Tech Coast Angels Los Angeles
Tech Coast Angels Los Angele is our largest network, with about 150 members. TCA Los Angeles invests in a wide range of businesses in the US primarily with emphasis on technology, adtech, healthtech, media, entertainment, and SaaS.
For more information please visit our chapter website HERE.
The Executive Board consists of the following members:
- Lucas Pols, President
- Christopher Yang, Events Chair
- Parisa Khosropour, Vice President
- Ken Borkan, TCA LA Fund Chair
- Mitchell Schwartz, PR Chair
- Sara Zolfaghari, DEI Chair
- Jorge Rodriguez, Outreach Chair
- Matt Thompson, Events Chair
- DC Palter, Marketing Chair
- MinYi Shih, Pre-Screening Chair
- Alison Silvers, Membership Co-Chair
- Sunny Singh, Immediate Past President
- Dr. Michael Cooney, Membership Chair
- Richard Morganstern, Marketing Chair
- Russell Stravitz, Sponsorship
- Jared Northrop, E-Learning Chair
- Arash Sani
- Luis Villalobos (1997-1999)
- John Morris (2000-2003
- Bill Collins (2004-2005)
- Richard Morganstern (2006-2007)
- Al Schneider (2008-2009)
- Scott Sangster (2010-2011)
- Michael Green (2012-2013)
- Jeff Lapin (2014-2015)
- Chris Hameetman (2016-2017)
- Eric Schiffer (2018-2019)
- Brian Horner (2020)
- Sunny Singh (2021 to 2022)
Paul is co-founder and partner at GreatBuildz (www.greatbuildz.com), a service that matches homeowners with reputable, pre-screened general contractors, taking the stress out of renovating. Paul is also a serial entrepreneur, real estate investor, and active Angel investor. He has over 20+ years of experience in the real estate industry with a background in construction, development and private equity.
Paul was previously co-founder and principal of Westcliff Realty, a firm specializing in single family home investment in Southern California, completing over 350 property flips over ten years. Formerly, he served as Vice President of Development for The Olson Company and the Director of Forward Planning for Larwin Company, infill housing development firms. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California.
Member Since 2018
Shawn Tavakoli is CEO of Beauty Collection, a prestige beauty retailer with several brick and mortar locations in Southern California and an online store at www.beautycollection.com.
Shawn had an early start in the beauty industry. His parents built and managed a successful store in Los Angeles where Shawn worked through high school and college.
After five years of working as a CPA, Shawn returned to the business and in 1997 opened his first store in Calabasas, California. The first www.beautycollection.com store was launched in 2000, making Beauty Collection’s unique selection of brands available to customer’s nation- and worldwide. In an effort to improve on its success, a newly designed Beauty Collection website was launched in 2004 and then again in 2018. Beauty Collection currently represents over 500 prestige and salon beauty brands with over 30,000 unique products chosen for their quality and distinctiveness. Shawn attributes Beauty Collection’s success to its focus on customer service and product selection that’s created a large number of loyal fans. Everyone at Beauty Collection works hard to fulfill the brand promise, “Curators in the Art of Beautiful.”
Member Since xxx
Rudy is an experienced angel investor, advisor and board member. He has been with TCA since 2001. Prior to this he was the CEO of Transamerica Asset Management and the Insurance and Investment Group, having spent 20+ years in the financial services industry. Throughout his career, Rudy has demonstrated successful leadership in competitive, rapid growth and turn-around business environments, guiding businesses thru their inflection point.
Eman is the Managing Partner at Crescent Capital, a private fund that invests in venture capital, private equity and real estate. Through the fund, Eman has invested in over 100 early stage start-ups, with a focus on AI, FinTech, Saas, and emerging markets. He also manages several commercial and residential properties throughout Los Angeles, and has invested alongside some of the largest real estate investors across the country. Eman previously worked at Google, where he oversaw Google’s global supplier payments. He also has experience in strategy consulting, and real estate private equity. He receive an MBA and Bachelors degree from the University of Southern California (USC). In his free time, Eman enjoys playing basketball, golf and spending time with his 3 boys. He is always open to meeting new people, or anyone who is fundraising.
Member Since 2019
A former NASA scientist turned serial entrepreneur and Inc 5000 CEO, Nikky is an investment banker, public speaker, CEO coach, 20-year information industry executive, 120-country extreme traveler, and 20-year university student. Nikky’s mission is to contribute to humanity’s health, happiness, and family-focus while serving God as a priest of the Church of Jesus Christ. Nikky took an information platform from birth to $100+ million for relationship, business, health, and spirituality education to 1+ million clients, 100+ million social media followers, and 100+ million YouTube views. During a 100+ country tour, Nikky managed influencers, hired 1,000+ people, and hosted 1,000+ live annual events in 70+ countries & 270+ cities. Nikky joined UN75 Global Governance Forum, Las Vegas Metro Police Department Citizen Review Board, State Bar of Nevada Disciplinary Board, Tech Coast Angels, EO & YPO Executive Committees, UBS, Intel, Sony Pictures, Macquarie, STS Capital Partners, Transamerica, Foley & Lardner, NASA, Vistage, UPS, and CA’s Governor’s Office and State Legislature. Nikky graduated with an Economics BS at UW-Madison, MBA at USC, ALM at Harvard, and certificates at Columbia Business School, Queen Mary University of London School of Law, HBS, HMS, Cornell, MIT Center for Real Estate, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Stanford, Juilliard, and UPenn Wharton. He presently is enrolled in a Psychology BA at ASU & JD at Mitchell Hamline.
