Quick Pitch 2017

For more info please visit the Quick Pitch 2017 website: https://quickpitchsd.com/

Trilliant buys payer analytics play

Nashville Post

GroupSolver Closes $1 Million Funding Round Led by Tech Coast Angels San Diego

PR Web

Very Prominent Angel to Keynote Startup Week

San Diego Business Journal

Tech Coast Angels Heavily Invests Locally In Q1 2017

Nibletz

Tech Coast Angels Declares Record First Quarter; Angel Network Invests $3.8M in Q1 2017

benzinga

Tech Coast Angels: Best Q1 Ever For Deals, Dollars

socalTECH.com

Tech Coast Angels Declares Record First Quarter; Angel Network Invests $3.8M in Q1 2017

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IRVINE, Calif. – May 11, 2017Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that it had invested a total of $3.8 million in 17 total deals for the quarter ending March 31, 2017—its best Q1 in the angel network’s 20-year history both in dollars and number of companies invested. Southern California companies received 99% of the investment dollars, which reinforces TCA’s commitment to its local startup ecosystem. All but one of the investments for the quarter were early stage:  Seed Equity, Series A or bridge to Series A funding, and with 93% of total dollars invested into nine new companies.

The nine new companies were Buy It Installed, Carepoynt, Cherryvale Farms, Conectric, Echo Laboratories Inc., InvestED, Mobilize Solutions, OnRamp, and Tot Squad.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the dollars invested went into companies already in revenue, reflecting the trend of angel investments in companies with an already-developed minimum viable product and showing evidence of traction with customers.

“Today’s information shows the strength of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem and of TCA as a group,” said Jeff Draa, Chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “Unlike other angel networks who’ve reported a shift towards follow-on investing, and unlike our experience in 2014 and 2015 when the majority of our investments were in follow-on rounds, our Q1 2017 investments show a tremendous upsurge in new deals, reflecting strong excitement by our members about new opportunities.”

TCA also realized three exits in Q1 2017:

  • Savara Pharmaceuticals (a pulmonary pharmaceutical company) announced it would become a public company (NASDAQ (SVRA)) through its merger with MAST;
  • WeGoLook (an on-demand field services company) was acquired by Crawford & Co., yielding a return to TCA of 8x in less than three years;
  • Everystory (a digital therapeutic company) repositioned itself as a publicly traded life sciences company Dthera Sciences — a digital therapeutic treatment for dementia

“TCA members are investing in early-stage businesses that they can help to succeed with far more than just financial support,” continued Mr. Draa. “Our members offer guidance, direction and connections in addition to investment capital.”

Tech Coast Angels: How Savara Created A Winning Formula for Angel Investors and Company Success

PR Web

Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels Among Top Angel Groups In New Report

socalTECH.com

TriTech SBDC Consultant Bill Waldo Receives America’s SBDC State Star Award

PR Log

http://www.satprnews.com/2017/04/27/tech-coast-angels-innovates-with-two-new-member-categories/

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Tech Coast Angels Innovates with Two New Member Categories – Press Release Rocket

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Tech Coast Angels Innovates with Two New Member Categories

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New and expanded virtual and affiliate membership programs will add to deal flow and expertise in due diligence

IRVINE, Calif. – April 27, 2017 — Tech Coast Angels (TCA), one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, today announced the addition two new membership classes: Virtual Members and Affiliate Members. These new categories supplement the angel network’s current membership categories and expand opportunities for all angel investors, regardless of location.

With the Virtual Membership, angel investors who reside outside of Southern California are now able to get involved with and invest alongside more than 325 current TCA members in screening and evaluating deal flow, and in funding startup companies. Virtual Members will also be invited to attend special events at a discounted rate, and attend a general membership screening if they are in the Southern California area. For a full list of conditions and benefits, please click here.

The Affiliate Membership is created for family offices, corporate VC groups, foundations, non-profits, and venture capital funds that can supplement their investments with startup companies and potentially complement their strategic plans and current product portfolios. Affiliate members may be located within or outside of Southern California.  For a full list of conditions and benefits, please click here.

TCA had four key goals while adding these new categories:

  • To increase the potential deal flow through contacts and networks of other individuals and investing entities;
  • To add to the intellectual capacity of TCA and to enable a more diverse group to screen deals, participate in analysis, and perform due diligence of prospective companies;
  • To provide additional capital for investment in our portfolio companies and for our Angel Capital Entrepreneur (ACE) funds; and
  • To provide potential entrepreneurs with a broader investor base and a mentorship program, making TCA the preferred funding choice for early stage companies.

“TCA has the technology in place that makes it easy to expand our reach for new members,” said Jeff Draa, TCA chairman.  “As virtual members will be remote from our Southern California network locations, they can interface with TCA and its deals through our website and participate in screenings via teleconferencing technology at UCI Applied Innovation, a facility open to all TCA members. Many angel investors are part of multiple angel groups and this new membership category enables those members to join our group as well.“

The implementation of this new membership class shows potential entrepreneurs and TCA’s current partners and sponsors, that the angel network’s business model is capable of expanding and that TCA has the latest infrastructure, which befits a technically adept organization. The new membership category complements what TCA is currently doing.

Draa stated that he felt the time was right for the expansion. “Many of our current members come from family offices and have been successful investors at TCA. Corporate VCs, Strategy and M&A groups are showing more interest in early round deals to supplement their corporate portfolios with new products and services. And many venture funds have been sending us smaller deals and we have been sending larger deals to VCs,” Draa concluded.

For information on joining TCA as a Virtual Member or Affiliate Member, prospective candidates can find more information about each, and about TCA, via the angel network’s website:  https://www.techcoastangels.com/angels/, or by contacting one of TCA’s network membership chairs.  

Tech Coast Angels Invested $14.1 Million into 55 Companies and Completed Six Exits in 2016 – SFGate

San Francisco Chronicle Online

Tech Coast Angels Invested $14.1 Million into 55 Companies and Completed Six Exits in 2016 – Press Release Rocket

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Tech Coast Angels Invested $14.1 Million into 55 Companies and Completed Six Exits in 2016

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During its 20th Year, Angel Network also Launched Angel Syndication Network to Share Deals with over 20 Other Angel Groups 

IRVINE, Calif. – April 25, 2017 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested $14.1 million in a total of 55 companies in a diverse mix of industries in 2016. TCA’s total investment for the year was its fourth highest since the network’s inception in 1997, and its two largest deals in 2016 were Echo Labs and Movocash – each at over $1 million from TCA. TCA had six exits including five acquisitions (Retrosense Therapeutics, WeGoLook, Clearcare, Hipmunk, and HitFix) and one optional exit (grandPad) upon receiving strategic investment from Acer. This brings the total exits to 68 in the angel network’s history.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of the deals were seed or Series A rounds. Sixty-two percent (62%) of the companies in which TCA invested were initial investments by TCA, up from 35% in 2015. The investment increase in new and early stage companies reflected a wide berth of opportunities in 2016, however the report cautions that such investment activity may be similar to “experiencing an Indian Summer,” as this cycle seems to be drawing to a close.

These investments were across a broad range of industries, but the largest investments in dollars were in life sciences (35%), internet/apps (20%), software (15%) and financial services (16%).

“Although the year started slowly for investments, TCA finished strong in 2016.   Additionally, we started a new syndication network to build better deals with great companies regardless of geography,” said Jeff Draa, 2017 Chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “While the diverse experience of our over 300 members helps us as a network to invest with confidence in a wide range of industries, the amount of solid expertise and knowledge also greatly benefits the companies in which we invest, guide and mentor. Together, that formula has helped us achieve results in liquidity events that surpass the averages for other angel groups.”

TCA also participated, along with CommonAngels from Boston, in research that was published in a joint study by Harvard Business School and MIT last calendar year, which may be the first quantitative analysis showing that companies receiving angel funding achieve greater success in many areas (including employees, survival, patents granted, etc.) than companies who did not receive angel funding.

Access TCA’s full 2016 year-end report for more details. The report includes a summarization of 2016, the investment outlook for 2017, the list of companies added to our portfolio, and various infographics.

 

L.A. venture capitalists who missed Snapchat don’t want to make the same mistake twice

Los Angeles Times

Orange County Tech Coast Angels Hosts Second Annual A Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Erie News Now

Orange County Tech Coast Angels Hosts Second Annual “A Celebration of Entrepreneurship”

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DMN Newswire

Orange County Tech Coast Angels Hosts Second Annual “A Celebration of Entrepreneurship

IT Business Net

Orange County Tech Coast Angels Hosts Second Annual “A Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Consumer Electronics Net

Investment in OKC Brings Angel Fund Big Return

Orange County Business Journal

Flyover States Alert: Tech Coast Angels ACE Fund II Realizes 400% IRR with OK Investment

Crowdfund Insider

Tech Coast Angels’ ACE Fund II Unlocks Investment Opportunities in Flyover States

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Angel Fund realizes an annual 400% IRR with WeGoLook; acknowledges the “wisdom of the crowd” in angel networks

IRVINE, Calif. – February 16, 2017 – Tech Coast Angels’ (TCA) ACE Fund II recently announced a very successful exit that was unique in three ways: the time to exit was very short (two years); the exit had a very high return (7.8x); and the company was based in the heart of flyover country:  Oklahoma.

The West Coast and the East Coast US are known around the world as ecosystems for innovators:  entrepreneurs, incubators, and unicorns abound–from Seattle to San Diego, from Boston to Boca Raton. Both coasts are where a disproportionate amount of risk capital–such as angel and pre-seed investing—goes into small businesses and startups.

But landlocked, flyover states also have terrific small businesses very worthy of private investment. Great companies and great deals can be found anywhere, say Dave Berkus and Raymond Chan, active investors in TCA’s ACE Fund.

Berkus, superangel and author, met with the founders of WeGoLook when he was in Oklahoma to deliver a keynote speech to over 400 entrepreneurs at the invitation of the Oklahoma Angels and Oklahoma’s venture fund, I2e.  He was asked by the venture fund to review five companies, and within ten minutes of his meeting with WeGoLook’s founders, he said, “I want to invest.” The founders told him they were already fully invested and had closed the round.

But they were willing to listen, and by the end of the day, WeGoLook’s founders liked what they heard from Berkus, and re-opened the round to accept another $100,000 investment from Tech Coast Angels’ ACE Fund II. Within a year, the angel network had more than doubled its investment in the company.

WeGoLook is a platform or value exchange that connects individuals and companies with on-demand investigators or “lookers” to inspect or verify conditions in remote or inconvenient locations. Some examples are property inspections, auction item verifications and notary services.  One major insurance company now uses WeGoLook’s agents for accidents in areas far from a claims department.

Because investment opportunities between the east and west coasts are more rare and not inflated, WeGoLook had a very low pre-money valuation. In just over two years, the company was sold for over $42.5 million, and TCA’s ACE Fund II members received a 7.8x return on their over $200,000 investment.

“WeGoLook’s platform struck me as being so different and on target,” said Berkus. “The attraction was so obvious; undervalued and yet very attractive. On the West Coast, this kind of deal would have been prevalued so much higher, and the exit would have taken so much longer.”

Chan, managing partner of TCA’s ACE Fund I, II and III agrees. “It is all too common on the two coasts, due to pressure and expectations for every startup to be the next ‘unicorn,’ for both a company and its investors to hold out for a longer time to offset a higher purchase price. Entrepreneurs and private investors in flyover states don’t have the need—or the huge pressure—to have to hit a home run every time; they are satisfied with a base hit. And that means quicker exits for angel investors.”

“Although one of our tenets in the ACE Fund is that we prefer deals that are quick to return, WeGoLook is very rare,” continued Berkus. “Most angel investments take years. Seven years is what’s considered an average amount of time to achieve liquidity. WeGoLook had an extremely successful exit in an extremely short period of time – just over two years.”

“Becoming a member of an angel network helps an angel do the things you might not be able to do on your own,” concluded Chan. “There truly is a wisdom in the crowd. Our members have expertise in so many fields and therefore, as a whole, our group can seek better opportunities—from syndicated deals with other angel networks and shared due diligence to expanding reach and discovering a great startup in a flyover state.”

Tech Coast Angels’ ACE Fund II Unlocks Investment Opportunities in Flyover States

Investor Ideas

Tech Coast Angels’ ACE Fund II Unlocks Investment Opportunities in Flyover States

Press Release Rocket

Startup Leaders Balk at Immigration Ban, Write Open Letter

San Diego Business Journal

Tech Coast Angels Signs Advocate Partnership Agreement with IBM Watson AI XPRIZE

MilTech

The Other Startup Cost: Paying the Emotional Price

San Diego Business Journal

K5 Ventures Co-Founders Selected For Orange County Business Journal’s Inaugural OC 500 List

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Good Microbes: Tech Coast Angels & MatriSys Bio Complete $1.5M Financing Round

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Tech Coast Angels: MatriSys Bioscience Closes $1.5 million Funding Round, Led by Tech Coast Angels’ San Diego Network

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Tech Coast Angels (TCA) and MatriSys Bioscience (MatriSys Bio) today announced the completion of their $1.5 million convertible note financing round. MatriSys is developing and commercializing a novel class of live biologic therapeutics targeting major skin and dermatologic conditions that affect more than 230 million people worldwide. Recent pioneering advances in skin microbiome research, led by Professor Richard Gallo of UCSD, have resulted in a new understanding of the beneficial relationships that exist between skin microbes and health. By building on these discoveries, MatriSys is producing live biological therapeutics (LBTs) that rebalance the normal mix of bacterial species present on the skin by expanding the beneficial ‘good’ microbes and selectively removing the damaging or pathogenic species – “bad bugs.”

MatriSys sees commercialization paths for its intellectual property in topical dermatology therapeutics, cosmetics, and skin care. The company’s lead live biologic therapeutic is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials targeting atopic dermatitis (commonly referred to as AD or eczema) patients.

“In the past, there have been very few options for a patient suffering from AD,” said Mark S. Wilson, CEO of MatriSys. “The choices were to take an antibacterial therapy that removed all the bacteria– both good and bad– from the skin, or to take something that suppresses the patient’s immune system. Neither of these is particularly good as depletion of good bacteria can create an environment where pathogens can multiply, causing more imbalance and infection. What our technology does is selectively remove the bad bugs by application of ‘good bugs’ to re-balance the skin condition.”

“Our investment in MatriSys is a terrific example of TCA’s focus to support local, exceptional early-stage companies that are leveraging new technology to confront key health concerns,” said Jeff Friedman, MD, PhD, deal lead and head of TCA’s life sciences committee. “MatriSys’ core technology is derived from cutting edge research from Dr. Richard Gallo’s group at UCSD. To move from the lab to clinical testing so rapidly indicates this is a highly promising technology. TCA is excited to support development of novel live biologic therapeutics. We think the concept of using good bugs to fight bad bugs will positively impact a lot of patients.”

Friedman will join the board of MatriSys and will help the company with business development, counsel, and assist with subsequent financing. This round of funding will be used to support and accelerate clinical trials for atopic dermatitis and continue preclinical work to support MatriSys’ growing pipeline of live biologic therapeutics for additional clinical indications.

“We are excited to move forward with our clinical trials and the funding round will allow us to continue our work in this breakthrough technology,” concluded Wilson.

2016 was an Excellent Year for ACA Members – Celebrating Exits!

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Tech Coast Angels Leads $2M Funding of Echo Labs

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Tech Coast Angels: Echo Laboratories Closes $2M First Phase Funding Round in Under Two Months

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Tech Coast Angels: Echo Laboratories Closes $2M First Phase Funding Round in Under Two Months

Innovative Microscope Maker Closes Angel Network’s Largest Deal for 2016; Wins TCA San Diego’s Quick Pitch Award; Looks Forward to 2017

IRVINE, Calif. and SAN DIEGO – December 21, 2016 – San Diego-based Echo Laboratories recently completed its first phase of funding with a $2 million funding round in fewer than 60 days, headed by Tech Coast Angels’ (TCA) San Diego network. Although originally estimated at $500K, the ceiling was raised with an increased momentum in the life sciences investor community, spearheaded by TCA deal leads, Annie Mak and Dean Rosenberg. The funding amount was the largest in TCA’s 2016 portfolio of deals.

The company’s microscope, Revolve, is revolutionizing microscopy, integrating the functionality of an upright and an inverted microscope with tablet and cloud-based technologies.

“As a scientist who has 20 years of experience and goes through all the learning curves of cutting edge technologies, it was exciting for me to see Echo Labs challenging the status quo of microscopy and bringing in advanced usability of the 21st century,” said Annie Mak, co-deal lead investor for TCA. “Revolve is user-friendly and very intuitive, so scientists can just focus on the biology under the lenses rather than the technicalities of operating a microscope.” 

“What was so gratifying for us is that some of the TCA members who are also leaders in the San Diego life science community clearly understood our product and need in the marketplace. They shared their insight and enthusiasm with other biotech investors which led to a huge amount of momentum,” said Eugene Cho, CEO of Echo Labs.

Dean Rosenberg, co-lead investor for TCA added, “Most early stage investors are taught to bet on the jockey (the founder or CEO), not the horse (the product). With Echo Laboratories we got both. Eugene is a very talented and innovative leader who has built a great team. And he has also built a product that has inspired customers and has caused our life sciences members to say, ‘I want that microscope!’”

Echo Labs recently won TCA San Diego’s Quick Pitch contest, beating out 146 other competitors for the $15,000 first-place prize. The company’s microscope was not only the judges’ favorite; it also won over a diverse 500-member audience that included seasoned investors and even elementary school children.

Jeff Friedman, MD, PhD and chair of TCA’s life science committee, stated after the Quick Pitch event, “As a physician/scientist who has worked with and purchased microscopes for laboratory research, I never ever thought that a microscope could be cool. I was astounded by Revolve. Echo Labs has created a capable, cost-effective machine that has the potential to disrupt the microscope market.”

Echo Labs also received a Most Innovative Product award in Life Science Diagnostics and Research Tools from Connect, a San Diego non-profit that supports entrepreneurship, earlier this month. 

“From an investment perspective, Echo Labs checks all of the boxes that we typically look for in an early stage financing,” continued Rosenberg. “In addition, they transformed a sleepy product category into something very cool, and it’s been fun to work with Eugene and his team to raise their $2M financing.”

“2016 has been a thrilling year for us–to say the least,” continued Cho. “And we look forward to facing exciting challenges in 2017: we received an international order that doubled our expected revenue which we will be fulfilling, and we will need to scale up to meet demand in sales, production and in R&D while continuing to ensure product excellence. We’re also currently working on a higher end platform for Pharma/Academia, and an entry level system for the STEM marketplace.”

