Brian Lee and Cristina Espiritu of Globalview Advisors attended the Tech Coast Angels (TCA) Screening Event, held at UCI Applied Innovation. The event featured presentations from start-ups looking to raise early seed funding up to $1 million primarily in convertible note to the potential investors from the Tech Coast Angel organization. After the presentations, the investors had closed room discussions to either make the investment or not.

Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is the largest angel investor group in the U.S., and has been fueling the growth of innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California since 1997. TCA identifies, mentors and funds early stage companies to help get their ideas to market, and where TCA members devote their time, expertise and capital to help companies grow and succeed.

TCA members number about 300 and consist of experienced CEOs, senior executives, current and former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other professionals. Members not only invest, but frequently serve on boards and assist companies with relationships, strategy, supply chain, team building and additional fundraising. TCA has an outstanding deal flow of opportunities and a simplified yet organized process for screening and completing due diligence.

Since 1997, TCA members have invested over $180 million in more than 300 companies and have helped attract more than $1.6 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. In 2014 alone, TCA invested over $16 million in 60 companies; and in 2015, the total was $13.5 million in 58 companies. In fact, the most recent Halo Report rated TCA as #2 nationally in number of funded deals. A recent analysis by CB Insights ranked TCA #1 out of 370 angel groups on “Network Centrality” and #5 overall in “Investor Mosaic.”

TCA consists of five regional networks (or chapters) in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast, and the Inland Empire. Each network holds screening sessions, normally semi-monthly, where “pre-screened” entrepreneurs present their company and investment opportunity to the TCA membership. While a member joins a specific network, he/she is able to and encouraged to participate in any other network activity—including training sessions, seminars, special meetings between entrepreneurs and investors and other events.

Tech Coast Angels is ever-mindful that some of the world’s greatest companies began with angel investments and they take their commitment to the tradition seriously. TCA members collaborate with each other on due diligence and then make individual decisions regarding potential investments. Not limited to the technology industry, TCA 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.

Tech Coast Angels is a catalyst in helping build Southern California’s economy into a thriving center of technology and entrepreneurship. Their members are very active in the entrepreneurial community, attending and participating in conferences, networking events, entrepreneurial competitions and other venture capital events. TCA has relationships with the major colleges and universities in Southern California and are provided both access to potential commercialization opportunities and expertise that is invaluable as they analyze potential investments.

Additionally, TCA receives numerous investment opportunities for review from angel groups across the United States. Their relationship with the venture capital community often gives them early looks at deals that fit their investment criteria. TCA also has an excellent relationship with the major economic development agencies in Southern California which are often a referral source of entrepreneurial /investment ideas. All of these sources keep their deal pipeline full which is critical in creating a high quality diversified pool of investments for their members.