Member Since 2021
Parisa is a Senior Life Science Executive with over 25 years of progressive career distinguished by architecting and executing strategies within the HealthCare and Life Sciences industries. She has built a reputation as a senior executive who provides leadership and direction for medical diagnostics/healthcare organizations to drive improvements and overcome obstacles to meet long-term financial and operational goals. Parisa retired in 2019; however she continues to stays connected with the MedTech / Medical device community as a startup advisor, mentor and an investor.
Member Since 2021
BJ is the Founder and CEO of Dunleer. At his core, BJ is an entrepreneur who has grown Dunleer’s investment portfolio to over $500M in multifamily and industrial assets across five (5) states. BJ is primarily responsible for developing capital relationships, making investment decisions, and shaping Dunleer’s corporate vision. Prior to Dunleer, BJ was Vice President for Laurus Corporation, a real estate investment firm based in Los Angeles, where he was a member of the acquisitions and investment team and later led the capital markets team for the firm’s discretionary fund platform, Ethika Investments. During his tenure at Laurus, the firm grew from zero assets under management to almost $600 million across 17 properties. BJ has built, trained, and led cross-functional real estate teams in Canada, Southeast Asia, Mexico and the U.S, while partnering with many of the world’s leading investment, development and brokerage firms. BJ is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization, Tech Coast Angels Los Angeles, ULI Small Scale Development Council and Forbes Real Estate Council. BJ earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia and has an MBA from the S.C. Johnson School of Business at Cornell University. In his free time, BJ enjoys watersports, basketball, mountain biking and spending time with his family.
Member Since 2021
DC Palter is a long-term angel investor, startup mentor, and writer on entrepreneurship. He’s built and exited two startups in computer networking after starting his career at Hughes Electronics, Honeywell, and Kobe Steel. He holds an MBA from UCLA and a BS in Energy Engineering from Northwestern, along with a masters in Energy Law. His weekly articles with advice for founders are published at pitchingangels.com and his novel about Silicon Valley, To Kill a Unicorn, is forthcoming from Pandamoon Publishing.
Member Since 2009
Joshua is a board certified sleep medicine physician at UCLA. He has served as an expert advisor and consultant for multiple technological and therapeutic ventures within the sleep and wellness start-up space, including The Coach Men’s Health App, Ocushield, Crocodile Clinical Trials, and educational platform Bloom. Originally from Philadelphia, he currently is serving on the board of directors for the California Sleep Society. He has given talks on technological solutions for sleep disorders for Inspire Medical Systems, and has been involved with research and publications on multiple sleep medicine-related topics. Joshua received his training in sleep medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, he obtained a BA in psychology with a minor in business administration and a post-baccalaureate certification in medical sciences. He is interested in cutting-edge technological solutions for sleep and health.
Member Since 2021
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/sleepdoctorroland
Marshall is a General Partner/Co-Founder of Steamwork Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in seed-stage companies working on connected solutions that improve health, wealth, or the earth and Founder of Practical Activation, an operational consulting/fractional COO firm that provides operations consulting services for startups and established business in a wide range of industries, specializing in financial services and Fintech. Prior to founding Steamwork Ventures and Practical Activation, Marshall spent 15 years in the financial services industry, most recently as the COO of a Los Angeles based SEC Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm where he oversaw all aspects of the business including operations, accounting, technology, compliance, HR, trading, new business, billing, sales, office maintenance and expansion. Marshall earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of Rhode Island.
Member Since 2021
As a graduate of Rutgers College of Nursing, Linda’s nursing and administrative skills were honed first in a large New York county hospital burn unit and then later as Director of Nursing at two Los Angeles hospitals. This early crisis management training served Linda well as she left nursing and embarked in 1983 on starting her own business, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She then served as Chairperson of AFAA Sports and Fitness International as well as Vice-Chairperson of the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) before founding the fitness industry’s first blockchain based community. Linda has been a member of Tech Coast Angels LA since 2015.
Member Since 2015
Jack is an angel investor, board member and advisor working with startups and private equity portfolio companies in Los Angeles. He recently retired from Google, where he led startup mentoring and teams in Drive, Cloud and Ads. Before Google, Mr. Greenfield was VP of Engineering at Personal Library Software (AOL), Founder and CTO of Inline Software, Senior Director at PayPal, Distinguished Architect at eBay, Principal Architect at Microsoft, Chief Architect at IBM Rational, and an early contributor at spin offs from Apple (NeXT) and eBay (X.Commerce). He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management with certificates in Finance and Entrepreneurship, and a BS in Physics with Biology minor from George Mason University. He has written two books and many papers and articles, and holds multiple patents. He is skilled in due diligence, valuation, operational oversight, and developing business strategy. His technical expertise is in big data, machine learning, cloud computing, ads and commerce, security and privacy.
Member Since 2020
Richard has over forty years of business, legal and finance experience. He was the former Managing Partner of a Beverly Hills based intellectual property and business litigation and counseling law firm. He was the former Chairman of a NASD licensed investment banking firm. He was the co-founder of Language Weaver, the world’s leading supplier of statistically based natural language translation systems. Mr. Morganstern is the past President and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Tech Coast Angels (LA network), whose members are the leading source of angel funding and guidance for early stage, high growth companies in Southern California. He has served as a member of the Advisory Board of USC’s Center for Technology Commercialization, a guest lecturer for the California Institute of Technology Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program and a Distinguished Speaker at USC’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. He is a member of the Board of Directors and the immediate past Chairman of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. He also served as a Faculty Advisor to the UCLA Anderson School of Management Global Access Program. Mr. Morganstern received a BSEE degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a JD degree from Cornell University. He is a member of the Bars of California, New York, United States Patent Office, U.S. Supreme Court and various federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Past President TCA-LA, Member since 1999
Eric has worked for, invested in as an angel investor and limited partner, and advised technology oriented businesses for 40 years. His interests and experience range from enterprise hardware (13 years at Sun Microsystems) and software (SaaS and apps) companies to medical instruments to renewable energy (solar and wind) companies. He enjoys asking probing questions and making connections that propel both investors and entrepreneurs to make the very best decisions. He has a BS in Chemistry and Ms in Chemical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is passionate about nutrition & human health, his vegetable garden, improving his golf game, and getting back to traveling the world.
