Named after Tech Coast Angels’ inspiring co-founder, the annual award goes to most outstanding and innovative early stage company
May 18, 2016 – IRVINE, Calif. – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that the Angel Capital Association (ACA) had awarded the Luis Villalobos Award to Cognition Therapeutics at the annual ACA Summit last week in Philadelphia.
The award recognizes the single-most ingenious and innovative company that is financed by one of ACA’s member angel groups. It is the highest honor available for an early-stage company to receive from the Angel Capital Association, and honors Tech Coast Angels co-founder, Luis Villalobos. Mr. Villalobos was a leading light in the angel investment field, by educating and mentoring numerous entrepreneurs and making nearly 60 personal investments, prior to his death in 2009.
Members in all five of TCA’s networks, as well as TCA’s ACE Fund 1, have invested in Cognition Therapeutics. The company, based in Pittsburgh, focuses on the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics targeting the toxic proteins that cause the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other human neuro-degenerative diseases.
“Of all of our TCA Portfolio companies, Cognition Therapeutics is one of the most responsible and transparent companies that our members have invested in,” said John Murphy, TCA’s deal lead for Cognition Therapeutics. “Their science has continuously advanced at a rapid and successful pace. They regularly update us on their progress, apprising us of Cognition’s status as well as the industry’s. Several times a year, every year, they host conference calls so that we stay current on how they are doing. They then follow up with face-to-face meetings with all our chapters. They are a prime example of what an Angel Syndicate investment should be, and to date all of their funding has been through Angel groups.”
Other winners of the Luis Villalobos Award include RetroSense Therapeutics (2015), EyeVerify (2014), TRX Systems (2013), AssureRx (2012), Quantum Dental Technoloiges (2011) and Modumental (2010-inaugural year for the award).
Southern California Angel Network Surpasses Previous Records for Both Investments and Activity
IRVINE, Calif. January 29, 2015 Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested a total of $16,373,337 in 61 total deals in Calendar Year 2014. The angel network announced that 2014 was the most active year since the networks inception in 1997 for number of deals funded, and capital raised was also the largest ever. TCAs five networks throughout Southern California invested in a variety of industries last year, including consumer goods, healthcare, biotechnology, HIPAA-compliant data storage, social networking, organic agriculture, and automobile technology.In 1H 2014, TCA investments totaled $6,321,874 in 27 total deals. 2H 2014 saw a nearly 60% increase in the amount of total investment from the first half of the year, with $10,051,463 in 34 total deals. Compared to 2013, the angel network increased its total investment portfolio by nearly 12%, from $14,639,612 million in 2013 to $16,373,337 in 2014.After four successful exits in 2013 (Cognition Technologies, Green Dot, Lend Amend and Trius Therapeutics), 2014 brought five more positive exits with AIRSIS, Allylix, Bluebeam Software, Hookit (formerly Loopd Networks), and Mindbody Software. TCAs portfolio of new deals for 2014 include: Aggregage, Apeel Sciences, Ascendant Spirits, Beacon Healthcare, Edufii, Fusion Brake, GoBookIt, ImmunoGum, iPourIt, LeaseLock, Neural Analytics, Parcel Pending, Perfectna, Portfolium, Respiratory Motion, RetroSense Therapeutics, Ring Router, Schlep & Fetch, Soma Bar, Spine Innovation, The Influential Network, TrueVault, Unlicensed Chimp Technology, and WeGoLook. “We are excited by the quality and unique breadth and scope of these great, young, mostly Southern Californian companies that we can support through our experience and capital, said Michael Green, TCA incoming chairman. “We look forward to continuing to find, hone and cultivate the many outstanding early-stage companies in our community in 2015.
Largest Angel Network in United States Invests in 17 Innovative Companies Across Broad Range of Industries
IRVINE, Calif. – August 15, 2012 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) raised more than $10 million of total investment in 17 innovative companies, including $4,571,000 of direct TCA investment, during the first half of 2012 via the group’s five networks (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast, and Inland Empire). The investment portfolio for the period spans a wide spectrum of young, innovative companies — from mobile advertising platforms and social loyalty marketing, to biopharmaceuticals and organic plant food.
Companies funded by TCA in the first six months of 2012 are: Active Life Scientific, Cadence Biomedical, Cashie Commerce, Cognition Therapeutics, Emerald Logic, ExtendCredit, Gemmus Pharma, GridTest Systems, H2scan, Hipmunk, Pagewoo, PetPlay, Social Annex, Social Rewards, ViroPan, Vokle, and Wasatch Microfluidics.
Compared to the same period in 2011, the group maintained a consistent level of support and funding to the same number of young, fast-growth companies (in 1H 2011, TCA invested in 17 companies for $4.4 million, with a total investment of $11.9 million).
“TCA is a valuable, receptive resource for promising companies. By providing early funding, mentorship and strategic support to early-stage entrepreneurs, particularly in a risk- and investment-averse business environment, we help foster innovation and entrepreneurship throughout our communities,” said Stephen Flaim, Ph.D., FACC, FAHA, chairman of Tech Coast Angels.
TCA also expressed its support for the recent rise of accelerators and incubators in Southern California. “We don’t view accelerators as competition; it’s quite the opposite. We embrace their place in the startup ecosystem,” continued Flaim. “Companies graduating from accelerators have fine-tuned product market fit, customer acquisition, go-to-market strategy and their business model. TCA is often a critical next-step funding source for these companies.”
“TCA looks forward to sharing capital and experience with more young entrepreneurs in the second half of 2012,” said Flaim. “Our members continue to explore opportunities to invest in and support diverse and exciting companies.”