For more information on Echo Laboratories, please visit www.echo-labs.com

WeHeartYOYO, Inc.: Netflix for Cars – On-demand pay-per-mile car subscription platform

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Guest Speaker: December 20th, 2016

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Marc Guren – Co-Founder and CEO of Simple Matters

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Where VCs & Angel Investors Think 2017 Investment Money Will Go

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Executive Q&A Ashok Kamal, Executive Director of Tech Coast Angels

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Tech Coast Angels Quick Pitch as Podcast

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UC San Diego Alum goes from von Liebig to Tech Coast Angels

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Demonstration Derby for Startups

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Angel Returns Superior to VCs

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ResortPass, Echo Labs, CourseKey, InSpirit, Braykion—Tech Coast Angels Quick Pitch

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Tech Coast Angels MIT / Harvard Report: Angel Returns Superior to VCs

Tech Coast Angels today shared insights and comments regarding a recently published paper by Professor Josh Lerner of the Harvard Business School and Professor Antoinette Schoar of the MIT Sloan School of Management, which explores angel investing, its importance, and its contrast to venture capital. 

The paper, titled “Rise of the Angel Investor: A Challenge to Public Policy,” analyzed the detailed, deal-level data of two key angel networks (Tech Coast Angels (Southern California) and CommonAngels (Boston area)) to “differentiate the different channels by which angels might affect the success of the firms they invest in.” 

The authors noted a clarity of emerging patterns from their analysis: 

  •     interest levels expressed by angels in deals were a substantial factor in funding decisions; 
  •     when firms that received funding were compared to those that did not within a narrow quality range, “the funded firms overall look more successful than those that pitched to the angel group but did not receive it: They were 20%-25% more likely to survive for at least four years. They were also 9%-11% more likely to undergo a successful exit (IPO or acquisition) and 16%-19% more likely to have either reached a successful exit or grown to 75 employees by the end of our sample period. Funded companies had 16-20 more employees as of 2010, were 16%-18% more likely to have a granted patent, and are growing faster as measured through web traffic performance;” and
  •     “…funded companies were better financed. Overall, they had a 70% higher likelihood of obtaining entrepreneurial finance and had, on average, a little less than two additional financing rounds. These subsequent deals are often syndicated by the angel group with other venture financiers.”

“Tech Coast Angels has the benefit of over 300 members, each with a lifetime of diverse experiences and expertise,” said John Harbison, chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “Our angels put a lot of effort and attention into the due diligence process as well as the post-funding mentoring of the companies we fund. That experience and expertise helps us make better funding decisions, but it also helps the companies — including those that don’t end up receiving funding from us. We try to give constructive feedback and suggestions that will help all applicant companies refine their business and perhaps go on to success with other funding sources.” 

The authors found that “…angel investors have a positive impact on the growth of firms they fund, both in terms of their performance and survival. Start-ups funded by angel investors are 14% to 23% more likely to survive for the next 1.5 to 3 years and grow their employment by 40% relative to non-angel-funded start-ups. Angel funding affects the subsequent likelihood of a successful exit, raising it by 10% to 17%. Having angel funding also seems to matter significantly for the ability of a firm to obtain follow-on financing.”

“It’s interesting that the authors concluded that angel investing yielded higher returns than VCs,” concluded Mr. Harbison. “This is not surprising since angel investing is higher risk and, hence theoretically, should yield higher overall returns. In the case of Tech Coast Angels, our portfolio has realized a return of 3.3 times the capital invested, and an IRR of 26%. But in addition to IRR, we are encouraged that this study reinforces that angels are adding real value to the entrepreneurs with whom we interact – helping bring innovation to the world and solve real problems.”

Rise of the Angel Investor: A Challenge to Public Policy, in its entirety, can be found at http://www.thirdway.org/report/rise-of-the-angel-investor-a-challenge-to-public-policy.

October 11, 2016: Mercer HR Services, LLC: #Tech Coast Angels: New #Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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Interesting Tech Coast Angels MIT / Harvard Report: Angel Returns Superior to VCs https://t.co/ytylohtNJXÖ https://t.co/zwnA9Nl7EY

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Tech Coast Angels: New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund | My Social Good News

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Tech Coast Angels MIT / Harvard Report: Angel Returns Superior to VCs

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Quick Pitch Winners Announced by Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels (TCA), one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, announced 1st, 2nd and 3rd place competition winners immediately following live presentations at their popular Quick Pitch held on Oct. 6 at Qualcomm Hall. Ten finalists presented two-minute pitches to a blue ribbon panel of judges and an audience of 450+ leaders from the local, entrepreneurial eco-system during a sold out event that also featured locally sourced artisanal food and drink.

Southern California has become a hot bed of entrepreneurial activity with startups seeding local job development and stimulating mergers and acquisitions activities. “Our annual Quick Pitch competition is one of the most exciting entrepreneurial highlights of the year in San Diego,” said Sergio Gurrieri, President of the San Diego chapter of Tech Coast Angels. “It is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network, learn and compete for investment capital that is crucial to early stage companies while cementing long-term relationships with various investors from our community.”

This year, Quick Pitch had a record breaking 140+ applications from a relatively young and diverse crowd of entrepreneurs, making it difficult to cull down to ten. The finalist’s pitches were judged on investment potential and presentation quality with ten experienced judges providing immediate feedback, “Shark Tank” style. But, the audience had the final say on who won using real-time polling with the winners announced at the conclusion of the competition. In a pre-taped message screened during the festivities, Mayor Faulconer thanked the Tech Coast Angels by highlighting the contributions to the local economy from the startup community. 

After the event, Eugene Cho, CEO of 1st Place winner, Echo Labs, commented, “Echo Labs was honored to have the opportunity to compete in Quick Pitch amongst some of San Diego’s finest entrepreneurs. We would like to thank Tech Coast Angels for putting together a remarkable event that we will never forget.” 

The 2016 Quick Pitch competition winners are:

1st Place – $15,000: Echo Labs, Eugene Cho 
Echo Laboratories designs, develops and sells innovative microscopes. They’ve launched the Revolve – the world’s first hybrid microscope that converts between Upright and Inverted configurations, eliminating the need for labs to purchase two separate instruments. Eyepieces have been replaced with an iPad tablet to view and capture images. Users control the Revolve remotely, send data wirelessly, or directly upload their images to the cloud. http://www.echo-labs.com

2nd Place – $10,000: Braykion, Jon Wilensky, MD 
Braykion helps hospitals solve the $40B problem of healthcare associated infections by providing an intuitive, low cost hand hygiene compliance and behavioral modification solution. The Braykion system leverages the latest machine learning and wearable technology to monitor, record, and remind health care workers when they need to wash, stopping the spread of these preventable infections. http://www.braykion.com

3rd Place – $5,000: PELV-ICE, Jill Bigelow 
PELV-ICE is a medical device startup revolutionizing the standard of care for pelvic soft tissue trauma patients. PELV-ICE has created a new category of utility patented soft braces that uniquely support all sides of the pelvis with multi-directional and highly adjustable compression and removable ice/heat therapy anywhere you need it that are easy to use, discrete, highly effective and covered by insurance and Medicaid. PELV-ICE’s first brand, Mama Strut for maternity and postpartum recovery, is a game changer for new mamas by decreasing narcotics, and increasing mobility, mood, and birth satisfaction. http://www.mamastrut.com

New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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Tech Coast Angels: New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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Quick Pitch Winners Announced by Tech Coast Angels

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Quick Pitch Winners Announced by Tech Coast Angels – SFGate

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Also Angel Returns Outperform Venture Capital Returns Over the Same Period: Tech Coast Angels today shared in…

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Quick Pitch Winners Announced by Tech Coast Angels

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Tech Coast Angels: New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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Tech Coast Angels: New Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan Report Concludes That Angel Networks Have Measurable Positive Impact on Companies They Fund

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Quick Pitch Winners Announced by Tech Coast Angels

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Look what these startups are pitching to investors

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Research Reveals Major Impacts Of Angels — And Some Angel Groups Outperform VCs

click here for Forbes article featuring an HBS/Sloan analysis showing TCA’s Angel Returns are higher than VCs

“Firms selected by angel groups get a tremendous boost: For one study, Lerner and Schoar accessed the records of two of the biggest angel groups in the country, Tech Coast Angels in Southern California and CommonAngels (now called Converge Venture Partners) in Boston. The researchers compared companies that won funding from these angel groups with very similar companies that applied for funding but were denied. The results: funded firms were 20-25% more likely to survive for four years. Funded firms were 16%-19% more likely to have grown to 75-plus employees or achieved a successful exit during the study period. On average, funded firms had 16 to 20 more employees. And they were 10-17% more likely to have a successful exit.”

For the actual HBS/Sloan report, click here.

Tech Coast Angels Selects Top 10 “Quick Pitch” Finalists

Local Entrepreneurs Honing Pitches to Compete for $30,000 Cash and Prizes

SAN DIEGO, CA (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 06, 2016
Tech Coast Angels – San Diego announced today the top ten finalists selected from over 140 entries to compete at its popular, annual event The John G. Watson Quick Pitch competition scheduled for October 6, 2016 at Qualcomm Hall. Hosted by esteemed venture capitalist, Court Turner, the show’s innovative format pits the strongest 10 finalists in a live presentation to “pitch” a company to approximately 500 attendees and a panel of judges composed of successful investors and entrepreneurs. Since its inception, Tech Coast Angels’ “Quick Pitch” has put San Diego startups on the radar of local and national venture capital and angel investors, helping to launch many successful companies including EcoATM, Rock My World and Ritter Pharmaceuticals.

“Our annual Quick Pitch competition is one of the most important entrepreneurial events of the year in San Diego, showcasing a vast array of technology, life science and other product companies that include the best our innovation economy has to offer,” said Sergio Gurrieri, President of the Tech Coast Angels San Diego network. He continued, “This competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network, learn and compete for capital that is so crucial to early stage companies while building key relationships with some of the top investors and executives in Southern California.”

During the next month, the top ten finalists will receive specialized mentoring from angel investors who will coach the entrepreneurs on how to perfect their two-minute, elevator pitch in hopes of capturing $30,000 in cash and other prizes. Companies were chosen from a record number of over 140 online applicants and weaned down to 30 semi-finalists by a judging committee in the first stage of the competition. On Oct. 6, the top ten will make two-minute presentations that will be judged by experienced investors and professionals with a newly added feature that allows real-time voting by the audience for the top three prize winners.

The 2016 finalists are:
Braykion Jon Wilensky, CEO & Co-Founder
CaddySnack JT Tyler, CEO & Founder
CourseKey Luke Sophinos, CEO
Echo Laboratories Eugene Cho, CEO & Founder
Industry Cody Barbo, CEO & Founder
In Spirit Lawrence Cisneros, Founder
Librede Jason Poulos, CEO
Pelv-ice Jill Bigelow, Founder & CEO
ResortPass Amanda Szabo, Founder
VOR, Inc. Winston Chen, CEO & Co-Founder

See these top companies pitch live on October 6 from 6pm to 9pm at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive, San Diego, CA 92121. For more details please visit: https://www.techcoastangels.com/event-calendar/the-10th-annual-john-g-watson-quick-pitch-competition/
Lead sponsors include the John G. Watson Foundation, Qualcomm Ventures and Stradling. Supporting sponsors include Knobbe Martens and ResMed. Contributing sponsors include Corporate Alliance, DezineGirl Creative, Digital News Network, Downtown Works, Sorrento Mesa Printing, Surf Air, The Startup Garage and The Pitch.

ABOUT TECH COAST ANGELS
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies across all industries in Southern California. TCA members are accredited investors who collectively invest in start-up companies in the range of $250k to $2M. The companies TCA invests in go through well-structured, transparent, and time efficient screening and due diligence. TCA members are themselves founders, and executive level business leaders who have extensive knowledge in the investment process and world-class business practices and contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners and management.
TCA is a catalyst in the growth of the thriving Southern California entrepreneurial ecosystem of innovation. We fund mostly emerging technology and life science companies. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at: http://www.techcoastangels.com

Seeking technology riches? Hear what this investor (TCA Chairman) says

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P2P Payments & Mobile Banking Startup MOVO® Closes $1.8M Preferred Series Seed Round Led by Tech Coast Angels

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P2P Payments & Mobile Banking Startup MOVO® Closes $1.8M Preferred Series Seed Round Led by Tech Coast Angels

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Tech Coast Angels Selects Top 10 “Quick Pitch” Finalists

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Quick Pitch 2016


Tech Coast Angels: We Have Higher Returns Than Angel Averages

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Tech Coast Angels’ Total Investments Net Higher Returns Than Angel Investment Average

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Angel Network’s Realized Multiple and Internal Rate of Return Higher; Hold Period Also More Favorable

IRVINE, Calif.—August 30, 2016—Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today revealed that its performance record is better than the average angel investment in nearly all categories, as compared to an extensive study of returns prepared by Dr. Rob Wiltbank and Professor Wade Brooks for Willamette University and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) earlier this year. TCA based its 3.3x return as follows:

If a TCA member had invested $25K in all of the network’s 305 investments ($7.7 million), s/he would have so far:

  • Already realized $12 million in cash liquidity events;
  • Taken $2 million of tax-deductible write-downs; and
  • Still have $4.1 million of active investments, which, if the average performance is same as earlier exits/write-downs, would provide an additional $13.6 million of cash realized

…all of which implies a potential 3.3x overall return (not counting tax benefits).

The 3.3x in total investments return surpasses the 2.5x average as listed in the ARI report angel investment averages, as well as in earlier studies. TCA’s IRR (Internal Rate of Return) of 26% and Hold Period of 4.3 years compared to ARI’s measured average of 22% and 4.5 years, respectively.  TCA’s percentage of exits returning less than 1x is marginally better at 68% (the ARI report is 70%). For more information, please visit https://www.techcoastangels.com/performance/.

Of the 305 investments made by TCA since its inception in 1997, 162 (53%) are still active.  There have been 64 exited investments, including 45 that returned at least 100% of the investor’s capital—and 12 returned between 5x and 139x.  For a list of TCA exits since 2000, please visit https://www.techcoastangels.com/exits/.

“We invest across most industries, but so far our success rate has been highest in Financial Services, Life Sciences, BTB and Cleantech/Industrials sectors — all of which have realized over 60% success rates,” said John Harbison, TCA Chairman. “Software is close behind with a 45% success rate. We’ve had two home runs so far with returns of over 110x, and another at 70x.”

Who is #LongLA?

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Tech Coast Angels Seeking Applications for 10th Startup ‘Quick Pitch’ Competition

For immediate release

SAN DIEGO, Calif.—July 20, 2016—Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investing organizations in the United States with more than 300 members in five regional networks, is seeking applications from technology startups for its 10th annual John G. Watson Quick Pitch event being held on October 6, 2016.

Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investing organizations in the United States with more than 300 members in five regional networks, is seeking applications from technology startups for its 10th annual John G. Watson Quick Pitch event being held on October 6, 2016.

Following the receipt of applications, approximately 30 successful candidates will be put through a structured vetting and coaching process beginning in August, with the final 10 competing at the Quick Pitch event. 

“At Tech Coast Angels our goal is to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and promote investment opportunities with significant commercial growth potential,” said Sergio Gurrieri, President of the Tech Coast Angels, San Diego chapter. “Finalists will give a two-minute pitch in front of an all-star panel of judges and 500 attendees. New this year will be audience voting to determine the top three winners, all of whom will be awarded cash and business services as prizes. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we’ve also doubled the cash prize to $30,000.”

The annual John G. Watson Quick Pitch competition is one of the most recognized angel investor events in the nation. It is ideal for entrepreneurs looking to jump-start their ventures and for investors seeking to learn about the latest innovations in Southern California. The event includes time for networking with Tech Coast Angels investors, venture capitalists and the entrepreneurial community. It is also open to all entrepreneurs and companies headquartered in Southern California. Ideal companies are early stage, fast-growing, and focused on developing and commercializing disruptive technologies regardless of their industry.

The event is named after and sponsored by the John G. Watson foundation. John was an active, gregarious and positive influence on local businesses and entrepreneurs through his work with Tech Coast Angels. 

Quick Pitch will take place October 6, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive, San Diego, CA 92121. 

Please contact Ashok Kamal for information on how to apply, attend and/or sponsor the event at Ashok(at)techcoastangels(dot)com 

 

Cognition Therapeutics Receives Prestigious Luis Villalobos Award from Angel Capital Association

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).

Trends in angel investing

TCA mentioned as one of the leading angel groups — click here

7 Tips for Raising $39 M from 350 Angels by Rob Neville of Savara

7 TIPS FOR RAISING $39M FROM 350 ANGEL INVESTORS BY ROB NEVILLE OF SAVARA

Rob Neville, CEO of Savara Pharmaceuticals raised over $39M from 350 Angel investors, representing 30 Angel groups from around the world. Neville believes that there are hordes of wealthy individuals looking to invest their money in promising startups. Most startups generally reach out to venture capitalists (VCs) for later stage funding, so it was unusual and historic to raise this level of financing from Angel investors. Savara never specifically eliminated VCs as a potential source of financing, but the momentum within the Angel community simply carried them further than expected. Neville shares his experience with raising Angel funding.

1.      Scale from Angels to Groups to Networks

Raising meaningful amounts of capital from individual Angel investors is time consuming, and simply does not scale. At some point Angel groups become an essential part of fundraising, where 20-50 angels meet on a regular basis to collectively evaluate deals. Even Angel groups have their limitations, and Angel networks are the next logical step. Angel networks contain many affiliated Angel groups often spread around the globe sharing deal flow. In most cases, candidates will pass screening and diligence only once for the first group within the network. For the follow on presentations, the screening and diligence details are shared throughout the network. Essentially, the candidate can skip the screening and due diligence process and access more investors quickly. Examples of Angel networks include the Keiretsu Forum and Tech Coast Angels.

It’s important to have a healthy pipeline of Angels, groups and networks, considering it takes two to three months to move through their respective processes, and even the best companies will face rejection.

Key influencers exist within each Angel group; opinion leaders that are active and well respected by their peers. This is somewhat akin to influencer marketing in social media, whereby individuals are targeted given their influence over potential buyers. CEO’s should work hard to identify and establish ongoing relationships with these key influencers within each Angel group. In more than one case, key influencers became evangelists for Savara, raising millions from their respective networks.

2.      Tell a Compelling Story

Raising money from Angel groups is competitive, and the companies that win are those that tell the most compelling story. Plan to focus less on the details and data – this will surface during the due diligence process. Neville suggests following a Ted Talk format and encourages CEO to practice their pitch over and over until it is perfected. In this regard he refers to Steve Jobs who would practice his story for two full days before keynote presentation, asking for feedback from product managers in the room. For 48 hours, all of his energy was directed at making the presentation the perfect embodiment of Apple’s messages. Practicing the pitch is paramount so that the flow is seamless and the story takes a meaningful form. Ideally the presentation should be graphically appealing, without the use of bullets.