Member Since 1999
Christopher Yang’s experience in software engineering and project management spans more than a decade. Currently, he serves as vice president of engineering at Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), an ASX Top 200 company. In this capacity, Chris leads of a large group of engineers, architects, quality assurance analysts, and program managers in designing and launching leading-edge and cost-effective travel solutions in North America. Previously, he held leadership and management roles at DIRECTV and Ticketmaster. In addition to his career, Chris is an executive board member at the TCA-LA. As the co-chair of the events committee, he is responsible for planning and organizing events to increase TCA’s exposure to potential new members and start-ups. Chris is also a lead mentor at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where he guides academic innovators to create high-impact ventures. In addition, Chris is a part-time instructor in the Department of Engineering and Technology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Here, he develops and delivers post-baccalaureate curricula, spearheading UCLA Extension’s first agile project management certificate. Finally, Chris is a member of the Forbes Technology Council, where he frequently contributes to Forbes.com on topics related to technology, business strategy, project management, and entrepreneurship. Chris holds an MBA, an MS in industrial and systems engineering, and an MS in computer science from USC.
Event Chair and Member Since 2019
Ryan Witt is currently the Hub Director at UCLA Biodesign, where he coordinates the program’s partnerships with industry, investors, mentors and overall hub operations. Prior to UCLA Biodesign, Ryan functioned as the Head of StartX Med, a Stanford-affiliated lifelong founder community of over 450 entrepreneurs working across digital health, medical devices, consumer health, biopharmaceuticals and research tools. As an operator, Ryan served as Director of Product and Client Success at CareDox and as a generalist at drChrono, where he developed digital health products that went on to serve tens of thousands of clinicians and millions of patients and raise nearly $100MM collectively. He also serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Immix Biopharma, a venture-backed, clinical-stage therapeutics company – where he has worked across regulatory, clinical and manufacturing functions, as well as investor relations and business development, to bring the company’s lead asset into the clinic and raise requisite financings. Ryan served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Consumer Empowerment Working Group at the Office of the National Coordinator under the Obama administration. Ryan is currently a mentor to several accelerator programs, including Scale Health, KidsX, StartX and Blockbuster Tokyo. He is also a member of TCA-LA, a periodic angel investor, serves on Biocom’s Capital Development Committee, and co-chairs BiocomLA’s Startup Resources Committee.
Member Since 2018
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanjwitt
David is an expert in digital product development and consumer engagement. For the last 8 years, he was President, Digital @ Fox — responsible for the streaming video subscription apps and ad-supported consumer experiences for Fox Networks Group’s digital products — 40+ different apps across 12 different platforms, as well as overseeing cross-network digital product design and future product innovation. Furthermore, while at Fox Broadcasting, David oversaw Fox’s extensive social network – 350M+ followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.; his team produced over 1,000 pieces of content per week while measuring and optimizing consumer engagement. Prior to FOX, Wertheimer was president of Paramount Digital Entertainment, Founder and CEO of WireBreak Entertainment; director of the Entertainment Technology Center and the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC (a world leader in artificial intelligence and VR), and co-founder of RL Leaders. Before moving to LA to work for Paramount, David spent many years in Silicon Valley working with Steve Jobs at NeXT, which was subsequently acquired by Apple. Wertheimer holds a degree in computer science and business from Duke University.
Member Since 2019
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/wertheimer
Ronan is the CEO and co-founder of Dosen.io, the advisory platform for the knowledge community. He spent 15 years building digital businesses of all sizes; from founding startups (Dosen, Matchbook, Absolute Ventures) to being a senior executive in the world’s largest online gambling company (Flutter-Paddy Power) and the world’s largest ticketing company (Live Nation-Ticketmaster). He’s built sizable divisions ($3.2B+) and industry defining Products; like the world’s first digital live event ticket https://business.ticketmaster.com/blog/mobile-fan-experience-recognized-at-sports-business-journal-awards/. He was also the person who got rid of the ‘convenience fees’ that you used to have to pay when buying a concert ticket… you’re welcome. He’s held senior positions in Strategy, Operations, Product and Growth and has spent years advising and investing startups in the early stages. He’s also a former president (and current player) of Los Angeles national championship winning Gaelic football team.
Member Since 2019
As a serial entrepreneur, consulting CFO, and angel investor, Mark has been building, advising, and investing in startups since 2010. He founded several thriving consulting practices and cofounded both a SaaS company and a ecommerce subscription box business. In his day job, Mark owns and operates Supporting Strategies Los Angeles, a business providing finance and accounting resources and leadership to hundreds of growing startups and small businesses. He also keeps busy in a multitude of diverse yet related additional roles, including startup board member & advisor, volunteer board member of Los Angeles Venture Association and Women Founder’s Network, cryptocurrency enthusiast, university guest lecturer, and volunteer mentor to entrepreneurs through local accelerator and incubator programs. As a professional operator and consultant, Mark has overseen finance and operations functions for a myriad of businesses in Advertising, Alternative Energy, Apparel, Automotive, Banking, Consumer Products, Content Management, Digital Media, Delivery Services, E-Commerce, Entertainment, Fashion, Fitness, Food, Hospitality, Internet & Information Technology, Market Research, Nonprofit, Real Estate, Retail, Restaurant, SaaS, Telecommunications, Mobile Apps, New Media and other industries.