IRVINE, Calif., February 22, 2011 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nations largest angel investment network, today announced it funded 31 investments, including 12 new deals and 19 follow-on investments in a broad range of start-up businesses, demonstrating its angel investment leadership. TCA raised over $40 million of total investment for its entrepreneurial companies, including over $6 million through direct TCA investment and approximately $33.9 million through other sources of venture and angel capital. The total number of investments is up significantly from 2009 when 24 deals were completed. In addition, 2010 marked a year of profitable exits for TCA portfolio companies, including an IPO for Green Dot Corporation (NYSE: GDOT) that yielded over 100x return for early investors, the acquisition of Language Weaver Inc. by SDL for $42.5M, and an IPO for Trius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TSRX).
“This past year was a dynamic time in our history. Coming out of an economic recession, we turned the tide and invested in more innovative, game-changing entrepreneurial companies and experienced several profitable exits. This is the result of our commitment to making the angel funding process faster, easier and more accessible to entrepreneurs to generate more investment. Weve streamlined the process and added new events and opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect with our members, said Mike Napoli, Chairman, Tech Coast Angels. “The entrepreneurial community in Southern California is growing dramatically and Tech Coast Angels is committed to identifying the brightest, most innovative new companies and fostering their growth through both capital investment and mentoring leadership. Already, 2011 is shaping up to continue on this upward trend.
This years investment portfolio represented companies in a wide number of growth industries including technology, biotech and pharmaceutical, social media, financial services, consumer products, and green technologies, among others. The companies funded by Tech Coast Angels in 2010 included: Cyber-Rain; Benchmark Revenue; Allylix; Outside Labs; Vigilistics; H2Scan; Mobile XL; Continental Windpower; Amplyx; OlFactor; Vokle; Micropower Technologies; HitFix; Ranker; CardioCreate; MyShape; Bikestation; MasherMedia; Brand America; Intrastage; YouMail; Glassbeam; LaughStub; Ondax; Cosnet; Solulink; and Cognition Therapeutics.
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Cognition Therapeutics Inc., a drug discovery company developing novel, small molecule disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s, has closed on a $2.5 million Series A1 financing it will use to bring one or more of its compounds to Investigational New Drug (IND) candidate status. The round was led by Golden Seeds, one of the nation’s largest angel investing groups, and was syndicated with Tech Coast Angels.
New investors in the A1 financing include The Breedlove Limited Family Partnership and TMC Investment Company, an investment division of the Tippins family, both located in Pittsburgh. All existing investors participated in the round including Ogden CAP Associates, M5Invest, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse and Innovation Works. The round was comprised of new investment and conversion of convertible debt.
This financing increases our investor base and further expands our national network to support the critical work we are doing to identify drugs that can treat and potentially prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cognition Therapeutics President and CEO Hank Safferstein, Ph.D., J.D. “We’re pleased to welcome Golden Seeds, Tech Coast Angels and several western Pennsylvania community leaders in supporting our pioneering approach to drug discovery for Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions of the central nervous system. We are also fortunate to have Dr. Nada Jain, Managing Director of Golden Seeds and Mr. Mark Breedlove, President and CEO of Keystone Profiles, joining our existing Board of Directors, providing additional business insight and guidance to the company.”
“The drug candidates Cognition Therapeutics is developing represent new approaches that have the potential to make a major impact on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and other central nervous system disorders,” said Dr. Jain. “The company has received positive peer review and has obtained significant grant funding in its early development, and we are delighted to be the syndication lead in this financing round. Alzheimer’s affects 4.5 million people in the United States today, with that number expected to exceed 12 million by 2050.”
Funds raised in this round will support preclinical work required for IND candidate selection, and enable Cognition Therapeutics to further exploit novel molecular targets and pathways identified through the company’s phenotypic screens.
“Our drug leads selectively block the activity of the toxic oligomeric form of Abeta protein that interferes with normal learning and memory,” said Susan Catalano, Ph.D., Cognition Therapeutics Chief Science Officer. “Studies from the world’s leading academic laboratories indicate that the memory deficits caused by this oligomeric protein are among the earliest changes seen in Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment, the precursor to Alzheimer’s. These studies indicate that blocking the effects of this protein may halt or reverse Alzheimer’s disease.”
Cognition has developed a number of screening strategies to identify small molecules capable of blocking the central toxicity of proteins in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. These assays emphasize phenotypic or functional responses of mature primary neurons to the toxic proteins. Cognition’s proprietary chemistry platform converts natural product molecular scaffolds into low molecular weight chemically stable drug-like molecules, and is thus a source of novel pharmacophores and valuable drug candidates.
“The registration of the company’s proprietary biological screening approach with positive results in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease is a significant achievement,” said Dr. Cynthia Lemere, Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard University’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital and member of Cognition’s Scientific Advisory Board. “Cognition’s scientific approach is unique in the industry and has generated exciting results that the Alzheimer’s research community is watching closely. Further development of these potentially disease-modifying drugs is very welcome,” Dr. Lemere continued.
30 TCA Portfolio Companies Secure More Than 75M in 2008
Companies receiving 2008 first-time investments or follow-on rounds from TCA and its network of venture capital partners include Agilenano, AIRSIS, Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Axiotron, Bikestation, BrandAmerica, BrightQube, CardioCreate, CaseStack, Clupedia, Cognition, Cyber-Rain, Dayak, Edgeware Analytics, eGuardian, EZ-Assure, H2Scan, Make It Work, MicroPower Appliance, Mobile-XL, MojoPages, MyShape, Opposing Views, Santrio, SodaHead, TherMark, Trius Therapeutics, WiSpry, Wise Window and Zubican.
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