3.      Be mindful of non-Economic Motivating Factors

“Do a little Good, make a little Money, have a little Fun.” Neville uses this to describe the drive behind Angel investors. While the economic return is an important motivator for Angel investors, it represents only one facet of attractiveness. CEO’s must be aware of the non-economic motivating factors that drive Angel investors decisions, often referred to as altruistic and hedonistic motivations. Altruistic Angels have a concern for the well-being of others, and wish to feel good about their allocation of funds. They will invest in stories that resonate emotionally, that help society in one way or another. Hedonistic Angels wish to get involved and be a part of an exciting growth story – leveraging their hard earned wisdom. They will invest in companies that are open to their input and participation. A compelling story must address economic, altruistic as well as hedonistic interests.

4.      Align Management with Angels

Neville stresses the importance of the alignment of Angels’ interests with those of the executive management, so that they all rise or fall together. He opens his presentations by mentioning that he has been part of successful exits that raised Angel funds and returned money to the shareholders. He then makes it clear that he and his team and board have invested meaningful capital into Savara. Alignment is influential because it shows the Angels that you will treat their investment as your own. Angles appreciate a team that sacrifice and operate frugally maximizing value creation with each dollar.

5.      Get ahead of the Due Diligence

Angel investors are accomplished and extremely busy people. Successful fundraisers keep the investment process simple and as straightforward for investors as possible.

Typically, a CEO will present twice to any one Angel group before receiving funds – the first time to motivate and assemble a due diligence team, the second time to communicate the results of the due diligence and hopefully collect investments. Candidates can alleviate work required by the due diligence team by completing a draft of the diligence document ahead of time. If a company relies on preparation of the diligence report from scratch by the Angels, it will take two to three months. Some companies with great stories never get a final due diligence report – often due to competing commitments of the due diligence team members. Even when the Angels are actually doing the work, the majority of the information comes from the company anyways – organizing it beforehand takes out most of the work for the Angels leaving them to validate the report and augmenting it as needed. Ideally, having one or more existing or prospect investors own the draft diligence report as their own adds credibility.

6.      Communicate Often

Given Savara’s large investor base, investor relations is critical. A large investor base is often perceived as a liability or overhead, however, Neville views his investors as an asset. By communicating proactively and often, the Angels will be more likely to participate in follow-on rounds. Savara generates a detailed quarterly report, and holds quarterly shareholder meetings. All email correspondence is personalized. A positive and consistent flow of news generates excitement and confidence in the team’s ability to execute.

In Savara’s $10M Series C round, a DocuSign was sent to shareholders asking for their electronic consent (a necessary step before a round of investment can begin). Within this electronic consent, shareholders were given the option to participate in the round (by simply clicking a radio button and entering the desired amount). Within a few weeks, $6M was committed electronically from existing shareholders.

7.       Close Prospects as Expediently as Possible

The closing process from presenting your story to an Angel group to money in the bank must be as streamlined as possible. Angels have many investment opportunities, and their enthusiasm is likely to fade quickly after hearing your story, however compelling. Leveraging the sales funnel metaphor, prospect investors (those that express interest) must be converted into shareholders in a well-defined and expedient sales process.

To be effective, Neville found that the sales process needs some form of closing pressure (or possibility of loss pressure). This is naturally created when most of the funds have already been committed and the round is about to end. Breaking a larger round into smaller rounds (or tranches) creates multiple points of closing pressure. One additional technique is to offer warrant coverage for early investors. For example, in Savara’s Series B round, the initial investors received 12% warrant coverage – this warrant coverage declined by 2% every month thereafter. Without some form of closing pressure, Angels will not feel any sense of urgency to commit.

Assuming some form of closing pressure has been created, prospects should be encouraged early to “reserve” a place in the offering while they complete their due diligence (without any obligation). Neville will ask early for a verbal range of interest. Once a number or range has been provided, these prospects become “soft commitments”. Accumulating soft commitments quickly helps create additional closing pressure.

As soon as a “soft commitment” has been made, attention moves towards getting signed documents and converting prospects into “hard commitments”. It must be emphasized that a “hard commitment” does not come with the expectation of funds transfer – this will happen later. Neville makes it easy for the investor to sign the documents by using pre-filled DocuSign forms.

After receiving a “hard commitment”, a funds transfer email is sent. Collecting funds should also be as simple as possible, with various funding options being made available. In the early days, Savara team members would literally collect checks by hand. Upon receipt of the funds, the prospect is officially welcomed as a shareholder.

Zombie Companies Don’t Have to Haunt Angel Investors

Zombie Companies Don’t Have to Haunt Angel Investors

Tech Coast Angels Create Lost Causes Fund So Members Can Capture Tax Loss

IRVINE, Calif. — May 6, 2016 – Tech Coast Angels has launched an innovative way in which the angel network can assist its members realize tax losses at Zombie companies (companies that have essentially shut down but have not dissolved). The new approach will be announced at the Angel Capital Association Summit next week in Philadelphia.

One of any angel investor’s biggest challenges is what happens when an investment turns essentially worthless, yet the company does not shut down or claim bankruptcy. This can happen either due to struggles in the company’s business, or through a recapitalization of the equity of the company.  Without a document of dissolution, an angel investor cannot declare a tax loss, and the injured startup continues to haunt the investor’s bottom line. While there have been solutions (such as selling holdings to a friend for $1), those answers seem complicated, involve extensive paperwork–and, in reality, most angels don’t pursue them.

“TCA’s Lost Causes Fund provides our members with a solution to these moribund startups on life support,” explained John Harbison, chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “Members can sell shares of a Zombie company to TCA at $1 per holding, which gives them a legitimate tax write-off, since the transaction is documented and irreversible.”

This allows TCA’s members to accelerate recognition of their losses and improve returns.

The Lost Causes Fund is available only to members of Tech Coast Angels, and the holding must be in a TCA Portfolio company.  Should there be a “Lazurus” resurgence of the company and an eventual gain, the angel network will donate any net proceeds for charitable purposes to support entrepreneurship.

Mr. Harbison will discuss the details of TCA’s Lost Causes Fund at The Angel Capital Association Summit in Philadelphia.  His presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9 at 11:00 am.  Mr. Harbison is also available for interview before and after the ACA Summit.  Members of media attending the ACA Summit may also request an interview.
About Tech Coast Angels:

Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest angel investment groups in the US.  The group comprises over 300 angel members with experience spanning all aspects of successful leadership in almost every industry in five networks that encompass Southern California.  TCA is the leader in providing funding, guidance, mentorship and leadership experience to early-stage, high-growth, exciting companies in Southern California.  CB Insights has ranked TCA ahead of all other angel groups as the strongest network in the country.

Since its founding in 1997, Tech Coast Angels have invested over $176 million in more than 300 companies and have helped attract more than $1.5 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. For more information, please visit www.techcoastangels.com.

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Tech Coast Angels Invested $13.5 Million into Startup Ecosystem in 2015

Southern California Angel Network Realizes Fourth Highest Investment Total in its 19-Year History

IRVINE, Calif. – February 29, 2016 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested $13.5 million in a total of 58 companies in a diverse mix of industries in 2015. In addition to the $13.5 million of direct investment by TCA or its ACE Fund, the angel network also helped companies in its portfolio obtain $82 million through additional funding sources in 2015.

The angel network’s total direct investment for the year was slightly off its record $16.7 million year in 2014, consistent with the market slowdown in investments towards the end of 2015. The only other years in which TCA exceeded 2015’s total for investments were in 1999 ($16.3 million) and 2013 ($14.9 million).  Investment in new companies was 35% of the total last year, compared to 41% in 2014 and 63% in 2013.  Please see TCA’s 2015 year-end report for further details, a summarization of 2015, the outlook for 2016, and charts that segment TCA’s investments by industry.

“Notwithstanding the turmoil in financial markets in the latter part of the year, our numbers for 2015 reflect our confidence in adding value to innovative, early-stage companies—as well as expansion investments to our existing portfolio companies,” said TCA Chairman, John Harbison.  “Tech Coast Angels remains one of the largest and most influential angel networks because of our commitment to solid and collaborative relationships within the investment and entrepreneurial communities.”

The angel network also had six exits in 2015, including two successful IPOs (Mindbody, CytomX) and) and four acquisitions (CRISI Medical Systems, Olive Medical, Thermark and Wispry). This brings the total exits since the network’s inception in 1997 to 60.

“Early-stage investing is often a long-term commitment, and Tech Coast Angels members remain steadfast in providing support, both financially and experientially, to early-stage, high-growth companies—especially those in Southern California,” continued Mr. Harbison.  “We are looking forward to continuing our success in 2016 with our existing portfolio companies and by encouraging new young companies with great ideas.”

About Tech Coast Angels:

Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest angel investment groups in the US.  The group comprises over 300 angel members with experience spanning all aspects of successful leadership in almost every industry in five networks that encompass Southern California.  TCA is the leader in providing funding, guidance, mentorship and leadership experience to early-stage, high-growth, exciting companies in Southern California.  CB Insights has ranked TCA ahead of all other angel groups as the strongest network in the country.

Since its founding in 1997, Tech Coast Angels have invested over $176 million in more than 300 companies and have helped attract more than $1.5 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. For more information, please visit www.techcoastangels.com.

Tech Coast Angels Releases Annual Report on 2015

For a copy of the report, click here.

2015 Tech Coast Angels Chairman Michael Green Recently Shared His Views about Angel Investing

2015 Tech Coast Angels Chairman Michael Green Recently Shared His Views about Angel Investing:

  • Why Run-of-the-Mill Angel Investor Articles about Returns are Annoying and about Redefining Success
  • Angel Traits and Experience Gained
  • Why to Trust the Wisdom of an Angel Network
  • The Real Life of an Angel Investor (hint: it’s nothing like Shark Tank)

See the PRWEB’s write up here. Mr. Green’s article is posted in its entirety below.

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Tech Coast Angels Reports Positive Exits, Eight Deals in Q1 2015

Irvine, Calif. – May 1, 2015Tech Coast Angels (TCA), one of the largest and most active angel networks in the United States, today announced its members realized two successful exits and invested in eight new and follow-on deals in the first quarter of 2015.

 TCA’s collective membership includes nearly 300 experienced, C-suite professionals from nearly every industry sector.  The influential angel network spans five networks throughout Southern California (Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara/Westlake and Inland Empire).

“TCA continues to be a dominant source of funding for Southern California entrepreneurs, with our network’s members providing financial and experienced support to exciting, early-stage companies,” said TCA’s 2015 chairman Michael Green. “We are encouraged with the mix of deals, successful exits and upcoming deals, and we are looking forward to another great year.”

Positive exits for Q1 2015 included Olive Medical and Thermark. 

The funded companies for the quarter are: Groundmetrics, ImmunoGum, iPourIt, Pediatric Biosciences, Playlist Media, Schlep & Fetch, Spine Innovation and Twigtale. 

Tech Coast Angels Invested Best Ever $16.37 Million in 2014

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.

Beer Tap Company Taps $1M Funding led by TCA

IPourIt_Funding_Webby_t620Lake Forest-based iPourIt has received $1 million in angel funding from a group led by Tech Coast Angels, with the potential for another $250,000

http://www.ocbj.com/news/2015/jan/13/beer-tap-company-taps-1m-funding/

Bluebeam Nets TCA 20X Return

 

In 2002, TCA led an investment round for Bluebeam Software, a leading PDF collaboration technology for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.  The company had found a CAD to PDF market niche and was able to continually grow the company to $30M.

Richard Lee, CEO of Bluebeam Software, said, “In addition to financial support, we have had the opportunity to have Tech Coat Angels and Pasadena Angels members join our board, and provide their advice and counsel based on priorities at the time.” In addition to business-savvy guidance, Lee also stated that angels also provided introductions to customers and potential partners and vendors.

Robert Moore, a member of the Pasadena Angels, one of the early angel investors and a former board member of Bluebeam, feels that the strong management team, led by Lee, was key to the company’s success. Bluebeam’s growth rate has been 50% per year for many years, and the company has been profitable every year.

Bluebeam Software was acquired in October 2014 by Nemetschek AG, a German software provider, for $100 million (US) in cash, with 10% in escrow for 18 months.  

Tech Coast Angels return was 20X.

Tech Coast Angels Announces another Successful Exit – Airsys, Inc.Acquired by Oceaneering

 

 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investor network, today announced that it has realized a successful exit from AIRSIS, Inc., a diversified technology company that develops software and hardware solutions with a focus on web-based satellite tracking and monitoring technology for energy and transportation industries.  AIRSIS was recently purchased by Oceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE:OII).

“TCA helped launch AIRSIS and guided the company as it evolved and developed applications targeted at energy and transportation companies,” said Ralph Mayer, chairman emeritus of Tech Coast Angels, San Diego and former chairman of AIRSIS. “AIRSIS was an early innovator in ship tracking technology, creating the company’s PortVision® product line, which is becoming a standard in the marine industry and is used by all the major oil companies to improve the efficiency of their marine terminals at oil and gas refineries.”  

TCA led two essential early investments which helped transform AIRSIS as it began as a young custom software development company working on a number of location-based applications using satellite technology. Additionally, TCA’s investment helped to fund the development and marketing of AIRSIS’ PortVision®, a SaaS product for vessel tracking in the maritime industry.

 “My experience with Tech Coast Angels was a textbook case of the power of the angel investment model,” said Dean Rosenberg, president and CEO of AIRSIS. “TCA led $2 million in funding for my company, which is an amount that is difficult to get from other sources. Individual TCA members also stepped up at different times to provide debt financing when needed.  I received valuable advice and mentoring from the TCA-appointed board member, and other TCA investors who regularly supported me with business development and general business coaching. As we now celebrate a successful liquidity event, the partnership was truly a win-win for all.”

For more information about AIRSIS, visit http://www.airsis.com

I Believe In Angels

Jeff Draa – President of SD TCA

My colleague and friend Jeb Spencer recently wrote a piece for Xconomy about angel investors looking for “Unicorns” those rare early stage companies with valuations—justified or not—of $1 billion or more. He wondered if angels are flying too close to the sun by misunderstanding their chances of success and failing to do their homework on deals—and perhaps pumping up company valuations in future rounds.

He’s right in one respect. Many angel investors, especially “super angels” do indeed selectively shop for that home run deal, relying mostly on their intuition, judgment, and what they consider to be their deep knowledge of technology and understanding of people. This methodology contrasts sharply with the heavy lifting that angel groups like ours do, which involves thoroughly researching each startup and its team, technology, and market.

Many super angels believe they are smart enough to pick the winners. Many simply have more money than time, and they don’t want to bother digging into the dirty details of every deal.

Angel investing is an important part of the financing that serves startup companies. They help bridge the critical gap between the entrepreneurs’ savings (usually running out somewhere around $50,000 and $150,000) and the first venture capital round (usually above $2 million). Angels and angel networks are also an integral part of the local startup community, making investments and helping entrepreneurs.

Of course, many startup businesses fail. But this happens regardless of the source of capital. Many of the most successful growth companies were founded by entrepreneurs who had already been through at least one failed startup, learned their lessons, and tried again. In such cases, angel investors often provide the crucial support that institutional investors are unable or unwilling to make. We get entrepreneurs through the Valley of Death.

Yet it’s important to distinguish between super angels and angel networks. Most of the organized angel networks do a good bit of work to deeply understand the investments they are making, as well as the risks they take.

In San Diego, for example, our Tech Coast Angels group has a team of analysts overseen by a volunteer member, and they perform our due diligence. These are highly educated people, most with graduate degrees, who produce research that we consider to be critical in our decisions about who gets funded. I read one of these reports this morning that was 95 pages long, a fairly typical length for our group. If we fund a startup, we share our research with the founding entrepreneurs, and this is very valuable to them.

Angel investors, both individually and through networks, invest about the same amount in the startup ecosystem from year to year. Last year the total amounted to about $24 billion —and was roughly equal to the total invested by VCs in 2013. From this perspective alone, angels are a critical piece of the economic generator that is our capital system. And the importance of angels goes way beyond the money.

A recent study by the Keck Graduate Institute shows the impact the Southern California Tech Coast Angels have had on the regional economy. Their findings include:

—Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels have invested over $130 million in startups across a region that extends from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

—Of our portfolio companies that are still active, 85 percent remain in this region, creating an “anchor effect” for local economies.

—Those companies have a combined annual revenue of $990 million and employ over 4,500 people.

From the impact in this region, imagine the total impact that all individual and networked angel investors have nationwide.

Amid speculation about a “pending vaporization,” Spencer asks, “What will become of all these companies?”

My answer: The same thing that always happens in a down market. There will be a shakeout of winners and losers. The talented entrepreneurs among the losers will dust themselves off to make another go at it—sometimes with angel money—and some will become winners in the next cycle.

The “great winnowing” of startup businesses that Spencer describes is a fact of life for all entrepreneurs and investors. This is the way of business creation in our system. And it works.

All the investing entities in the U.S. startup ecosystem are there for a reason. We all have a part to play, and we all support this incredible engine of growth and opportunity. My advice to entrepreneurs is to take advantage of the available capital that makes the most sense for you at the time you need it. And my advice to investors is to do your homework.

@Xconomy: http://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2014/10/30/i-believe-in-angels/ 

An Insight of Getting More Than Just Funding From TCA

An Inside Look into Tech Coast Angels with JohHarbison

Last Wednesday, Tech Coast Angels hosted its Orange County Entrepreneur Mixer and invited many local entrepreneurs to talk with many of our TCA investors. Those in attendance also had the chance to witness a 2-minute pitch contest in which about a dozen or so companies had the opportunity to get direct feedback from many of our TCA members. Orange County Chapter President John Harbison had a few words to say before the festivities started and was glad to sit down for an interview about what TCA is trying to accomplish in southern California.

Tech Coast Angels is a collection of 300 individuals who have had success in their careers in various ways, many of which have come up through entrepreneurial experiences themselves,” Harbison states. “We work together to give back to the community in terms of trying to foster more innovation and more companies to be successful in the future.”

TCA wants to not just be viewed as the “money” to entrepreneurs, but as a network of highly knowledgeable professionals who seek to foster entrepreneurial passions and provide guidance towards success. Such guidance can include leads to better opportunities, extensive networking, workshops, and even one-on-one counseling. Harbison stated that TCA would even go so far as to direct them to other investors if it is in the best interest of that particular entrepreneur.

Since TCA has over 300 members stretching from the Los Angeles down to San Diego, it is fair to say that Tech Coast Angels is the largest network of angel investors in the United States. The sheer size of TCA’s network makes it likely that there will always be a member somewhere that has expertise in any given field or industry. This vast ocean of different expertise allows TCA to invest and foster startups in virtually any industry, whereas many other angel investor groups tend to stick to just one or two industries with which they are familiar.