Member Since 2018
Dimitri graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University and has a M.S. from China International Medical University. Since 1980, he has written and produced a number of motion pictures including In Love and War starring Sandra Bullock, Once Bitten starring Jim Carrey, and Disney’s Flight of the Navigator. From 1993 to 2000, he was a Managing Director of investment bank Laidlaw, and then a Director of Société Générale Investment Banking. In 2000 he co-founded Pivotal BioSciences with senior faculty of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, to develop cancer immunotherapy drugs. From 2009 to 2013 he was CEO of ArtistDIRECT, the foremost music destination website, and Peer Media Technologies, a leading provider of business intelligence and anti-piracy services to the entertainment industry. Currently, as a member of the Tech Coast Angels, he is active in identifying, mentoring, and leading investments in early-stage technology ventures. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Staffing 360 Solutions (NASDAQ: STAF), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, as well as an advisor to a number of startups including Kangarootime, Qweboo, iProdoos, Grow Advertising and AesculaTech.
Member Since 2002
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dimitri-villard-346135/
Kwame Ulmer is the Principal at Ulmer Ventures – A Regulatory Strategy Consulting Firm. He brings nearly twenty years of experience evaluating medical technology regulations, guidances and policy in the government and serving in senior regulatory roles at medical device companies. Mr. Ulmer is also a Venture Partner at Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health – an early-stage venture capital firm. He previously served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Implant Direct, a Danaher Corporation operating company. Kwame has served in progressive leadership roles at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and personally evaluated over 1,000 FDA applications. He is a lecturer and researcher on MedTech Innovation at the University of California Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, serves on the board of the University of Virginia, Licensing & Ventures Group and is a consultant to the NIH (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute). Kwame earned his B.S. in Physics from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and both an M.S. in Materials Engineering and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Matt Thompson has been a TCA Los Angeles member for over 5 years. Matt has 20+ years of technology consulting and investing experience. Matt has expertise in corporate finance, valuation, strategy, and technology operations. Areas of focus include Software, technology, telecom, consumer internet, media, and healthcare. Matt previously worked at the Gores Group, Sony Pictures, FTI Consulting, Alvarez and Marsal, Flashcom, and PwC. Matt is based in Studio City and has an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Economics and Biology from Pomona College.
Member Since 2019
Doug’s investment career spans over 50 years. It started with an MS in Finance with a specialization in Investments in 1971. He had the opportunity with a capital-intensive Fortune 500 company, and major airline, to participate in many private and public financings over the next 4 years, developing a strength in understanding disclosure requirements and negotiation issues in complex deals. He then led the investment function at one of the West Coast’s largest pension plans for the same company, achieving returns well above standard. His job responsibilities expanded to include all corporate financing. During this period, the Company was the only major airline to successfully navigate Deregulation. In fact, in 1974 the Company achieved the highest increase in market capitalization of the top 1000 companies on the NYSE. The Company was acquired, and he transitioned to CFO positions at 1) a publicly held Bank Holding Company, and 2) a privately held mini conglomerate in the film, printing and graphic arts businesses. Both companies were sold in very favorable transactions for the shareholders. The major private shareholder of the mini conglomerate, Apollo Investors, had acquired their interest in 1991 as part of the “Deal of the Century” acquisition of the defunct Executive Life Insurance bond portfolio. Doug’s career in TCA started shortly thereafter and has been very profitable.
Member Since 2003
Russell Stravitz is an experienced manager and leader in the retail and consumer products industries. Russell currently serves on the Executive Committee of Tech Coast Angels, Los Angeles, an angel investment group. Part of Tech Coast Angels (www.techcoastangels.com) one of the largest groups in the USA. Russell’s career included CEO of Rich’s in Atlanta (now Macys), and CEO of Brylane Inc. a direct mail and e-commerce company. Russell founded RS and Associates in 2005-2015 , a consulting company to Private Equity firms focused on retail, direct marketing and e-commerce deals. RS and Associates provided evaluation of operating plans and strategy for growth. He currently serves as a principal for Parents as Partners – The Autism Education and Change Network™. (www.parentsaspartners.com) working along with his wife – Dr. Shelley Stravitz. Russell obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Queens College. He serves on the Board of Directors at Brentwood Country Club.
Sponsorship Chair and Member Since 2018
Jason is an LA native and graduate of University of Southern California where he majored in Urban Planning and Development. Jason has been working within the LA tech ecosystem since graduating college in 2007 where he co-founded a tech recruiting and consulting firm, Cadre (formerly known as Neohire). Jason’s firm has been responsible for hiring 900+ software engineers at over 400 tech startups across California. He retains a very deep network of local entrepreneurs, operators and software engineers across the Southern California region. Jason sits on the advisory board of several startups where he works closely with founders and C suite in developing their hiring and go-to market strategies with respect to talent acquisition. Jason began angel investing in 2010 and has since amassed a portfolio of angel investments including some notable names such as Truecar, Niantic (Pokemon GO), OpenX, Homelight, Goody, Velocify, and Blind (teamblind.com). His investment interests are weighted in Real Estate Technology, HR Tech, and Robotics. Outside of tech, Jason has been investing in commercial real estate since 2010 and currently oversees Acquisitions and Dispositions for a commercial real estate fund with 125M AUM. Jason is passionate about helping young startups develop their hiring / recruiting initiatives. Outside of work, Jason plays Ice Hockey twice a week and is a consummate traveler in search of remote beachside retreats.
