The entrepreneur is given feedback regardless of outcome. Presentations are usually videotaped so that members who are not present can participate later online on our member-only secure website. The goal of a screening session is to get significant interest from TCA members and attract a “deal lead”, who will coordinate the due diligence and be your point of contact throughout the due diligence and funding process. Funding can be through one of the TCA Funds as well as individual side car investments
5. Due Diligence
A due diligence team is formed based on the number of interested members who signed up during the screening. A deal lead coordinates the due diligence activities. Due diligence consists of verifying representations by the entrepreneur, speaking with customers, reviewing agreements and patents (if any), checking references, backgrounds, etc. The results of the due diligence process are posted on the TCA website (in the members-only section), and if the results are positive, the venture moves forward to funding through one of the funds and/or through side car investments.
6. Monthly Lunch/Dinner Meeting (optional)
Companies that pass due diligence may present at monthly lunch/dinner meetings at most of the networks, introduced by the “deal lead”, who led the due diligence team. This enables the entrepreneurs to present to members who may not have seen their initial presentation. This is the final opportunity for entrepreneurs to garner enough interest from members to secure funding. Typically a signed term sheet is available when a company presents at this stage. Generally TCA members’ terms of investment follow “standard” terms for financings developed over the years by VCs and other sophisticated investors.
Funding occurs after there has been enough interest generated and communication from the entrepreneur and deal lead. Members invest in deals through our funds and/or individually; however, everyone invests based upon the same term sheet. Typically, the minimum individual TCA member’s investment amount is $25,000. TCA funds typically invest a minimum of $100,000 per company.