Harbison adds “We can cover a lot of different industries, where as a small group doesn’t have the breadth of experience…it tends to help us make better decisions on what to fund, but it also helps us in adding advice and council for companies as we go along.”

Even though TCA is very large, don’t let that make you think they don’t invest plenty around southern California. According to Harbison, “We have invested in 260 or so companies in the last 17 years and we’ve put about $150 million into those companies, plus another $1.6 billion into them from follow on investment from other later stage investors. We may see over 200 companies in a year, and of those 200 that get to a screening, we’ll maybe invest in about 20 of those; of the 90 percent that don’t get funded, we try to leave them better off.”  

If there is one thing to take away from Tech Coast Angels, it is that they are there to make you better than you were before you came, offering advice and council whether or not they provide funding. Heck, they may point you in a direction that will get you funding eleswhere if not by them. How many investor groups will do that for you?

Tech Coast Angels Among the Most Active Angel Groups Nationwide Again In Q2 2014

Tech Coast Angels Among the Most Active Angel Groups Nationwide

The Halo Report is a research series that highlights angel investment activity and trends in the United States. It is a collaborative effort by Silicon Valley Bank, Angel Resource Institute, and CB Insights to provide entrepreneurs and investors with the information they need to better understand angel investing and emerging businesses.

The Halo Report Q2 2014 has found Tech Coast Angels to be among the most active angel groups nationwide. California also maintains its place as the most active state with a total of 19% of deals. For more in-depth analyses on angel investment groups and the companies being funded, check out the Halo Report

Tech Coast Angels is Hosting the OC Entrepreneur Mixer

Looking for an event to get the entrepreneurial juices flowing and angel investor interest high? On October 8th, Tech Coast Angels is hosting the Orange County Entrepreneur Mixer where people of all walks can mingle, network, and maybe strike a deal or two. Members of the local startup community will have the chance to speak with many of our angel investors from Tech Coast Angels and gain some valuable insight about solidifying ideas, implementing those ideas, and even how to get funded. 

The event will go from 5:30pm to 8:30pm and be held at the Real Office Centers (ROC) building at 4590 MacArthur Blvd. in Newport Beach on the 3rd floor. We are expecting a large turnout for this event, so please register ahead on our EventBrite page. We hope you all can make it out to this open forum for ideas and fun!

Tech Coast Angels Invests in Ascendant Spirits Inc. (ASI)

 Ascendant Spirits Inc. (ASI) is a craft distillery — the first manufacturing spirits on the Central Coast of California. It makes approximately 95% of its revenues from the production and sale of distilled spirits, such as bourbon, moonshine, and vodka. ASI also does some contract production of grappa and brandy from grape products for winemakers who are permitted to sell these products directly.

With the help Tech Coast Angels ASI is on its way to becoming cash flow positive and to be growing sales revenues each quarter while achieving this goal.

The management team seems to consist of the perfect mix: Stephen Gertman (President) who has over two and half years of distilling experience, Paul Gertman (CFO) who has run four startups and has experience as vice-chair and chief scientist of Caremark Inc., and finally Kyle Spencer Herman (VP Sales) with an impressive fourteen years of beverage sales positions as well as being Nolet’s CA regional sales manager for Ketel One Vodka and Nolet’s Gin.

Congratulations to Aggregage on Their Tech Coast Angels Funding!

We’d like to congratulate Robert Flynn, Tony Kerrer, and Michael Skerly whose company (Aggregage) Tech Coast Angels recently funded!

Aggregage is a company based in El Segundo, California that has recently been funded by our firm. Here at Tech Coast Angels, we keep our fingers on the pulse of the entrepreneurial community to maintain awareness of any new problems or challenges that may arise, and we look to fund companies who create innovative solutions. Aggregage understands the constant shifts in content marketing and has worked diligently to become an authority in the space of digital media content aggregation. With many businesses struggling to get their message across in the B2B space due to the seemingly unpredictable changes in the digital marketing space, Aggregage knows how to hold a business’s hand through the clutter and get their message to the target audience. For businesses whose primary goal is to get the attention of other businesses, i.e., B2B companies, the problem of figuring out where to put their dollars to receive the desired ROI has become increasingly difficult. This is where Aggregage comes in and makes things easy.

Having already worked with huge companies such as Adobe, it’s fair to say this company knows what it’s doing.

Keep an eye on the progress of Aggregage by checking out their website!

Tech Coast Angels Welcomes Eight Companies to pitch for investment next tuesday

Tech Coast Angels is thrilled to announce an exciting event coming this Tuesday, September 30th. Eight companies will be attending this Landmark Angels and Tech Coast Angels Venture Forum. This will be an “investor-only,” by invitation event, featuring a sit-down luncheon with keynote address Smiling at Success; Laughing at Failure from Dave Berkus (BERKONOMICS).

Among the companies seeking investment are disruptive companies in the areas of personalized marketing promotion, endo-mechanical medical instruments, and innovative self-service beer & wine systems. There will also be companies innovating advanced software for operating systems, online content monetization and management, and revolutionary ways to make health data more accessible to consumers.

Keep and eye out for this event and watch out for these disruptive technologies and innovations as Tech Coast Angels looks to grow the cream of the crop by making wise and progressive investments.

Tech Coast Angels Voted Among the Top Angel Groups

 Are you all wondering who some of the best angel groups are in the United States? Well there is good news for all the entrepreneurs and investors on the West coast, because we were ranked high among over 370 angel groups evaluated. In a recent article published by CB Insights, Tech Coast Angels ranked #5 in the Top 20 Angel Groups by Investor Mosaic list, which is very good considering many of the East coast angels also made the list.

To determine rankings, angel groups were ranked through Investor Mosaic by “[taking] into account factors such as past performance, network strength (who they know), selection aptitude and brand among other factors, and quantifies them to score and quantitatively rank investors.” This data is good new for us, seeing as how we excel all the categories.

Tech Coast Angels is the biggest angel group in America, so it’s no surprise that our ranking is #1 in CB Insights’ Top Angel Groups by Network Centrality list. CB Insights report that “Tech Coast Angels, which claims to be the largest angel investment organization in the US, features over 300 members covering all of Southern California and led all angel groups in terms of network centrality – a measure of network strength.” Look out Bay Area, because Southern California is catching up!

While we share this state with the likes of Silicon Valley, we are also proud to contribute to the statistic that ranks California #1 in deal share. “California led all states in terms of deal share of the top 20 angel groups’ investments since 2011 at 33%, with 7 of the top 20 angel groups being based in CA,” say CB Insights. It would seem that there is still small nuggets to be found in the Golden State, particularly in the southern half. Looking to become part of the Tech Coast Angels family? Visit techcoastangels.com to see how you can add to our outstanding statistics of success! 

Tech Coast Angels has the strongest network

The network of an investor is incredibly important both for raising additional capital, as well as strategic expertise in a given area. Tech Coast Angels, which claims to be the largest angel investment organization in the US, features over 300 members covering all of Southern California and led all angel groups in terms of network centrality – a measure of network strength. Palisades Ventures was the most prolific follow-on VC for Tech Coast Angels, as the LA-based VC shares multiple portfolio companies with Tech Coast Angels.

Heading north, Sand Hill Angels ranked second in network centrality among all angel groups. The 100+ member group, which ranked in the top 3 most active angel groups in the Q1 2014 Halo Report, most often sees follow-on investments from VCs such as New Venture Partners, DFJ Gotham Ventures, and ECentury Capital. Their recent investments include participation in restaurant tech company NoWait’s $10M Series B, as well as Storefront’s $7.3M Series A. The full rankings below.

 

 

source  https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/top-angel-groups-mosaic/

Tech Coast Angels Invests in HitFix

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  • tttSuccessful Entertainment Site Closes New Round of Funding From Media Guru Gordon Crawford, Tech Coast Angels and Golden Seeds
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tttLOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 02, 2013-- 

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Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation's largest angel investor network, today announced that its Angel Capital Entrepreneurial Fund (ACE) committee has invested in a second round funding that helped raise $1.8M for HitFix, the top online destination for what's new in entertainment. Additional investors include, Golden Seeds, an investment firm dedicated to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs, and Gordon Crawford who committed a large personal investment in HitFix. Crawford is a retired influential investment fund manager best known for his 40-year career at Capital Group and dispensing wisdom to the titans of media, entertainment and technology.

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“Since HitFix's inception, founders Jen Sargent and Greg Ellwood have built the top editorial team in the business, strategically using its angel investments to lead consumer discussion and deliver top-notch content to its growing fan base,” said ACE deal committee member Ray Chan. “Their continued success and high-rate of expansion to digital partners such as AOL, Hulu and YouTube makes us confident that our money is in good hands.”

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HitFix is the fastest growing online entertainment news destination, reaching more than 4 million monthly unique users (with a higher concentration of the coveted 18-34 year old demographic than any of its competitors) and upwards of 50 million across its video distribution network.

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“This latest round of funding continues to validate the work that our team does every day to bring the best entertainment content to our fans, ” said co-founder and CEO Sargent. “We're humbled by this sizeable investment from some of the biggest names in the finance space, which will allow us to expand our reach across all platforms.”

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Since 1997, TCA has supported and funded more than 200 start-up companies. The ACE Fund gives both private and institutional investors the opportunity to access diversified, early-stage, game-changing entrepreneurial company investments that would otherwise be available only to experienced angel investors. For more information, visit https://www.techcoastangels.com/ace-fund.

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ABOUT TECH COAST ANGELS

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Tech Coast Angels is the largest angel investment organization in the U.S. founded in 1997. As a catalyst in helping build Southern California's economy into a thriving center of technology and entrepreneurship, the nearly 300 members of TCA collaborate with each other on due diligence and then make individual decisions regarding potential investments. Providing more than just money, TCA brings connections, knowledge, mentoring and operational assistance to bold early-stage entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas. Not limited to the technology industry, members invest in exciting companies in a wide range of industries including biotech, consumer products, Internet, IT, life sciences, media, software and environmental, among others. TCA is a not-for-profit organization. For more information, visit https://www.techcoastangels.com/.

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ABOUT HITFIX

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Co-founded by Jennifer Sargent and Gregory Ellwood, HitFix is the top destination for 18-34 year old consumers to discover what's next in entertainment news and events. HitFix calls on the talents of renowned entertainment journalists such as Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Daniel Fienberg, Kris Tapley and Melinda Newman to produce wide-ranging news, interviews and commentary on all aspects of entertainment. On a monthly basis, the site reaches over 4 million uniques directly and over 50 million users across their multi-platform video distribution. For more information visit www.HitFix.com, www.facebook.com/hitfix, www.twitter.com/hitfix or www.youtube.com/hitfix.

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tttCONTACT: For Tech Coast Angels 

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Justine Mrsich, 714-573-0899 ext. 238

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[email protected]

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tttSOURCE: Tech Coast Angels Copyright Business Wire 2013  

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Tech Coast Angels Number Two In Angel Investments Report

The Tech Coast Angels, Southern California's largest angel investment group, is ranked number two in the nation this year in terms of the number of deals the group did, according to the latest 2012 Halo Report. The report, a national survey of angel group investment activity, was released today by The Angel Resource Institute (ARI), Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and CB Insights.

According to the report, the Tech Coast Angels slipped from last year's number one position, due to the activity of the New York Angels. Overall, the report found that angel investing for the year was stable compared with prior years; the report said that pre-money valuations for early stage companies remained steady at $2.5M, median angel round size for Q4 2012 was $690K in Q4 2012 for the second quarter in a row.

http://www.socaltech.com/tech_coast_angels_number_two_in_angel_investments_report/s-0048778.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Berkus: Why I’m an angel investor

 By JAN NORMAN COLUMNIST / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

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Local professional angel investors call Dave Berkus, 72, the “uber angel.” In the business start-up world, angels are wealthy, experienced entrepreneurs who invest money, time and expertise in young ventures. Many angels refer to one standard way to value an early-stage investment as the Berkus Method.

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The Pasadena native has been an entrepreneur since the age of 15, when he and a friend started a custom record company. That paid his tuition at Occidental College. Later he founded Computerized Lodging Systems Inc., a software developer that he calls his most successful investment ever. After leaving CLS in 1993, he became an angel investor, which he called “resource capitalist” in his first book on the subject, “Better Than Money,” published in 1994…… more at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/angel-503101-angels-money.html

Tech Coast Angels Los Angeles Network has a new home page

 

For more information please see https://www.techcoastangels.com/la

TCA San Diego in the News

TCA San Diego in the News

LA Times – Tech Coast Angels Los Angeles launches program to fund start-ups in 30 days

By Andrea Chang

February 27, 2013, 9:05 a.m.

Good news for local entrepreneurs: Tech Coast Angels' Los Angeles branch has launched a program to fund start-ups in 30 days or less.

Michael Green, president of the L.A. branch of Tech Coast Angels, said the Screening2Deal in 30 Days program would speed up the process to get start-ups off the ground. The move is also designed to raise TCA's profile among entrepreneurs, who often seek out funding from more well-known investors or accelerators in the area, he said…… more at http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-tech-coast-angels-startups-20130226,0,6043088.story

HALO Report lists Tech Coast Angels as Most Active in 1H 2012

Organization Raises Over $1 Million in Q3 2012; Over $14 Million in First Three Quarters

IRVINE, Calif. – November 2, 2012.  According to the most recent Halo Report highlighting angel group investment activity and emerging trends for the first six months of 2012, Tech Coast Angels (TCA) topped the list of the most active angel investment network in the United States (total number of deals) and putting the most money to work in the country (total number of dollars).  The Halo Report is a collaborative project between Silicon Valley Bank, Angel Resource Institute and CB Insights.

TCA raised more than $1 million of total investment in five companies during the period from July – September 2012.  The companies include Garden Organics, SignNow, AnyMeeting, Nanoogo, Planana, HealthInReach and mSIGNIA.

For the first three quarters of 2012, the organization funded 23 deals for a total of approximately $5 million in direct TCA investment, and raised over $14 million through its five regional networks (Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Inland Empire and Central Coast).

“We are thrilled that the Halo Report found us the most active angel groups in both deals and dollars,” said Stephen Flaim, Ph.D., FACC, FAHA, chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “We are also encouraged by the quality of young companies for whom TCA is able to provide benefits — including, but also beyond, capital:  mentorship, strategic support and access to a broad network of investors, talent and prospects.”

SAN DIEGO TECH COAST ANGELS ANNOUNCE FINALISTS FOR SIXTH ANNUAL QUICK PITCH COMPETITION

10 Southern California-based Companies Selected to Compete for the Quick Pitch Title at October 4th Event

SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 4, 2012 ; Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor network in the United States and the number one source of startup funding in Southern California, announced the 10 finalists for their Sixth Annual Quick Pitch Competition. The finalists will present at the October 4th competition to an expert panel of judges, and an audience of more than 500 leaders within the entrepreneurial community.
Each two-minute pitch will be judged on substance and presentation quality. Winners,, will be announced at the end of the event and the overall winner will receive a monetary prize this year.
Since 1997, TCA has invested more than $115 million in over 180 companies and raised more than $1 billion of additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. The group is supported by many of the regions leading VC funds and sponsors including many of the best service providers to early stage companies.
“The annual Tech Coast Angels Quick Pitch is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network, learn and compete for the investment capital that is so crucial to early stage companies” says Stephen Flaim, chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “It is one of the most important entrepreneurial events of the year in San Diego”. TCA members selected this year's Quick Pitch finalists from among a number of high-caliber entries representing a broad range of companies. The 2012 Quick Pitch finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

5i Sciences Richard Rose CEO

DealStruck Ethan Senturia Co-Founder and CEO

iGenomX Keith Brown Founder

Insight Biotek, Inc. Larry Sharma CEO

JammyPack, Inc. Jonnie Sax Founder and CEO

www.jammypack.com

RockHouse LiveZach Bair Founder and President

www.rockhouselive.com

Stics, Inc. Karen Joiner-Congleton Founder and CEO

www.stics.com

Uroboros Technologies Peter Haberz Co-Founder

Volunteer Forever Steven Weddle Founder and CEO

www.volunteerforever.com

XTRLs International Deanna Bebb President

For more information about Tech Coast Angels’ Quick Pitch Competition and to register to attend, please visit: http://www.sdquickpitch.com/

About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or www.twitter.com/techcoastangels.

Tech Coast Angels Invests More Than $4.5 Million in 1H 2012

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.” 

TCA Jody Dunitz and Raulee Marcus Are Among 10 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Game in L.A.

10 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Game in L.A.

More …. http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2012/08/01/10-women-entrepreneurs-who-are-changing-the-game-in-l-a/

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ttThis article is by Pilar Stella Ingargiola, the founder and chief executive of OneGiving, a for-profit standardized giving platform for brands and consumers. Follow her on Twitter at @pilarstella.

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ttA recent Forbes.com article highlighted 12 entrepreneurs who “are changing L.A. forever.” There was one slight oversight: There were no women mentioned.

 

 

Tech Coast Angels is among the most active investment groups ..

By JAN NORMAN / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

One in every $4 that angel investors put into young growing companies over the past year has gone to a California startup, according to the Halo Report.

This report is produced by Angel Resource Institute, Silicon Valley Bank based on data by CB Insights, which collects data on private companies, their investors and inquirers

Article Tab: image1-Calif. firms get 26% of angel investment money

Irvine-based Tech Coast Angels is among the most active angel groups in the United States over the past 12 months. TCA has about 300 members in five regional networks including Orange County.

more at .. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/angel-363197-companies-investors.html 

TCA made investment in Flu treatment developer Gemmus Pharma

Flu treatment developer Gemmus Pharma Inc. raised about $1.5 million in a Series A funding led by a syndicate of angel investor groups.

Gemmus, housed in the Mission Bay Innovation Center in the FibroGen building in San Francisco, is targeting a receptor that plays a role in the anti-inflammatory response to viral infections. That approach, the company says, makes it so its treatment isn’t susceptible to viral resistance.

A Gemmus spokeswoman said the company initially sought to raise at least $1.2 million.

The round was led by the Life Science Angels and included BlueTree Allied Angels, Tech Coast Angels, Wilmington Investor Network and The Angels Forum.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/biotech/2012/06/gemmus-pharma-life-science-angels.html

Start-ups get 90 seconds to pitch ideas to TCA

A minute and a half isn’t a lot of time, but for 11 local entrepreneurs, 90 seconds was all they had to pitch their start-up ideas to a panel of judges Tuesday.