Member Since 2020
Digvijay “Sunny” is an investor based in Los Angeles. Sunny started his investment journey as an electrical engineer at the end of his Ph.D. at UCLA in 2013. Since then, he has been part of the creation and sale of two technology startups in the IT and medical devices fields. He now oversees the acquisition, development, and management of real-estate, startups and other investments in Southern California. An entrepreneur at heart, he is constantly looking at new business opportunities. He is also the incoming President for Tech Coast Angels in Los Angeles for 2021.
President of TCA-LA and Member Since 2017
Mitchell Schwartz is an entrepreneur, a lifelong environmentalist and a 35-year veteran of local, state and national politics. He combines an exhaustive knowledge of the California regulatory system with a relentless passion for environmental protection to help clean-tech companies reach market potential.
PR Chair and Member Since 2017
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/mitchell-schwartz
Eric Schiffer is an active investor in startups and real estate. He is a former retail executive, venture capitalist and engineer. Eric was CEO of 99¢ Only Stores from 2005 to 2013 and its President from 2000 to 2004. He joined the company in 1991 when it had 24 stores in Los Angeles, and as an operations executive, helped lead its profitable growth to over 300 stores across multiple states and $1.5 billion in sales. Eric oversaw its successful NYSE IPO in 1996 and $1.6 billion “going private” transaction in 2012. Previously, he was a venture capitalist for Oxford Partners and an electrical design engineer for Texas Instruments. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an engineering degree from Duke University.
Member Since 2014
Steven is a Startup Mentor, Advisor and Angel Investor Inspiring teams to achieve the next level. As a strategic sales and marketing leader with leadership in IT, Cyber Security, Wireless communications, Homeland Security, Video solutions and Robotics. Currently sitting on several boards and is actively involved with management consulting. Steven also sits on the advisor board at California State University, Northridge. Steven was the CEO of Virtual Guard and built the organization to be a leader in active video monitoring. Prior to Virtual Guard, Steven led the Global sales team for IQInVision which led to the acquisition by a NYSE company. Steven launched the startup, Arecont Vision, the leader in Megapixel video security surveillance systems and built the organization from a startup to over $60M in sales. He also served as the Vice President of Sales for Neven Vision, a leader in Access Control and Facial Recognition for the Biometrics Security industry. Google acquired Neven Vision. Steven founded Continuum Engineering Inc., an innovator in multi-axis precision robotics that designed and delivered automation solutions for the semiconductor, fiber-optic and biomedical industries. Continuum engineering was acquired by a NASDAQ company. Steven’s professional experience includes Intel Corporation. Dell/EMC Consulting and IBM. Steven also held a faculty position at California State University, Northridge.
Member Since 2001
Matt is just getting started on his Angel Investor journey with Tech Coast Angels (TCA-LA) and has invested in several teams and companies and is seeking new opportunities to expand his portfolio. His current portfolio companies deeply value the mentorship, financial acumen, and technology expertise he brings to the table. Matt is an active investor in his personal life as well, garnering significant returns on investments in public companies, SPACs, and crypto assets. Matt currently works at Amgen where he focuses on developing best-in-class technology teams following Agile and Scrum principles. He has a passion for philanthropy, and serves as Vice President, Treasurer, and Managing Director of Finance for RFCF. Matt is a lifelong entrepreneur, founding companies in Real Estate and Fintech spaces. Matt has served as an Executive Project Manager and Senior Project Manager at Positive Technology where he implemented and scaled Point of Sale technology initiatives for prominent clients. Matt has a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University and is a Certified Scrum Master, SAFe Agilist and Senior Agile Coach. He enjoys travel, designing and creating bespoke artwork and sculptures for his home, and spending time with his four beautiful daughters and his lovely wife.
Member Since 2019
Arash plays an active role within Southern California’s startup ecosystem. He serves as an Executive Director and Portfolio Manager at Tech Coast Angels (TCA), one of the largest and most active angel groups within the United States. Along with his role of evaluating and shepherding hundreds of startup companies through TCA’s investment process, Arash also leads the Angel Syndication Network (ASN) and TCA LA Funds. Beyond his daily activity with both founders and investors, Arash has received numerous accolades and recognition for his community engagement. He has led projects to propel efficiencies within the US venture investment market at both the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Angel Capital Association (ACA). He continues to explore efficient innovation and emerging entrepreneurship throughout the world. Arash has an MBA from San Diego State University, MSc in Finance from Lund University Sweden and BSc in Business Management from Babson. He is a fitness and health enthusiast, and travels the globe learning about various cultures and their practices.
