Tech Coast Angels is the investor of choice for Southern California entrepreneurs
If you have a start-up in Canada or the US, particularly in Southern California, matches TCA’s early stage and industry focus, and is seeking to raise from between $50,000 and $1,000,000, then we should talk. We have the ability to syndicate deals that require more capital. Are you ready to get started? It’s simple!
TCA’s Investment Criteria:
- Mostly US based, some Canadian, CA preference
- 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
- Ability to attract future funding
- Credible exit potential
* If your company is located outside of Southern California we suggest that you connect with an angel group in your area. We do syndicate deals (inbound and outbound) with many angel groups in the United States. Have a look at the Angel Capital Association website for a 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 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.
4. Screening Presentation
Typically three to four companies present at a bi-monthly screening sessions. This consists of fifteen minutes of PowerPoint presentation and fifteen minutes of questions and answers. After each presentation, the entrepreneur is asked to leave the room while TCA members discuss whether there is enough interest to move forward into due diligence. The entrepreneur is then invited back into the room and given immediate feedback. 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.
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 steps forward to coordinate 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 a monthly lunch or dinner meeting, depending on the network.
6. Monthly Lunch/Dinner Meeting
Companies that pass due diligence present at monthly lunch/dinner meetings at most of the networks, introduced by the “deal lead”, who led the due diligence team. This allows 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 through dinner meetings and internal communication from the entrepreneur and deal lead. Members invest in deals individually; however, everyone invests based upon the same term sheet. Thus, only a small percentage of members our members need to participate for the venture to secure funding. Typically, the minimum individual TCA member’s investment amount is $25,000.