More than 175 start-ups applied to participate in the 7th annual Fast Pitch Competition, held at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and hosted by angel investor group Tech Coast Angels. Eleven finalists were asked to compete. Click link for the rest of the article

http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-fi-tn-tech-coast-angels-20120425/10

Tech Coast Angels Funds 37 Deals in 2011 Demonstrating Angel Investment Leadership

Total number of investments significantly increased over previous years, continuing upward trend

IRVINE, Calif., February 15, 2012Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nations largest angel investment network, today announced it funded 37 investments in 2011 in a wide array of exciting, start-up businesses.

In 2011, TCA raised more than $45 million of total investment for its entrepreneurial companies, including more than $11 million through direct TCA investment an 80 percent increase over 2010. Additionally, the total number of investments for the year is significantly up by almost 25 percent from 2010 and nearly 50 percent over the number of investments in 2009.

We are more aggressive and investing actively as evidenced by the significant increase in the total number of investments over the past two years in innovative, forward-thinking new companies,said Stephen Flaim, Ph.D., FACC, FAHA, Chairman, Tech Coast Angels. “We are committed to identifying and nurturing bold, early-stage entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas and fostering their growth through connection, knowledge, mentoring and operational assistance the cornerstones of our mission. This is an exciting time. We are energized about our upward trend and see no sign of slowing down.

This years investment portfolio represented companies across a broad spectrum of growth industries including technology, biotech and pharmaceutical, social media, financial services, consumer products and green technologies. The companies funded by Tech Coast Angels in 2011 included Agilenano, Anabios, Angstrom Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Banshee Bungee, BeTheBeast, Continental Windpower, CosNet, Inc., Cyber-Rain, Define My Style, ExtendCredit, Groundmetrics, HitFix, H2Scan, LLC., Inhance Media, JobSync, Larada Sciences, LendAmend, Mobile Cause, Numira Bioscience, Inc., OlFactor, Olive Medical, Orion Data Analysis Corporation, PharmaSecure, Phone Halo, Ranker, Rx Timer Cap, SleepSafe Drivers, Social Rewards, Swarmology, Virtual Metrix, Vokle, WiSpry, Inc., YouMail, Inc. and Yowza.

San Diego Tech Coast Angels Establishes John G. Watson Foundation

Memorial Fund Will Support Entrepreneurism in San Diego Region

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The San Diego Network of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel group in the United States, announced that the organization has established the John G. Watson Foundation to support entrepreneurism in the San Diego region. The 501(c)(3) Foundation is enabled by a $1 million gift to TCA San Diego from the family of John G. Watson.

“John loved investing, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit that he discovered when he arrived in San Diego,” said Gillian Ison, John’s sister. “We believe that a foundation supporting entrepreneurism is the best way to honor his memory and his life.”

The Foundation will use investment earnings from the Watson family gift to fund specific TCA-San Diego charitable and educational activities and programs that support and promote innovation in entrepreneurism and that are intended to reduce unemployment and underemployment.  To this end, the Foundation will be heavily involved with the annual San Diego Quick Pitch event.

“John had an extraordinary ability to evaluate investment opportunities and enjoyed the Quick Pitch evaluation and selection process,” said Stephen Flaim, president, San Diego Tech Coast Angels. “In 2009, he organized one of our most successful TCA San Diego Quick Pitch events ever, so it is fitting that the new Foundation will support this annual activity.”

John Watson joined the TCA San Diego network in 2008 following a long and distinguished career in pharmaceutical and life sciences. Over the course of 35 years, he served in various marketing, managerial and executive positions at companies including Dow Chemical, Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth Laboratories, and ICN Pharmaceuticals. John served as COO of both Vestar Inc. and Galagen Inc., before becoming CEO and president of Ionian Technologies in San Diego.

Shortly after his 2008 retirement, John joined TCA San Diego. He was elected to the network’s Board of Directors the following year. In addition to his TCA activities, John regularly volunteered in the San Diego/La Jolla community and enjoyed athletic activities, including ocean swimming, hiking, biking, and skiing.

An English native, John earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from Cambridge University before coming to the United States to study as a Fulbright Scholar at Indiana University, where he earned a master’s degree in marketing and finance.

San Diego Tech Coast Angels Establishes John G. Watson Foundation

Click here

Tech Coast Angels Provides Experts in Residence to Ventura Ventures Tech Center

Mentoring a part of TCA charter, says Panesis

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S., today announced that the TCA Central Coast Network has been named one of the founding Experts in Residence at the Ventura Ventures Tech Center (V2TC), a unique entrepreneurial incubator started by the City of Ventura.

The Ventura Ventures Tech Center provides space for aspiring start-up companies. The Experts in Residence program brings leaders in all areas of business to the incubator to provide information and mentoring to the entrepreneurs. At least one TCA member will be available at the Center each month to give the companies advice on financing, angel investment and all the preparations necessary to make the leap to viability.

According to Mike Panesis who heads the TCA Central Coast Network, which serves entrepreneurs from Ventura to Santa Barbara County, “TCA is valuable to these new start-ups as a potential source of financing, but even more important, is the mentoring we can bring. We know what investors are looking for and can guide entrepreneurs in the development of the right tools and plans to both impress a group of angels or VCs, and to put the company on the road to success. This kind of mentoring is a fundamental part of the TCA Charter.”

“Tech Coast Angels is a vital part of our tech sector growth effort here in Ventura. I’m thrilled that they’ll be participating in V2TC’s Expert in Residence program,” said Bill Fulton, Mayor, City of Ventura.

According to Joey Briglio, executive director, Ventura Ventures Tech Center, “V2TC is all about reducing risk for start-up companies and connecting them to the right resources. Mike Panesis and the Tech Coast Angels offer tons of expertise when it comes to developing businesses and assisting entrepreneurs. That is why our companies will benefit greatly from their participation in our Expert in Residence (EIR) program.”

Tech Coast Angels Launches Angel Syndication Network

Network Provides Entrepreneurs Access to More and Larger Rounds of Angel Financing.

TCA, Golden Seeds and Band of Angels Found the New Nationwide Network

IRVINE, Calif., August xx, 2011– Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investment network, today announced the formation of the Angel Syndication Network (ASN), an affiliation of angel investment groups across the U.S. that have banded together to provide entrepreneurs with more and larger financing rounds before leaving the angel system.

According to Richard Sudek, chairman of the TCA Syndication Committee, “ASN is a dynamic new opportunity for entrepreneurs. Previously, startup companies might go to a single angel group to receive their initial financing, but when they required additional funds, they had to go through the same due diligence at other angel networks. Or they had to try to make the leap to venture capital, sometimes before they were ready. Now, these companies can start up with any of our ASN partners and have access to the funds and support of the other groups when they need it. They can take any on-ramp and access the same freeway.”

The founding partners of the Angel Syndication Network include Tech Coast Angels in southern California, Golden Seeds of New York City and Band of Angels of northern California. Other groups are currently coming onboard or in the partnering process.

“The Angel Syndication Network will be an efficient means for those game-changing entrepreneurs who need to be focused on their businesses to raise funds from multiple angel groups with minimal incremental effort,” said Mike Napoli, TCA chairman. “With ASN, companies aren’t repeating all of the same money-raising steps over and over, and the ASN partners are able to see good deals brought to them by a lead investment partner that is familiar with the entrepreneur and has already agreed on financial terms. They will also be able to take advantage of the broader networking reach of the larger pool of investors. It’s a win-win.”

“Syndicating investments within the angel group ecosystem is essential in our quest to aggregate capital for early stage companies that have high growth potential,” said Stephanie Hanbury-Brown, founder, Golden Seeds. “In this way, angel groups across the country are supporting the innovation economy and job growth, without losing sight of the imperative for high returns on our investments.”

According to Dr. Ian Sobieski, chairperson, Band of Angels, “The ASN gives us the ability to fully fund more start-ups within a family of known, high-quality angel investors who have a track record of helping entrepreneurs with experienced mentorship as well as capital. We’re excited to be a founding partner in this network.” Entrepreneurs who wish to contact Tech Coast Angels about the Angel Syndication Network can find further information at www.techcoastangels.com.

About Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capitalaffiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangelsor twitter.com/techcoastangels.

TECH COAST ANGELS LEADS INVESTMENT IN LENDAMEND, THE INDUSTRY-LEADING ONLINE SERVICE TO STREAMLINE SYNDICATED LOAN AMENDMENTS

IRVINE, Calif., June 28, 2011 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S., today announced it led the investment in LendAmend LLC, the industrys leading online platform that streamlines the amendment process to improve efficiency and provide administrative support and compliance monitoring to the $1 trillion leveraged loan market. TCA led the funding round which raised $750,000 in Series A Preferred Units. LendAmend is based in Los Angeles, Calif. and the web-based solution provides workflow automation tools, enhances compliance, eases administrative burdens and adds critical transparency.

“Over the last twenty years there has been a major reshaping of the financial landscape in the U.S. and overseas. Major lending markets that were once served exclusively by banks are now being funded by a variety of non-bank financial entities. In addition, technology advances have not been reflected in operating practices in the syndicated loan market. LendAmend addresses both these developments with an advanced solution that improves efficiency and compliance, reduces administrative costs and adds valuable business analytics, said Doug Swets, the lead TCA investor in LendAmend. “The development and management team behind LendAmend has over 35 years of experience in the financial services market in the U.S. and Europe, so the company offers a unique combination of industry expertise and ground-breaking technology.

Registered members of LendAmend include CLO managers, banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, asset managers, mutual funds and other institutional investors in the syndicated bank loan market. LendAmend delivers a sophisticated SaaS platform that facilitates voting and submission of electronic signature pages and provides transparency, compliance and communication solutions for the leveraged loan industry. LendAmend offers a wide range of workflow solutions including:
• Secure PIN-based electronic signature pages
• Custom compliance reporting tools that allow compliance officers to monitor and control access to material non-public information (MNPI) and document communication processes as required of Registered Investment Advisors
• Streamlined communication settings that facilitate internal communication integrated with communication environments that connect lenders of record
• Enhanced visibility into the status and likelihood of passage of an amendment

“Up until now, the process has been manual, cumbersome, non-standard and rife with opportunities for errors. Our innovative solution delivers and enforces a workflow process to improve efficiency, compliance and transparency, and prevents manual mistakes, said Matthew Cornue, partner, LendAmend. “Our solution is quickly gaining market traction and our current registered members control over $100 billion in loan assets under management. We can process virtually any syndicated loan amendment in the market. Our services are beneficial to lenders, agents and borrowers and improve the entire process.
 

TECH COAST ANGELS PARTNERS WITH BRIDGES TO ITALY TO MENTOR ENTREPRENEURS AND SHARE BUSINESS MODEL

TCA Chairman to Keynote at International Conference and Participate in Mentoring Program and Award, Empowering Entrepreneurs and Investors on Both Sides of the Atlantic

IRVINE, Calif., June 14, 2011 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the angel investment network known for its mentoring and development of entrepreneurial companies in Southern California, today announced it will extend its mentoring and educational capabilities to entrepreneurs in Southern Italy through a partnership with Italian-American non-profit organization Bridges to Italy. Mike Napoli, TCA chairman, will serve as the keynote speaker at its conference on June 20, 2011 at the TechNest incubator at the University of Calabria (Rende), and will present on the topic, “Fundraising: Is Your Company Ready for U.S. Investors? The conference aims to raise awareness among international angel investors and venture capitalists of Southern Italys high-tech potential.

“Im thrilled to speak with the top entrepreneurs and investors in Southern Italy and have the opportunity to help them understand the American funding process, the ways that start-ups are judged by investors, and the issues angel investors look at in the U.S., so that I can help attendees improve their funding potential, said Mike Napoli, chairman of TCA.

Napoli will gauge investment opportunities among Southern Italys leading entrepreneurial businesses, in areas including but not limited to renewable energy, nano-materials, biotech, and information technology. Napoli will evaluate business ideas from fifteen research groups and entrepreneurs from a broad cross section of Southern Italy. All participants have been admitted to Brains in Motion, the executive training program launched by Bridges to Italy to cultivate American-style business skills and stimulate a global entrepreneurial attitude among Italian researchers.

Italian participants will enjoy a unique opportunity: after completing an e-learning program offered by Bridges to Italy in conjunction with the University of California, Irvine, they will put their newly acquired skills to work at once by making presentations directly to Napoli and other angel investor members of TCA, which has recently been ranked by PricewaterhouseCoopers Shaking the Money Tree as the leading investment group in Southern California and is the largest angel investment network in the United States.

With five regional networks in Southern California and over 250 members, Tech Coast Angels in 2010 funded more than thirty new high-tech companies and invested over $40 million, both within its membership and through synergies with other venture-capital organizations.

“Although venture capital and expertise are the key drivers of high-tech sector growth in the U.S., approaching top American investors is still a complicated process, especially for entrepreneurs based overseas, says Bianca Dellepiane, the founder and President of Bridges to Italy. “Complications grow exponentially for innovators based in Southern Italy, where networking opportunities are fewer compared with elsewhere in Italy and Europe. For this reason, we thought it important to hold this meeting in Calabria instead of Milan or Rome, to promote awareness of the region and establish a dialogue between a leading American investing group and the highly talented research teams involved in Brains in Motion, our executive training program. Our investors are also looking forward to meeting with Mike to learn more about the successful TCA business model and to see how it can be emulated and integrated into the investment process in this region.

Continued Napoli, “Im looking forward to meeting with and mentoring entrepreneurs and investors from Southern Italy and to sharing the TCA business model globally to help expand the opportunity for startups in Italy to obtain funding in todays market.

Cooperation between Tech Coast Angels and Bridges to Italy will continue in Southern California, where the winner of the Brains in Motion competition will be selected by a panel of experts including the president of Enel North America and members of Tech Coast Angels. The winner will be awarded the opportunity to present at networking events at each of the five Tech Coast Angels locations in Southern California.

“This sort of networking marathon is expected to greatly increase visibility and investing opportunities for the winning entrepreneur, who will meet, in just five days, hundreds of potential investors and business partners. The result will be the kind of amplified exposure that no Italian start-up has ever enjoyed — and, indeed, that is almost unheard of even for U.S. start-ups, adds Ms. Dellepiane.

The Bridges to Italy meeting will take place at the TechNest incubator launched by the University of Calabria in late 2010 as a part of a strategy fostering innovation as a key element in the regions economic growth. Participants will be welcomed by Riccardo Barberi, technology transfer officer of the University of Calabria and coordinator of the CRESCITA program (“Knowledge, research, and development for the launching in Calabria of high-tech companies); Giovanni Latorre, the Provost of the University; Renato Pastore, the President of Confindustria, the Italian employers association; and the President of the Italian branch of Bridges to Italy, Domenico Quaglio.

“Southern Italy and Southern California today enjoy even closer ties in the areas of higher education, knowledge and innovation. This is the goal that the Italian branch of Bridges to Italy has been pursuing since its launch in Rende last year, says Mr. Quaglio. “Now, along with our local Italian partners — the University of Calabrias TechNest incubator, the Paolo di Tarso Foundation, and the Mediterranean Foundation — we are strongly committed to highlighting the technological assets of these southern regions by bringing together a highly qualified scientific regional network and the very competitive U.S. market that Bridges to Italy can help entrepreneurs approach in effective ways, thanks to its presence in Los Angeles, California.

Tech Coast Angels Leads New Round of Investment in Vokle as Social Video Broadcasting Company Announces New Capabilities in Version 2.0

 

Vokle Expands from Special Event Support to Worldwide Online Broadcaster Community

 

IRVINE, Calif., June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S., today announced its participation in a $767,000 round of funding for Vokle, a web-based video communications talk show” platform. According to TCA lead investor Dave Berkus, “This is the second phase of TCA’s investment in Vokle that began at the end of 2010, and the robust interest in the company by our members has been based on Vokle’s increased capability of their version 2.0, which has inspired growth and a clear market focus.”

According to Robert Kiraz, president and chief executive officer of Vokle, “When we launched Vokle, the embedding functionality, role-based moderation and audience engagement features of the platform allowed us to capture a lot of attention through the worldwide interactive broadcast of some very high-level events involving Al Gore, Imogen Heap, Arianna Huffington, Willow Bay, Sir Richard Branson and Tony Robbins. But it has always been our intention to become a staple of interactive communication for the everyday broadcasters. That has been our focus over the last six months in the creation of version 2.0 and we’ve helped foster a whole new ‘middle-class of broadcasters’ in the community. As a result, we’ve seen our viewership surge more than 10x in the last quarter from approximately 66,000 unique viewers a month to more than 760,000 unique viewers (over 1 million page views) a month and climbing. We’re excited about bringing a new standard of online dialogue as we unmute communication on the web.”

Berkus adds, “Unlike most of the existing video products, which are inherently one-way broadcasting with a little feedback, Vokle is truly social video broadcasting, enabling everyone in the virtual room to ask questions live and interact with everyone else online. Plus, amazingly, Vokle is an app which enables it to be embedded in a user’s blog, providing a live video event for any video blogger. It brings video into the mainstream of communication not just entertainment or information.”

Online broadcasters also weighed in on Vokle. Mark Watson, SoldierKnowsBest, one of the most active YouTube content providers, uses Vokle to engage and build his fan base. He stated, “Vokle lets me directly connect with my audience in the easiest way. Allowing me to talk face-to-face via webcam with the people who enjoy my content brings social interaction with my viewers to a more personal level. Vokle is the best online streaming site … PERIOD!”

Dane Sanders (www.danesanders.com), a motivational speaker and consultant, uses Vokle as a tool to build community. Sanders says, “There’s nothing like Vokle in the marketplace. They get that there’s more to community building than one-way broadcasts. Love them.”

Jon Quach (WaffleJon), vlogger and YouTube producer, stated, “Although live streaming isn’t a new thing on the Internet, there are aspects of Vokle that make it fresh, fun and exciting.”

Vokle version 2.0 incorporates a series of user friendly tools that help broadcasters grow their online following, including Staff Picks, the Follow System and Promotional Suite. Staff Picks is an elegant broadcaster-centric frontage leaderboard to promote the highest trafficked and most relevant broadcasters. The Follow System is a one-click feature that allows users to follow their favorite broadcasters and be automatically alerted when a new virtual event is scheduled, and Promotional Suite is a simple-to-use, but robust messaging system that enables broadcasters to email messages to all of their Vokle followers in just a few clicks. These capabilities greatly enhance broadcasters’ ability to promote their events and communicate with their followers in a simple, but powerful way.

Combined with the previous round of funding, TCA has lead a total investment in Vokle to date of $1.26 million. Vokle will use the current funds to continue audience development and user growth, to add staff and facilities.