Executive Director Since 2010
Uri is the founder and CEO of GIDEON Informatics, a medical publishing company. GIDEON’s web-based application and ebook series are deployed at hundreds of institutions, including the World Health Organization, the CDC, and universities and government organizations worldwide. Previously, Uri was Senior Vice President of Applications at UberMedia, where he led the growth of the mobile apps group and tripled annual revenue. Prior to that, Uri was Vice President of Corporate Development at Speedbit, creators of Download Accelerator. There he managed a successful M&A process while developing and managing strategic and revenue relationships. Uri founded a venture backed online homeowners insurance firm. He was also a Product Manager for two generations of the Netscape browser, and later managed the computing and download channels on Netscape’s website and business development at AOL. Uri is a member of Tech Coast Angels and invests in technology companies around the world. He was a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces 8200 unit, and received his BA in Computer Science and Philosophy from Tel Aviv University and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Member Since 2001
Ken Borkan is the Founder & President of investment firm KB Capital and a member of Tech Coast Angels. He is the former Director of Strategy, Operations & Research for the Phoenix Suns’ Partnership group and served on the NBA’s Analytics Advisory Board. Ken oversaw their Strategy & Operations team focusing on strategic projects, research, and streamlined best-in-class operations. Before integrating fully into Partnerships prior to ’16-17 season, Ken spent the previous four in the Suns Analytics group leading the team’s non-ticket sales business analytics, heading up WNBA basketball analytics (2014-2016) and supporting Suns basketball analytics. Prior to joining the Suns, Ken was a senior analyst for Capital One developing credit policy and optimizing line strategy. Originally from Miami, Ken graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with focuses in Marketing, Business Strategy, International Business, and Psychology. Post-undergrad, he has also attended Harvard Business School Executive Education, completing the High Potentials Leadership Program as well as the Business of Entertainment, Media & Sports. Most recently, he received his MBA as a Venture Fellow at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management focusing on Venture Capital, Entertainment Management, and Social Impact.
Member Since 2019
Steve is a strategic advisor to emerging stage software and hardware developers providing both guidance and execution in business development, go-to-market strategies, and building global sales organizations. Product breadth has included enterprise level software, artificial intelligence and deep learning, software development, engineering services, and hardware spanning semiconductors, sensors, boards, and systems. Prior to his advisor roles, Steve was an award winning, client facing sales and business development leader at the VP level who has built successful businesses from start-ups to new business units of mature organizations by building, mentoring, and leading teams focused on developing strategic, executive level, trusted relationships that address client issues and needs. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been involved with angel investing since 2008 and is currently a member/investor with the Tech Coast Angels
Member Since 2014
Linked In: linked.com/in/steveborochoff
Jim attended Columbia Law School, practiced law for a couple of years, and then joined a family business. It owned and operated a chain of movie theaters on the East Coast, a Broadway theatre, and a very large art deco gem of a nightclub in South Beach built in the “Roaring 20’s” (capacity 3,000). When the real estate under some of the movie theaters became far more valuable than the movie theaters, Jim ground leased those properties to credit tenants such as Apple (its free-standing store in Lincoln Center) and the Durst Organization (which co-developed with BoA the 2.1 million square foot Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan, one of the most efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world).
For the last 12 years, Jim has been a member of Tech Coast Angels’ Los Angeles network and was a member of its Executive Committee for years. Jim was gratified to be designated TCA/LA’s Most Valuable Member in 2018. He has invested in more than 100 startups (helped a significant number raise additional capital) and spends a substantial amount of time meeting startup founders and generally networking the LA and San Diego startup ecosystems.
Member Since 2008
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/jim-brandt-18106b10
I am a principal in several successful Health Care IT-based companies. I am looking for strategic partnership and investment opportunities in Healthcare and Tech startups. I am acquiring outpatient physical & speech therapy companies. I also invest in hard money loans in real estate. I would love to network with established private equity companies who would want to invest with me in my exciting projects.
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/AmitDhirUS
Jody Dunitz has an extensive business and legal background in the entertainment industry. She held the position of Executive Vice President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and was a partner at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, representing some of the most successful songwriters in the U.S. Jody has been an active member of Tech Coast Angels since 2004. She has served continuously since 2013 as the Chairperson of the Pre-screen Panel for the LA Network of TCA, responsible for vetting all applications seeking consideration by TCA-LA. Since 2017, Jody has held the position as a Faculty Advisor to the Global Access Program (GAP) at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, advising teams of MBA students in their efforts to consult foreign corporations seeking to enter the U.S. market. She also serves at UCLA Anderson as an Adjunct Faculty Advisor for Business Creation courses.
Screening Chair and Member Since 2004
Jordan Frank is an innovation executive who has driven success at CPG companies for over a decade. He started his career in engineering at Kimberly-Clark focusing on new product development, machinery and equipment design, efficiency improvements, and capital expansion around the globe. He currently serves as the Director of Product Development & Innovation at King’s Hawaiian, where he leads new product initiatives from concept through to commercialization. His expertise resides in product development, data & analytics, eCommerce, rapid prototyping, consumer research, operations, manufacturing, and engineering. Jordan is an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels, the largest early-stage angel network in the country. He holds a B.S. in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Member Since 2020
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/jordanfrank2
Alex is a serial technology entrepreneur who founded and successfully built two companies. He was a Founder, President, and CTO of Grand Virtual, Inc. 1996-2004, an Internet gaming company. A “bootstrap” started with no outside investment and acquired in 2004, now part of La Société des Bains de Mer de Monaco. Alex was also a founder and President of WorldWinner.com, Inc. 1999-2004, a skilled gaming tournament platform. Raised multiple rounds of venture capital including from Benchmark Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Zero Stage Capital, and others. WorldWinner was acquired in 2005 and is now part of Game Show Network. Alex’s current interests lie in the areas of Machine Learning and Robotics as well as automation related to food preparation. He is working with multiple early stage companies helping them succeed. Alex has been a member of Tech Coast Angels since 2004. He holds an MS degree in Computer Science from Brandeis University.
Member Since 2004
Michael Green is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, with over two decades of experience in a range of industries, including specialty finance, technology and consumer products, among others. He founded and serves as Managing Partner of Dakota Financial, a specialty finance company that focuses on asset-based lending for sub-prime credit profiles. Michael also actively serves as the Managing Partner of South Street Capital Partners, a principal investment fund focused on providing capital, operational expertise and strategic vision to businesses, at various stages, in need of stewardship to fully maximize their value. Michael is currently a Director on the Boards of Sports Media Ventures, Nexseer Capital, HaulPay, Leaseville and Allies For Every Child, an organization that provides early education and family strengthening interventions to at risk children and their families. Additionally, he was past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels. Michael graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship.