About Vokle

Vokle provides an elegant, next generation interactive platform for broadcasters, bloggers or anyone wishing to reach an audience through live video dialogue. Speakers can easily broadcast to a virtual auditorium of viewers and take live video and text questions from the audience with a click of a button. Hosts have the option to assign staff roles to any attendee in the audience to help run the event. Roles include co-hosts to broadcast with the host, screeners to pre-screen video callers privately behind the scenes, and an editor to cut between live video streams for a more dynamic broadcast. Launched in December 2009, Vokle is a portfolio company of Tech Coast Angels, the nation’s largest angel investor network. Vokle has been used enthusiastically by renowned influencers such as Imogen Heap, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Willow Bay, Sir Richard Branson and Tony Robbins to interact live with their audiences.

About Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor network in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including clean technology, consumer products and services, digital and social media, financial services, hardware and software technologies, and life sciences and healthcare. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.

TCA CONFIRMS POSITION AS #1 INVESTMENT GROUP IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WITH FIVE EXITS IN 2010

IRVINE, Calif., March 29, 2011 A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report entitled Shaking the MoneyTree established southern California as the third most active area for equity investments in venture-backed companies in the United States, coming in just slightly behind New England and growing far faster. Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S., was ranked the number one investment group in Southern California by the report.

According to Mike Napoli, recently appointed chairman of TCA, “Tech Coast Angels has been growing steadily through our focus on the entrepreneur and making it easier for new companies to get their ideas heard and considered. Even much larger investors can seldom claim a result as impressive as five profitable exits in a single year.

TCA has discussed individual exits in various announcements, but this is the first time the network is making available details on all five results.

TCA-invested company MindBody Partnerships which provides a lead generation, conversion, retention and loyalty program for the beauty and health and wellness sector. As part of its Series D financing, MindBody Partnerships provided TCA with a 78.75 percent IRR. Integrien, an IT analytics startup, was acquired by virtualization giant VMware for $100 million in August 2010, and Language Weaver, a pioneer in statistical machine translation, was acquired in July by SDL, the leading provider of global information management solutions. Language Weaver was acquired for a consideration of $42.5 million in cash. Trius Therapeutics, a company developing an antibiotic for serious gram-positive Staph infections, completed an IPO in August directed at raising $50 million through an offering of 10 million shares. The company is listed on the NASDAQ. Finally, the much heralded IPO of Green Dot Corporation, a prepaid debit card company, yielded over 100 times return for early investors in the company.

“As you can imagine, stated Napoli, “both our entrepreneurs and our invested members have been happy and inspired by the excellent results TCA has helped produce.

 

About TechCoast Angels

Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor network in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including clean technology, consumer products and services, digital and social media, financial services, hardware and software technologies, and life sciences and healthcare. TCAmembers give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangelsor twitter.com/techcoastangels.

MIKE NAPOLI NAMED NEW CHAIRMAN OF TECH COAST ANGELS, EXPLAINS ENHANCED PROCESS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Network Streamlines Processes For Funding of New Companies

IRVINE, Calif., February 28, 2011 Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that Mike Napoli has moved into the position of Chairman of its Board of Directors. Napoli has been a member of TCA since 2000, has previously served on the TCA Los Angeles Network Executive Committee for seven years, started the Inland Empire TCA Network in 2007 and served as its president for three years, and was chairman of two TCA Fast Pitch Competitions. Napoli heads a growing and thriving network which recently announced total investments in 2010 of over $6 million, as well as several exciting exits that have attracted new membership in the organization.

“While TCA is a great organization for investors, said Napoli, “we make it that way by being focused on the entrepreneurs. Our goal is to make TCA the most inviting and attractive place for entrepreneurs to bring their game-changing ideas and plans for support. TCA provides not only investment capital, but also in-depth mentoring and assistance that can make the difference between success and failure for a new startup.

Napoli further explained that TCA has made a number of changes recently designed to further streamline the application and screening process for new companies seeking funding. “In the past we screened companies regionally, but we now immediately bring them before industry specific panels made up of domain experts that can quickly and clearly grasp the potential of their new venture. There are six industry panels made up of members from all of the TCA regional Networks. This procedure, combined with more efficient application processing and other changes, speeds up the process, and gets companies in front of investors more quickly. Entrepreneurs are responding. We had over one hundred more applications in 2010 than we had in 2009.

The industry panels are clean technology/industrial, consumer products and services, digital media, hardware and software technologies, and life sciences and healthcare. Napoli is currently the founder and chairman of the Absolute Return Group, an advisor to institutional investors and money managers. He was previously the president and chief investment officer of Wilshire Associates Funds Management Division and Hedge Funds Group. He is currently involved with numerous business organizations including The Alliance for the Commercialization of Technology (ACT) and the Coachella Valley Angel Network. Napoli is also the Executive Director of Performing Arts LIVE. 

Outgoing TCA Chairman, Richard Sudek, stated, “Were delighted to have Mike in this position. He brings exceptional experience and commitment to TCA. We expect a great and dynamic year. 
 

TECH COAST ANGELS FUNDS 31 DEALS IN 2010 AND HIGHLIGHTS THREE PROFITABLE EXITS

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.
 

TECH COAST ANGELS OPENS ITS NEW ANGEL FUND; UNIQUE STRUCTURE ALLOWS FASTER FUNDING FOR ENTREPRENEURS

IRVINE, Calif., February 14, 2011 Tech Coast Angels (TCA),the nations largest angel investment network, today announced the completion of the first closing of its Angel Capital Entrepreneurial(ACE) Fund 1. The Fund has begun investing in early-stage, game-changing companies, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to submit plans to TCA for funding consideration. One of the purposes of the Fund, according to Dave Berkus, Chairman Emeritus of TCA, is that it “gives us more fire power and the ability to move quickly on what we evaluate as excellent business opportunities. In fact, the Funds first investment in Vokle, a unique online event platform, was completed in seven days.

The efficient structure of the ACE Fund is what makes possible the rapid decision-making. Management of the ACE1 Fund is overseen by an elected Board of Trustees and potential investments are brought before the membership by an elected five-member Deal Committee. This structure assures that all members of the Fund benefit from the investment experience of the committee, while still having the opportunity to vote on selections. This structure is original to the Fund and has been operating smoothly since its inception, according to Berkus. The Deal Committee meets at least twice a month to review all potential deals that have been presented to TCA. If a proposal appears exceptionally promising, the committee can bring it to vote that day and the funding can be completed in a week.

For consideration by the ACE Fund, entrepreneurs simply go through the standard process of presenting an idea to TCA. This can be done by going to the TCA website (www.techcoastangels.com) and following the steps. The ACE Fund will invest in entrepreneurial enterprises selected for their game-changing ideas, strength of management and market growth potential. Invested companies are mentored by TCA members who participate in day-to-day activities, giving the companies a significant leg-up in terms of expertise and management experience.

TCA portfolio company Cognition Therapeutics Completes $2.5M in Series A1 Financing to Advance Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Treatment Program

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.

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The most active Southern California investors was the Tech Coast Angels in Q3 – PWC money tree

Southern California Venture Capital Totals $464M In Q3

Venture capital investments in Southern California in Q3 totaled to $464.18M, according to the latest numbers released by the PricewaterhouseCoopers/NVCA Money Tree Report this evening, based on data from Thomson Reuters. Nationwide, there was $4.8 billion invested in 780 venture capital deals for Q3. The investment totals nationwide were down 31 percent in dollars, and 19 percent in terms of the number of deals from Q2, as investment in all sectors slowed. Silicon Valley had the lion’s share of the venture funding dollars in Q3, with $1.75 billion invested in the region. 

For the quarter, San Diego County garnered the most venture capital, with $231.3M invested; Los Angeles had $169.7M, and Orange County $63.1M in investments….

In terms of industries funded, Biotechnology by far led the funding, with $162.2M raised by companies in the sector. Media and Entertainment came in second, with $70.1M–but only because San Diego’s SkinIt boosted totals by $60M. The other large sector for investments was Software, with $54.8M in total funding for the quarter.

The most active Southern California investors, including all of their investments both inside and outside of the region, were the Tech Coast Angels (7 investments), and Rustic Canyon Partners (6 investments); Redpoint, Mission Ventures, and GRP all had 4 investments total. 

One interesting details in the report, is that there was a surge in first time investments in Southern California companies in Q3, with $187M of all of the funding for the quarter to deals classified as first round deals; about $72M was invested in second round investments in companies
 

SocalTech.com

SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS HONOR TCAS MIKE NAPOLI

Contact: Surya Jayaweera FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
909-596-2065; [email protected]

SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS HONOR TCAS MIKE NAPOLI
Local Angel honored for Contributions to Inland Empires Entrepreneurial Economy

Claremont, CA November 11, 2010: Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investing group in the US, is proud to announce that Mike Napoli, the founder of TCAs Inland Empire Network, was honored last night in the “Supporter of Entrepreneurship award category at the Spirit of the Entrepreneur awards ceremony hosted by CSUSB and the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE).
John Tillquist, President of TCAs Inland Empire Network, notes: “The Spirit Awards is the foremost awards ceremony celebrating entrepreneurship in Southern California. It is the ‘Grammy Awards for business owners and supporters; being selected as an award category winner is truly a tremendous honor.
Mike Stull, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at CSUSB and organizer of the Spirit Awards, stated at last nights event: “This ceremony is all about honoring the role models for the community, the local heroes who can inspire our students, the next generation of business owners and entrepreneurs.
Surya Jayaweera, Chairman of the TCAs Seedtrack IE explains: “This is what TCA IE is all about: helping to launch enterprises in the community, which in turn benefits the entire community. Venture capital investments in Southern California in Q3 totaled to $464.18M Of this, the most active investor was TCA, with 7 deals closed in the 3rd quarter alone! Mike was and continues to be instrumental in helping to promote the investment of some of these funds into the Inland Empire and surrounding communities.
Mike Napoli recalls: “I started my efforts to bring the angel investment community to the Inland Empire 4 years ago, in September 2006. TCA wanted to expand to the region because of its economic potential and the opportunities that are available to entrepreneurs. I networked for almost a year with anyone who would listen, focusing on economic development officials in the region and the universities and organizations that provide services to entrepreneurs. Our first screening session was at CGU in September 2007. 
Napoli continues: “I believe in the Inland Empire and the value proposition it has for entrepreneurs and am proud to be part of its growth.
Local Entrepreneurs can learn more about upcoming networking events hosted by Tech Coast Angels via:
* Web: www.techcoastangels.com,
* Twitter: www.twitter.com/techcoastangels, 
* Facebook: www.facebook.com/techcoastangels, and
* Email: [email protected]
 

Three Profitable Exits for Invested Companies in a Single Month Highlight Dynamic Second Quarter for Tech Coast Angels

IRVINE, Calif., August 18, 2010 An IPO for Green Dot Corporation (NYSE: GDOT) yielding over 110 times return, the acquisition of Language Weaver Inc. by SDL for $42.5M, and an IPO for Trius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TSRX) have left a lot of Tech Coast Angels (TCA) members smiling and many early-stage, innovative companies excited about the future of entrepreneurship in Southern California. The three exits marked what has been a dynamic year for Americas largest angel investment network despite the economy, with a total of 14 new and follow-on deals by the end of second quarter totaling $19,364,501 of total investment (TCA and partners).

According to Richard Sudek, Chairman of Tech Coast Angels, “A lot of people with dynamic new ideas are looking at the economy with trepidation and we want them to know that entrepreneurship is alive and well. Great, game-changing ideas are always welcome and TCA is doing everything we can to make the process of creating a working company smooth and forward-moving. Green Dot, Language Weaver and Trius are showing the way.

Green Dot, a leading prepaid financial services company, Language Weaver, a pioneer in statistical machine translation, and Trius Therapeutics, a biotech firm developing an oral antibiotic for serious staph infections, demonstrate the wide variety of industries TCA invests in. Among the new investments in Q2 are OLFactor, a novel technology for insect repellant and trapping, HitFix, an entertainment news site featuring original content, and Vokle, which provides a next generation interactive platform for anyone wishing to reach their audience through live video dialogue. Sudek added, “We invite entrepreneurs to visit our website at www.techcoastangels.com where theyll find a description of what were looking for and the simple steps to get ideas in front of TCA. Were a receptive audience.

About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.

Tech Coast Angels Expands Assistance to Entrepreneurs Through New “Meet the Angels and VCs Streaming Video Conferences on Vokle Platform

First Event on August 16 Features TCA Chairman and Noted Investor,
Richard Sudek, Mentoring on “How to Pitch Without a Hitch

IRVINE, Calif., August 9, 2010 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nations largest angel investment network, invites entrepreneurs around the world to participate in the new “Meet the Angels and VCs program of live, streaming video conferences. The conferences, which launch on August 16, 2010, are designed to give people with exciting, game-changing ideas the chance to access investment and business professionals for information, advice and networking. Since the video conferences are held on the state-of-the-art Vokle platform, entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters and other interested parties are able to see the presenters live, submit questions via live video or text, and generally participate in a dynamic interactive international event.

The first official “Meet the Angels and VCs event will be held on August 16 at 5:00pm PT. Those interested should go to http://techcoastangels.com/liveonlineevent to register. The presenter will be Richard Sudek, Chairman of TCA and a noted investor, entrepreneur and educator. Sudek will speak on “How to Pitch Without a Hitch, guiding entrepreneurs in the development of an effective presentation that can get the attention of potential investors. Most of the conference will be devoted to Q&A with Sudek answering questions both from video participants and those in the chat room. Sudek will share his experience of observing over 700 entrepreneur screening presentations combined with research that informs entrepreneurs on what attributes of the presentation are key to moving to due diligence with investors. This is a must see for any entrepreneur seeking funding. According to Sudek, “We recently did a pilot ‘Meet the Angels event for proof of concept and it was a big success. We expect our launch to be even more exciting. Now people dont have to travel, burn gas or miss dinner to meet an investor face-to-face and get personal advice. They can just grab their laptops and meet the angels.

Future TCA events on the Vokle platform will be of two kinds:
1) Official TCA events such as the launch on August 16 geared toward information, education and lots of Q&A. These events will also include noted business leaders who have worked with angels and VCs giving advice from their own experience.
2) TCA-sponsored events produced by industry bloggers and podcasters featuring TCA members as panelists and guests. Bloggers and podcasters who would like to host a live TCA event are encouraged to contact TCA at [email protected]

Sudek commented, “The Vokle broadcast platform enables TCA to meet with and support our local Southern California entrepreneurial community, while extending our reach and influence worldwide. While we primarily invest in Southern California companies, these conferences are another way that were making ourselves even more accessible to a broader range of entrepreneurs to guide and mentor.

“Vokle is a Tech Coast Angels portfolio company and were so impressed with the technology and what it offers to broadcasters, bloggers, hosts, companies and anyone with an audience, that we immediately saw the potential for our own events and entrepreneurs. Were always looking for new ways to get out into the community and meet more promising start-ups and get entrepreneurs connected with our investors, and Vokle provides the ideal environment for that. Were thrilled with the level of conversation and interaction we had during our pilot event with some very interesting attending entrepreneurs and are looking forward to the official launch on August 16.

Anyone interested in participating in the “Meet the Angels and VCs event should visit http://techcoastangels.com/liveonlineevent. Those who want to ask questions on video will require a webcam and microphone.

About Vokle
Vokle provides an elegant, next generation interactive platform for broadcasters, bloggers or anyone wishing to reach their audience through live video dialogue. Speakers can easily broadcast to a virtual auditorium of viewers and take live video and text questions from the audience with a click of a button. Hosts have the option to assign staff roles to any attendee in the audience to help run the event. Roles include co-hosts to broadcast with the host, screeners to pre-screen video callers privately behind-the-scenes, and an editor to cut between live video streams for a more dynamic broadcast. Launched in December 2009, Vokle is the chosen online live platform of renowned influencers like Arianna Huffington, Willow Bay, Tony Robbins and Imogen Heap to interact live with their audience.

About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels is the largest angel investor network in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.
 

Tech Coast Angels Announces ACE Fund to Provide Access to Entrepreneurial Investments for Private and Institutional Investors

IRVINE, Calif., August 2, 2010 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the United States, today announced the Angel Capital Entrepreneurial Fund (ACE) 1, a unique fund giving both private and institutional investors the opportunity to access diversified, early-stage, game-changing entrepreneurial company investments that would otherwise be available only to experienced angel investors. According to Dave Berkus, Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels, “The ACE Fund opens a whole new world of exciting investment potential to investors in California. The Fund is designed from the investing members point-of-view. It incorporates many features that give members a chance to benefit from the collective wisdom of TCA at a small investment rate and with liquidity provisions and planned earlier returns than are generally offered in comparable funds. Equally important, it allows investors to diversify their portfolios. Plus, its beneficial to entrepreneurs as it simplifies their process of raising funds.

The Fund was created under the leadership of TCA Chairman, Richard Sudek, who commented, “The ACE Fund not only provides a range of unique features for investors, it also forwards our primary TCA goal making life easier for entrepreneurs. The fund will help innovative startup companies to get funded faster and potentially with larger rounds. It’s a true win/win.

The ACE1 Fund provides:

  • A unique liquidity provision that allows for trading of shares among TCA members, the Fund itself and accredited investors allowing for an exit strategy in the event of hardship
  • Operational expenses limited to one percent
  • Carried interest of only 10 percent for non-TCA Fund investors
  • A minimum investment of only $30,000, with one third upon signing and the balance called over two years
  • Voting membership composed of TCA members receive the 10 percent carried interest
  • Active investment period of only three years with no evergreen investment clause meaning all liquidity events are paid out immediately to members

Management of the ACE1 Fund is overseen by an elected Board of Trustees and potential investments are brought before the membership by an elected five-member Deal Committee. This structure assures that all members of the fund benefit from the investment experience of the committee, while still having the opportunity to vote on selections. The Fund provides for a total of 100 members divided into two membership groups:

  • Voting members made up of active and inactive TCA members. Any investor wishing to actively participate in the Fund needs only to become a TCA member to qualify. (Please visit http://members.techcoastangels.com/members/memberapplication.aspx?action=new, or e-mail [email protected].)
  • Non-voting members made up of all other accredited investors. Non-voting membership allows accredited private and institutional investors to participate in the benefits of the Fund without the need for active, day-to-day interaction.

The ACE1 Fund will invest in a minimum of 10 entrepreneurial enterprises selected for their game-changing ideas, strength of management and market growth potential. A benefit of Fund membership is that TCA members actively support and mentor invested companies to lend experience and avoid pitfalls as the companies grow. The Fund should be attractive to entrepreneurs in that it will speed and simplify the process of seeking funding. For investors, the Fund provides an opportunity for diversification of their portfolios.

About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.