Member Since 2011
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/michael-green-96725676
Chris is CEO of Century American Realty, Inc., a commercial real estate company focused on multifamily, office, and retail properties, Founder of Rainforest LA, a private equity fund focused on early-stage growth opportunities, and Chairman Emeritus of the Tech Coast Angels Network (TCA), one of the most successful angel investor organizations in the country. Mr. Hameetman is also President of the American Law Group, PLC, a real-estate-focused law firm, and Century American Capital, the real estate debt origination arm of Century American Realty. He has been a C-level executive, board member, advisor, and/or venture investor for a variety of high-growth companies in fields ranging from fintech, biotech, medtech, edutech, digital media & gaming, machine learning, consumer goods & services, SaaS, and robotics, including Green Dot Corp., Blue Bottle Coffee, Savara Pharmaceuticals, Somabar & Nova Signal. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hameetman was a transactional attorney with Century City-based Pircher, Nichols & Meeks working on notable real estate projects across Southern California including the Century City Mall, the Howard Hughes Center and the redevelopment of the iconic Sunset Strip. Mr. Hameetman holds a JD from the UCLA School of Law and a BA in Art History from Duke University.
Member Since 2012
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/chrishameetman/
Brian is Managing Partner of Ladder Ventures, a seed stage venture fund based in Los Angeles, and currently serves as TCA’s LA chapter president. He is an active advisor in several of his portfolio companies, concentrating on fund raising, finance, strategy and corporate development. In addition to investing on behalf of TCA and his fund, Brian is also an adjunct faculty member at UCLA Anderson, instructing MBA courses in both Business Creation and Strategic Management. Prior to joining TCA, Brian spent 10 years in the investment banking industry in New York, most recently building and running Scotiabank’s electricity trading business. Brian majored in both Economics and Business Management at Bucknell University, and received his MBA from UCLA Anderson.
Past President of TCA-LA and Member Since 2015
Linked In: http://linkedin.com/in/brian-horner
Jonathan Hung is Co-Managing Partner of Unicorn Venture Partners, Partner at Trousdale Ventures and Head of Due Diligence at Expert Dojo. He is an experienced professional with expertise in operations management, finance, business development, multinational business strategy, entrepreneurship, networking, data analysis, and leadership. Jonathan has experience running U.S. and China offices as the President of United Overseas Textile Corporation, which is an international clothing manufacturing and textile business. UOTC specializes in designing and manufacturing apparel in partnership with retailers such as Amazon, Burlington, and Costco. In addition, he is the Managing Member for his family investment office, J Heart Ventures, which has made investments into startup companies such as Boulevard, ChowNow, Clover Health, Daily Harvest, DocSend, Gyft, LeafLink, Miso Robotics, Solugen etc. Jonathan has also worked at Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Cummins. He holds various degrees from the University of Southern California, London School of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Member Since 2020
Darren has spent his entire career working for and consulting with small businesses as a CEO, CFO, CPA, angel investor, and mentor. During the past ten years, Darren has been an active angel investor and mentor to startups. Darren personally reviews hundreds of angel opportunities per year. Through the angel funds of which he serves on the board (Enterprise Angels Fund and Kentucky Select Fund) and the angel groups of which he is a member (Tech Coast Angels, Alliance of Angels, Bluegrass Angels, Keiretsu Forum, and HealthTech Capital), he will invest in three to ten angel investments per year.
Prior to his role as an angel investor, from 2000 until 2009 Mr. King was CEO of Hosting.com, a cloud service provider headquartered in Louisville with operations in San Francisco and Irvine, California. Hosting.com sold to Wachovia Capital in May 2009 for a 18x return on equity.
Mr. King holds a B.S. in Accounting from Indiana University where he graduated with honors in 1992. He resides in Prospect, Kentucky with his wife and two children.
Member Since 2019
Mr. Lapin is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of TCA. He joined TCA in 2011, and served as the President of the Los Angeles Chapter from 2014 and 2015. Mr. Lapin has invested in over 30 start-up companies, and has been involved in two angel funds. Lapin started his career as an attorney and has served as CEO or President of six companies, including Atari S.A., Razorgator Interactive Group, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and Starwood Hotels. He has extensive experience in executive management, organizational structure, finance, corporate growth, public company management, and restructuring, as well as domain experience in a variety of industries. He currently serves as a consultant and/or Board member to several companies, and is a faculty advisor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Member Since 2011
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/macdonald-king/
Patrick has extensive deal making, strategic planning and tactical management experience in enterprise software and software enabled services. Career highlights:
- In 2007, he led capital raise and roll-up of 3 companies, including his own, to form DAX, a SaaS asset management and cloud workflow application.
- As Founder/CEO, Patrick led the combined companies from ground zero to the most widely used production and media asset management workflow application in the world.
- The DAX SaaS platform has been awarded five patents; has over 75,000 B2B users; 75% market share in television; and was recognized with a Primetime Emmy for transitioning the television industry to a file-based workflow in 2013.
- In 2014, DAX was acquired by Prime Focus, an Indian based public company. Patrick became President, Americas Region. PF provides virtualized content supply chain ERP applications and cloud processing/distribution services.
- In 2018, Patrick left PF and joined several advisory boards including Black Dragon Capital, Hyperion Media Group, 05 Media, Spinoff VC and EV Connect.
- In 2019, Patrick joined EV Connect as COO after constructing a use of proceeds and operational scaling plan post Series B financing.
- Patrick has a strong technical background in SaaS/Cloud technology; big/meta-data; product and marketing strategies; scale fast methodologies and corporate culture alignment.
TCA-LA Fund Chair and Member Since 2018
Mr. Mandel built, operated and exited 4 different successful businesses in the Insurance and Finance industries over a 28-year period.
Much of the success of these businesses is attributed to his logical systems thinking, aided by his technical training and advanced Mathematics and Computer Science education, which he used to create and evolve unique perspective and, and models for underwriting, pricing, risk selection, etc., while always taking a fresh outsider’s approach to each venture.
While Mr. Mandel has been a life-long investor, starting in 2014 he took a strong interest in the technology start-up ecosystem, and is now applying his thinking to this endeavor.
Mr. Mandel is a very active angel investor. To date, he has invested in over 500 early-stage technology start-ups. He is an active member of several prominent angels groups, a frequent judge and panelist at start-up pitch events, and is considered a thought leader.
Member Since 2018
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/david3712/
A seasoned tech entrepreneur, Mr. Mitnick was awarded #37 on Entrepreneur.com‘s ‘Top 360 Entrepreneurs’ for 2019, is founder and current President of Advertise Purple, Inc, a 4x ‘Fastest-Growing Private Company in America’ by Inc. Magazine and ‘2019 & 2020 Best Workplace in America’ by Inc. Magazine. Mr. Mitnick is experienced in digital marketing services, martech SaaS, and AI applications. His current venture, Advertise Purple, has been firmly planted in the digital services space since 2011, though since 2018, his organization has been active in the overlay, integration, and substitution of antiquated agency service management with AI-based initiatives. Having become a member of TCA LA chapter in 2019, his primary motive for joining was to pay it forward. He is enthusiastic to learn, assist, and support the growth of promising startups through funding, guidance, and direction. In his personal time, he is a dedicated philanthropist, avid reader, investor, and student of business.
Member Since 2019
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-mitnick-16b339b8/
Jared is a global C-level executive, angel investor, advisor and founder who has more than 20 years combined experience in CleanTech & eCommerce with a record of transformative value creation, winning growth strategies, building high performance leadership teams, and driving cash flow operational excellence. Expertise includes scaling, operating, and exiting early-stage start-ups to mid-market companies. As CEO for an established AgTech manufacturing company, Mr. Northrop led the company to successful acquisition by a strategic investor. His experience as a founder includes a direct to consumer eCommerce “Manu-tailer” and a design/manufacturer of Solid State Lighting (LED) devices. The latter also included a successful exit. Additional experience includes Asia-based sourcing along with North American business development, operations and marketing. Past clients include Siemens, Apple, California Transportation Authority, Cisco, Mercedes Benz, Bryn Mawr College and Kichler Lighting. Mr. Northrop has won awards in the Lighting For Tomorrow Competition; for Best In Category and Best Overall Design Innovation Award. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for a cleantech company and on the executive committee of Tech Coast Angels. Mr. Northrop holds dual global executive MBA degrees from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and National University of Singapore (NUS) and an undergraduate degree in Marketing from Miami University of Ohio and thematic minor in Law (Commercial and Intellectual Property Law).
Ethics/Diversity Chair and Member Since 2020
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/jarednorthrop
Ellen has a varied background in media and media relations. She has been a contributing writer to the Los Angeles Times for more than 10 years, a former Society Editor for the Orange County Register and a free-lance writer for various publications. She has also owned an award-winning public relations agency with clients including Chanel, Bulgari, Aveda, Banana Republic, the UCI College of Medicine and for more than 20 years, Frederick’s of Hollywood, where she represented the company on national television shows, managed press relations, staged promotions and in conjunction with a new product launch, won the top prize from the Public Relations Society of America’s L.A. chapter for creating the year’s best special event. As an angel investor, she is a member of DigiLife and Tech Coast Angels. She has served on boards of the L.A. World Affairs Council, Women in Film, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the Blue Ribbon of the Music Center and the Costume Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; on advisory boards of Visionary Women, the Council of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and GiftTracker; and for Stasis Labs, Inc., as a board observer.
Member Since 2000
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/ellen-olivier-b6169931
Varun is a senior executive with a proven track record of identifying investment trends and implementing strategic turnarounds of stressed companies. During the last 20 years as a private equity investor, operational executive, turnaround manager, and strategic advisor, Varun has served in roles spanning from operations through principal control debt and equity positions and has experienced the vantage point of all constituents in the traditional corporate model. Varun has made 25+ early stage investments globally and had a passion for mentoring young entrepreneurs and students. He received his B.S. in Finance with a minor in Computer Programming from UCLA, his Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law, and his MBA from University of Southern California. During his spare time, Varun enjoys traveling, playing poker, and learning about anything and everything.
Member since 2013
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/varunpathria/
Lucas is Managing Partner of Amplite Capital, Founder & CEO of Spark xyz, and on the executive committee of Tech Coast Angels Los Angeles. In his previous career at ADP he successfully helped roll out multiple technology driven national pilots, while additionally winning District Manager of the Year and Sales Executive of the year. More recently he helped launch the Quake Capital Accelerator here in Los Angeles successfully building out their program and advising the startups on business development, leadership, and fundraising. He received his Master’s in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. While at USC, Lucas was the case protagonist of Professor Noam Wasserman’s case study, which focused on his venture, Spark xyz, and hybrid entrepreneurship. Lucas also currently writes for Forbes and does speaking engagements around Los Angeles.
Outreach Chair and Member Since 2019