TECH COAST ANGELS JOINS $1.6M INVESTMENT IN HITFIX, UNIQUE CONTENT-DRIVEN ENTERTAINMENT WEBSITE

IRVINE, Calif., June 28, 2010 Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nations largest angel investment network, today announced that it has joined the investment of a second round funding of $1.6M in the unique entertainment journalism online resource, HitFix. According to lead TCA investor, Yuri Pikover, “HitFix has such a compelling mix of authoritative and original journalistic content, audience reach, and technology, it perfectly matched our TCA investment ‘sweet spot. The company, which went live in December of 2008 and generated revenue from its first day, will receive ongoing support and involvement from TCA including the addition of Pikover to the board of directors.

Unlike many entertainment sites and programs that focus primarily on celebrity news and gossip, HitFix calls on the talents of renowned entertainment commentators and journalists such as Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Daniel Fienberg and Melinda Newman to produce wide-ranging news, interviews and commentary on all aspects of entertainment. The HitFix site also offers the unique Event Forecast, a localized calendar that allows users to track major events in all categories within their geographic region, sort them by interest, set reminders and download to their calendar, both through the site and iPhone application.

HitFix was founded by industry veterans, Jennifer Sargent, CEO, and Greg Ellwood, Editor-In-Chief. The site is designed for an 18-34 year old demographic and attracts about equal numbers of men and women, unusual in an industry often dominated by female viewers. The company generates revenue through advertising, as well as the syndication of content. It recently hit the major milestone of over one million monthly unique users.

Jennifer Sargent commented, “It was refreshing to get in front of so many savvy investors at once. TCA members understood our content-driven business model immediately. The investment process was fast and efficient, which allowed me to get back to running my business quickly. Im looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership.

About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or www.twitter.com/techcoastangels.com.

About HitFix
Profiled in BusinessWeek as one of “Americas Most Promising Start-ups, HitFix brings the world of entertainment news and events to discerning fans that prefer entertainment journalism and events to celebrity scandal. For more information visit www.hitfix.com, www.facebook.com/hitfix, www.twitter.com/hitfix or www.youtube.com/hitfix.

TCA FAST PITCH OFFERS JUMP START TO FINANCING

The Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch Competition offers entrepreneurs a jump start to financing.  This is a must-attend event for entrepreneurs looking to learn the art of the pitch, investors seeking opportunities and business-oriented people interested in Southern California innovation.

IRVINE, Calif., May 5, 2010 — Tech Coast Angels, the nations largest angel investor network, invites the entrepreneurs, investors and business-interested people to attend Fast Pitch, one of Orange Countys most exciting entrepreneurial events of the year, to watch and vote on their favorite 90-second elevator pitch and enjoy a gourmet dinner and networking with some of the most influential businesspeople in Orange County. Fast Pitch will be held on Tuesday, May 25, 5:30 p.m.-9:15 p.m., at U.C. Irvine Student Center on Pereira Drive at West Peltason. Fast Pitch is an opportunity to network with hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs, watch and vote on the finalists as they compete for a panel of expert judges and learn about exciting new start-up investment opportunities.

Ten finalists have been selected and have worked closely with Tech Coast Angels mentors in an extensive training program to hone their 90-second pitch to present their ideas in the most compelling, interesting way. Part of the coaching process includes invaluable consultation with Barbara Seymour Giordano, a leading speech and presentation consultant. Each entrepreneur will deliver their pitch to a panel of investors, other members of the Orange County entrepreneurial community and the audience, and will be judged on the quality of their presentation and the investment potential of their business idea. Four winners will be selected in the following categories: Best Overall; Best Funding Opportunity; Best Presentation; Peoples Choice/Audience Pick. Each of these four winners receive the opportunity to give an in-depth presentation of their business to Tech Coast Angels.

Fast Pitch is a key element in TCAs focus on identifying and nurturing very early-stage start-ups and complements other programs TCA has put in place, such as SeedTrack, a unique program designed to provide seed funding, services, knowledge, education, execution and strategic planning to entrepreneurs with game-changing company ideas in the very early stages of development.

“Our Fast Pitch Competition is an exciting event that draws some of Orange Countys best entrepreneurs with the most interesting business ideas and gives them visibility and networking opportunities with the regions most prominent angel and VC investors and business executives, said Richard Davis, TCA Fast Pitch chairman. “TCA focuses on finding brilliant local ideas and talent and nurturing and developing them into solid, high-growth businesses and Fast Pitch, along with SeedTrack and other initiatives weve undertaken, are critical to our success in meeting that goal.

From the events inception nine years ago, TCA and several venture capital firms have funded many of the companies that have participated in Fast Pitch. Overall, TCA has funded over 150 ventures, raising over $1 billion for portfolio companies.

Registration and tickets are available at www.pitchtheangels.com. The cost through May 23 is $85.00 online, following that date is $95.00 at the door and students with a valid ID are $45. The ticket price includes a sumptuous buffet with wine and special desserts. The event is sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, Attorneys at Law; Moss Adams Certified Public Accountants; Orange County Business Bank; Irvine Chamber of Commerce; GoScan; and Barbara Seymour Giordano.

About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.

NEWS RELEASE
Contact:
Deborah Jones
Strategies
714-957-8880, ext.113
[email protected]

TCA Demonstrates Angel Investment Leadership with 7 New Deals and 17 Follow-On Deals in 2009

TechCoastAngels Demonstrate Angel Investment Leadership with 7 New Deals and 17 Follow-On Deals in 2009

Irvine, Calif.,March 1, 2010– Despite the dire economy and lack of available capital (or maybe because of it), Tech Coast Angels(TCA), the largest angel investmentnetwork in the U.S., completed seven rounds of new investmentdeals and 17 follow-on deals in 2009, raising $4.7 million through direct TCA investments and an additional $57 million through other sources of venture capitaland angel capitalfor the network’s entrepreneurial companies. According to Richard Sudek, TCA chairman, “We want entrepreneurs to know that there is still a vibrant investment environment in Southern California. We take our responsibility to foster and develop new enterprises very seriously.”

While the total investment money available in 2009 declined from the previous year and fewer new deals were completed, 2009 actually saw an increase in the number of follow-on investments. Sudek said, “Clearly our members feel deeply committed to our invested companies and believe in their growth. We not only continue to raise money for them, we also provide day-to-day operating assistance and mentoring that company executives tell us often make the biggest difference in their success.”

A number of the invested companies in 2009 were in the high technology arena, a TCA focus, however many other markets were represented. Young companies in entertainment, industrial applications, retail, communications, healthcare, biotechnology and even home improvement received investment dollars.

“We already see 2010 on an upward trend,” stated Sudek. “The new programs we’ve instituted like the Entrepreneur Mixersand SeedTrackwill give us the chance to help companies at even earlier stages. As 2009 demonstrates, that early mentoring generally leads to success.”

Some of the companies who received funding by Tech Coast Angels in 2009 included: WiSpry; Paradigm Select Assets; MicroPower Technologies; Outside Labs; Mobile XL; Cyber-Rain; Loop’d Network; Vigilistics; Numira; YouMail; Amplyx Pharmaceuticals; Benchmark Revenue; Masher Media; H2scan; MyShape; LeisureLink; PharmaSecure; ElephantDrive; and UsedCardboardBoxes.

About Tech Coast Angels

TechCoast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangelsor twitter.com/techcoastangels.

Sudek of Tech Coast Angels Announces Network’s Increased Commitment

Sudek of Tech Coast Angels Announces Network’s Increased Commitment to Entrepreneurship and Innovation Through New Easy-Access Programs

 
IRVINE, Calif., January 18, 2010 – Richard Sudek, Chairman of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investment network, today announced that a whole new 2010 program of increased entrepreneur support, communication and mentoring will be overseen by the network’s newly installed Board of Governors. According to Sudek, “In today’s constrained economy, entrepreneurs need easier access to viable sources of help and funding or America may lose some of its greatest potential success stories. TCA is actively putting in place forums and methods for new promising Southern California companies to get the resources and guidance they need.”
 
Part of the network’s increased outreach is the already launched and successful series of TCA Mixers. At these events, anyone interested in making contact with TCA and its members, whether a person just thinking of a business idea or an established company, is invited to attend without charge. At the first mixer held in late 2009, TCA members expected 15 attendees and attracted over 100. The Mixers will be held bi-monthly.  “These informal forums give us a chance to guide interested entrepreneurs in the types of innovation and company ideas TCA is looking for,” says Sudek. “Equally important, it gives us a chance to listen to what entrepreneurs want and need.”
 
The recently announced SeedTrack Program is another demonstration of TCA’s increased entrepreneur support. This resource is set up to make seed funding and extensive mentoring available to very early stage enterprises, designed to nurture them to the point where they can receive angel and/or venture capital.
 
Also part of the program will be an updated TCA website to be completed during early 2010 (www.techcoastangels.com) offering simpler access to information, a new streamlined application process and enhanced resources and feedback capabilities. “We want entrepreneurs to be encouraged by the process of contacting TCA, not overwhelmed,” says Sudek.
 
“These programs are just the start of things to come,” said Sudek. “We’re always aware that some of America’s most innovative and successful companies such as Google and Apple were originally funded by angel investors. We take that responsibility seriously and we want all of our efforts to reflect a broad and deep commitment to entrepreneurship in Southern California.” Leading these activities in each of the area networks are TCA’s new Presidents: Steve Flaim, San Diego; co-network presidents of Santa Barbara, John Glanville and Jeff Kurfess; Stu Roberts of Orange County; Scott Sangster of Los Angeles; and John Tillquist of the Inland Empire.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangles or twitter.com/techcoastangels.

TCA Launches Meet the Angels” Program”

TECH COAST ANGELS LAUNCHES “MEET THE ANGELS” PROGRAM

FREE MIXER – JANUARY 18th, 2010
 
Open to All Entrepreneurs Interested in Company Startup and Angel Funding
 
Irvine, Calif., January 6, 2010 – A “Meet the Angels” mixer designed to encourage and support new entrepreneurs, will be held January 18, 2010 and is sponsored by the Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investment network. The mixer is the second in TCA’s new program of “Meet the Angels” mixers launched after the success of the first event, which generated demand from attendees for more mixers. It will be held in Aliso Viejo, from 5:00pm-7:00pm and is open without charge to anyone seeking information about angel funding, startups or other aspects of early stage company development.
 
According to Stu Roberts, president of TCA’s Orange County Chapter, “Entrepreneurs have questions about funding their startup and our mixer is the perfect place to start collecting information by interacting with and hearing directly from angel investors. We want our customers, the entrepreneurs, to learn what companies TCA is funding and provide them with an informal setting to answer their questions.”
 
The last TCA Mixer held in November was attended by more than 100 entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible at www.seedtrack.org/events as space is limited. Address and directions are listed on the website.
 
Roberts continued, “TCA is working hard to provide entrepreneurs with the tools and opportunities to fund their dreams. We encourage all entrepreneurs to join us for this informal event.”
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the U.S. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, facebook/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.
 
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Founder of Tech Coast Angels, Luis Villalobos Dies at 70

IRVINE, CALIF., October 7, 2009 — With great sadness, the members and friends of Tech Coast Angels (TCA) mourn the passing of their mentor, friend and founder, Luis Villalobos. According to TCA Orange County President, Richard Sudek, Mr. Villalobos died suddenly of a lung infection on October 1, 2009 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Ora-Zoe Villalobos of Newport Beach, Calif. He was born on November 5, 1938.
According to Sudek, “In the world of angel investors, Luis was a national leader. In 2007, he was presented with the prestigious Hans Severiens Award by the Angel Capital Association, the top award an angel investor can receive. And, of course, in 1997 he founded TCA which has become the largest angel investment network in the U.S. However, even more important, Luis gave tirelessly of his time and knowledge to entrepreneurs and fellow investors, showing his deep commitment to encouraging and supporting the growth of angel groups and startup ventures. In 2001, he single-handedly created the Fast Pitch concept where entrepreneurs pitch their companies in 60 seconds. This annual event is extremely popular and is replicated by other TCA chapters and angel organizations. This event attracts over 300 attendees and is TCA’s most recognizable event in the community. He’ll be sorely missed by us all and our thoughts are with his family.”
 
In his business career, Mr. Villalobos was the founder and CEO of two high-technology firms, Harvil, which he sold to Hughes Aircraft Company, and Conographic, sold to Gradco Systems. He invested in 57 early-stage ventures including several IPOs such as Gadzoox Networks and PetSmart. He personally mentored at least a dozen company CEOs, and served on the Board of Directors of over a dozen firms such as Big Stage, YouMail, Vigilistics, EmailDirect and others. He was also on the Board of the UCI Graduate School of Management and the Angel Capital Association.
 
Mr. Villalobos received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from MIT and MBA from the Harvard Business School. He held 12 U.S. and international patents as lead inventor.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the U.S. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or twitter.com/techcoastangels.
 
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OC TCA Seedtrack Helping Early Stage Companies

IRVINE, Calif., September 15, 2009 — A unique new program designed to provide seed funding, services, knowledge, education, execution and strategic planning to entrepreneurs with game-changing company ideas in the very early stages of development has been announced by the Orange County Chapter of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investment network. Called OC SeedTrack, the program is now accepting applications online at www.seedtrack.org.

 
The O.C. SeedTrack Program is a true departure from other early-stage programs in that it goes beyond the “bootcamp” training or acceleration models that have traditionally been used to jumpstart very small companies. O.C. SeedTrack members literally work side-by-side with their entrepreneurs, providing seed funding, strategic planning and the execution of many day-to-day functions of operation to allow the entrepreneurs to concentrate on realization of their vision. This hands-on participation prepares the entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful businesses and positions them to secure further angel or VC investment if and when needed.
 
According to John Murphy, a member of the executive committee of TCA and chairman of SeedTrack, “We’re often approached by entrepreneurs with great ideas and preliminary planning, but they’re simply too early-stage to be funded by TCA or venture capitalists. The goal of SeedTrack is to provide these new companies with the expertise and help they need to turn their big ideas into potentially viable businesses.”
 
Qualifications for SeedTrack companies include:
  • tGame-changing ideas for big and meaningful problems
  • tA founding team with brains, passion and motivation with the ability to adapt and evolve on a dime
  • t“Skin in the game” — a personal investment and fund-raising of at least $50,000
  • tA reasonable expectation that the company will be prepared to seek TCA and/or venture funding after a seed investment of no more than $100,000
  • tPrimary markets include, but are not limited to, media, technology, entertainment, software and Web services
 
Murphy added, “Applicants should do their homework. Very early-stage companies are high risk, so the entrepreneur must have all the qualifications in place to make a TCA member believe in the new company enough to invest their money, and particularly, their time.”
 
To apply to become a SeedTrack candidate, entrepreneurs download a short application and executive summary form online. Likely candidates are selected by SeedTrack members and those companies are invited to give an informal presentation to a small group. Companies may then have the opportunity to present to a larger TCA group at a regularly scheduled SeedTrack meeting.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or at twitter.com/techcoastangels.
 
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Tech Coast Angels Fast Tracks Investment in Masher Media

Cites Exceptional Executive Team and Market Opportunity

IRVINE, Calif., August 10, 2009 — Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investment network, today announced it has fast-tracked its investment in Masher Media, Inc., developers of a unique new virtual world for children called www.MyMiniPeeps.com that will give kids ages 6 to 13 an online experience as exciting as a video game but with more social networking, multiplayer, and complete and enriching real-world content. “Even in this difficult economy, Masher Media is a good example of how a great new company with an exceptional market opportunity can get investment money and get it fast,” said Richard Sudek, president of TCA. 

According to Luis Villalobos, founder of TCA, “As investors, first and foremost we bet on people, and Sherry Gunther, the founder and creative genius behind Masher Media is one of the most accomplished people in her industry. Moreover, Masher Media has a terrific concept in a fast-growing market. This was an easy investment decision.”

 
CEO Sherry Gunther has over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry, producing such animated hits as The Simpsons, Rugrats, Family Guy, PowerPuff Girls, and many others. She’s won two Emmy Awards, a Cable Ace Award and many more. She’s also the creator of ZooKazoo.com, a revolutionary social networking website for children, so she and her team bring extensive experience in the online world as well.
 
The children’s virtual world business reached $1.2B in revenues in 2008 and the user base is expected to grow from 186M in June 2009 to 640M by 2015. The virtual world, www.MyMiniPeeps.com, literally leapfrogs the current children’s online experience, providing a new level of sophisticated, MMORPG, social, fully immersive content, 3D graphics and an interactive world that allows children to role play, become involved in communities, enjoy multiplayer gaming experiences, customize worlds, generate content and generally be empowered for real-world interaction. The site is also secure and parent-authorized.
 
Sherry Gunther, CEO, Masher Media, stated, “The kid’s online space is at such an exciting stage with the audience becoming more sophisticated and technology allowing us to reach creative goals never possible before. There’s a real opportunity for us, the content drivers, and our young users to innovate together to shape a new online experience.”
 
Additional information on Masher Media is available at www.mashermedia.com.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or at twitter.com/techcoastangels.

David Friedman Joins Orange County Tech Coast Angels

IRVINE, Calif., July 14, 2009 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the nation’s largest angel investor network, today announced that David Friedman, a leading technology marketing and operations executive for Fortune 500 technology, software and services companies, has become a member. Friedman has served as a senior executive at ATX Group, Connexion by Boeing and U.S. Cellular, leading major technology launches and worldwide initiatives, including pioneering industry-first technologies.

While at Connexion by Boeing, he was part of the executive team that commercialized the first in-flight Internet (Wi-Fi) services on board commercial aircraft around the world. With more than 30 years in the technology arena, Friedman’s marketing and strategic management expertise brings added value to the Tech Coast Angel network and its portfolio of early-stage companies.

 
“I am excited about becoming a part of TCA. As we exit the recession, technology and innovation will result in new companies emerging as leaders. Small companies and early-stage companies, in particular, will lead the way,” said Friedman. “TCA understands that the key is not only helping to fund these companies, but also help them as an advisor on the board or even as an extension of their operational executive team. Angel investors like TCA members can be more creative and provide a wider range of opportunities and assistance to these companies. I’m looking forward to joining them in this venture.”
 
TCA member Raymond Chan said, “We look forward to David’s input on all the network’s investment opportunities, particularly those in the tech and services areas and I welcome another marketing expert to our team of professionals. The best value we offer to our portfolio companies is the seasoned expertise available through our network, and David’s background and experience make him a terrific addition.”
 
TCA members offer expertise and mentoring to young, high-growth companies. Friedman has devoted much of his career to developing high-performance cross-functional teams and serving as a mentor to younger managers who will become the next generation of business leaders. He is a mentor with the UC Irvine Graduate School of Business Mentoring program and is active in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Orange County. 
 
A New York native, Friedman now lives in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. with his wife and family.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or at twitter.com/techcoastangels.
 
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Tech Coast Angels Reaches $100 Million Investment Milestone

Largest American Angel Network Demonstrates the Value of Angel Investing: Turning $100 Million into $1 Billion of Invested Capital

IRVINE, Calif., May 19, 2009 — Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S. and the number one source of start-up funding in Southern California, today announced that its members have invested a total of $100 million in promising Southern California companies since the group’s inception in 1997. The network continues to actively invest in Southern California-based companies and encourages entrepreneurs seeking financing to apply through its website at www.techcoastangels.com.

 
Companies receiving first-time investments or follow-on rounds from TCAmost recently include Bikestation, MicroPower and eGuardian.
 
The $100 million total represents funding, as well as mentoring, expertise and industry contacts, provided by TCA members over the last 12 years to more than 150 young California-based companies in a range of fields including life sciences, software, Internet, biotechnology, media, business services, and consumer products. TCA’s contributions to these companies subsequently helped attract more than $1 billion in additional capital.
 
“This milestone demonstrates the value and staying power of angel investors, even in more challenging economies,” said Ralph Mayer, chairman of the board for Tech Coast Angels. “Receiving funding and guidance from TCA not only enables promising companies to grow, but also provides a huge dose of credibility. This, in turn, results in further investment from private investors as well as TCA’s venture partners. By filling this critical early funding gap and providing the support of successful executives, TCA helps these companies make a leap they otherwise couldn’t have made.”
 
In an era when banks have significantly curtailed lending — and investment capital is hard to find — angel investing can be a critical lifeline for young, innovative companies. As investment from traditional funding sources declined during 2008, TCA provided 15 first-time financings and 16 follow-on rounds, compared with 12 first-time financings and 14 follow-on rounds in 2007.
 
“Studies have shown that start-up companies, in addition to being important sources of technical and societal innovation, are critical sources of jobs, particularly during economic downturns,” said Mayer. “These companies play an essential role both in propping a sagging economy, and eventually, contributing to turnaround. We’re proud to play a part in their growth.”
 
TCA has more than 250 members in five chapters across Southern California: Los Angeles; Orange County; San Diego; Westlake/Santa Barbara; and the Inland Empire.
 
One of the many TCA investment success stories is Airsis, an innovator in remote asset management with a position in the maritime industry. Airsis is the developer of PortVision, a maritime tracking system that now is used by virtually every oil company in the world. TCA provided the company with a first round of financing in 2005 and a second round in 2007.
 
“Airsis is a poster child for all the benefits of angel investment,” said Dean Rosenberg, CEO of Airsis. “The money TCA members invested in our company became a benchmark for other investors. Equally important, continual access to experienced TCA members with contacts in our targeted industry has allowed us to operate extremely efficiently and hit the ground running. We really hit traction in 2008 and since then have been experiencing quarter over quarter growth despite the economy.”
 
More recently, TCA provided a first round of financing for Bikestation, a company that plans, designs and operates bike-transit centers, enabling bicycling and other alternatives to be an integral part of the transportation system. “Bikestation had a backlog of demand for alternative transportation facilities that we were struggling to meet as a non-profit. With TCA’s guidance and their investment, we created a for-profit company with a non-profit arm,” said Andréa White-Kjoss, CEO of Bikestation. “To date, there are 12 facilities in place and we’re racing ahead to get many more built. Plus, we continue our education and outreach regarding alternative transportation through our non-profit.”
 
“Despite the downturn in the economy, TCA continues to look for exciting new companies in which to invest both money and expertise,” said Mayer. “We believe that many of the novel technologies and new ideas that will improve the quality our lives and the strength of our businesses will originate in these companies.” 
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor network in the United States and the leading source of funding to early-stage companies in Southern California. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested nearly $100 million, and helped portfolio companies attract more than $1 billion in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or at twitter.com/techcoastangels.com.
 
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Sohie Joins Tech Coast Angels

 SOHIE JOINS TECH COAST ANGELS CITING UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 
Orange County, Calif., April 14, 2009 — The Orange County network of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor group network in the nation, today announced a new member, Guy Sohie. Sohie, an experienced medical device COO/CEO specializing in fast growth opportunities, M&A divestitures and restructuring, brings an energizing new perspective and range of expertise to Orange County TCA and the companies its members fund.
 
According to Sohie, “Becoming a part of TCA is exciting, particularly in light of today’s economy. Venture capital firms are getting squeezed and just can’t invest in companies like they used to. Angel investors like TCA members can be more creative and provide a wider range of opportunities. Consequently, we’re getting the chance to invest in interesting, well-developed companies that might otherwise have gone to different sources for funding. Angel investing has become a critical element of the business economy.”
 
Most recently the COO of Ventracor and previously a senior executive with companies like Cardiac Science and General Electric, Sohie has devoted much of his career to the development of small businesses into thriving enterprises and the identification of risk and opportunity for both investors and medical device companies. Since one of the key functions of TCA members is in counseling, mentoring and providing management expertise to the invested companies, Sohie’s experience is greatly valued by the network. According to Raymond Chan, Tech Coast Angels member, “We look forward to Guy’s input on all of the network’s investment opportunities, particularly those in the medical and biotech arenas.”
 
Guy Sohie was born in Antwerp, Belgium and came to the U.S. at the age of 21 on a Fulbright scholarship to Penn State University, and is fluent in English, French and Dutch. He lives in Coto de Caza, Calif. with his wife and four children.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested over $99M, and helped portfolio companies attract more than $960M in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at https://www.techcoastangels.com.
 
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TCA Investors Fund Bikestation

TECH COAST ANGELS INVESTORS FUND BIKESTATION®, A NEW TRANSPORTATION PARADIGM AND TECH COAST ANGELS’ FIRST TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE INVESTMENT

 
IRVINE, Calif., April 7, 2009 – The Orange County, Calif. network of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor group network in the United States, today announced that TCA members have provided growth capital to Bikestation®, the nation’s only turnkey solution for bicycle and other alternative transportation infrastructure for municipalities, campuses and developers. According to Raulee Marcus, lead investor from TCA for the Bikestation funding, “It is the mission of Bikestation to allow people to move efficiently from place to place in new ways. Bikestation has developed a unique solution that allows people to ride and park their bikes or use small electric vehicles in a safe, secure, indoor, remotely monitored environment complete with comfortable lockers, changing facilities, showers, repair services, and all the accessories they need for their bicycles. It changes people’s minds about what is possible and practical. It is a true paradigm shift — and for TCA, a triple bottom line investment benefiting people, producing profit and saving the planet.”
 
Bikestation is a proven alternative transportation model having developed a dozen facilities across the country, including Long Beach, Palo Alto, and Santa Barbara, Calif., Seattle, and more. Four new facilities are opening this year: Washington, DC; Salt Lake City; Claremont, Calif.; and Tempe, Ariz. Bikestation also has a nonprofit arm for grantmaking and education. According to Raulee Marcus, “This company is so hot and their solution is so vital to the new green economy, they just couldn’t answer demand for Bikestations fast enough without investors. And their model is proven. They are profitable. In fact, they’ve raised their revenue forecast for 2009 since they’d already met 70 percent of their annual goal in the first quarter.”
 
Andréa White-Kjoss, chief executive officer of Bikestation, stated, “All over the world, people are trying to solve the problem of alternative transportation. But you can’t just say to people ‘ride your bike.’ They’re afraid for a lot of real reasons. Bike theft is a big concern, and people worry about their clothes and where to store their things. Bikestation makes riding a bike or an electric vehicle a real alternative — safe, affordable and fun. And Bikestation solves problems for cities, universities and developers who want to supply bike transit — in some cases are required to — but know that developing and operating such a facility is not their core expertise. Bikestation provides a proven, efficient turnkey solution. Landowners get to reduce expensive auto parking spaces. Cities and campuses honor their carbon commitments and Bikestation provides a needed service. It’s a win all around.”
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested over $99M, and helped portfolio companies attract more than $960M in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 300 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at https://www.techcoastangels.com.
 
About Bikestation
Bikestation creates the only turnkey ecosystem for bicyclists and bicycling. The company consults in design and build, and it manages these facilities across the country and around the world. Bikestation facilities offer secure bicycle parking and related services to make cyclists’ lives easier, including, repair services, equipment and accessory sales, and restrooms and changing rooms. Bikestation is a registered trademark of Mobis Transportation Alternatives, Inc. Bikestation is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif. More information on Bikestation can be found at www.bikestation.com or by calling at 562-733-0106, or by e-mailing [email protected].
 
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Tech Coast Angels 2009 Fast Pitch” Competition Most Successful Yet”

 Tech Coast Angels 2009 “Fast Pitch” Competition Most Successful Yet

 
220 Applicants, 37 Finalists Present to Panel of Expert Judges
 
LOS ANGELES – March 27, 2009 – The fourth annual Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch Competition concluded with 37 startup companies giving 90-second live presentations over two days. From more than 220 applicants, 37 outstanding entrepreneurs were selected to pitch their business ideas before a panel of expert judges. Entrepreneurs that received top scores for business concept, opportunity and presentation skill were invited to advance to TCA’s formal investment funding process. Finalists from prior TCA Fast Pitch events have gone on to receive more than $20 million in venture funding.
More than 500 people attended the, largest ever, TCA Fast Pitch Competition at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. The Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch Competition in Los Angeles is a “must attend” event for entrepreneurs, looking to jumpstart their entrepreneurial dreams, and for investors, seeking to hear about the latest innovations from Southern California companies. Joining Tech Coast Angels this year to sponsor the Fast Pitch were Stubbs, Alderton & Markiles, LLP; Silicon Valley Bank; and University of California Los Angeles “Entrepreneurship Week.” 
  
The audiences attending Fast Pitch see exciting new startup opportunities, learn the art of the pitch, and network with hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs. Fast Pitch finalists span the spectrum from green “clean tech” and medical devices, to RFID and Internet gaming breakthroughs.
“Fast Pitch is a great way to highlight terrific local startups and introduce entrepreneurs to TCA’s angel investor members and other venture capitalists who are actively seeking to fund new ideas,” said Al Schneider, president, Tech Coast Angels, Los Angeles. “We received a record level of interest from entrepreneurs this year and continue to be impressed by their creativity and enthusiasm.”
In addition to the entrepreneurs pitching their promising startups, the program featured a panel of Southern California venture capitalists including Michael Rotgin, Shelter Capital Partners; Rick Smith, Crosscut Ventures; Mark Suster, GRP Partners; and Richard Yen, Saban Ventures. Peter Cowen, chair of this year’s competition, moderated a lively panel discussion about the funding process and what entrepreneurs can expect in the current economic environment.
“I had no idea something like Fast Pitch existed,” said Stephanie Fleming, director of integrated marketing at RIESTER/LA. “Tech Coast Angels is providing a way to see brand new ideas, technologies and companies. Anyone who wants to see the future of Southern California business should attend!”  
The finalists in the fourth annual Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch Competition were:
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor network in the United States and the leading source of funding to early-stage companies in Southern California. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested nearly $100M, and helped portfolio companies attract more than $960M in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 300 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire.
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All product and company names are trademarks of their respective companies.

 

Tech Coast Angels Companies Receive More Than $1B

30 TCA Portfolio Companies Secure More Than 75M in 2008

LOS ANGELES – February 23, 2009 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel network in the United States, today announced that more than $1B has been invested in TCA-funded companies since the group’s inception in 1997. TCA members have personally invested more than $99M and venture capital firms and other private equity investors have contributed more than $960M. The number of companies financed by Tech Coast Angels members was up last year over 2007. In 2008, companies received more than $75M in 15 first-time financings and 16 follow-on rounds from TCA members and affiliated investors, compared with 12 first-time and 14 follow-on rounds completed in 2007.
 
“TCA is still actively investing, despite the downturn in the economy. Our membership continues to be the largest single source of first-time deal financings for early stage companies in Southern California,” said Ralph Mayer, newly elected chairman of TCA. “2008 was a banner year for TCA. We reached the $1 billion mark and increased the number of companies funded year-over-year, which further demonstrates our commitment to the Southern California ecosystem.”

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

“History has shown that downturns in the economy are often the best time to start a new company, which is one of the reasons TCA members are still actively investing,” said Al Schneider, president of TCA’s Los Angeles network. “Since our members provide entrepreneurs with many more benefits than just capital, funding from TCA’s members is even more valuable to companies in these challenging economic times.”
 
The Tech Coast Angels Los Angeles network is hosting its fourth annual Fast Pitch Competition and networking event on February 24 from 5-9 p.m. at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Fast Pitch is a competition among 12 carefully selected entrepreneurs who will each deliver a 90-second company pitch to a panel of investors and other members of Southern California’s entrepreneurial community. For more information, visit www.pitchtheangels.com.

About Tech Coast Angels

Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, the largest angel investor network in the United States, provides funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested more than $99M, and helped portfolio companies attract more than $960M in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 300 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire.
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Orange County Fast Pitch Dinner and Investment Event June 9th

Orange County Invited to Meet the Business and Investment Community at the Tech Coast Angels “Fast Pitch” Dinner and Investment Event June 9th

 
12 Exciting New Business Ideas Make Their 90-second Pitch While the Audience
 Watches, Learns and Votes on Their Favorites
 
IRVINE, Calif., May 18, 2009 – Investors, entrepreneurs, business students, people with great business ideas, people who would like to have great business ideas — all will have a fun and profitable evening at the Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch (www.pitchtheangels.com), one of Orange County’s most exciting entrepreneurial evenings sponsored by the nation’s largest angel investment network.
 
The annual Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch, to be held Tuesday, June 9, 2009 from 5:30 to 9:15 PM at the UC Irvine Student Center at Pereira Drive at West Peltason, allows any business-interested people to network with investors and peers, eat a great gourmet meal, and most importantly, watch and vote on the 90-second “fast pitch” of 12 exciting start-up companies trying to garner recognition and financing for their big ideas. These 12 were selected from 116 applicants and have since been put through an intensive training program to learn how to present their ideas in the most effective light. Each entrepreneur will deliver their pitch to a panel of investors, other members of the Orange County entrepreneurial community and the audience, and will be judged on the quality of the presentation and the investment potential. Their presentations will inspire and educate the Orange County audience — and win awards from the Tech Coast Angels. The four winners automatically get to give an in-depth presentation of their business to the Tech Coast Angels (TCA).
 
According to Don Kasle, event chairman for TCA, “People want to know how to start a business, how to get financing, where to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, and where to find investments that make sense. The TCA Fast Pitch is a great place to start. It’s a fun evening where the networking is unmatched — and of course, the gourmet buffet and wine bar help make a night of it.”
 
Since the first competition eight years ago, the Tech Coast Angels and several venture capital firms have funded many companies that have pitched. Several hundred people attend each competition to watch and vote on their favorite presenters. These are “must attend” events for entrepreneurs looking to jump-start their entrepreneurial dreams and for investors seeking to hear about the latest in innovation in Southern California.
 
Registration and tickets are available at www.pitchtheangels.com. The cost through June 4 is $85.00. The cost following that date is $95.00. And the cost at the door is $99.00. Students with a valid ID are $50 anytime. The ticket price includes a sumptuous “walk-around” buffet with wine and special desserts. The event is sponsored by Greenberg Graham Advisors LLC; Greenberg Traurig, Attorneys at Law; Moss Adams – Certified Public Accountants; Orange County Business Bank; GoScan; and Barbara Seymour Giordano.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or at twitter.com/techcoastangels.
 
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TCA Introduces New Seed Track Funding Program

Tech Coast Angels Introduces New Seed Track Funding Program for Early Stage San Diego Companies

Program Ideal for Qualified Companies In Need of Capital and Management Assistance
 
SAN DIEGO – December 11, 2006 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel network in the United States, today announced that the TCA San Diego network has created the new TCA Seed Track program for qualified technology and biomedical companies. Qualified companies are those with proven technologies that need a combination of active senior management assistance and seed capital in order to reach the milestones required to take their businesses to the next level. TCA San Diego is piloting the Seed Track program with the intent that, once the concept is proven, it will be introduced in TCA’s other networks in Los Angeles, Orange County and Westlake/Santa Barbara.
 
eefoof.com, a unique media-sharing site that pays its users, is the first company to receive funding through the TCA Seed Track program. San Diego-based eefoof.com received $225,000 in funding from TCA last month and TCA-member Harry White has joined the company as chairman. White founded and sold three successful San Diego-based high technology companies, understands the dynamics of growing a young company and is actively applying this knowledge and experience to eefoof.

 


“The Seed Track is a well thought out program, which was perfect for us: we wanted to raise a small amount of cash quickly and we needed significant advice and help with operations, finance, marketing and other business issues,” said Kevin Flynn, eefoof’s founder and CEO. “TCA members have offered me guidance every step of the way and I really appreciate everything they have done for me so far.”

 
The TCA Seed Track program was created to address the funding gap that impacts many early stage companies today, specifically those companies with proven technologies that are run by entrepreneurs without a proven track record. These companies often require additional capital beyond that provided by friends & family, but are typically not able to qualify to secure a traditional angel or venture capital funding round. A typical Seed Track investment will have a small number of initial TCA investors and a lead TCA investor who has an active role on the company’s senior management team. Seed Track funding and management can assist entrepreneurs with completing product development; refining their business, marketing and intellectual property plans; and preparing for the next stages of company development and funding.
 
“TCA is always looking for new ways to assist early stage companies in Southern California and our new Seed Track program is another example,” said Doug Giese Ph.D., creator of the TCA Seed Track program and chairman of the High Tech Seed Track. “This program is ideal for emerging companies that need a small seed investment and active assistance from experienced entrepreneurs and executives.”
 
The types of investments of interest to the TCA Seed Track program are companies with innovative new technologies that have good barriers to entry, significant revenue potential, growing markets and a founding team willing to work with senior management advisors. According to Alan Donald, TCA San Diego member and chairman of the BioMed Seed Track, “biomedical companies of interest would include those with medical devices, tools for FDA testing and other medical technologies with a 3-5 year exit potential.”
 
San Diego-based companies that want to apply for TCA Seed Track funding should visit TCA’s website, www.techcoastangels.com, to fill out a funding application and indicate that they are applying for Seed Track consideration. Since seed funding only requires a few TCA members, applicants have an accelerated path through standard screening and due diligence procedures. 
 
For more information, visit www.techcoastangels.com.
 
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, the largest angel investor network in the United States, provides funding and guidance to the most early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have focused on building valuable companies, personally invested $80M in 124 companies and helped portfolio companies attract $778M in additional capital, mostly from venture capital firms. TCA offers companies much more than capital. Members also mentor and coach entrepreneurs, help recruit additional management, and provide access to institutional investors and strategic partners. TCA has more than 270 members in its four networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Westlake/Santa Barbara.
 
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